So why on earth would I want to develop the ability to do handstands?
In short, because I never have achieved one. It is something I find difficult. Developing the handstand along with a number of other gymnastic skills should see a significant improvement in a number of physical attributes.
This morning I spent some time trying to kick up to a handstand to hold against the wall. I never actually held one properly. At least the concentrated effort gave me a little insight as to what is limiting my ability. Based on memory these were the same back in university. In point form the problems are:
- inadequate range of motion in shoulder girdle
- instability in shoulder girdle around handstand position
- difficulty in achieving a straight back hollow (flexibility and strength)
- fear - I just don't trust my abilities at the moment. As a result I tend to pull out a bit too short.
Simple solution here. Keep practicing and attempting the handstand while paying particular attention to the shoulder and arm position. Strengthen my ability to hold a straight back in position through a range of exercises. As I've found in the past, usually as I get better at a skill, any element of fear seems to subside.
Following the handstand work I moved over to supported handstand push-ups (HSPU). Here I performed a few sets of 2 or 3 reps with reasonable rest. While my body position was far from ideal, at least I was getting some strength work in the shoulder and developing my upper back block.
Next was onto working towards developing the planche. A full planche is well beyond my level at the moment, but there are quite a number of steps it should keep me interested for a long time. Following all this, my shoulders and back were really starting to struggle. Looks like I reached my limit. Finishing up with some L-hangs and stretching I now felt like I had worked hard, but as with yesterday I now also felt like I had gained energy.