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Handstand practice.. feedback welcome and enjoy the hilarity of me falling on my ass.


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So,

part of my last challenge was to do 5 good form handstand push ups. The challenge turned much more into becoming comfortable DOING handstands to begin with, I did a lot of wall practice, first walking up the wall, then developing the courage and practice to kick up to the wall(back to wall). I was able to mostly complete the challenge.

this time I want to go for free standing 5 second handstand. The most I've ever done was 2-3 seconds. I really dislike the handstands against walls, at least in my home, as I feel fairly boxed in because there is no wall with lots of space. When i've done them against walls at the gym I didn't feel that way.

I've decided that the best way for me to practice getting to those 5 seconds is to actually just " get out on the grass and fall on my ass" practicing. This video is a few minutes of me doing so-

any feedback or advice would be very welcome... should I continue to practice against a wall? should I practice in some other way? I sometimes see people starting with their legs wide out and coming up, not sure I know how to do that... the way I'm doing it in the video just seems to be the easiest.

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"Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he indeed is the noblest victor who conquers himself." - Buddha
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your dedication makes me wanna work on learning to do hand stands :)

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You're doing great!! I think you're right, at this stage it's mostly a matter of practicing and falling on your ass over and over (and over... :)) again until it's solid. Though of course once can always improve technique, even at super guru level!

As for pointers, I did notice a few things that could potentially help. (Disclaimer, I'm far from an expert, but I am a very good student .;)) The first is the arms, they want to be completely straight. Even by microbending the elbows you make it much harder for yourself to hold your body weight. Since you're getting into the handstands the gymnastics way you want to start with straight arms locked next to your ears, and then keep them there the entire time so that the shoulder angle is always open. This also helps in always placing the hands in the correct position on the ground, and looks neater. It also enforces good habits for when you want to do handsprings. :) How's your shoulder flexibility by the way? If you're struggling with keeping your arms in this position stretching out the shoulders might be a good idea.

I also observed that most times you fell towards the back. Is that because you don't feel comfortable kicking too hard and rolling/cartwheeling out of the position? Or could it because the weight is too far back on your hands? The weight should be more on the fingers as eventually you want to just your fingers to control the balance. (My way of telling is whether I get sore wrists, if yes than I need to shift my weight towards my fingers. )

The last thing which for me is also the hardest is to keep the body really, really tight. You have good body tension already but to nail it you really need to squeeze everything you got. It's difficult to see your general body position from the front/back so I can't really say much more than that...

There are also more drills you can do against a wall to practice e.g. balance and finger control and such if you're interested?

Anyways, hopes any of this helps!

And great job, it's really fun seeing your progress and it's so awesome that you're filming it! :D

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I sometimes see people starting with their legs wide out and coming up, not sure I know how to do that...

Almost forgot, I think you're referring to a straddle press to handstand, which is HARD! If this is the easiest way to come up for you then keep doing it. :)

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That's a lot of info to digest , thank you very much!

I can do the arms tight to the head thing, as its part of yoga that I do, but it feels very weird and unstable to me even standing, let alone upside down , I'll have to try it though.

Also.. Duh.. I didn't even think to get a side shot of me doing it... Will have to remember that for next time.

I am getting to the point where I can begin to notice and control my body movements so I will try to remember keeping abs, butt, and everything else tight along with the straight edged arms.

Assassin: Rank: 6 (Disciple) STR: 10 DEX: 20 STA: 7 CON: 6 WIS: 6 CHA: 5
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"Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he indeed is the noblest victor who conquers himself." - Buddha
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Looking good mate, your legs are once and straight, just keep practicing and you'll get it! Id suggest including starts with your left leg, as you always seem to step forward with your right. just helps with body coordination to be comfortable.with both (also sometimes your kick can be weaker with your off foot, this can be helpful if you keep over balancing). The other suggestion is.to pull your chin to your chest and look up at the sky, which can help.to straighten out your posture.

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Okay, I'm out of breathe just from watching that! I have no tips or pointers, but highly enjoyed the video. :)

You have inspired this warrior to try some hand stands. It looks like fun!!!

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Okay, I'm out of breathe just from watching that! I have no tips or pointers, but highly enjoyed the video. :)

You have inspired this warrior to try some hand stands. It looks like fun!!!

I am always big on pushing people to make videos like I do, not many do and it helps a lot in your own practice but also gives stuff for others to watch and give feedback. I'm glad I've inspired you and gave maybe a laugh or two. I learned from my pk roll videos that what I "feel" when I'm doing the act, and what the video actually shows me doing can be very different.

Looking good mate, your legs are once and straight, just keep practicing and you'll get it! Id suggest including starts with your left leg, as you always seem to step forward with your right. just helps with body coordination to be comfortable.with both (also sometimes your kick can be weaker with your off foot, this can be helpful if you keep over balancing). The other suggestion is.to pull your chin to your chest and look up at the sky, which can help.to straighten out your posture.

that looking to the sky thing is another tip i've heard multiple times. I have to try that... although I can't help but think it would be disorienting at first. I will also try it with my left leg.

I also observed that most times you fell towards the back. Is that because you don't feel comfortable kicking too hard and rolling/cartwheeling out of the position? Or could it because the weight is too far back on your hands? The weight should be more on the fingers as eventually you want to just your fingers to control the balance. (My way of telling is whether I get sore wrists, if yes than I need to shift my weight towards my fingers. )

There are also more drills you can do against a wall to practice e.g. balance and finger control and such if you're interested?

Inara I wanted to bring these two points up now that I'm home and can more easily do this quote thing lol. What other drills can you mention?

also I've heard the weight being on the fingers thing before as well, is the palm supposed to be flat to the ground or suspended by the fingers? I've also not tried any of the rolling/cartwheeling stuff yet, I actually need a lot of work on my cartwheels as that is something I haven't practiced and when I try it is certainly not resembling anything like a rolling wheel lol. I am trying to find the perfect level of kick to get me right into that neutral balanced position.

Assassin: Rank: 6 (Disciple) STR: 10 DEX: 20 STA: 7 CON: 6 WIS: 6 CHA: 5
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"Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he indeed is the noblest victor who conquers himself." - Buddha
Height: 5'9" Weight: 215lbs Age: 34
|RW's Chronicle(log)| RW's Introduction|Fitocracy|Challenge|

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If I'm allowed a suggestion: practice once a day the frog stance (the one in which your knees lie on your elbows) and try to move off balance forward/back/left/right using only your straight fingers. You need to build that strength because as Inara said you want to control your handstand only with your fingers at the end. The real fact is that when standing up you got heels on your feet that let you put your weight a little back; when you're doing handstands although, you ain't got heels on your hand and you must rely entirely on your fingers.

Last but not least, I think that practicing against a wall can be done but:

1. try not to be "diagonal" with your hands too far from the wall

2. mostly practice control with your finger, and remember, if you are straight as a plank, any momentum from your fingers will go right to your feet tips and you'll be able to control it freely.

Inara said all the rest you have to know about it

Source: I'm a big handstand fan, I'm practicing it too, look at my challenge! : )

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It looked to me like you need to have you arms more vertical, you've got them about half way between horizontal and vetical so when you plant them you're just giving yourself extra work because not only do you need to move your legs up but you also need to adjust your torso so that everything is straight. I prefer to plant my hands on the ground and be in a good position before I kick my legs because I find it makes me more stable but it might be a bit harder to get your legs up as you won't have as much momentum

 

 

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It looked to me like you need to have you arms more vertical, you've got them about half way between horizontal and vetical so when you plant them you're just giving yourself extra work because not only do you need to move your legs up but you also need to adjust your torso so that everything is straight. I prefer to plant my hands on the ground and be in a good position before I kick my legs because I find it makes me more stable but it might be a bit harder to get your legs up as you won't have as much momentum

by "more vertical" do you mean keeping them straight and "locked" from standing all the way to handstand? This has been suggested before above "keeping the arms tight to the head"... I have to admit that this does not seem to work very well for me from the standing position. I started out in the last challenge doing my handstands with my hands already on the ground, wasn't a big fan of it but maybe I need to test it out again I dunno.

I've tried handstands twice so far attempting to keep my arms straight and tight going into the handstand, and it feels awkward and hard for me right now. I haven't even gotten to the part of using your fingers to control balance lol.

Assassin: Rank: 6 (Disciple) STR: 10 DEX: 20 STA: 7 CON: 6 WIS: 6 CHA: 5
[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]
"Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he indeed is the noblest victor who conquers himself." - Buddha
Height: 5'9" Weight: 215lbs Age: 34
|RW's Chronicle(log)| RW's Introduction|Fitocracy|Challenge|

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Nice video; for this challenge I'm also trying to get a longer freestanding handstand (6 seconds). We can do it!

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by "more vertical" do you mean keeping them straight and "locked" from standing all the way to handstand? This has been suggested before above "keeping the arms tight to the head"... I have to admit that this does not seem to work very well for me from the standing position. I started out in the last challenge doing my handstands with my hands already on the ground, wasn't a big fan of it but maybe I need to test it out again I dunno.

I've tried handstands twice so far attempting to keep my arms straight and tight going into the handstand, and it feels awkward and hard for me right now. I haven't even gotten to the part of using your fingers to control balance lol.

Yeah pretty much, keep your arms tight to your ears.

If you can't control with your fingers yet I'd suggest finding a wall that you can do handstands against and using it, it will help big time because you lose so much actual balancing time when starting out practicing freestanding from falling on your arse. You don't have to just go up against the wall and use it to hold you up, try to do freestanding handstands right by it, kicking your feet off the wall to keep yourself up, then the wall just acts as something to catch you if you can't hold your balance. Overall it will mean you just end up spending more time upside down than you would freestanding so you should see better progression

 

 

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Yeah pretty much, keep your arms tight to your ears.

If you can't control with your fingers yet I'd suggest finding a wall that you can do handstands against and using it, it will help big time because you lose so much actual balancing time when starting out practicing freestanding from falling on your arse. You don't have to just go up against the wall and use it to hold you up, try to do freestanding handstands right by it, kicking your feet off the wall to keep yourself up, then the wall just acts as something to catch you if you can't hold your balance. Overall it will mean you just end up spending more time upside down than you would freestanding so you should see better progression

thanks, I will implement some wall practice into this challenge to go for the 5 seconds.

Assassin: Rank: 6 (Disciple) STR: 10 DEX: 20 STA: 7 CON: 6 WIS: 6 CHA: 5
[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]
"Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he indeed is the noblest victor who conquers himself." - Buddha
Height: 5'9" Weight: 215lbs Age: 34
|RW's Chronicle(log)| RW's Introduction|Fitocracy|Challenge|

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Hey RW, I have a few suggestions that I didn't read above. One of them is to make sure you have a compact body. Some people said to tighten, but I think a good focus is to tighten inward (which the chin-to-chest thing would help). See this tutorial in the section "Torso" for a visual on what I mean: http://www.beastskills.com/the-handstand/

Second! As to the wall use - I'd say the wall & open spaces are a good supplement to the training. Wall training can just *keep you up* so that you train the strength. Kicking up will get you used to the balance and such. But practice the wall both facing towards and away from the wall.

When I see student practice facing away from the wall, they always try to kick off the wall to practice. This is good, but their whole body is OPEN - not the CLOSED position that I and BeastSkills (and Rafe) say is good-to-go. I say it's better to balance off the wall: have your body in the correct position and use one leg to gently push yourself off the wall until you have your balance. Then pull that leg in. Ta-dah!

And facing in towards the wall is helpful, too! Mostly cause it keeps that closed position. It's also a good position from which to do handstand push-up negatives (the first stepping stone to full-blown HSPU).

Jeez. I gotta get my handstand back!

Thank you, inara and NoiSe! I didn't know about the fingers focus! That makes so much sense and sure would save a lot of wrist pain. Much better than palm-centric. But, as to your question, RW, I'll have to think: I don't think the palm should be elevated but now I'm not sure if it doesn't elevate just a tad - especially when you push through your fingers to prevent yourself falling over.

PS there are some good drills for shoulder position and the closed position. If you msg me I'll try and explain. Best!

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I was a gymnast once upon a time and I used to teach beginners to help pay for it - if you are already comfortable kicking up against a wall, I would suggest you keep doing that, but move your hands 4-6 inches away from the wall, so when your feet are up there, you are actually slightly past completely vertical, then carefully push your feet off the wall so you are freestanding vertically for a second or 2 with the wall to fall back against. Once you get the feel of it, then try it out on the grass again.

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Hey RW, I have a few suggestions that I didn't read above. One of them is to make sure you have a compact body. Some people said to tighten, but I think a good focus is to tighten inward (which the chin-to-chest thing would help). See this tutorial in the section "Torso" for a visual on what I mean: http://www.beastskills.com/the-handstand/

Second! As to the wall use - I'd say the wall & open spaces are a good supplement to the training. Wall training can just *keep you up* so that you train the strength. Kicking up will get you used to the balance and such. But practice the wall both facing towards and away from the wall.

When I see student practice facing away from the wall, they always try to kick off the wall to practice. This is good, but their whole body is OPEN - not the CLOSED position that I and BeastSkills (and Rafe) say is good-to-go. I say it's better to balance off the wall: have your body in the correct position and use one leg to gently push yourself off the wall until you have your balance. Then pull that leg in. Ta-dah!

And facing in towards the wall is helpful, too! Mostly cause it keeps that closed position. It's also a good position from which to do handstand push-up negatives (the first stepping stone to full-blown HSPU).

Jeez. I gotta get my handstand back!

Thank you, inara and NoiSe! I didn't know about the fingers focus! That makes so much sense and sure would save a lot of wrist pain. Much better than palm-centric. But, as to your question, RW, I'll have to think: I don't think the palm should be elevated but now I'm not sure if it doesn't elevate just a tad - especially when you push through your fingers to prevent yourself falling over.

PS there are some good drills for shoulder position and the closed position. If you msg me I'll try and explain. Best!

I was a gymnast once upon a time and I used to teach beginners to help pay for it - if you are already comfortable kicking up against a wall, I would suggest you keep doing that, but move your hands 4-6 inches away from the wall, so when your feet are up there, you are actually slightly past completely vertical, then carefully push your feet off the wall so you are freestanding vertically for a second or 2 with the wall to fall back against. Once you get the feel of it, then try it out on the grass again.

thank you both for the advice and yeah I'm wondering about the palm raised thing.

Assassin: Rank: 6 (Disciple) STR: 10 DEX: 20 STA: 7 CON: 6 WIS: 6 CHA: 5
[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]
"Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he indeed is the noblest victor who conquers himself." - Buddha
Height: 5'9" Weight: 215lbs Age: 34
|RW's Chronicle(log)| RW's Introduction|Fitocracy|Challenge|

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