Follow My Three Ring Circus

Home About Safety Facebook Youtube Tumblr Bloglovin

Friday, February 22, 2013

The One With A Different Perspective

I think I have said it before but I really dislike exercise that feels like I am doing it for the sole purpose of fitness. Running on a treadmill or lifting weights does not engage my mind and I struggle to commit to the same routine every day. When I decided I wanted to take up silks and lyra because it seemed like the next logical progression from hula hooping I realized I was probably going to need to start some kind of fitness routine. After my first class I knew that I was completely in love with the feeling of being in the air but also that I was going to have a lot of work to do if I ever wanted to advance.  I was concerned that I would not be able to force myself to do the conditioning required because of my aforementioned aversion to exercise. Luckily for me there are some fun option I have learned that are engaging and can help target the areas that need to improve for different acrobatic skills.

No lie, I am a master couch potato
In order to climb, invert or do just about anything on the silk you are going to need upper body strength. You are constantly supporting yourself with your hands and arms as you lock your feet to position for another trick. Planks are a great way to build strength but ultimately kind of painful and frustrating. I totally feel like a boss when I complete a series of planks in class but unless the torture is instructor led, chances are I am not going to inflict it upon myself in my free time. This is why I have come to love the handstand. Handstands not only develop your arm and core strength but also engage your mind as you concentrate on keeping your feet in the air rather than thinking about how much your arms are hurting.

Sadly, not everyone has as much love for the handstand as I do. Most people I talk to are nervous of being upside down, losing their balance or do not even know where to begin. The handstand does not need to be some impossible acrobatic feet if we break it down into simple parts, slowly increase our skill level and reward ourselves for small victories along the way. When learning the handstand there are several approaches depending on your comfort level. I am going to cover the 2 most common I have used.

Wall is your friend!
Before we start getting inverted lets get aquainted with some tools we have to help.This is Wall. For those of us who have not spent much time looking at the world upside-down Wall is a friend as we find our balance. Wall is a great spotter who will never let you down and doesn’t care how hard you kick him in the face.
Some of us are a little uncomfortable with hurling ourselves at the ground or do not have confidence in our ability to support our fully body weight on just our hands. In cases like this a progressive approach might be a good option. Personally I feel like this process takes more strength but there are also more exist points before becoming inverted should you lose confidence at any point.

It helps if you sing about Spiderman while you do this
1. Start by facing away and with your heels against the wall. From this position bend over and place your hands on the ground. You will now transition your weight into your hands and while supporting yourself start walking your feet up the wall. You will probably reach a position where your body the wall and the floor are creating a triangle.

2. Now for, in my opinion, the hardest part. Start walking your hands back towards the wall. As your hands get closer to the wall you should be able to walk your feet up. Personally I find it very difficult to get to a completely vertical position using this process and I dislike not having the wall at my back when trying to find my balance.
Remember to breath
Now that you are feeling more confident you can practice kicking up directly into a hand stand.

1. Facing the wall place your hands on the ground about 6 inches from the base. From this position you should look like an inverted V with your hands and feet on the floor

2. Keeping your arms straight kick your feet up and against the wall. When you first start do not worry about making it pretty. Smash your feet into the wall, bend your knees or whatever you need to do to get up there. Once you do hold that position and appreciate your accomplishment

3. Straighten your legs and point your toes. Now most importanly tighten your core, legs and butt while pushing through your hands. Handstand doen't just come from your ability to pile all the weight of your  body on your arms. The more support you supply from your abs the more controlled your handstand will be

4. Slowly with one foot push away from the wall. Tentitively find your balance and then push the other foot off to. If you have to let your feet drop or lean back against the wall that is okay.

5. Once you feel comfortable try going into a handstand in one fluid motion from a standing postition and not touching the wall before finding your balance.

Remember handstands require you to support from the arms and core. Both are neccessary to maintain control. Your balance will come with practice and time. Even if you are only able to hold an unsupported handstand for just a second  it still counts as a win. Celebrate all your milestones and love the process.

No comments:

Post a Comment