It’s been a week and a half since my last HSPU post, so I thought it was time to post an update. Apart from one three-day gap, I’ve been working on this every second day.
First day, I tried doing a HSPU with my heels against the wall. It was fairly easy to go halfway down, then back up, but it was way too difficult to go all the way down and back up.
I then decided to work on the HSPU progression from the second link that I mentioned in my previous post. I zoomed through the first two steps, then found that I need to work on simply staying in a handstand against the wall (step 3).
I managed to stay up against the wall for 30-45 seconds each time. I walked my hands in close to the wall so that I was vertical. I focused on breathing regularly to stop my face going red. To stop my arms turning the same worrying shade, I practised walking my hands away from the wall and back again. In case I started to tip over, my lovely assistant (Katie) was ready to steady my legs.
I also experimented with the handstand to try to mimic the final freestanding HSPU position. I walked my hands forward, moved my feet further down the wall and brought my head and shoulders forward past my hands. This way, I was at an angle, rather than vertical. My core muscles had to work a lot harder, but I found it slightly easier on my shoulders.
Next, I tried doing HSPUs with my thighs on a table. This took a lot of my weight and totally removed the balancing issues, so I did two sets without much effort. Obviously, I needed something higher.
At Katie’s brilliant suggestion, I tried HSPUs with my ankles on her shoulders. She was standing and doing squats, to better simulate a full HSPU. It was difficult, but Katie was supporting just enough of my weight and mostly removing the balance issues. I plan to do more of these supported HSPUs, using less support over time.
I also tried the frog stand, as seen in the video from the third progression link in my last post. The frog stand came up once or twice in yoga classes, where it was called the crow pose. I can hold the pose for a while, but can’t extend up into a full handstand. More strength is needed, especially core strength.
An easier method may be to push my head forward and extend my legs for balance. Then I might be able to just tilt myself up into a handstand. I will try this at the beginning of tomorrow’s session, with something padded to fall on.
Now that I know where I’m up to and what to work on, I’ll post another HSPU update in a couple of weeks. In addition to the supported HSPUs and frog stand, I’ll work on my shoulders, upper arms, chest, back and core muscles at the gym.