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DAY 1, PART 1– Regional’s Recap continues

Friday, June 27th, 2014

14321947516_e8b16f63cf_zDAY 1: MORNING

This is my second blog about regionals,the first one can be found here.

I woke up feeling I had a good night’s sleep.  I foam-rolled, drank my cup of coffee, and leisurely went about my morning routine.  I wasn’t really nervous, just anxious to get going with all that laid before me that first day.  I didn’t want to arrive at the venue too early, but certainly not too late.

I went downstairs to get some breakfast, and, of course, the hall was closed.  Fortunately, I brought enough snacks to fill myself up until lunch.
I packed up my room and left for the stadium where I met Nick and Roger.  I casually walked around, checking things out, when suddenly, it was time for Warm Up already.  Fortunately, Bo and the rest of my cheering squad had already arrived, so I could begin Warm Up with the knowledge that my people were around and ready to support me.
14344316154_e3b4667156_zWARM UP

First order of business was to execute my hang snatches.  It was so hot outside!  The bars were toasty and there was no shade. I started lifting.  Things felt good, so I increased the weight.  The plan was to hit my goal weight once or twice, and be done with it.  But apparently, there were other plans — Warm Up went terribly as I was dropping bars all over the place!

My target was to make 145#, go for 155#, and hopefully have the opportunity to try 160# (which I have done before, but only once, ever).  My benchmark weight, 145#,  was all over the place….
14365201043_e8b51413e3_zCoach Bo, “What’s the problem???  Bend your elbows Amanda!!”
I finally achieved a few good attempts, but Warm Up was shaky enough to have the conversation about what I was going to do if I failed my lifts…not a conversation I enjoyed, but a necessary one considering my performance.
ANXIOUS, NOT NERVOUS

We were called inside to line up.  I still wasn’t nervous, just anxious.  I happened to be lined up next to one of the women I have been chasing the last few years.  While keeping close tabs on the weights that were being accomplished around me, I knew that if I hit what I intended to, I would finish in a good place.

At some point I warmed up some handstands, but I was too wrapped up in the snatch to care about the handstands too much.  The goal for handstands was easy — Don’t fall!
After our athlete meeting, we were sent into our lanes.  I, of course, confirmed we could drop the bars, and all the ladies laughed–it would really suck to not have a rep count because of a dropping error.
Anxious, not nervous.
I completed my pre-workout pee (okay, let’s be honest…my 4th pre-workout pee) and I heard my new favorite pump up song14158597687_4be1dd6108_mblasting through the speakers.  I smiled, knowing that it was time.  It was meant to be.  I was ready.
HERE WE GO!

We marched out to our lanes where I met my favorite judge of the weekend.  I discussed my weight with him, hoping to avoid a math error (might I reference the 14.3 fiasco). He agreed with my plan and on we went.

“3-2-1-GO!”, plates go on for 145#.  I took a deep breath and lifted.  The bar was all over the place!  I failed, a big fail!  The bar was behind my head, elbow went wiggly and I dumped it. Amanda, what are you doing???
I told the judge I would attempt that weight again.  I wanted to increase, but I couldn’t trust that I would make 155# with that kind of lift.  We had to announce to our judges what weights we were attempting each time, and if we increased the weight, we couldn’t decrease, so I made the safe decision.  In that moment, I needed to get it together.  I needed to relax, focus and do what I knew how to do.  I saw Rich in front of me, and heard voices of my people behind me.  I shook it all off, and went for lift 2, at 145#.  Hit it no problem.  14365303173_1876cee7f5_z
I was so relieved!  And then I realized: That first fail was my mulligan, I needed to do that.  For whatever reason, that fail was so powerful, I instantly knew I wasn’t going to let Regionals get away from me.  I wasn’t going to look back at this moment and regret my performance.  I knew exactly what I was there to do, and I was going to do it. Pull it together Amanda, you’re here for a purpose!
I attempted lift 3, at 155#…Hit it!  I took a minor step forward, but I recovered.  I turned around, found my people in the stands, and gave them the Amanda Finger Dance, with a big smile on my face. A chance at 160# would have been nice, but 155# was the real goal and I did it.
Oh yeah…now it’s time for a handstand walk.  I changed into my trusty purples (the lightest weight shoes I own) and proceeded to my lane for handstand walking.
My goal: Make 120 feet, rest, and do whatever you can do to finish.  In training, my handstand walking was really, really terrible, quite the poor showing of an ex-gymnast.  Three days previously, I completed 120 feet, for the first and only time, so I14365201043_e8b51413e3_z knew it was possible, I had it in me, I just needed to fight for it.
My favorite judge asked me what I wanted him to communicate while on my hands.  I told him to give me the halfway point, then every 10 feet up to 100, and then 5’s until I reach the green mat.  I warned him about my flying legs and to steer clear so I didn’t kick him.   3-2-1-GO!, on my hands I went.  As far as I knew, ladies around me were walking faster and going as far as I was.  Reaching 60 feet took forever!  It was one of those incredulous “That’s it?” moments when my judge told me where I was, but onward I walked.  At one point, I almost went out of bounds, but I was surely not going to let a hand fault take me down!  I had 120 in my sight, and in my head I was screaming, “Fight!  Fight!  Fight!  Don’t come down Amanda!”
Green mat…YES!  In my head, I had won.  Making the 120 feet was the goal, all the rest was a bonus in my eyes.  I once again found my people in the crowd, gave them an arm pump and a smile, and then shook my arms out as much as I could.  I was going to wait until I had one minute remaining before even considering kicking up into handstand again.  As far as I knew, many other women had made it also, but I was wrong.  There were only a few of us.
One minute to go, but I didn’t want to kick up yet.  My judge was eyeballing me, encouraging me to get going. Then he verbalized, “50 seconds”, like a warning, so I kicked up again and boy, did it hurt!  Ten feet, 20 feet, 30 feet, and going!  I couldn’t believe I was still on my hands!  My arms were shaking, my fingers were curling under themselves, but I was not going to fall.  My steps got smaller and smaller while my speed got slower and slower.  I heard “10 seconds” and hit a five foot mark.  Keep going Amanda, don’t come down!  I just barely found the next five foot mark.  The announcer started the countdown: “5 (step), 4 (step), 3 (step), 2 (stuck), 1… (fall), and Time!”  190 feet!  I don’t think I could have timed that workout any better!  I physically could not have taken one more step.  Boy, was I happy!  Huge PR from practice!
I ran off the field, found my people, and sat and watched the next two heats.  It turned out I had done really well!  Heat 4 came out, and there were some huge lifts!  It was really impressive.  But, their handstand walking was short lived.
I tied at 14 in the hang snatch, and placed 5th in the handstand walk.  For reference, had I hit 160# on the hang snatch, I would have tied at 7th…just 5 pounds meant 7 spots.
I walked out of the stadium feeling awesome.  First 2 events down, and they went really, really well.  It was now time for rest, food, recovery, and then…Nasty Girls.

Exciting New programming changes at CrossFit Marin from Bo

Friday, June 13th, 2014

amand_hspuThe CrossFit Games Northern California Regionals were an exciting three days.  After seven grueling workouts, Amanda N. came out in 17th place.  This is a huge achievement and we are all very proud of her.  Thanks to all who came down to San Jose to support Amanda. For a full recap check out our blog. http://www.inthecave.com/blog/
If you have not congratulated Amanda N. yet, come down to the Silver Peso in Larkspur this Friday evening, June 13th, for the first Monthly Social Hour.

New Programming Tracks

We are starting a new programming structure here at CrossFit Marin. There will be two parallel tracks.  One will be called “Fitness” and will be the same type of programming as our CrossFit Conditioning classes were. The other will be called “Performance” and will be the same as our regular CrossFit classes were.
Fitness will vary in that it will include less heavy weights and less technically difficult movements.  Performance will continue to have heavy weights for developing power and complex olympic and gymnastic movements to keep people challenged.
A CrossFit Marin athlete will now be able to come to any class and choose which track they wish to do. You will not be forced into staying with one track, you will be welcome to switch back and forth as you please.
We are hoping this improves your experience here at The Cave and allows you to receive the type of workout you are looking for.

Beyond The Whiteboard Now Available

We are happy to announce that we are now offering Beyond the Whiteboard to all of our CrossFit athletes as a way to track their workouts. Beyond the Whiteboard is the best workout tracking tool available. There are thousands of people that use BTWB and this will allow you to compare your workout score with not only your gym mates but people around the world.  If this idea terrifies you, you will have the option of keeping all your information private.
This will be a free service to all CrossFit Marin athletes.
To gain access, sign up at the gym with your name (and the email address you wish to be associated with your BTWB account) on the sign up sheet at the gym. You will be emailed an invitation by the end of the day.
As a disclaimer, BTWB is not perfect. There will be aspects that are not ideal.  BTWB is independent, and CrossFit Marin has no control of the service BTWB provides. Please understand that we cannot address complaints.

2014 CrossFit Games Regionals Event 7

Sunday, June 1st, 2014
Amanda hits 8 unbroken OHS at 135lbs

Amanda hits 8 unbroken OHS at 135lbs

What a day! What a weekend! The final event of the night was pretty straight forward. 64 pullups and 8 overhead squats (135lb women’s weight). Yup, 64 consecutive pull ups followed by a really heavy overhead squat. We knew this was a good workout for Amanda. Watching the first two heats we knew this was not an easy workout. Many of the women struggled with the overhead squats and failed to complete them before the 6 minute cap. Amanda’s heat got started and we expected her to possibly leave the bar a little behind the pack, but that did not occur. She was right in there with the best in her heat. She gathered herself as she approached the bar. Picked it up, got the bar in position and banged out 8 unbroken overhead squats. She then ran to the finish marker to post a time of 3:19, good enough for 11th in this event. This put Amanda in 17th overall. We are so proud of Amanda. She came into this event 39th in the region and left the event 17th in the region. She got into the top heat for part of the competition and got to compete head to head with the best of the best.

It is important to note that over the past few years Amanda has picked a few of the regional qualifiers to target. She has now surpassed them. Guess what Amanda. There are going to be other women in the region targeting you as the scores to beat. Congratulations!!

2014 CrossFit Games Nor Cal Regionals Event 6

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

Amanda in the first set of deadlifts

Amanda in the first set of deadlifts

Event 6 was a brutal chipper starting with a 50 calorie row. This was followed by 50 jump over box jumps, 50 deadlifts (120lb women’s weight), 50 wall ball (to 10 ft), 50 ring dips, and then it gets reversed. 50 wall ball, 50 deadlifts, 50 jump over box jumps and a final 50 calorie row. All on a 21 minute cap. To put in perspective how difficult this workout is Jason Kalipha was on his 46th calorie of the second row when the cap time arrived, and he won the event.

In the first two women’s heats no athletes got past the second set of deadlifts, and most women were stopped at the second set of wall ball. Amanda started strong finishing the row in 3:05. She used a lateral plyometric technique for the jump over box jumps finishing at the 5:00 mark. She worked through the deadlifts efficiently completing them by 7:27. The first set of wall ball was difficult and she was no-repped several times. She finished wall ball at 11:09. The ring dips were difficult for everyone as expected. Amanda finshed at 18:04. Back to the wall ball with just under 3 minutes to go. Amanda finished 23rd on this event to put her at 19th. Overall.

2014 CrossFit Games Nor Cal Regionals Event 5

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

rope_climbI can not express the excitement that surrounded this event for The Cave crew in the stands. Watching the previous heats there were clearly a few key things about this workout. Managing fatigue was critical because getting a no-rep called on a rope climb is soul crushing. With the ropes set up as they were the last pull to tap the rig involved about a 1′ reach. This gave a lot of the athletes a lot of trouble. Many of the athletes in the first 3 heats didn’t complete the workout. Going into this event Amanda had never fully completed this workout inside the 11 minute cap, so a DNF was possible. Walking out again with the top women in the Northern California region she was stationed right next to Annie Sakamoto in lane 1. Directly in front of us and the crowd. The start of the WOD was called and the athletes headed out for their first rope climb. Amanda was going to climb strictly as much as she could because it is a bit faster than kipping, and in experimenting with kipping Amanda shredded her hands. The first several rope climbs looked relatively easy, but Amanda started to show fatigue mid-way through the workout. At this point she shifted to a very clear cycle, jump to the rope, two pulls, two kips, shift the hand to the base of the top knot, then kip for the rig touch. She timed her rest before each rope climb perfectly and finished the workout in 8:11 10th in her heat, and 18th overall for the workout. A huge accomplishment. We knew day 2 was going to be a tough day for Amanda and she has exceeded expectations. She enters tomorrow in 17th place overall. One more day. Two more workouts.

2014 CrossFit Games Nor Cal Regionals Event 3

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Coming into the second event in the top 10 was an amazing position to be in for Amanda. Nasty Girls V2 is a beast of a workout. 3 rounds of 50 alternating pistols, 7 muscle ups, 10 hang power cleans 150lb for the women. We knew a pretty aggressive target time for Amanda based on results from the other regions. This workout was going to have to be executed without much rest time, and the muscle ups were going to get hard. The pistols started out great. It is not the strongest movement for Amanda but she kept a nice consistent pace. The heat was pretty tightly clustered leading into the first round of muscle ups. Amanda executed 5 unbroken, hopped down for a short rest and finished the last 2. She then blew through the power cleans unbroken. Another set of steady pistols and off to the muscle ups. Unfortunately Amanda was no-repped due to her feet being a little to high, which likely cost her 20+ seconds, but she took it in stride and kept working. Amanda continued to work through only being slowed down by the muscle ups a little to finish 4th in her heat with a time of 12:46. The time continued to hold up pretty well for the rest of the day leaving Amanda 21st for this event.

She is heading into tomorrow in 11th place. This is an amazing place to be in. To put this in perspective, Annie Sakamoto, a CrossFit celebrity and two time CrossFit Games competitor is currently in 9th place.

Tomorrow brings 21-15-9-6-3 Strict HSPU, Front squat (125 lbs) burpee and a second workout of 10 rounds of a 15 foot legless rope climb, 100ft sprint.

2014 CrossFit Games Nor Cal Regionals Events 1 & 2

Friday, May 30th, 2014

The first event was a max hang snatch. Athletes were given 3 attempts with a running clock. Each attempt must be completed within a 2 minute window and a failed lift could not be repeated within its respective 2 minute window. Amanda’s plan was to hit 145 on her first snatch, try for 155 on her second then if she made the second lift proceed to 160 for a PR. Unfortunately things do not always go as planned. Amanda missed her first lift at 145, so she had to attempt it again in the second lift. Hitting two solid lifts to finish at 155.

The hand walk came second. Athletes were lined up on 120ft long paths. They were given 3 minutes to walk as far as they could on their hands, if they came down while on the path their distance was marked, if they completed the full 120ft they could come down, rest and head back the other way. Amanda has been practicing regularly working at about 100ft consistently. She made the first 80 feet look easy, then worked through to complete the first pass of 120ft. This already put her ahead of most of the other competetors in her heat. Amanda gave herself a good long rest before heading back for the second pass. Adding another 70ft to her total distance. She got to the 70ft mark and fell right as 3, 2, 1, TIME! was called. Her timing for the rest was perfect.

This left Amanda in 10th place. Yes, Amanda is in the top 10 in the Nor Cal region. I can not overstate what a huge accomplishment this is.

We’re so proud of her and look forward to the next event.

Sorry for the poor photos, the real camera’s batteries were dead. Will fix that issue tomorrow.

Sub-Three Minutes with Amanda

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

amanda_mu_1It’s wonderful to look at the CrossFit Games Open leader board and see a bunch of Caver’s names listed and how well they ranked!  However, it’s truly inspiring to see Amanda ranked so high in our region, earning her a visit to Regionals!

Thanks to great programming and hard work, Amanda’s strength and speed gains are remarkable. I have the unique perspective of seeing Amanda as a phenomenal gymnastics coach with my children, a fantastic CrossFit coach, and now as a guide on my fitness career.   She brings the much needed calm, yet motivating and effective demeanor to everything she does.

In the spirit of the sub-three minute series CrossFit HQ has begun on athletes headed to the games, I had my own three minutes with Amanda.

Q: What was your approach this year headed into the Open?

A:  I wanted to make it to Regionals.  I wanted to do it on my own and not receive a special invite.  I didn’t make it last year, and it pushed me to train harder this year.

Q: What excites you the most about Regionals?

A: The journey.  I’m also excited about competing at a higher level.  It gives my training an even bigger purpose, pushes me emotionally, and I hope to inspire others to dig deep in themselves too.

Q:  How are you going to approach this weekend?

A:  Play my game, not anyone else’s and be in the moment. I want to have fun, look back and say, “That was great!”  There are so many ups and downs when preparing for this type of event, but I need to remember to enjoy being there and I love to do this. When it’s over, I’ll look back and see what I can learn from and what I could have done differently.

Q: What are you most worried about?

A:  Strict hand-stand push ups.  I had a mini heart attack when I saw that one.  A few weeks ago I couldn’t do any (at least I never tried), but I’ve been working hard and {I} feel like it’s coming together for me.

Me: Your hand-stand walks look great!  You’re going to crush that one!

Q:  What motivates you?

A:  I don’t like to lose — failure is a big motivator for me.  I’m an extremely competitive person, I like to push myself and seeamanda_mu_2what I’m capable of.  I am also driven by seeing what others are capable of, {inspiring me} to do the same thing, but better. And I don’t want to disappoint anyone.  People are coming to cheer me on, everyone has been so supportive I don’t want to let anyone down.

Q: You were an accomplished competitive gymnast, and I’m sure you would excel at many sports, so why CrossFit?

A:  The coolest part of CrossFit is that it’s the only sport that keeps me interested and intrigued in {learning and} doing new things, pushing me every day.

Amanda, you are an incredible athlete and this community is already so proud of you.  Regardless of the outcome, you can not disappoint us. Go, have fun and get it done!

Go. Amanda.

What’s Happening This Week in The Cave?

Monday, May 19th, 2014

ATTENTION!! Please note that The Cave will be CLOSED on MONDAY, MAY 26TH, in observance of Memorial Day.  All classes are cancelled for that day, EXCEPT CrossFit 9 and 10 am classes.

The Cave will be OPEN for all regularly scheduled classes (in all disciplines) on Saturday 5/24Sunday 5/25, and Tuesday 5/27. If you have any questions regarding Memorial Day hours or any other hours at The Cave, please contact Amy at amy.d@inthecave.com.

cf-games-2014Reebok CrossFit Regionals

Did you know Amanda Norton qualified and is competing at the Reebok CrossFit Regionals?  She’ll be competing from May 30 - June 1.  Regionals is a great way to meet others in the CrossFit community, witness some spectacular performances, and even pick up the latest in WOD wear.  Grab your CAVE shirt and purchase your ticket to come and cheer on Amanda!   Click here for the schedule of events.

Challenge WOD

There are a lot of empty spaces on WOD #2 for Challenge WOD.   This is your last week to get it done, so what are you waiting for??  The second WOD was announced last week, which you can read about right here. Want to know more about Challenge WOD? Check this out!

Kids Night Out:

waterfight531web

Forget the baby sitter and bring the kids to The Cave for Kids Night Out!  They will have a great time playing water games, doing skill work with coaches, and having a healthy bbq dinner — everything a parent would want for their kids night out!  The next KNO is May 31, click here to register. Don’t forget to pack a towel!
summer-parkour-campsfinal-1

Summer Camps
If you like the idea of keeping the kids healthily active during the summer (while giving parents a few hours break),  check out our Summer Camp schedule below!  Then be sure to register NOW as these classes fill up FAST!

Summer Camps:


Let’s talk about handstands!

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Have you seen the individual regional workouts?  They were just announced and our girl Amanda is going to crush it!!  We can’t wait to cheer you on.  Since handstands are making an appearance at regionals, I’ve reposted part of an article Roger wrote about handstands below.  A refresher never hurts, enjoy.

Beginning handstands

Many people will be intimidated simply by the concept of doing a handstand. Fears of falling and/or not being able to support themselves with their arms will be the primary hindrances early on. Proper positioning and a gradual progression will take trainees through this process safely and quickly.

The first step to a handstand is simply to learn how to be comfortable in a hand support. A vertical handstand is not necessary to start this process. Start with a folded panel mat, plyo box, or other stable raised surface. Stand in a shallow lunge in front of the object with arms overhead. In the lunge, the rear leg is the kicking leg, and the front leg is the support leg. Place your hands on the object, and kick your rear leg up toward the ceiling so that the support leg comes off the ground only a few inches. Start small. Getting up into a handstand at this point is not necessary and not recommended.

This initial stage can tell you a lot about the handstand and you can begin to improve handstand technique. The first thing to look for is proper shoulder angle. Many people will push their shoulders forward past their hands. This creates a very unstable position unless the individual performing the handstand is capable of performing a planche. The shoulders should be completely open and active with the arms by the ears. The head should be positioned so that your hands are just visible by looking toward them with your eyes (not moving your whole head). If you can see two feet past your fingertips then your head is too far out and your shoulder angle likely is “broken.” Once the proper position has been established, work on kicking higher. If the handstand is approaching 45 degrees from vertical it is time to move off of the raised surface.

Before moving to a handstand on the ground, you should be very comfortable with forward rolls. A forward roll is the easiest and safest way to exit a handstand that falls forward. Training a forward roll is discussed in detail in CrossFit Journal issue 38.

Proper shoulder angle for a handstandProper shoulder angle for a handstandProper shoulder angle for a handstand
Proper shoulder angle.
Improper shoulder angle for a handstandImproper shoulder angle for a handstand
Improper shoulder angle.

Practicing a handstand on the ground may be the starting point for individuals who already have a solid base level of strength and kinesthetic awareness. The starting point is the same as it was for the raised object. Start in a shallow lunge with arms overhead. Kick to a handstand by lunging forward and kicking your rear leg up toward the ceiling. The kick is what brings the hands to the floor, not reaching down with the hands. A very common mistake is to reach down with the hands, which breaks the shoulder angle and creates a less stable position. The line from wrists to the rear leg should be kept straight. When starting to kick to handstand, the kick should be kept low. As with the handstand drill on a box, only a small kick is necessary to identify deficiencies in the position. Once proper positions have been demonstrated, the kick can be taken higher. Simply kicking up and stepping back down repeatedly will begin to bring the hips higher in each kick and train an understanding of the shoulder and arm push required to hold a handstand. Once the kick leg is reaching vertical, the support leg can be brought up to meet it in the handstand.

Proper arm position in a lungeImproper arm position in a lunge
Proper and improper shoulder angles.

Holding a handstand and improving alignment Once a kick to handstand is consistent, shift focus to holding the handstand. The only way to improve your ability to hold a handstand is to practice handstands. Do handstands whenever you get a chance. This is comparable to learning to walk. When children learn to walk they practice constantly. This is the same approach that should be taken with handstands. A solid static handstand is essential to performing free standing handstand push ups. Handstands can be practiced against a wall to develop strength in the position and to allow for enough time in the handstand to play with body alignment. Handstands against a wall should be practiced both with the back to the wall and facing the wall.

Handstands facing away from the wall do not encourage a proper hollow handstand posture, but allow for practicing balance in a handstand. Start in a lunge facing the wall and kick to handstand so that your heels hit the wall. Be sure to place your fingertips only a couple of inches away from the wall. Start the lunge far enough away from the wall so that you have to stretch forward a bit as you kick to the handstand. This will force a better alignment in the shoulders and improve the mechanics of the kick. This also creates proper positions for other kicking skills such as front handsprings and round offs. Once in the handstand, the shoulders should be pushed up (toward the ears) as far as possible and fully extended. There should be no angle between the shoulders and torso. The line between wrists and toes should be as straight as possible. Once the handstand is aligned properly, push with your fingertips and try to pull your heels away from the wall slightly to hold the handstand. As you get more stable you can walk your hands farther away from the wall to practice your balance.

Handstand facing away from the wall, proper position Handstand facing away from the wall, improper position
Correct Incorrect - hands too far from wall

Practicing handstands facing the wall helps to ensure a proper hollow handstand position but does not allow for balance practice as readily as facing away from the wall does. To get into a handstand facing the wall start with your back to the wall, bend down and place your hands on the floor 1 to 2 feet away from the wall, then walk your feet up the wall as you walk your hands in to the wall. Try to get your hands as close as possible to the wall. Your toes should be pointed and the tops of your feet should be the only thing touching the wall. It is possible to do this with your wrists virtually touching the wall assuming handstand alignment is good. Proper alignment is an open hollow with shoulders fully extended and pushed up. Think about pushing your toes as high toward the ceiling as possible. Once this position is obtained, try to push away from the wall slightly and transfer your weight to your fingertips and hold the handstand.

Handstand facing the wall, proper position

Practice freestanding handstands as often as possible. Kick up to a handstand whenever you get a chance. When you kick to handstand, think about extending your lunge, keeping your shoulders open, and maintaining a straight line between your kick heel and your hands. Part of your practice should be just trying to stay on your hands no matter what it takes. Walk, break form and bend your arms, just stay in the handstand. As you spend time in the handstand you will begin to feel the adjustments that are necessary to maintain it.

In addition to practicing handstands allowing for walking, you should also make a concerted effort to practice static handstands. Kick into a handstand with a tight, straight body and don’t move. If you have to take a step, come down and try again. As with previous handstands, kick into the handstand with an extended body and shoulders. Once in the handstand squeeze your legs together, extend your shoulders so that they are completely open, and hold the body in a straight, slightly hollow position. Think about digging your fingertips into the floor while practicing static handstands. This will create a more solid base for the handstand. Think about leaning the handstand slightly forward, as it is easier to save a handstand that is falling forward (over onto your back) than it is to save a handstand falling backward. (The exception to this is on rings.) To save a handstand that is falling forward, extend through your shoulders and dig your fingers into the floor as hard as you can. To save a handstand falling backward pike your shoulders and hips and if necessary bend your arms. As the handstand gets stronger, a slight planche will save a handstand that is falling backward.

Proper handstand alignment Improper handstand alignment
Correct Incorrect

This article continues to discuss free standing handstand pushups. To view this entire article please visit: http://www.drillsandskills.com/article/19