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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 03-17-2006, 03:52 AM   #1
Matthew Townsend
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One of my new year's resolutions was to walk 100m on my hands. However, despite practising nearly every day, I seem to have stalled and cannot seem to keep a static handstand for more than ten seconds.

In the Beastskills article posted around here some time ago, the writer said that you had to practice a hundred times before it clicked. I've done many more than that and I still struggle to get balanced.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-17-2006, 05:37 AM   #2
Travis Hall
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funny that's my goal for the summer! well, 100 ft...

your problem could be really simple. maybe you just need a break- take a few days and forget about it. then when you go back, you'll be fresh and it will all click. i know that has worked for me many times.

also, i've found that the key in the beginning is trying to stay on your fingers. it much easier to keep yourself from falling forward (onto your back), then it is to stop from falling back onto your feet.

one other thing to consider too- my first handstand was the uglist c shaped thing on the planet. it was so curved, that when i showed my friends they weren't even impressed! they just kinda laughed at my pathetic attempt! (not that they can even kick up without falling over...) and i kept telling them it will get better. and in short time i pushed mysllef out straight. it was just a matter of getting the 'feel' for it.

so don't get frustrated, just get up anyway possible and get comfortable, then work on making it 'pretty'

after that, you might plateau again, before being able to comfortably move aorund on your hands. but don't get discouraged. my experience has been these things just 'click' one day and that's that.

my two cents... i'm sure some of the professionals will chime in with more/ better advice.
cheers,
t.
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Old 03-17-2006, 07:02 AM   #3
Keith Wittenstein
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Matt

You have to remember walking on your hands and static handstands are to entirely different skills. If you are practicing walking all the time, you will only get moderately better at static handstands and vice versa.

If you want to hold a static handstand, you have to practice it. First do it at the wall and just stay up for 1 minute without fidgiting. Then start playing with the balance taking your feet away from the wall.

Grease the groove. Do lots of handstands throughout the day and eventually you'll start sticking them.

For inspiration look at www.crossfitnyc.org
Do a search on this board and you'll see lots of great handstand advice.
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Old 03-17-2006, 01:46 PM   #4
Jason Billows
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It's been a long time since I have been able to do handstands, but as the weight comes off I'm hoping to get back to them.

Anyway, my old circus school teacher gave me some great pointers when I was younger.

1. Use a wall, but not all of the time. At least 50% of the time you should be practicing wihtout support, otherwise you come to rely on the wall (even if subconsciously).
2. Get tight, tight, tight.
3. Visualise a steel rod running through your body from your head to your feet and on the end of the rod at your feet a rope pulling straight up. It helps to focus you and put you in the right position.
4. Really be conscious of your head position. If it is too far forward or back your body will follow. Most of the time your head needs to be tucked more than people expect.

These were tips I was given regarding static handstands. Don't know how they would apply to walking on your hands.
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Old 03-17-2006, 02:42 PM   #5
Adrian Bozman
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Patience and time.

Think of how long it took you to learn to walk on your legs, the strongest muscles in your body, at an age when you were a sponge for physical development.

Good handstands don't happen in months. Just keep working at it.
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Old 03-17-2006, 03:38 PM   #6
Ross Hunt
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IMO, Keith's point is REALLY important: Hand-walking is good just to get people who are afraid of being upside down used to going up and coming down, but if you practice walking for distance, this doesn't help your static. At one point when I was training walking exclusively, I could hand-walk nearly the length of a basketball court, but I was unable to hold a static for ten seconds.

Things that seem to help me:

* 'T' position-- Back leg straight and in line with the back as you kick up into handstand. Hand out in front, already pressing out, moving into straight line with your torso and leading leg as you hit the ground.

* Toes pointed and legs completely closed and pressing against each other.

* Kicking up slowly-- pressing violently off your ground foot tends to send you over and encourage you to compensate by breaking form. When I nail my kick up I feel like my shoulders are pressing my leading leg up into position, and I feel like the tension in that leg is what holds me straight as I bring my other leg up.

* Making sure fingers are facing straight forward-- pointing fingers out to the side makes you fall forward.

* 'Shoulders in the ears'-- I actively push my traps up as far as they go, all the time.

* Claw the floor-- I always press against the floor-- heel to prevent myself from moving backwards, fingers to prevent myself from going forwards. I try to adjust my balance so that the weight is more on my fingers. But even on those occasions when I'm perfectly balanced and don't even need to press my fingers down, I still 'press through' the center of my palm.

* Keep back flat-- when my back arches, I go forward, so I try to keep contracting my abs as if I was doing a hollow rock.

Hope this stuff helps you. I'm no gymnast myself (haven't gone too much over 30 seconds in the static), but these are the points that seem to help me.q
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Old 03-18-2006, 03:58 AM   #7
Matthew Townsend
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There's some really helpful stuff in there. Thanks everyone.:happy:
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Old 03-18-2006, 05:56 AM   #8
Jason Billows
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And try using paralettes. I never used them myself, but I have read many times on the forum that it is helpful for handstands as it gives you a wider base to work with.
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Old 03-18-2006, 09:15 AM   #9
Laura Rucker
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There's some really helpful stuff in there. Thanks everyone.

Plus this gem, "My old circus school teacher..."

Man I would LOVE to go to circus school. :happy:
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Old 03-20-2006, 07:14 AM   #10
Jason Billows
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LOL, Laura. Yeah, I suppose that does sound a little out of the ordinary.

I used to make my living doing juggling, magic and stand up comedy shows and got into a variety of circus arts for a while, especially acrobatic balancing.

I actually found CF in part because I was looking to find a program that could get me back in shape to do some of the circus skills I used to be able to do.

A lazy lifestyle and desk job really took its toll on me over the past years.

If anyone has a circus school near them I'd suggest enrolling for a class. You'll get an amazing workout (usually gymnastics based) and have a fun time doing it.
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