The Kneel to Handstand

by Francis Tabin
October 9, 2016

The Silver Fox may be a cocky bastard, but he still knows his stuff. The primary move he uses in Acro Adventures 3 is the kneel to handstand, which is one of the very first things I learned for handstands from Niko (the real life Niko Douwes :D)

You sit on your heels (option to tuck toes in or not) and then place your hands beside your knees. Then trying to use the lift generated by your legs, core and shoulders, tuck and roll into an inversion. I am still practicing this movement going to the tuck myself.
An additional progression into it that I learned from Fons (real life counterpart of The Fons) is to get into the full leg extension without jumping to get used to bringing the energy upwards using the core. After a couple of tries, you add the jump to the end and go for the stacked handstand. The goal is to find the movement that requires the least amount of jump. In other words, lifting using the core and not just the legs.

Three things this movement is valuable for:

  1. To build the courage and muscle memory to roll into the stack – it’s initially terrifying to do it, and by my experience it is one of the biggest reasons that stop people from getting their handstands. However, the roll is so important not just for the handstand but for any other inversion in acro. The more comfortable and natural you get rolling into an inverted stack, the easier a lot of things will be in acro. And getting this movement natural in your body will help immensely.
  2. Training to keep the core engaged the whole time – especially if you do Fons’ progression, it makes it a lot simpler to catch when your core disengages. And trust me, it will if you’re just starting.
  3. Learning how to pour weight into the hands – As a handstander or a flyer in acro, shifting weight to the hands is a vital skill. This exercise builds strength & confidence in your arms to take more weight, and also how it feels to take that weight from a different part of your body to your hands.

Try it for yourself! But please, don’t ever use it to kick someone. Let’s leave that in the comics. :D

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