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Boys L5, L6 handstand exercises?

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Harv

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As I mentioned in another thread, my boy will probably be moving up from L4 to L5 or maybe even L6 pretty soon. All in all, I think he's ready. This weekend at home, he actually made it all the way through the L6 mushroom routine.

My concern is for his handstand. Never been a strong point for him, and I'm not quite sure why. He seems to have the strength (maybe not enough?), and he can certainly assume the pose for a couple of seconds, but he's nowhere close to pressing into it, and he can't hold it once he gets there.

Not being totally confident that he will get sufficient guidance at the gym, I'll ask you coaches and gymnasts alike, what are some good home exercises that he could be doing? We have a floor, walls, a set of paralletes, and a dad who is willing to lend a hand. ;)

- Harv
 

munchkin3

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Jun 6, 2008
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Are you talking about press handstand??
From either straddle or pike to handstand?

If so, my boy SUFFERED with this.....He is certainly strong enough...Pommel is his best event....

Our coach said it is flexibility....my boy is NOT flexible and the little bit he has only works when he is stretching with his muscles relaxed.
When his muscles are active, there is less flexibility, so when in a straddle position, going into press handstand, he has a hard time getting his center of gravity over his shoulders with legs straight.....Then for some reason his arms crap out in the process....

He was doing push-ups in handstand position either off the wall or with someone holding the legs. This helped a bit.

My son finally has it 80% of the time....his coach had him do MILLIONS of straddle press handstands...lots of streching...
 

ZJsMom

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May 11, 2007
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Maybe it is flexibility. My ds has a pretty good press handstand, but he is quite flexible. So extra stretching at home while watching TV would be good. You can also have him do straddle press handstands against the wall in a series.
 
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Harv

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Uh-oh! If flexibility is the issue, then he's got a long haul ahead of him. He's about as flexible as my sawhorse. :D

He works hard on his stretching, but it's looking like he got his joints from his dad. When I was having flexibility problems in my martial arts days, I eventually consulted a sports doctor, who tested me and then ran x-rays. Turns out I have "tight joints", especially in my hips. That is to say, the socket part of the ball-and-socket mechanism that forms the joint grows further around the ball part than it does on most people. The doctor insisted that that's a good thing, since it make the joint very strong, but he also said there is no way to increase the range of motion on such joints. It's a bone-on-bone problem, not a stretchy problem. :(

My martial arts instructor just told me how to modify my style to compensate, but I don't think that's gonna work in gymnastics. Of course, we don't know if that's the problem, so I'll pass on your tips about stretching.

Are you talking about press handstand??
From either straddle or pike to handstand?
Yep! All that stuff. ;)

his coach had him do MILLIONS of straddle press handstands...lots of streching...
You know, that's probably the simple answer. Lots of repetition. The things he enjoys doing he does lots. The not-so-fun stuff, like stretching, handstands, and L-holds don't seem to command as much of his home time. Somehow he managed to master the L-hold, but I guess that's one thing that gets done a lot at the gym, since it's a regular part of warm-up, rings and p-bars.

Maybe I'll have him do handstand competitions with himself. I'll work the stopwatch and challenge him to break his own record. He likes stuff like that. :)

- Harv
 
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BlairBob

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A boy who cannot master an L hold will not go very far in gymnastics. It's a core basic of gymnastics strength.

As for the handstands, it's all about the numbers. Just being on your hands. Donkey kicks to HS, lunge kik to HS, rolling \s

Practice balance spotting him while he is in HS. Just tap him at the hips ( center of gravity ) so he learns to feel where the balance is. He can also do this by tapping from foot to foot while doing a stomach to wall HS. Don't let his back arch. Practice many of these.

Have him work spotted press downs from handstand by spotting the hips and turning the hips under to straddle stand or straddle L. He can also do this against the wall and straddle down.

Gymnastics Articles check out the free HSPU and parallette guide and the one over
 
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Harv

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BlairBob -

Great tips and a most excellent link. :cool:

My boy has been ignoring the paralletes I made for him since we got him the mushroom. Time to get him back on them.

Your advice is always so useful, I'll have to have my son start referring to you as one of his trainers. BTW -- Our gym is always looking for new coaches... :D

- Harv
 
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BlairBob

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Hopefully my L4 who I made parallettes for his bday ( he was so bugging me about how he had to get a gift from the coach on his bday because his other coach I took over for would have ) is using his on his off days. I need to ask his mom. Heck, I need to practice it more myself at home or at gym.

I try. Consider it giving back since I originally came to a few forums with not a lot of knowledge and a lot more questions. Either that or don't have anything better to do or can't find any.
 
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