3/4/14: Deep Movement

Yesterday we went over the importance of understanding the hollow position and the proper shoulder positioning while in the handstand position. Todays goal is not only to understand the dynamics of freestanding handstands but also where athletes tend to go wrong. Having the athlete use the hollow position (with the focus on hollowing out their trunk), is how we get them to accomplish this. Achieving this will help you get to the final goal of holding a freestanding handstand.

 The over extended position due to the lack of abdominal engagement is what I tend to see the most . (seen below- Emily Carothers)


A problem we all run into daily is where you will see an athlete which has everything else engaged and active. Meaning their toes are pointed, to their quads and glutes engaged, and their shoulders are active but at the same time they are over extended and not able to find that balance. (The picture above represents this).

When you run into this yourself or as a coach, have the athlete lay back on the ground and get into the hollow position. Explain how the same abdominal engagement they accomplished with the hollow is the same while inverted. Immediately have them kick up against the wall and attempt another. Getting an individual to understand how to hollow out their midsection is imperative to having the control to pull your feet off the wall into a well-balanced position. Once you have explained/understand that you have to shorten the distance between your hip flexors and rip cage, you now can you use this as a verbal cue while someone is inverted. 


Once the proper handstand is accomplished, the next step (picture below) doesn’t seem so intimidating.


skill work: (while warming up) 5-8 minutes of handstand work. I want you to concentrate on the quality and not on the time inverted. No max effort holds!

Fight the good fight,

Coach Poppa


6 responses to “3/4/14: Deep Movement

  1. In regards to HSPU against the wall, it seems that unless the hands are much closer to the wall we will always be over extended. In order to stay connected during HSPU, should we attempt to have the hands as close as possible to the wall? Could that negatively effect kipping? Thanks.

    • Grant, you are correct. In regards to handstands against the wall, you will be only a few inches away with your hands. Now with the handstand push-ups, because of the angle that you would need to counterbalance the kip, you will be farther away. That will differ for everyone because of arm length etc.

  2. Hey Pops, so when I’m on the wall I can achieve this positions because I can get my head through and can get my hips engaged.

    However, when out on the floor, I constantly feel like I’m leaving hips ‘behind’ or not engaged and so my feet will drop back down with any momentum change.

    Thoughts? I feel reeeally uncomfortable inverted on the floor too …. Ugggh

    • Hey Joe, it sounds like you need to do some drills with kicking up into a handstand. The goal is to do so in the connected state to keep control throughout the entire ROM. Let me get back to you on it

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