In my recent CrossFit Journal article “Analyzing the Handstand Position“, I outline a series of tests that can be employed to determine the mobility and stability deficits that are impacting an athlete’s ability to perform a handstand (and its’ variations) with optimal efficiency.
Last week, we covered the best mobility drills to improve the handstand.
While mobility limitations are often to blame, stability deficits are just as common. The following are some of my favorite drills for improving handstand stability in athletes:
Hollow Rocks are a foundational gymnastics movement that more athletes need to master. This exercise has a huge transfer to many athletic movements including the handstand.
Hollow Rocks are a great Core exercise, and a common drill used in gymnastics for understanding body position and dynamic movement. Hollow Rock: 1)Lower back flat on ground 2)Head neutral 3)Arms shoulder width apart 4)Knees straight and toes pointed @powermonkeyfitness @davedurante @colinpgeraghty #monkeymethod #core #hollowrocks #abs #gymnastics #crossfit
An all around great exercise for improving core positioning and retraining core stability.
This simple exercise does a great job of training a stable core while the upper body moves.
One of the keys to developing consistent and efficient HS walking is to perform the progressions. This allows you to develop transferable strength in the correct body positions and build awareness of what those positions feel like. Here are a few quick examples of some HS walking progressions. The movement should come from pressing through the base arm vs trying to lift the moving arm. @powermonkeyfitness @annegan87 @crossfitinnerloop #teampowermonkey #crossfit #gymnastics #handstand #inversion #hswalking #techniquematters #progressions
Wall Walks with Breathing
I recently used this drill with a patient of mine dealing with a psoas strain. Retraining of his core stability using multiple exercises including this one lead to full return to gymnastics as well as to his coaches commenting that he looked a full level higher in his skill work after three visits with me. Thanks for Dave Tilley of thehybridperspective.com for this great drill.
Incorporating breathing with the handstand. As I mentioned in the CrossFit Handstand article, many athletes’ form will break down when trying to breath during handstands. This is because holding their breath creates false cores stabilization. Practicing this drill will ensure great control during handstands!
Gymnasts do so much dynamic work in a routine that almost any static position, while active, should also be a chance to recover. I like handstands and I also like good positioning so I combine a body line handstand drill with the 90-90 breathing exercise. I believe this could be helpful in teaching gymnasts to breath in their handstands while maintaining an active body line. Additionally, a lot of #crossfit athletes tell me they have trouble breathing while handstand walking. If you are one of those people, give this exercise a try and learn to breath and brace in a quality position. Inverted 90-90 breathing… @fitnesspainfree @thehybridperspective @themovementfix @quinn.henochdpt what are y'alls thoughts? @powermonkeyfitness #gymnastics #techniquematters #positionsmatters #handstand #gst #movement