THE BENT-ARM HANDSTAND PULSES...

On our second go on the Bent-Arm Hnadstand Drills in this programme, this month we aim to move in-and-out of extreme, inverted, bent-arm positions: test your best; stimulate new strength; retreat. Go cautiously though please -- strive to break plateaus, not your nose!

BACK TO PROGRAMME HOME

HOW TO PULSE THE BENT-ARM HANDSTAND DRILLS:

We do Bent-Arm Handstand work twice in The Strength Sessions Programme.

In Month 2 we do standard holds for time in a static position.

This month, the mechanics are the same, but we work with Pulsing Reps.

WHAT’S A PULSING REP???

A pulsing rep is when you move between two different progressions of the same exercises.

One that you find quite easy, and one you can just about hold for a few seconds.

It keeps you patient, it stops you from getting sloppy and it helps you break through strength plateaus and mental blocks.

FIRST: PICK A VERSION YOU CAN HOLD FOR 20-30 SECONDS (or longer if you are working on your strength endurance)— that’s your ‘easy’ progression.

THEN: PICK A VERSION YOU CAN JUST ABOUT HOLD FOR 3 SECONDS — that’s your hard progression.

TO DO A SET:

HOLD THE EASY PROGRESSION FOR 3 SECONDS

THEN EDGE INTO THE DIFFICULT POSITION FOR JUST ONE SECOND

THAT’S ONE REP.

DO MORE…

STRENGTH ENDURANCE MONTH – Do 8 reps

MID-STRENGTH MONTH – Do 5 reps

STRENGTH MONTH – Do 3 reps.

HOW YOU PEOPLE MESS IT UP...

Firstly, the standard Pulsing Rep error:

YOUR EASY POSITION ISN'T EASY ENOUGH -- This is the main one when doing these for pulsing reps; We need a real contrast between the two moves.

Plus, all the standard Bent-Arm Handstand errors from Month 2 apply:

YOU FAIL TO FOCUS ON CONNECTION — for some, the Frog Stand comes easy. Others not so much. You need to feel a solid connection of your knees on your triceps. If you don’t establish that, it’s going to be a lot more difficult to control.

YOU WIMP OUT — whatever your progression, if you’re too tentative, you’ll never commit, never hit the right position and you’ll never master it. Have an exit strategy, then do it like you mean it.

YOU GOT NO EXIT STRATEGY — Whether that’s putting your head down (for the healthy of neck), having a friend spot you, or confidently turning/rolling out of it for those who’ve been trained, you must have an exit strategy or you risk real injury and wasting your time half-arsing the move.

YOU JUMP INTO IT — The rookie mistake. Not sure I can control this, I’ll just hop into it and see! Don’t do that please! You won’t get a consistent position, you’ll never learn to control it and you risk real injury. Always move slowly and only lift a foot or knee when you know you can hold the next position.

YOU CAN’T BALANCE — Of course, sometimes it just takes a bit of patience and a bit of practice. If it seems to be taking you ages, it’s probably because you don’t yet have the strength required, or that you’ve tried to skip ahead through the early progressions before you are ready. There is off course the non-balancy way of building strength in this position. I’ll add a full description of that soon. Basically, start with your knees down and lower your head and arms into postion, then dig your toes in and try and lift your body into position.

YOU LOOK FUNNY — You have to keep your eyes just ahead of your hands. Do it funny and you’ll be a wobbler.

YOU’RE TOO GREEDY — I know it looks cool and you want to master it, but sometimes you just gotta put in the hours on the basics first.

YOUR WRISTS HURT — this is the case sometimes early on with many gymnastics moves. The fix: diligent, patient practice. Not trying to do too much too soon, and working on your wrist prep.

WICKED CUES!

FEEL THE DELTS — feel your shoulder muscles control the move and you’ll be on the right track. Especially as you ease from the easy position to the tough position!

PLAY THE PIANO — and by that, we mean control the balance by pressing the fingers into the floor — that’s how we stop ourselves from falling forwards.

STAY TIGHT — body tension = control. Too loose and you’ll struggle. Too tight and you’ll be too anxious to balance smoothly. Squeeze your feet together (or knees together if you are on the advanced progressions) and you’ll do better.

DISH — In the advanced versions of this, — just like in Handstands — you need to draw the low abs in (as in The Dish exercise) and his the pelvis in a posterior tilt. Do that and you’ll probably control the move.

CONTROL THE PELVIS — when learning inversions, it’s easy to let your pelvis drift forward and you fall ‘over the top’. Keeping your kind in controlling the pelvis can be a useful mental cue.

WHY DO IT TO YOURSELF?!

THE BENT-ARM HANDSTAND PROGRESSIONS — For fun, to master the Bent-Arm Handstand Progression Ladder, and to build great shoulders and triceps without the need for any equipment.

WE DO PULSING REPS BECAUSE THEY HELP WITH:

PATIENCE — With some people, and gymnastics moves, there’s this thing: they just won’t stop trying the harder stuff. Lovely to have ambition, but sometimes it’s detrimental if you get too greedy. To make real progress at this stuff, you have to spend enough time-under-tension…in a perfect position. You need to build real strength, you can’t just fluke it! Since I’ve incorporated Pulsing Reps into my coaching, I’ve had a lot more success getting people to stay patient — you get a taste of the next level, but you still put in the hard yards on the basiscs.

STRENGTH PLATEAUS — just sampling a new position, just feeling the tension and the angles that they have to deal with can be enough to help you smash through plateaus you have been stuck at for a while.

MENTAL BARRIERS – it’s easy to get stuck on one progression, without really believing you can push past it. Doing pulsing reps is a great way to test yourself in a more advanced position without having to stay there very long. With practice, comes belief.

VARIETY – The ideal programme is one where we practice the same stuff frequently enough to master it, but have enough variety and novelty to stimulate new gains and keep you interested. I find having Pulsing Reps some months and traditional holds in other months helps with this tremendously.

ALTERNATIVES...

There are plenty of options if you don’t get on with these. But as ever, you don’t have to add an extra. But if you want to, in order of similarity, here is how you can switch these out:

P-BARS — If you need to give your wrists a break, you can practice on a low set of parrallel bars.

OVERHEAD PRESS — if you can’t get the hang of going upside down, or if you don’t feel you’re getting all your strength out while you're learning these, you can switch to a classic overhead press.

SHOULDER PUSH UPS — All the strength, without the learning curve and balance challenge. Great if you’re struggling with balance or want more strength demand before you’ve mastered the basics.

EXTRA PUSH UP WORK — the next best alternative if you struggle with the angle of these.

EXTRA HANDSTAND / PLANCHE WORK

COPYRIGHT -- MORE-ATHLETIC LTD -- 2018 -- WHATEVER

MORE-ATHLETIC BODY

--> TRAIN WITH US.

--> GET BETTER RESULTS.