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catbradleyyoga catbradleyyoga

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β–« 🌟Lorraine Bradley 🌟 


Here is a visual to go with my previous post on balancing in a handstand.

Just to be clear these are the tips that work for me. I am sharing as I know how much people struggle with handstand.
Like I mentioned in my previous post - cambered hands is how I balance in handstand. No matter what leg shape I'm playing with I cannot hold it if my hands are any other way.
Have a look at the bottom right pic and give it a shot (it's a great wrist stretch too πŸ˜‰) Keep your forearms parallel to the floor and bring your hands together. Keep pressing the pads of the fingers together and pull them inwards, few l a dragging in the pads of your fingers. Whilst doing this ensure you keep the base of the index fingers pressed together and also the heel of the hand. This is exactly how my hands feel in handstand. That isometric pull back on my finger pads is what keeps me balanced and also the base of the index finger constantly pressing down helps keep pressure off the wrist.
I use this technique for every single arm balance except peacock and even then I still have some element of this technique.

I also tried to show you a close up of how my fingers work when working on the balance. Notice where my shoulders are lined up over my palms rather than my wrist.
If I want to shift my gaze I have to flex my toes (no idea why it works like that for me πŸ€”) and then I search for my toes with my gaze whilst continually protecting and elevating the shoulders.
Hope this helps for those asking what cambered hands are πŸ’™

I was asked recently what I believe to be the single magic tip that helped me find balance in handstand.... After I had worked out I wasn't going to die if I kicked up away from the wall I realised I had yet another mountain to climb- I had to work out how to stay up there AND be able to breathe!
Learning to kick up is the easy part (I still maintain learning to press first is golden!) However I know most people don't take this route and usually just go for it in the middle of a room. You find 4 or 5 seconds of hold and you know deep down in your heart that it's simply a fluke and not a controlled hold.

So I spent some time analysing my handstands to see if there was one thing I do that helps me stay there. And I think there might be something that I bet a lot of you don't do when you kick up..... Do you;
*Engage your glutes?
*Ensure scapulae are protracted before feet leave the floor?
*Use cambered hands?

It doesn't really matter what your legs are doing, you can do whatever shape feels right. They can be used as a counter balance in shapes like stag leg or split leg but otherwise my legs aren't really engaged unless I do straight HS I squeeze them together.
As soon as I kick up I squeeze my glutes and my fingers work hard to keep me balanced. I have to continually push the ground away to keep my shoulders elevated and protracted. Biceps facing forward. I also imagine my hips lining up over my palms rather than my wrists. The hips go much further back than you think they need to be. Also my upper arms are isometrically pulling towards eachother even though my biceps are facing forward.
Besides all of this I used to kick up at every opportunity I got. Ì just kicked and kicked, while cooking or watching TV basically any free second I got I kicked. L shape was my go to when I learned but for the L shape you do need to fire up the mula bandha/lower core. Otherwise my core just stays asleep in a HS. I'm not even sure I use my core unless I'm doing a straight oneπŸ™ˆ
Hope these help and if you've any questions please feel free to ask away πŸ˜™

Finally got to meet this beauty 😍
Had the best weekend in @cliffs_of_moher_retreat but my poor ego is absolutely crushed πŸ˜‚ I can barely walk and I'm still quite bitter towards the teacher for making me do 2 hrs of Yin, It took everything I had mentally to obey the ahimsa rule and not punch her πŸ˜‚ It appears Yin brings out the worst in me πŸ™ˆ

In saying that, the retreat was actually amazing! I highly recommend it to anyone of all ages! The food, the place, the teacher, the company, the views, everything was perfect and I badly needed it! πŸ’•

The highlight of course was getting to practice with @livinleggings who btw is the most stunningly gorgeous vision you'll ever see! Her page does not even do her justice! πŸ’— We did 3 classes together then played for hours, I can't wait to edit the vids although glancing through them makes my belly hurt from laughing so much πŸ™ˆ Not even sure I have anything suitable for IGπŸ˜‚ We managed to sneak in a trip to a local Irish pub and ended up stranded and had to walk(gallop) back in the pitch black & freezing cold using our phones as torches πŸ˜‚ We basically risked our lives for wine πŸ˜‚
What an amazing weekend! Thank you Livvy and James for letting me crash your weekend πŸ’— I'm off now to do some handstands to repair my damages ego πŸ˜‚ Until next time😘

I'm hanging up my yoga boots, I'm done now! I've just done a wrist tap to straddle press πŸ˜±πŸŽ‰πŸ˜± (JK I have a pike press to master first then I'm done πŸ˜‚) If anyone wants a tip for this one, I found relaxing my legs and not worrying about how straight they were worked a charm for me πŸ˜‰

Sitting here with @livinleggings in @cliffs_of_moher_retreat with a sore belly from laughing so hard today! Cannot wait to share our epic vids 😍

First Compressions really do matter πŸ˜‰ ~ ~ ~

#FirstCompressions πŸ’•(I feel if I add a heart emoji it might fool you into thinking it's a nice easy challenge πŸ˜‚) β™‘

If you'd like to make your first compression a magical one then this is the challenge for you πŸ’ͺ

This one has been a long time in the works and my crazy strong co hosts have made me work my πŸ‘ off to prep for this one behind the scenes! But don't worry this challenge is for everyone! We will have all options from A to Z πŸ˜‰

Starting October 1st for 10 days we will take you through drills and skills to help you understand the benefits of compression work and you never know you may even unlock a press if you're lucky enough and do your homeworkπŸ€“

So go start warming up now (you have 2 weeksπŸ’ͺ) and we may be extra kind and drop a day 0 soon to help you prepare..... πŸ˜‰

If you're intrigued then show us you're in by commenting below and tagging a friend to play along πŸŽ‰

Let's do this!πŸ’₯ ~~~~~~~~~~ πŸ’ž Hosts;

@stretchylexi ~~~~~~~~~~~ If you would like to be considered for a prize then go show our amazing sponsors some love 😍

@handfulbra ~~~~~~~~~~~~ If it's a date then see you all back here on October 1st😘

Front split stretches.

When i see progress posts the first thing i want to know is how long it took them to achieve that progress. For me on my previous post I was stuck in 2013 version for years. I avoided the splits because I felt it was never going to happen. I can tell you now ANYONE can train to do this. Even if you never want to get the splits the functional training involved in the prep work has amazing benefits to your overall training regardless of the end goal.

I practice these 5 stretches 4 times a week for the past 3 months. It takes me no more than 20 mins (so if you spend longer ďoing these stretches then you could progress faster) These stretches sometimes form part of a bigger routine or I just do these. Depends on my mood and energy levels. (I also work on pressing every day but I'll keep that for another post)

If you've ever had a hamstring injury then you need to use a relaxed stretching technique like legs up the wall (not folds) it has to be allowed to gently stretch without any force so you can show your hamstrings that its safe to stretch and you mean it no harm. *Always warm up first!* Leg or legs up the wall - butt to wall, legs straight.
1 leg king pigeon - keep it active by using a strap and kick back leg away.
Low lunge - try and line up the knees in one straight line. Again keep it active by kicking back leg away.
High lunge with back leg raised - this one is my fav! I usually do this off my bed but my bedroom is not IG friendly πŸ˜‚ But the key here is back leg straight. Think about what your back leg does in splits. Keep chest upright. It is an intense stretch and although you shouldn't ever stretch to the point of pain you should feel a little discomfort. Wait it out and keep both legs as active and engaged as possible. (This one kills me btw πŸ™ˆ) Over split - as crazy as it sounds this works! Use soft blocks to raise your front leg and lean back into a backbend. Use blocks under your hands if you need to.

Hope these help 😍

P.s show some love to your weak side too πŸ™ˆ

Front splits progress.... Everyone is physically capable of doing the splits (Unless you have an injury of course) I never ever did them in my life. Even as a child I could never do them. I've had to work hard on my flexibility(and strength) even more importantly I had to convince myself I am capable of doing them.
That first pic from 4 years ago was my first attempt at ever doing the splits. I thought then and there that I will never learn them and it's too late for me to start now.
The thing about splits is you have to work on them and I lost faith in achieving them so stopped practicing them, then after some study and learning alot about neuromuscular stretching I realised anyone can learn them including an almost 40yr old concrete block like me🀣

I don't slide into them of course it still takes me lots of prep work but that's reducing everyday. And I can stay fairly comfortable in them for several breaths until my hips start to panic and scream get out quick πŸ˜‚
I am putting together my mini split routine which I'll share tomorrow. And I hope it helps. I know it works because if a 39yr old can learn them then anyone can πŸ’ž

More middle split work.... they will be mine one day 😀

Here are some slightly more advanced drills i like to work on for my middle splits. I guess you could call these the options Z's πŸ˜‰

As mentioned in my previous 2 posts, WARM up first, otherwise those first drills at the wall would give you the most horrendous cramps πŸ˜‚ After a warm up they're less horrific πŸ™ˆ

I like to use the wall as it keeps me honest, trying to keep my butt glued to the wall πŸ™ˆ Its getting there but still damn hard!

I work on 3 skills almost every night - pressing, backbends and splits (all directions) I have a little mini routine for each and I can share if anyone is interested in trying to create their own routine? It's nothing fancy but it might help... ________________________

Middle split stretches.

Can anyone learn to middle split at any age, even if you've never been able to do them before?
I believe the answer is yes. (Unless you have a hip injury or deformity that prevents a lateral 90Β° rotation of the hip joint) how to test this is stand up right, keep hips totally square and raise one leg out to the side at 90Β° resting it on a table or chair. If you can do this on both sides then you are physically capable of doing the middle splits. And of course we know there is no ligament or muscle that runs from one inner thigh to the other so the only thing stopping us is our NERVOUS system. πŸ€“ (That damn nervous system 😀) Start your stretch routine after a warm up & strengtheners (See previous post) and right before bed is the best time to stretch as this works at a neuromuscular level as the increased muscle length is the last thing your nervous system remembers before going to bed.
These are just 5 of my stretches but I keep them as varied as possible.
Ask yourself why you want to do the splits at all, I work on middle splits not specifically to get my middle splits (that would be a bonus and a shock πŸ˜‚) But the increased mobility and strength gained from the routine itself lends itself very well to my main practice. Since hurting my knee last year I've had to relearn alot of hip openers as I avoided them for fear of hurting my knee again. Thankfully my knee is 100% better now but it comes with a lot of imbalances in my hips now.
1. Think prone snow angels - these are torture for me btw πŸ™ˆ You can try them face up too.
2. Side lunge with flexed foot - mind the knee and keep extended leg fully engaged.
3. Wide leg forward fold - ground sit bones down.
4. Frog with feet at wall, knees 90Β° and chest down.

5. Cow girl sliders - sway hips back and forth tucking tailbone gently. Use knee pads if needed.

Remember I have yet to get my full middle split so I am very open to any other suggestions anyone has! This is just my routine for now and thought I'd share. As soon as I get my πŸ‘ stamp I'll do a full challenge 🀣 For now I will just keep at itπŸ’ͺ


Middle splits routine.
I've broken my posts into 2 groups - first post is strengtheners and tomorrow I will post stretches. ~

I promised to share the routine im currently using to try and get my middle splits. I will do a progress pic shortly, I'll keep monitoring for a little while just yet but I have progressed by almost 1 foot! Im not kidding! I was THAT bad πŸ˜‚ ~

For a very long time I did straddle legs up the wall using ankle weights and I made zero progress! I would be in pain for days afterwards from overdoing it and then I would regress! πŸ˜” I went back to study and it turns out static holds + weak abductors (muscles that pull body part away from midline) and possibly weak adductors (muscles that pull body part into midline) too is my issue. πŸ™ˆ ~ T R Y T H E S E
1. Think of snow angels upsidedown. Im using sliders on my feet. Sliding my legs simultaneasouly into straddle and back together again. These kill me btwπŸ™ˆ ( x 25 )

2. Floating side plank, press top leg down onto blocks or chair and raise lower leg. I like to move it around, up and down and pulses. I don't hold it and I lower and lift my hip too. You should feel the top inner thigh fire up. (x 30 secs )

3. Using a soft block or ball squeeze between the knees as hard as you can, hold for 2 breaths and release. (X 25)

4. I'm using my stretchy band here, Lift the leg in the band and hover it over and back to side to side. ( X 15 each side)
5. Keeping pelvis totally square and grounded. Lower one leg as slow as you can without the opposite hip lifting from the floor. Use your adductor to lift the leg back up. (X 15 each side)

These are not static holds or stretches these are meant to be drills that help both strengthen and lengthen. Start slow and work up to the suggested reps.

Warm up first. At least 10 mins using squats, star jumps and walking lunges, if I haven't just practiced beforehand.

I then move onto stretches which I will post tomorrow.


β„ΉX 4 times per week/ approx 20 mins in total Inc stretches.
#questforthemiddlesplit 🀸

Nailed itπŸ˜‚

If you ever feel your ego needs to be reigned in a bit, go do Yoga with a 4 yr old πŸ˜‚ I need some 4 yr old bones! 😭

Ps: as awful as my middle splits are I have actually been working tirelessly on them (you should see where I started πŸ™ˆ) I have kept a diary of my progress..... as miniscule as it may be.. progress is progress. I have a routine I use every night which I can share if anyone wants to join me on my #questformymiddlesplits journeyπŸ’ͺ

L Sit with a twist πŸ˜‰

Ever feel so tired you could actually sleep standing 😭 That's me right now! I'm barely able to spell lsit let alone actually do one πŸ˜‚ So here is one I made earlier... like way earlier.... maybe months earlier 🀣

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