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Exercises for the "pressing" muscle in a stalder press?

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MiaTheGymnast

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I have a skill specific question and hope someone can help.

I a press handstand I always thought two things are especially essential

1. shoulder/trap strength
2. hip flexor strength

However, I noticed lately that the most important part is the ability to press, meaning strong shoulders/traps.
I have girl with amazing compression and hip flexor strength but they can not press.
However, those with great shoulder strength (we have been working a lot of presses on beam, not from straddle L but "sliding" along the beam) and they can easily press up from Straddle L.

My question now: what would an exercise, apart from presses themselves, be to isolate these exact shoulder muscles needed in a press handstand?

I found online that some people say it is handstand tappers, but I don't think so tbh...
I would say planches, but again this is a very specific skill.

Any ideas for an exercise that could be done in like 5-10 minutes to completely wear out the "pressing muscle" by themselves without spotting?

Thanks!
 

CanAmGymMum

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Feet on exercise ball, hands on floor in push up position. Roll back and forth keeping hips flat.

Shoulder extension exercises are also good. Example: Sit back against wall and lift a kettle ball or hand weights overhead with straight arms. Could also be done with therabands.

Slider tuck throughs. This targets core as well.

These are just a few. There are also lots of good press to handstand drills that can be performed unassisted. I would try setting up a circuit with drills and strength.
 
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coachp

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You can work them in reverse as well. Press down slow .
 
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wandrewsjr

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You can work them in reverse as well. Press down slow .
Yes, even before they can press by themselves, they can kick up to a handstand balance and work the press down as slowly and in control as possible, finishing in a straddle hold.
 
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suebee

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Can I ask a question here?

My dd can press up much more easily than she can press down. The number of presshandstands she can do is limited by her pressing down, not pressing up.

Is there something she can do to work specifically on improving pressing down, other than the kick up to a handstand and press down? She does do this, but seems to fail a lot on the pressing down. She often asks me to spot her pressing down, but I would prefer something she can work on at home herself that does not need me ;)!

Is pressing down harder for everyone, or just for her?
 

gymmom41

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My daughter did a lot of what they are describing- handstand against the wall, then slowly pressing down.
 

ayyyrial

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@suebee That is unusual, usually pressing up is harder because you need to lift against gravity. You're still fighting gravity when pressing down, in order to control the movement, but it's typically easier. It may just be a stamina and control thing? Hard to tell over the Internet.

Another press handstand thing that is good is a HS with stomach against the wall, step a foot or so away from the wall, and slowly bring legs down to a straddle HS and then down towards the ground. When your legs are a little bit below horizontal, you should feel the hip flexors engage like mad as well as the shoulders. This is also good for understanding the feeling of "compression" that helps with presses and cast handstands.

Also starting presses from standing on a small block or panel mat, to help learn how to press without jumping.
For starting from straddle L hold, forward rolls in straddle trying to miss your feet when you come up. The momentum helps you get into the right position/muscles for pressing through but without as much strength required.
 
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MiaTheGymnast

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@suebee That is unusual, usually pressing up is harder because you need to lift against gravity. You're still fighting gravity when pressing down, in order to control the movement, but it's typically easier. It may just be a stamina and control thing? Hard to tell over the Internet.

Another press handstand thing that is good is a HS with stomach against the wall, step a foot or so away from the wall, and slowly bring legs down to a straddle HS and then down towards the ground. When your legs are a little bit below horizontal, you should feel the hip flexors engage like mad as well as the shoulders. This is also good for understanding the feeling of "compression" that helps with presses and cast handstands.

Also starting presses from standing on a small block or panel mat, to help learn how to press without jumping.
For starting from straddle L hold, forward rolls in straddle trying to miss your feet when you come up. The momentum helps you get into the right position/muscles for pressing through but without as much strength required.
Thank You very much for your reply, I really like the wall drill.

I didn't want the post to get too long, that's why I didn't tell the whole situation from the beginning, but I feel I need to now to get the best answers.

I had coached many recreational and low level gymnast and I do know many stations and drills for the press handstand and variations, I did gymnastics and acrobatics myself and I can still do all kinds of handstands, so I definitely "know" the movement.

However, I am coaching a "circus class" every other afternoon on school days for almost 2 years now. Many of the kids used to be gymnasts at the local gym or have done some sort of gym before, as this circus class has requirements if you want to join, so is very easy to work with those kids.
Some kids can straddle press easily, others can only press up once or are at least very close but not consistent yet. The class is only 90minutes every other day (so 3 times a week) and I have seen them losing strength tremendously due the lack of proper strength training!
However, I can not make them do do 40 minutes of strength training every practice as it should be fun but I still want their pressing ability to remain strong or even get better!

Our daily schedule is:
- 20 minutes group warm up:
this includes basic gymnastics warm up like running, skipping, bunny hops, kicks, handstand shaping etc, sometimes we also play a game etc
- 20 minutes group flexibility
active and passive stretching, sitting in splits, needle kicks, bridges, walkovers etc.
- 30 minutes "talent practice"
each kid does his/her own thing they specialize in like juggling, ball acrobatics, magic tricks etc

well, and then I have probably 15 more minutes for group handstand practice and I am really frustrated about what I could do with them to really wear out their pressing muscles!
Some of them can not lower down from a handstand controlled yet, so this is not an option. Presses with ankle weights might be an idea, however, recovery between the presses would be too long to work effectively.
When you are in gymnastics practice, you constantly work on handstands or handstand positions, so gymnasts train their pressing muscles during training already. But I have to get everything in in only 15 minutes...

What about handstand wall runs? I read a post that 10 minutes handstand wall runs a week would help with pressing tremendously - can this be true?

Any other ideas/recommendations?
Thanks
 

ayyyrial

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It kind of depends on where they are at with their handstands and presses. You mentioned that some can't lower down yet - from your initial post, I thought they were farther along than that.

Can they hold handstands with good technique and no support? If not, just working the handstand position is also very important with things like handstand tappers and holds against the wall.

Can they hold a straddle-L off the ground? If not, then they need to work on extending the time they can do this, perhaps starting with hands on a block. Also working sitting in a straddle with hands flat on the ground in front of the legs and lifting just the legs up (not the bottom) to wear out the hip flexors.

Can they press from standing up? If not, then they can work on pressing from standing up on something a bit higher than the floor, and pressing with the back against a wall for extra support.

Not sure what handstand wall runs are - but I do know an exercise where you do a HS with your stomach against the wall, walk your hands out a few feet, and walk back in. That's definitely great for shoulder/arm strength, which I'm sure helps with presses as well.
 
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