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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 11-27-2006, 07:36 PM   #1
Arthur Costi
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Hello everybody this is my first post here.

I´m not from usa so ignore the bad english =)

I´ve been training progressive static holds with bodyweight exercises since 2003 everyday, l-sit , v-sit , planche progression (can hold the straddle planche for 4 secs now } and handstand.

I can hold a freestanding handstand for about 4 minutes but i can barely hold a one arm handstand for 5 seconds! I´ve noticed a lot of progression since i start the training with one arm handstand and for now i can lift my weight to the supporting arm without too much stress, i can hold the one arm with one finger of the other hand in the floor for about 40 secs, but when i curl the assisting finger off the floor i hold for 3-5 secs and then my body lose the balance making my other hand go back to the 2 arms handstand.

For two years i´ve training everyday (for real!) this technique and the only thing i noticed is a gain in strenght and a great increase in the balance of the two arms handstand but with the one arm i don´t feel that the balance is getting really better, i´m continuosly falling and can´t hold. Maybe im to tall for this (6´1), but im thinking if someone have a progressive training for this and i really wanna know how many years the people take to hold a 10 secs of static one arm handstand. Cause i think this is very hard but in 2 years of daily training i really want to be better.

Just have watched the Cirque du Soleil - Dralion and in the first act there is a little chinese who holds for 2 minutes the one arm handstand... :wallbash:

(Message edited by jutajata on November 27, 2006)
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:49 PM   #2
Daniel Schmieding
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I'm no expert when it comes to progressing through this move, but I would make sure that you're not training to failure for these holds. If you're holding it for 5 - 6seconds, then breaking form to try and squeeze out an extra second or two, all you're doing it teaching your body how to break form after 5 - 6seconds =)

It sounds like you have all the strength you need for this move, just make sure you are as perfect as can be when you train it.

Anything to add, anybody who has accomplished this feat?
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Old 11-28-2006, 04:39 AM   #3
Keith Wittenstein
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I'm no expert but I do play with one-arm handstands a lot and here are some techniques you might try. I can't guarantee that they will work because you seem pretty advanced and these may be too easy for you.

- Do uneven handstands. One hand on a block or paralette or on a chair with one hand on the back and one on the seat. Being uneven will help your balance.

- Do one-arm handstand rows. Do a one-arm handstand at the wall and pick up a dumbbell/kettlebell with the free hand and do 5-10 rows with it then switch hands. It will build extra strength in the supporting arm.

- Handstand walks. Walk around on your hands. Change direction a lot. It will make your handstands better.

- Do pirouettes. Handstand pirouettes are great for building one-arm balance strength. You get used to transfering the weight back and forth between each hand.

- One-arm cartwheels are good, really slow one-arm cartwheels are great. Basically you want to learn to do a one-arm cartwheel to one-arm handstand. I have friends that can basically do a one-arm press to handstand that looks like a slow-motion cartwheel.

-Handstand pushups. Having more strength will help.

-Flags. Build strength in the obliques by doing lots of flags. You need to be even tighter in one-arm handstands than in two-arms. Flags will help you with that stability.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Hope it helps. Good luck. Post some pics when you get it.
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Old 11-28-2006, 06:19 AM   #4
Arthur Costi
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Thanks a lot guys!! I´ll try these exercises! Especially the flag!
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Old 11-28-2006, 06:26 AM   #5
Megan Greene
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Can you hold a one-arm for a while against the wall? I've heard you should be able to hold a one-arm for 1-2 mins against the wall if you want to be doing them freestanding.

Also, I wonder if your alignment in a one-arm is off and that's making it hard for you to balance. I am far from being able to balance myself, so I don't know what all is required to get up to 10 secs of balance time, but I would imagine that if something is crooked or twisted in your body that would make the balance a whole lot harder. Any chance you can post a photo? Do you feel you have a good understanding of what you're aiming for?

(I feel I should note that in my userpic, my alignment is not very good, and I only held this position for about half a second)
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Old 11-28-2006, 06:35 AM   #6
Arthur Costi
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I can perform a straight 2 arms handstand but when i try the one handed my back arch a little. I´ll try to post a pic (dont have a camera now =P)

Last year i´ve trained the one arm against the wall and i can hold for 1 minutes but the balance is completely different in the freestanding. I really think my body dont have reach the correct alignement for the position.
I tried all variations of legs, hips and back positions. The variation that i found more easy is straddle legs the weight over the lats and the back a little arched, can feel more control when my hips are tight too. =)

I´ll just keep training until it´s done!
Will post a pic here for discussion soon...

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Old 11-28-2006, 10:16 AM   #7
Steven Low
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Are you pushing out in your shoulders enough? The shoulders should be ACTIVATED which means you need it constantly by your ear. If you let them sag, you WILL end up with a closed shoulder that will distort the shoulder angle and cause you arch. This is one of those things that is critical, but I see tons of people making mistakes by not doing it a lot especially when learning a regular handstand much less a one arm handstand. It's easy to forget.

Make sure your fingers are spread wide apart as possible. I've talked with Jim ( about this and read the handbalancing guide, and it definitely helps. The balance point is somewhere near your pinky and ring fingers, so initially it will be very hard to control. The fingers need to be spread out as far as you can to allow you the maximum hand area that your fingers can push from.

Also, make sure you are keeping your abs tight as always to keep your hollow position so you don't arch.

Are you doing these with legs together or spread apart in a straddle? Straddle is definitely much easier to experiment with at first from my experience. I haven't done much one arm handstand training, but from the little I've (maybe 30 attempts total) with the straddle done I've gotten a few solid 2-3s holds.
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Old 11-28-2006, 11:26 AM   #8
Roger Harrell
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One arms require a lot of practice and some people just get them a bit easier than others. Active shoulder, as Steven says, is key. Lean out over your fingertips. With your hand fully spread fall towards your index finger a touch. Play with getting into them through different methods. Kick straight into a 1 arm. Go from 1 arm to 2. Straddle wide, try it legs together, do handstands on a chair and just barely use the arm that's on the back of the chair, etc.
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Old 11-28-2006, 11:41 AM   #9
Arthur Costi
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"The shoulders should be ACTIVATED which means you need it constantly by your ear"

This means i need to push my body up and mantain the head near the shoulder?

Thanks for all the help guys!! Just love this forum! I´ll start to practise right now!

(Message edited by jutajata on November 28, 2006)
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Old 11-28-2006, 12:00 PM   #10
Raphael Burnes
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Posting a picture or even a video of an attempt would be a great way to help..

When you fall back down from it you fall back to a two handed handstad?
This leads me to believe that your body isn't enough over your hand.

Straight bodied will be easier than arched in the longer run, and you should work with both legs together and legs apart.

When you say you are holding one hand + 1 finger of other hand, and you lose the balance when you curl, I think you can adjust a few things to fix that.

Instead of trying to remove the one finger by picking it up / curling it up, etc.
Try to remove the single finger by pressing into the ground with your hand (most likely pressing from your thumb) in the direction of the one finger (thus forcing your weight away from the finger.)

You may also want to get some blocks, as they help a tremendous amount, something like these even are enough:

also be sure to read the note from beastskills on one handers:

And one more... from a conversation I had on

Good luck : )
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