Training Wheels

Have you ever watched a child ride a bicycle with training wheels on it? They'll usually have their weight on one side of the bike, and you'll hear an awful noise coming from that one wheel as they grind down the street.

Every once in a while the child will shift their weight to the other side, and for a brief moment the grinding wheel noise disappears as only the rubber tires are on the road. Then the other training wheel hits the road and it's back to the grind.

But for that brief second when both wheels are off the road, the child is actually riding a bicycle! The idea of training wheels is that the child can get comfortable with the sensations and muscles needed to balance on a bike, and one day leave the training wheels behind.

Today's handstand practice is very much in the same vein. Up until now you've been grinding down the street with one training wheel down. Today you're going to start shifting your weight between your wheels, and for that brief moment will actually be doing a handstand!

Let's get to work!


Begin practice as usual by warming up your wrists for a few minutes.

Next do 1-2 minutes of your Bear Walk and Slinky session. You should be feeling quite comfortable with your head down and weight on your hands by now.

Move to your wall and get ready for your main session of Square and Bear. Remember to place your hands correctly in the sweet spot where your arm bones are supporting your center of mass.

Today you're going to go into your one leg Wall Square, but with a simple twist. 

Up until now you've raised on leg, held for a bit, brought it back to the wall, then raised the other leg. One foot has had contact with the wall at all times. This is like always grinding along with one training wheel on the road.

Wall Flutters

Today you're also going to switch legs, but with a kind of flutter kick. The key is that for a brief moment you'll be completely off the wall and doing a handstand. It will look something like this.

wall dance.gif

The goal is to have your feet land lightly each time. This tells you that your center of mass is well positioned above the arms and that you're not relying on the wall too much

Do Wall Flutters for as long as you can until fatigue sets in. Rest in Child's Pose then give it another shot 2 or 3 more times. As you become more confident and comfortable, you'll find that your flutters are getting less manic and more controlled and slower paced. These are good signs of progress!

Be sure that throughout your Wall Flutters, you're always keeping your center of mass on the wall side, with no risk of toppling over to the front. We'll finally teach you how to deal with that contingency in tomorrow's lesson!