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5 PLANKS THAT WILL BUILD CORE STRENGTH & IMPROVE YOUR HANDSTANDS

Getting inverted can be scary, so we put this post together to help prepare the mind and body for skills like freestanding handstands, handstand walks, press to handstands, and handstand push-ups in the future. Read through until the end and check out the bonus video!

The Plank long body walk-out will help improve hamstring and shoulder mobility along with strengthening the core, preparing the body for skills like handstands.

  1. Start off with the heels and palms flat on the floor. Slight knee bend is okay but work for straight legs.
  2. Keep the gaze forward and over the finger tips.
  3. Be sure to keep the arms straight throughout the entire movement.
  4. Walk one hand after the other at a slow and controlled tempo, maintaining straight legs and neutral head position.
  5. Maintain a strong core while transitioning into a plank position. Keep the shoulders protracted and the back flat.
  6. Continue to walk the hands into a long body position with focus on keeping the back flat.
  7. If unable to maintain a stable core, modify the movement by resting the knees on the floor to help improve shoulder and core strength.

Plank sprints will help build core stability and shoulder strength to prepare your body to get inverted. Plank sprints will also prepare you for skills like handstand walks in the future.

  1. Start with the feet separated just past shoulder width. Keep your arms straight while leaning forward.
  2. Keep the back tall and maintain protracted shoulders. Press through the post arm and stabilize the midline by engaging the glutes and tucking the hips down into a posterior tilt.
  3. Lift the arm with control. The goal is to keep the back flat while avoiding any shifting or rocking of the shoulders or hips.
  4. Continue to switch between the right and left arm at a slow and controlled tempo.
  5. Focus on keeping the arms straight and avoid rocking or shifts in the hips.

The bear squat will strengthen the core and shoulders while improving mobility in both your shoulders and hips. This will prepare the body for skills like tucked handstands in the future.

  1. Start off in a hollow body plank with the arms straight, shoulders protracted, and leaning over the wrists.
  2. Keep the back flat, core engaged, and head neutral. Press back with straight arms until they are overhead, covering the ears.
  3. Keep the gaze on the fingertips. Maintain a flat back – avoid excessive rounding in the back.
  4. The knees are not touching the floor. However, you can modify by resting the knees on the floor during the press back phase of the movement.

The bent knee bear will help improve overhead shoulder range and release the hamstrings, helping prepare the body to get inverted for handstands and skills like the 90 degree handstand.

  1. Start off in a hollow body plank with the arms straight, shoulders protracted, and leaning over the wrist.
  2. Keep the back flat, core engaged, and head neutral. Press back with straight arms until they are overhead, covering the ears.
  3. Keep the gaze on the finger tips. Maintain a flat back – avoid excessive rounding in the back.
  4. The goal is to only slightly bend the knee to allow the hamstring to improve in flexibility.

Improve core strength and overhead range by releasing the triceps and lats with the butcher plank.

  1. Use a light loaded bar or dowel in an under-grip position.
  2. Place the elbows on the edge of a raised surface.
  3. The lower the surface, the harder it will be to maintain a flat back and posterior pelvic tilt.
  4. Rest the knees on the floor and straighten the arms to shorten the lever, making the resistance lighter and making the stretch easier.

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