Upside Down

I never enjoyed the limited gymnastics at school, yet I loved almost everything else in physical education. At university while studying Human Movement, there were only a few things I liked in gymnastics. What I didn't like was anything that put me upside down. Balance has never been my strong point. Plus my body just doesn't feels right if my head is below the rest of me.


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.

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