Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Handstand breakthough

A month ago I went to a gymnastic coach to get technique tips towards achieving my goal of being able to do a handstand and to stay up (see this post). I've been working it almost every day since and two days ago I really felt the break through.

In a practise session I warm up with some sun salutations and movements to limber up my wrists. That's the thing - most of the 'work' the past four weeks has really been in conditioning my shoulders, arms, hands and wrists to the activity. I then do a load of 'handstands up' trying to focus on the techniques taught to be my my coach, Thato. Chin up. Shoulders back and down. Arms up. Fingers spread. Big lunge low. Arms and head down together. Big reach. Kick up. Phew - I guess I probably do more than 50 ups in a session...

Then I spend some time standing on my hands, leaning my feet against a wall. Here I focus on tightening and straightening and getting my upper body accustomed to supporting 60-odd kilograms. I tip my feet off the wall, holding the balance. The wall is security - and I definitely still need it.

Anyway, last night at dance class I wanted to show the girls how I was progressing from a month ago - I'd had a great session on Sunday evening; and I did my best ever! I have been practising on grass, because solid floors really hammer my wrists for extended ups. On the even floor I walked on my hands and was up for maybe five seconds. I felt fabulous! I also felt balanced and relaxed.

I think this is the big thing. Compared to when I started practising four weeks ago, I'm definitely more relaxed going into the move and this is probably making all the difference.

I'm not yet able to stay up for minutes but I'm making good, steady progress and I hope that with another month of effort I'll be even better - for sure.

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