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Press Handstands.

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kristilyn73

Active Member
Jan 17, 2008
1,326
Minnesota
There has been a lot of talk about press handstands in previous posts. It seems to me that little ones can do more press handstands than older girls - Less body mass probably. For instance, at our gym we have 2 gymnasts that are sisters. One is a L10 the other a L6. The L10 was on the national team last year. The L6 sister can do more presses than the L10.

Beetle used to be able to do one or two.. now hasn't for years. She can do them from a standing position. Can can do them with a spot, against a wall etc. Lately she has been working really hard on getting a press handstand back on her own. Here is my question:

Can you or your DD do a Press Handstand from a sitting position and return to a sitting position without a spot.

How many can you/she do more than one in a row? If so, how many?

How old is she?

Has the number increased or decreased because of age?

Thanks - I am curious to see your answers
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
Some people just don't do well with them. I know girls who are older and can do a few and younger and can't do as many and are probably about equally strong at other things. I have really tight hip flexors and always struggled with stalders, but on most other conditioning exercise I was stronger than average. I can do HS, straddle down to just past my arms, press back up a couple times in a row, but from sitting I have trouble rotating my hips under. I have been able to do one in the past, but usually only if I rolled into it. Return to sitting position from a HS is no big deal.
 

hunde2

Active Member
Nov 5, 2007
664
Daughter is 11.Said she did 2-3 in the past.Just demonstrated 1 on the Livingroom floor.
 

Blackie6

Active Member
Proud Parent
Mar 1, 2007
1,284
NJ
Country
USA
DD is 7 (L4) and prior to comp season w/conditioning could do about 4-5 from a sitting position. Now that they condition less and practice routines more she can only do maybe 1 or 2 in a row. She loves to "show off" though whenever she can, it impresses the non-gymnastics crowd, LOL

Also before comp season she was practicing trying to get it on the balance beam, but can only manage doing it off the floor. Npt all the girls on the team can do one, maybe only 2 or three of them.
 

gymkat

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Judge
Jun 24, 2008
691
20, former L9 and current college club, and I've never been able to do a true press HS from either a sit or a stand. At one point I had a pretty decent one from a push-up position, but I've never been able to do one from a sit, even with a spot. You really have to have the right body type for presses as well... for example, my torso is the same length as my arms, which means that my bottom can get maybe 2 inches off the floor if I try really hard. A press is not going to happen out of that!
 

Emma's mom

Member
Sep 9, 2008
451
DD is 7 and a level 5. She has done 4 at one time from a sitting position. Most of the time she can only do two, maybe 3.:)
 
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Billy

Guest
DD (age 7, L5) is trying to learn them but can't do them yet. The best she can do it sort of hop into a HS from a standing straddle (if that makes any sense) but she can lower back down to a sitting straddle pretty well.

There is a little girl on DD's team (age 8, L7) that can do about 15 in a row, non-stop, no touching the floor. She is a National TOPs team member and very impressive to watch. She is also very, very tiny. You'd never know she was 8 to look at her. The 6-year-old on the team is bigger than she is.
 

ffliwt

Member
Oct 5, 2008
101
I'm 17 and i can't even do one from standing... even though i'm really strong (my nickname in gym is 'muscles'...!). I'm only 5ft 1 too. If i have a tiny bit of help then i can do it - i mean literally all you have to do is use a fingertip to help me and i can do it. Weird!
I can do it from standing if i jump a little bit though, and can lower back into straddle.
It's weird... i can do looaads chinups without stopping, but can't even do press handstand from standing!
 

dadingym

Member
Oct 10, 2008
111
dd is 9 lvl 7 her record is 20 in row one really good coach told her the trick was in her bottom. she had to aim it out and up after that it was like a light went on for her!
 
G

gymnut1

Guest
My daughter is just 8 - she got hers a couple of months ago. She has long legs which means she has to compress her straddle alot to get her toes to clear the floor. However this also means it looks nice when it works.
 

Tumblequeensmom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2007
1,453
DD is 13 and has never been able to do one of these. She's very strong, but her height (5'1") and weight (100 lbs), just won't allow her to do it! Oh well... I know some of our L8's and 9's can't do them either!
 

gym law mom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,527
Country
USA
Gymmie is 12 now and can do a few if she really works at it. When she was 8-9, she could do 6 or 7 in a row. I think it gets very hard for the "older" girls as their center of gravity and bodies change to do these consistently----also legs get longer. I know the girls do work them from time to time in conditioning, but not enough to do more than 1 or 2. Press handstands are a big part of TOPS, so that may be a reason we see some of the 7-10 yos doing them. Also think that once the girls are training higher level optionals, the press handstand is just not that important and they don't have much time to care/work on them.

Gymdog had a great point about tight hip flexors---some girls physically can't do the press handstand and never will.
 
M

mightynighty

Guest
I was wondering:

Are there any drills for those of us who can barely even do straddle press handstands against a wall (only sometimes, very very bent knees)?
Since straddle press headstands are pretty easy, I'm currently tring to go down against the wall to straddle stand and then back up, but I can only go as low as about 6 inches above the floor before I crash.
Plus, my wrists are kkkiiiillllllliiinnnggg me.

I've been thinking about using freeweights, but I'm not certain which muscles or actions to isolate.

If it matters, I'm 5'1, 95 lbs, 23 years old.

Thanks :)
 
A

AmyCollins

Guest
DD, 5 years old (L3) can do 2 sitting press to handstands in a row without her butt hitting the floor, can do one or two more if she goes to a sitting postition. She's on the Tiny TOPs team at her gym. A lot of the girls can not do them, but I do think it helps that my DD is tiny and very strong. It's a hard thing to do. DD is actually best at PtoH when she is sitting on the beam.
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
I was wondering:

Are there any drills for those of us who can barely even do straddle press handstands against a wall (only sometimes, very very bent knees)?
Since straddle press headstands are pretty easy, I'm currently tring to go down against the wall to straddle stand and then back up, but I can only go as low as about 6 inches above the floor before I crash.
Plus, my wrists are kkkiiiillllllliiinnnggg me.

I've been thinking about using freeweights, but I'm not certain which muscles or actions to isolate.

If it matters, I'm 5'1, 95 lbs, 23 years old.

Thanks :)

I work "easy" planches with girls who can't press yet. Push up position (legs can be elevated), keep the feet in place, then compress to a piked position by pushing back through your hands so your shoulders are by your ears (leave hands and feet in place - just compress to the pike). Then lower back to the push up, don't let the shoulders sag in push up position. I have them do it putting their feet a little higher when it gets easier (start them about low beam height). I usually give 30 but they can break it into sets of 10 in the beginning. This helps with the strength for the lean into it and most of them can do it pretty easily although it works their shoulders, and requires no spotting. As a bonus, for many of them, it stretches through their legs.

For the lower down strength from a headstand as opposed to a handstand, I guess that's more a separate lower core/lower body issue than the planche strength required from the handstand. Easy exercise set is sit on the floor in pike, put your hands by your knees, then lift your legs as high as you can (5-20 times, I guess it depends on how many you can do). On the last one hold at the top for 10 seconds, then "flutter" (small kicks) for 10 seconds. Lower down, move your hands by your bottom and then try to push up and hold pike hold for as many seconds as you can. Then sit in straddle with your hands on the floor in front of you. Do the lifts, then hold, then alternating small kicks, then try to push up and hold. You can also do all this starting in your widest straddle, then move in to a medium one, then a small one, then a pike.

Also I don't think size matters all that much in real terms, more body type. I had girls in some of my groups who were 5'6 or so and could press from sit. I am, uh, more than 100 lbs and the only thing I couldn't do is press from sit easily, but I also have to stretch for like 16 years to have anything that even resembles a straddle split and even then it needs pressure. If I do where you lay on your back up against a wall and just lower into straddle, I can get like, maybe 100 degrees, it's pretty sorry. But I could do other press exercises that didn't require as much flexibility fairly easily.
 

jls1969

Member
Sep 27, 2007
105
DD is 11--65 pounds and 4'6 and 1/2". She is a level 7--but does a significant amount of uptraining. Press-to-handstand is a part of her daily routine and she has to do 5 with a half turn at the beginning of practice and then she has to do 5 on the beam--mandatory. One day she ended up doing 175 b/c she didn't have 5 "pretty" ones in a row!:eek: (She could hardly move the next morning---and she has had 5 pretty ones since ;))

I would not say her upper body strength is above average---but apparently these are good for the upper levels of bar work--therefore she continues to go at them.
 
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