Thursday, November 14, 2013

Avoiding "Controlled Falling" by: Kaitlin Hardy

After 20+ years of gymnastics, my brain is hardwired to focus on perfect form and technique before I move on to the next progression of any skill. Crossfit athletes need to focus on mastering a perfect handstand before they can move on to handstand walks or handstand push-ups successfully.

In order to avoid the “controlled falling” method of handstand walks, gymnasts start by learning to shift their weight back and forth while holding a handstand against the wall. With your stomach against the wall, and focusing on perfect handstand form and technique, gently move your body weight left and right. To start, you don’t even have to worry about picking your hands up off of the floor, just focus on pushing all the way through your shoulders and maintaining your balance. You want to keep your weight balanced over your midline. Eventually you can work towards picking your hands up off the floor, then tapping your shoulders, and then finally bringing your whole arm up to meet your legs. It helps to keep your arms exactly shoulder width apart and no wider.

After you have mastered shifting your weight, you’re ready to start walking. The most common mistake that I see in the box is a tendency to forget thinking about the form that was mastered against the wall. I suggest having a partner stand behind you holding onto your ankles as you being to move forward so that you can work on learning correct technique from the get-go instead of developing poor habits.

A master handstand walker should be able to move forward, backwards, and to the left and right. The only way to have that kind of control over your movement is to maintain perfect handstand position!

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