73 days until Canada West Qualifier!

Counting down the days... it's going by faster than I expected! Checking the CrossFit Calgary website everyday (host of the Canada West Qualifier), to get details about registration, format, etc. Still nothing.... I'll keep couting down and checking the website as long as it takes.

February 17, 2009 WOD:
5 Rounds for Time of:
5 Handstand Pushups
5 Deadlifts with increasing weight (155# +10# per round)

I flew through the handstand pushups. That was the easy part. Those darn heavy deadlifts though. The last two rounds were completed as singles and they felt HEAVY! That's another one of my main focuses for improvement. Be able to do heavy deadlifts in metcons. I can lift heavy (230# deadlift = 2.13xBW), but in relation to some of the crazy CF women out there it's not enough. It's going to be tough competing against those girls and I'm doing my best to get better at the weighted stuff, but I'm praying there is alot of bodyweight stuff this year. Especially since last year's Games seemed to focus on the heavy weights.

Now for a big rant... Maybe it's my gymnastics background or my belief that good form/technique is a must AT ALL TIMES, but people, if you don't know how to teach a handstand JUST DON'T and be honest to your clients about why they are not learning them. I've seen some pretty scary falls and almost falls that could have been completely avoided if the people were taught the proper progressions of the handstand. If you can't kick up to a free standing handstand, bring your feet completely together and have the ability to step out or roll out of it, then you have no business doing a handstand against a wall! For the beginner, kicking up as hard as they can against a wall and hoping to stay in handstand or be able to do a handstand pushup because they can overhead press so much weight, is crazy. Their arms will likely give out as a result of not understanding what to do, they'll tuck their chin (to protect their face) and will be stuck against the wall on their neck. If the picture to you right doesn't look bad, well imagine 200+ lbs falling hard into that position in less than 1 second. OUCH!

I strongly recommend that you get ahold of a local gymnastics instructor if you want to learn a good handstand. Tell them WHY you need to learn a handstand and ask for an instructor that has lots of experience in teaching adult gymnastics. One session isn't going to cut it either! Too many times have I spent an hour in the gym teaching CrossFit folks handstand drills, games, techniques, etc and they think they should have this awesome handstand and should be able to crack out endless handstand pushups. Gymnastics coaches aren't miracle workers! It'll take more than 2 hours of coached practice per week for a couple of months before you'll see very noticable changes.

Handstand Step 1 - THE LUNGE: must be solid. Back leg straight, front leg bent but muscles engaged. Arms by ears.

Handstand Step 2 - THE KICK: front leg remains bent, back leg remains straight. Arms go down to the floor at the same rate as the back leg goes up. Notice here that my arms to back leg are in a straight line. Chin is in the neutral position, eyes staring at where I want to put my hands.

Handstan Step 3 - HAND CONTACT: notice my back leg and hands are still in a straight line. My bottom leg has just pushed off the floor and is on it's way to the vertical to assemble with my other leg. All muscles are engaged... but is squeezing, legs are straight, arms are straight, toes are pointed, core is squeezed (much tighter than you would for an overhead squat). Eyes are looking at my hands.

Handstand Stage 4 - FINAL RESULT: Again all muscles are engaged. Each joint is assembled on top of each other. What I mean by this is that if you drew a line from my wrists to shoulders to hips to knees to toes, the end result would be a straight line.
Now to get out of the handstand count down the steps 4 - 3 - 2 - 1!

1 Response to "73 days until Canada West Qualifier!"

  1. Mike says:
    February 17, 2009 at 8:48 PM

    Good explanation and progression pics. Nice rant, too, lol.

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