Bananas aren’t cool
In this age of technology where I find myself on Instagram a little more than I care to admit, I see on my news feed and recommended videos with the #handstands people doing amazing things but for some reason they haven’t taken the time to actually perfect their basic handstand. When you begin a real handstand journey a large portion of your life ends up being upside down and we start thinking that we want wrists as robust as ankles, forearms as strong as calves, shoulders as sturdy as hips, (you get where I’m going with this) but why do so many people forget about the actual posture of their handstands!! It truly is the same as seeing someone with good posture versus someone hunched over. What do we associate good posture with, confidence, strong, dominate (maybe), so why oh why are there so many people who I must say are much stronger than myself stuck with this horrible banana looking things which is basically the equivalent of slouched, heavy, unhealthy poor postured individual when that certainly doesn’t reflect their actual person.
Straightening your handstand
I decided that I would try charge this army of poor form handstands head on and maybe together we can straighten ourselves up and all look like we have been doing gymnastics since childhood. I would like to add here that I am not a circus performer, I am not a gymnast, I’m not a student of Ido Portal training 3 hours a day 6 times a week, just a guy that wants to spread the love of handstanding and encourage everyone to think, just because they don’t compete or perform doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t aim for a perfect handstand. This week I’ll be tackling one of the main problems, restricted shoulder mobility and I will share with you the main tool I used to get my HS line
I have no actual name for this stretch, I have always just referred to it as “The shoulder opener” or “Louie’s drill.” Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to train a number of times with Louise-Marc (the arm balancer from Cirque Du Soleil’s Totem show) and it was him who put me on to this drill which I have done it daily since.
Please have a move and a warm up before going into this, it is heavy!! Hands are placed at shoulder height and width with your index fingers parallel to one another. Lean in at the index finger base, take a step back, tuck your tailbone, tighten your abs, hug your ribs in, push your shoulders towards your ears and then think armpits to the ground. If you feel this anywhere ba your shoulders, you are probably doing it wrong and not hugging your ribs in. THIS IS NOT A BACK BEND! For some of my more lumbar students I tell them 2 minutes (Louie’s recommendation), for those who struggle with stretching start much lighter at around 30 seconds on and off 2-3 times and increase as your body come more accustom to this stretch.
In the weeks to come we will slowly chip away at the core, hand positioning, hips and everything else needed to make that line happen. Any questions sling me an email email@example.com or come see me in one of my handstand classes.