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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 08-29-2004, 11:52 PM   #1
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I'd like to say that I'm aware of the many previous handstand messages posted here and I've read most of them. I've practiced handstands against the wall almost everyday for a month now, both facing towards and away from the wall. I can now hold a freestanding handstand up to about 20 seconds before I lose my balance.

However, I cannot do this consistently and I'm having difficulty kicking up to the handstand. Most of the time I need to use a wall to stabilise myself first.

I don't think strength is the problem here, but I do find it taxing on my wrists, and I have a bit of difficulty properly tightening everything up all at once. I also have a slight arch in my back which I can't seem to get rid of - would it be due to a lack of shoulder flexibility?

I would really appreciate any help on how to properly kick up to a handstand, and how to increase my times short of doing more of what I've been doing. Also, I've heard that handstand walking will help, but I don't have a mat to practice on. Any suggestions?

Thank you!
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Old 08-30-2004, 05:04 AM   #2
Larry Lindenman
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I would say one of the things you may not be doing is bending at the elbows to stabilize, also it's eaiser to correct overbalance (fall towards your back) than underbalance (falling towards yor stomach), you could use pressure from your fingers and bend your arms to correct overbalance. suck your stomach in and feel as if your piking your body, this will help the arch. Also is you practice the aandstand with your hands close to the wall (1-2") that will show your body a straight position. Get on grass and practice roll outs from a handstand. once you have this it's not a problem kicking up hard. You should also practice slowly lowering yourself from a wall supported handstand (reverse kick up). Hope some of these help.
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Old 08-30-2004, 07:29 AM   #3
Roger Harrell
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Mainly you need to just do more handstands. The wrist thing is pretty common. It takes a while to strengthen the wrists sufficiently so that goes away. Find a big lawn if you don't have mats. Do handstands whenever you can. If you want a really solid handstand you have to do a ton of em.

As for starting positions. Start in a lunge:

Kick up so that the line from your rear heel to your hands does not bend. Lead with your rear leg, bend your front leg, kick and push. Your body line should be straight throughout. If you haven't done it this way kick gently at first as the position will increase your power significantly. A lot of folks flop over on their back pretty quick when they first do it this way.
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Old 08-30-2004, 07:51 AM   #4
James R. Climer
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I learned to handstand in High School Gym Class (1977) by watching a guy do a sort of hand stand with his knees on his elbows, he balanced there to steady for a couple seconds, then pressed up into a handstand and walked around the basketball court. I thought it was an interesting challenge, so it took me a week to get the coordination and did it too. Point to story: These little knees on elbow hand stands may allow you to work the wrists in a less demanding posture as balance is less of a concern in this position.
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Old 08-30-2004, 10:46 AM   #5
Keith Wittenstein
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There are generally two ways to kick up (certainly more are out there but these are IMHO the big two):
First, one leg at a time. Stand with hands and feet on the floor and in an upsidedown "V". Bend both knees slightly and suck in your belly and squeeze the shoulder blades together puffing out the chest just slightly. For most people this will straighten the upper body from wrist to hips. Take one leg up straight behind you and keep the other knee bent to push off. Swing/kick the straight leg and push with the bent leg. Bring the feet together over your head.

Second, is to bend both knees and kick both legs up at the sime time.

I find that looking between my hands and pushing the floor away helps. Also consider trying to press the soles of your feet into the sky. For added stability to the keep the belly drawn in and squeeze your inner thighs together. This works especially well when kicking up with both legs. Try squeezing a tennis ball or rolled up towel between your thighs. Additionally, for the single leg kick up, a slight internal rotation of the thighs helps a lot. It is common when kicking up for the toes to splay out to the sides because of tightness in the hips, but if you rotate the thighs in toward each other slightly (think slightly pigeon toed) you will find some extra stability.

Try doing 3 sets of 10 kick ups: 10x right leg, 10x left leg and 10x both legs. Work on a mat or some grass. Try to avoid using the wall.

Let me know if this is clear or if I've confused you further.
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Old 08-31-2004, 12:36 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies!

I'm not sure if bending the elbows is a good idea,but I'll try it and see how it goes. I'll also try kicking up from a lunge position and rotating the legs inward.

I've done the elbows on knees thing before though (what Coach Sommer calls 'frog stands'). I also found that straddle press to handstands help significantly too, but I can't do it without a wall either.

Thanks again!
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