Monday, May 14, 2012

Hand presses

Hand pressing consists in, from any QM squatting position, an effort of the arms in order to detach entirely the feet from the ground. It is a useful move to throw the body quickly forward, back or sideways or to get back on one's feet after a hold or a fall on the forelimbs. It requires a full development of the arms and torso and a great pressing power. To press in forward position, one starts with the hands behind the feet, sitting on the ground. Then the legs are taken up by pressing the arms down, and the legs and torso can be raised in various postures. For the backward position, one starts squatting down with the hands in front of and close to the feet. The arms start half or quarter flexed, to bring the shoulders forward of the hands. Keep at the same time the head in extension. Then, the body can be raised onto the arms by rotating the torso and grouping the legs in. The relative position of hands and shoulder must be adjusted to maintain balance, and the head should be kept extended. One can make the move easier by placing the knees out onto the arms or by pressing the head down from the start. The sideways press can be done similarly, either from a forward or backward starting position, and then leaning sideways. One can also squat with the hands forward and to the side, and raise the legs behind and sideways. One can also train the transition between forward and backward press, which is done by rotating the torso around the shoulders, moving the legs between the arms, and going back up in the other position. Finally, for the handstand press, we start squatting with the hands in front of the feet. Start like a backward press then, once the body is well balanced on the arms, extend progressively the legs up while extending the back at the hips. The balance of the body on the arms is essential to success. As in the backward press, the shoulders must start forward of the hands, arms partly flexed. During the upward rotation of the body, balance is maintained by the extension of the lower back and hips, minute changes in shoulders, arms and head posture, and small movements of the fingers. The extension upward can go toward a full stand, in which case the arms are straightened. To come back from the press, one can simply let the legs fall back down, flexed, making sure to bring the feet close to the hands (there are also other, more dynamic techniques explained later on). The handstand press as described here is done "in strength", without momentum, and should only be attempted after mastering a regular handstand. It is also important to know all the proper falls in case of a loss of balance. The press without momentum can be made easier by starting in forward press and swinging the legs between the arms to go up.

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