Press to Handstand Weight Distribution

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Posts: 1
Joined: 20 Jul 2021, 09:18

I've bought the newly released press to handstand follow along course and I am now in week 3. First of all - as with all your programs - I like it a lot.

There's one thing that seems like an mistery to me though: while my pancake stretch on the floor is not too bad, my active straddle flexibility is kind of limited. I can actively straddle the legs at maybe around 120 degrees. This means that when I enter the straddle handstand and then lower the legs by rotating the hips, I get a lot of my weight distributed on the belly side of my body (versus if I had a complete 180 degree straddle the weight would of course remain vertically stacked). The result is that I start to fall out of balance towards belly side even after a slight rotation of the hips. Now I know people are doing pike presses as well, so generally it should not be that much of a hindrance. But to me it seems like a big obstacle that I don't know how to overcome.

My question: Could you please explain how to tackle that weight distribution? I think this has not been really adressed in the course up until week 3 (unless I have missed it).

Thank you very much!
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Natalie Reckert
Posts: 63
Joined: 17 Sep 2019, 21:14


Thank you for postion your question and sorry for the late response.

I will open a new sub forum for the Press course and will move this thread there.

I see what you mean.

Because in a handstand your lower back is very straight it is the equivalent of a pancake stretch with an extremely straight back. So if you have practiced your pancake with even a slight rounding of the lower back, you may seem to get further with the slight rounding. In the handstand that rounding is not possible, that is why it is really important to practice the pancake with a very straight back.

The more your legs are on your front side, the more you have to push the hips back, the more you have to open the shoulders.
You need to push the hips back, in order to counterbalance the legs.
You will have to open the shoulders as much as possible to counterbalance the hips.

To open the shoulders fully in the straddle, draw the shoulder blades together, rotate the arms out (armpits facing the side) and elevate the shoulders slightly.

Practice the straddle first with your back against the wall (very close to the wall).
Film yourself, check exactly where your shoulders are. Make sure the arms are rotated out. No carrying angle in the shoulders at all.
Then first work on bringing the legs to horizontal, include a hip rotation.
This should pull you automatically away from the wall (your shoulder position should not change but stay open).
Then try to lower the legs lower than horizontal.

You can also try this facing the wall, with your legs sliding into a straddle. Same points as above regarding shoulder opening.

Bottom line: You need to open the shoulders more in the straddle and enter the negative from a much more open shoulder position than your straight line handstand.

Otherwise you are going into a planche pathway of lowering the body, which is possible but requires a lot of strength and is a different move.

I hope this helps,
Let me know how it goes and please do ask questions.
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