Before I lift weights in the bodybuilding section of the gym, I like to do Planche and handstand conditioning. I call this “showstopper conditioning”
It’s mainly improving the shoulder and tricep strength required to lean forward into a Planche, and also the core strength required to press up into a handstand.
A major part of this is also flexibility. The more flexible you are the easier it is to press into a handstand because the higher you can lift your legs in a forward bend, then the easier it is to get your centre of gravity over your hands, without having to lean into the shoudlers.
Basically the more flexible your are the less strength you need. That’s why a tiny gymnast girl can press into a handstand with far less strength than me, she has the flexibility to fold in half and get her centre of gravity easily over her hands.
My real aim is to be a handbalancer. But super tricks like pressing up from a seated straddle require this kind of training.
I have begun teaching handstand classes at a few yoga studios in Bristol and Bath and plan on teaching in more locations.
This was filmed at Ministry of Fitness gym in Bristol where I also do Personal Training.
Sometimes I work on kicking up, but today I fancied just working on balance. By starting facing the wall, in a piked position with the toes touching the wall, it’s a good opportunity to practise straightening the legs and shoulders and back.
One glitch I had to improve was the temptation to duck my bum outwards as a way of making the back feel more comfortable. The trouble is it creates a curve in the lower back, so I consciously tucked my tail bone under to flatted then line of my lower back. It’s less comfortable.
Once I had got to the straight handstand position I tried my best to squeeze my glutes to open the hips into a straight line, but because my quads and hip flexors on the front need stretching they tend to pull and close the hip angle slightly.
If you are in Brisotl or Bath then look out for handstand classes that I’m teaching or assisting. I also planning to teach at festivals and more yoga studios soon.