Whether you’re looking to lift into cheststands or increase the height of your trapeze beats, you’ll want to thoroughly warm up your hip extension and back. After you’ve done some muscle activation work (think child’s pose leg lifts, woodpeckers, and slow cobras), consider adding some dynamic lifts. If you don’t train you need dynamic mobility, train it dynamically!
It’s important to do these off of the edge of a bench or spotting block, so your pelvis can curl as your legs come down and arch as you lift.
Place your arms overhead and hold on. Wrap your scapula around your armpits and close your ribs.
In the legs together versions, you are trying to lift them as high as you can using your underbutt.
In the legs apart versions, you are try to add in the back to lift as high as you can.
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Here’s one of my favorite exercises to improve active shoulder flexion while in end-range thoracic extension. Cat Scratchers are great for Mexican handstands!
You can use a band, strap, or block between your elbows to encourage engagement through your arms.
1️⃣ Face the wall seated on your heels with your knees touching it. (If this exercise feels easy, just move your knees progressively away from the wall.
2️⃣ Bring your hands and rest them on the wall, palms facing each other, elbows straight.
3️⃣ Elevate your shoulders and externally rotate, wrapping your scapula around your armpits (like in a handstand).
4️⃣ Press your hands into the wall and start to slide them overhead. Look between your hands and lift your sternum while drawing your sits bones back in opposition. Stop when your sternum rests on the wall. (If you cannot reach the wall, lift your butt off of your heels just enough so you can without changing the position of your pelvis.)
5️⃣ Continue to wrap around the armpits and lift your arms off of the wall for 5-10 pulses. (If you cannot lift off of the wall, lift your butt off of your heels just enough so you can without changing the position of your pelvis.)
6️⃣ (Slide back down the wall if you have slid up.) Curl the pelvis and ripple to the spine to return to your start position.
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