This past week I had the opportunity to attend a workshop held by Steve Atlas.
The day was basically split up into three segments. The first was the body practice. In this was a series of a bunch of bodyweight flowing exercises. Most were simple. A few were complex. It served as a great warmup and movement preparation for the harder stuff ahead.
Then we did yoga with a focus on flexibility. Having not done much stretching lately my hamstrings were quite sore the next couple of days.
Third was the hand balancing. Here are a few of the things I learned.
This small shift may be a big difference maker. The focus point for your eyes when doing a handstand is right between your thumbs. I don’t think I’ve ever had this pointed out before. Previously I always looked in front of my hands.
Of course here the focus was on straight line handstands. I’d been working a bit on that, rather than curved, in the near past. Although I’ve improved I still have a ways to go.
I enjoyed the wrist preparation drills. One of them that I had never done before had the back of the hands on the floor in full flexion and rotating the elbows under pressure.
There was a big focus on conditioning the body for the handstand skill. Something Steve said which I hadn’t heard before is that you want to train your best position when under lots of fatigue. That is the purpose of conditioning. This way when you’re fresh your body has no problem getting in the best position possible. What is drilled in under fatigue becomes automatic.
We did a small sample of 1 minute handstands (could be against the wall or freestanding depending on where you’re currently at) followed by a minute of rest repeated for 5 rounds. When you can work up to 30 rounds you’ll be doing very good. This conditioning only needs to be done once a week.
At the end of the day Steve and his partner Sam showcased their hand to hand balancing.
Overall it was a fun day, I learned some new things, and would recommend it to others looking to improve their own hand balancing skills and general bodyweight mastery.