Today we're back with another Workout Wednesday and I wanted to share my new favorite challenge. They're handstand shoulder taps and I've only been practicing them for about a month which means they are far from perfect, but they make me feel so good and therefore I am obsessed with working on them.
They really work upper body strength, making them an excellent complement to the yoga practice for my people working on arm balances, and they really test balance and handstand foundation. The video below was taken at the end of about twenty minutes of practicing them so I was exhausted, but the next day I felt so sore in the best possible way. I knew I had worked muscles that I just haven't worked much in the past, so I am excited to keep practicing and increase strength.
And then a few weeks later I practiced them at the end of a long workout so I didn't feel like I got as many shoulder taps as I normally do, but I am starting to feel more solid when I get up into the handstand. It's just a matter of having the endurance to hold myself up as I lift up the hand to tap.
If you're just starting out, start against a wall. Look between your hands and transfer the weight to one hand as you tap the shoulder with your other. Then switch. If you feel ready to move away from the wall, go for it! Just be sure you are fully warmed up so that if you fall forward into a backbend your chest and back will be able to handle it. The most I got before losing my balance is three taps, so I'm on a mission to make it to ten. I think with consistent practice I'll be able to get there.
The other thing I've been working on is fine tuning my cleans. Olympic lifts are really fun for me because they feel like such a challenge, especially given that I'm relatively new to them. There's a lot going on with a clean. You have the set up with the butt back and the back neutral. Then I visualize starting of the lift with the hamstrings fired (I legit think of flicking a switch that turns on my hammies, haha), and then the middle of the lift you have the hip extension and simultaneous shug and jump and then I try to land at the same time as I catch the bar on my shoulders. All while keeping the bar in one straight line, theoretically.
When I first started cleans, they were awful. I was basically just using my arms for the entire lift. Now I feel like I've got it down a bit more and the other day I used my phone to film a clean just so I could put it in slow-mo and see if I had all the pieces of the puzzle. And that's why I am 100% in favor of taking video at the gym - because a lot like the yoga practice - what you may feel like you're doing may not be what you're actually doing so a video to evaluate is nice once in a while. So I encourage you to whip out your phone any time you're practicing or are at the gym and do a little video on your first or last set. Then, slow it down to see all the finer points of the movement to note where you can improve.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Corning® Gorilla® Glass. The opinions and text are all mine.