A bumper plate is a simple tool with which to get an athlete to feel the proper body position needed for a handstand, says CrossFit Level 1 Seminar Staff member Camille Leblanc-Bazinet.
With a bumper plate held overhead, the athlete will learn to squeeze his butt and bring down the rib cage with the abs, eliminating the excessive lower-back arch often seen in inverted athletes.
“I really like this drill just for that, just to understand how to position their body and which muscles should be working,” Leblanc-Bazinet says as her husband, fellow Level 1 Seminar Staff member Dave Lipson, demonstrates at the CrossFit Inc. gym in Scotts Valley, Calif.
Next, she has Lipson do a half wall walk and hold the body at a 45-degree angle to the floor. In this position, the athlete learns how to press into the floor, creating an active position characterized by straight elbows and midline stability.
Afterward, it’s time to try wall-facing handstands with only the toes touching the wall. Eventually, Leblanc-Bazinet will ask the athlete to remove his toes from the wall to find balance in the strong support position.
“That way you really make your athletes work with their brain,” Leblanc-Bazinet says.
Video by Tyson Oldroyd and Eric Maciel.
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Additional reading: Getting Inverted by Jeff Tucker and Dusty Hyland, published Sept. 30, 2011.