Monday, February 18, 2013

Video + exercise description - Shoulderstand Squats

Hey guys,

It's time to start to work at your legs...
As many of you might have seen, lots of people spend big efforts on improving the upper body muscles (in fact even there most effort is spended on the front side). The main reason is optical improvement...big chest and broad shoulders can be seen even if you wear clothes. You can see your abs at least sometimes, when you go to the bathroom. Those are some incontrovertible arguments...if you just pay attention to the good-looking-at-the-first-sight stuff. But...this sort of "focused" training has nothing to do with gaining real overall strength or a good health (you gonna get some muscular imbalance instead). You need to train your whole body guys! And main parts of your body are your legs and your butt (with a lot of big powerful muscles). You need them for almost everything you do in your life (even getting up from a chair is impossible for people with very weak leg muscles). Btw...Musculus glutaeus maximus (a muscle at your butt) is the one with the highest volume in the human body...and also the most important one for a nice buttock. Another point why training for the legs is important is because people with big arms, a well-trained chest and a sixpack still look ridiculous in shorts if they deny training their legs ;)
So here we are...some of you might be confused why they should start with Shoulderstand Squats for working their legs. Guys, it's just a start...your legs just need to do a little work but you gonna build up stronger joints (lots of people with knee problems know why joints are so important) and don't put to much pressure on them in the beginning. Joint improvement is much slower then muscle improvement due to a worse supply. They just need more time...give it to them (strong muscle work can cause injuries if the joints are not prepared well). A second and third reason why to start with this exercise, in the beginning, is to build up more flexibility (range of motion) and overall muscle interaction.

Enough talk...let's start with the how-to-perform explanation:

First to say...due to insufficient strength in my hips my posture is not perfect.
Start by lying on your back with knees well bent. Now kick against the floor while pushing with your hand until you are straight in a shoulderstand position (as you could see in the beginning of the video). For supporting the position place your hands at your lower back. The pressure should be on your upper arms, upper back and shoulders...NOT on your neck!  Perfect posture would be if your body is totally straight (not bent in your hips or legs). Keep your torso as stable and straight as possible and bend at the hips and knees until you smoothly touch your forehead with your knees (2 sec). Hold for a count (if you want to, you can skip that count in this particular exercise). Extend your legs until you reach the shoulderstand (2 sec) and repeat the movement without a rest. If you can't manage to meet the target instantly, do as much reps as possible until you can do the requested amount.

Target: 3 sets of 50 reps

Paul recommends to do the exercise only once a week but I prefer to do it twice (see "The Plan").

As you could see in the video I still struggle a bit with this exercise but it improves every time I practise.