This session focussed on mobility drill assessment. The best way to indicate your current flexibility is to try a flexibility tests to measure my range of motion and help improve it. These exercises are essential building blocks to handstand, I will be showing you below the exercises I did and the sequences. After these drills, I also test for how long I could hold in chin-up position and then I had the workout followed by some core exercises and headstand practising.
First exercise was mobility wall drills to test how much I could open my shoulders, it is a great exercise to prep the whole body mechanically from upper back posture all the way to strengthening the muscles that will pull the shoulder blades back. To start, sit with your back against the mirror and lift both arms, keeping your elbows against the wall (if you can, also keep the wrist against the wall and be conscious to not arch your lower back); the elbows should slide up to the height of your ears and down to your lower ribs. This is a great way to prep strengthen the shoulder blades through the anterior delts. You can measure how much your shoulders can press up without your back arching by recording yourself all have a friend spot you through the movement, I repeated this exercise 10 times.
The foam roller myofascial release was the next exercise, the main focus is to open the latissimus dorsi which will allow the shoulders to increase in a greater range of motion as everything is connected to each other, try rolling the latissimus dorsi, slowly by rolling back and forth on the tender spot 30- 60 seconds until the discomfort is reduced. Furthermore, this will lead to greater flexibility improvement in the latissimus and healthy shoulders. It is a great prep before working the advance exercises e.g. the handstand. All these drills were to test me and see how much flexibility I have on my shoulders.
Next preparation phase drills was the floor angels. Great way for keeping constant tension by pressing your back firmly on the ground, keeping the body rib cage tucked. Then, try touching your arms overhead as much as while keeping contact with the floor throughout the entire range of motion. I remember Luigi joking saying “make sure you keep that pink panther posture”, as the pink panther posture is straight natural as a stick and to try avoiding the Donald Duck posture, which is shaped like a banana. This drill was called the floor angel and it can be done either on the floor or in the wall and the main purpose is to open the shoulder muscles and upper back to help improving the correct angle and versatility in the shoulder joint.
Next exercise was the the child pose position, it is specific to strengthen the supporting back muscles in a relaxed state. Sit in the child posing position, then lift up one of your arms in that position. I stay in the position and lift one arm each time, performed this exercise for 10 repetitions each arm, keeping the arms straight as possible.
Next, I performed the reverse snow angel drill, with my belly facing towards the floor, opposed of my back facing on the floor. Lay your front side on the floor, stretch out the arms to the front, the palms point to the floor, the legs are stretched out, the toes on the floor. Move the arms to the pelvis in a bow and the legs apart, the limbs do not have any contact to the floor, return to the starting position and then rest the limbs on ground for a moment. Repeat 10 times.
We finalised the mobility drills with Cat+Camel and Rocking cat position. To make a better stretch, Luigi told me to change the position of the wrists, changing 4 times for each position.
Then, we went back to the first drill that we started with my back facing the mirror, to see how much progress we achieved after all these physical preparation. I could see a vast improvement in my range of motion, my muscles felt more at ease and I could perform better than I did before when I started.
Next we performed an extended inchworm by walking our hands out with straight legs keep the back protracted by walking out with straight legs. It is a good way to prep the wrist and you can make it harder by reaching your arms out a bit further extending them away from your body.
Before we started the workout, Luigi wanted to test if I could hold the chin-up position on the bar for one minute. So I started the test and it was feeling long… Luigi didn’t say to stop at one minute and I hold for 1 minute and 20 seconds. The hold chin-up is great exercise to make you stronger to increase your chin-up repetitions. The workout was 5 rounds of negative chin-up during 15 seconds, followed by 12 push-ups and 1 minute hollow body. The finisher was the big killer: walking sliders.
In the end, I practise headstand. This was the second time I did headstand and I felt happy to be able to do it on my own with more control and balance.
Foam roller myofascial
Reverse snow angel drill
Cat + Camel + Rocking Cat
15 seconds negative chin-up 5 times, no rest
12 push-ups (dip in the box)
1 minute hollow body with stick