Get inverted

August 12, 2017 | Author: A. | Category: Foot, Elbow, Anatomical Terms Of Motion, Hand, Musculoskeletal System
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hello there From the moment I was moving I have enjoyed tumbling around and being upside down. During primary school you could find me on the playground. I was the monkey bar kid. If I wasn’t on the playground I was most likely climbing trees (and falling out of them). I didn’t do gymnastics as a child so my form was never spot on but I loved headstands, cartwheeling, and backyard handstand competitions. My love of being upside down was reignited in 2013 when I began my journey to manage my scoliosis and the associated pain. After a lot of trial and error (broken clocks, flower vases, and footprint covered walls) I began to feel more confident upside down. From there, I attended arm balancing and inversion workshops and have now completed my ACROVINYASA teacher training. You can read more about my journey on www.ellefitactive.com. For me, being upside down has numerous benefits. Performing inversions has helped me rediscover and release my inner child, improve strength, develop greater physical awareness, enhance my concentration, and flip my perspective (mind and body).

Try something new Challenge yourself!

follow me @elle_fit I @ellefitactive

elle fit active I www.ellefitactive.com I © 2015 elle fit active

2

check out the elle fit active guides that compliment ‘get inverted’

what are they? get bendy

get split

back to basics full body stretching guide. great for overall flexibility.

comprehensive lower body stretching guide. not just for those interested in doing the splits. download at www.ellefitactive.com

@elle_fit I @ellefitactive

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3

contents hello there important stuff safety first

5

common questions 6 reminders 7 warming up 7

get ready wrist stretches 8 core 9-11 tightness drills 12 body positions 13 visualisation 14 breathing 14 focus point 14 spotting 15

time to get inverted shoulderstand 17-18 plow

19-20

crow & crane 21-22 tripod headstand 23-25 headstand 26-30 forearmstand 31-35 forearm scorpion safety 36 forearm scorpion

37-39

handstand drills 40 handstand assists 41-43 handstand correction 44 handstand exits 45 handstand with wall 46 handstand 47-49

extra stuff lift variations 51 leg variations 52 counterposes 54

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4

safety first As with all exercise, seek medical clearance before commencing. If you have any preexisting injuries or concerns be sure to have these checked with a healthcare professional. If at anytime during stretching and inversions you notice any unusual pain STOP immediately and seek advice from a healthcare professional. Acting quickly may prevent injuries from worsening. Elle Fit Active cannot be held responsible for any injuries. This is an inherently risky activity and you must be sure to take necessary safety precautions. By purchasing this guide you agree that you follow this guide at your own risk.

For Women There are varying points of views regarding inversions whilst menstruating. Please research this and form your own opinion. Personally, I avoid inversions during that time of the month. Please be aware, this guide is not designed for pregnant or postpartum women.

@elle_fit I @ellefitactive

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5

common questions WRISTS What do I do if my wrists hurt during arm balances and inversions? Make sure you warm up each time (see ‘wrist stretches’). Fold up your mat to create more padding and to reduce the angle of your wrists. Your wrists need time to strengthen, rest when required. Shorter and more frequent sessions may be the way to go. NECK My neck feels sore in headstands, what can I do? When doing a headstand it is extremely important to protect your neck. For a tripod headstand have weight in your hands. For a normal headstand press into your forearms and lift through your shoulders. This will take the pressure off your neck. BLOOD RUSH - EXPLODING HEAD My head feels like it is going to explode when I’m upside down, is this normal? Your body spends most of its time with feet on the ground. It will take time for it to get used to being up the other way. See the Blog on ellefitactive.com for more information. ARCHING - BANANA BACK When I do inversions my back arches a lot, what can I do? Pull your belly button toward your spine to create a hollow shape (see ‘body positions’). Why is it important to stay straight? When you stand up straight on your feet, your body only requires tiny adjustments to balance. The same goes for when you are upside down. When your wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, and legs are stacked in one straight line (e.g. in a handstand) your body can balance without too much effort.

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6

reminders Listen to your body. Know your limits. Plan an exit strategy for getting out of inversions. Laugh off stacks!! Practise in a safe, uncrowded space. Use a spotter and/or a wall until confident. Check your alignment by taking photos and videos.

warming up Warming up before inverting is important. On the following pages are a few examples of wrist stretches and core exercises. For more stretching ideas check out

Get bendy & Get split which are available

for download at ellefitactive.com.

UNLEASH YOUR INNER CHILD HAVE FUN! @elle_fit I @ellefitactive

elle fit active I www.ellefitactive.com I © 2015 elle fit active

7

wrist stretches 1

2

3

4

5

6

1 2 3 4 5-6

Begin on all fours for each of these stretches Gently place tops of hands on floor with fingers facing towards knees. Place palms of hands on floor with fingers towards knees. From photo 2 gently lean back to enhance stretch. Place palms of hands on floor with fingers facing forwards. Gently lean forward. Place palms of hands on floor with fingers facing outwards. Gently shift weight from side to side.

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8

core warm up your core... ...But not too much. You have inversions to do! 1

2

3

4

Hold

1 2 3 4

Upper plank Lower plank Forearm plank – arms shoulder width apart Forearm plank – hands interlaced

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9

core 5

6

7

8

9

10

5 6 7 8 9 10

Hold

Tiger curl One legged plank Downward dog – shoulders over wrists Downward dog – push up Modified boat pose Boat pose

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10

core 11

12

13

14

15

16

11 Dish 12 Extended dish 13 Bicycle legs – left knee to right elbow 14 Bicycle legs – right knee to left elbow 15 Scissor kicks – right leg 16 Scissor kicks – left leg

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11

tightness drills 1

2

3

4

5

1 2 3-5

Plank drills with a partner Begin in an upper plank position. Lift one leg at a time placing ankles into partner’s hands. Hold a strong plank position. Keep core engaged whilst partner releases one ankle. Repeat on other side. Keep core engaged whilst moving forward one hand at a time whilst partner holds both ankles.

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12

body positions 1

3

2

Straight

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Arch

Hollow

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visualisation Imagining how a pose looks and how to get there is an important step towards success.

Picture in your mind how you are going to get into the pose, hold it,



and exit smoothly.



Channel your inner child/ gymnast/ cheerleader.



Visualise every moment.



Tell yourself you can do it.

breathing Remember to breathe whilst inverting so the supply of oxygen to your muscles is maximised. Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.

focus point Focusing on a specific point helps with balance and stability. Pick a spot appropriate to the pose (eg. floor or wall).

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spotting 1

2

3

Practising with a friend has many benefits SAFETY A spotter can offer physical assistance and be an extra set of eyes making sure you are safe. This person can help with every stage of a pose - entry, holding, and exiting. FEAR FACTOR Being upside down can feel strange. A spotter (as opposed to a wall) can offer words of encouragement and hands on support. ALIGNMENT Having another set of eyes on your body and a voice helping you is a great way to improve alignment. DISORIENTATION Proprioception is the ability to sense where your body is in space. Working with a spotter can help you have better body awareness when you are upside down. Having a friend help you into a pose lets you know how it should feel. This helps with body awareness and creates a mental imprint. @elle_fit I @ellefitactive

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15

woo hooo!

time to get inverted

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shoulderstand 1

2

3

4

1 2 3 4

Begin on back Bring knees to chest. Place hands at lower back whilst lifting hips over shoulders. If concerned about feet flipping overhead - position body in front of wall. Keep core and legs engaged. If required – place folded towel or blanket under shoulders to cushion neck and upper spine. Keep core and legs engaged. @elle_fit I @ellefitactive

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shoulderstand 5

5

Hug elbows inwards. Create a straight line with your body. Keep core and legs engaged. @elle_fit I @ellefitactive

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plow 1

2

3

4

Place folded towel or blanket under shoulders to cushion neck & upper spine.

1 2 3-4

Begin on back or from shoulderstand Place hands on lower back whilst lifting hips over shoulders. If feet struggle to reach floor – position body in front of wall. Slowly walk feet down wall. Place folded towel or blanket under shoulders to cushion neck and upper spine. Bring feet overhead whilst supporting lower back.

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19

plow 5

6

5 6

Extend arms behind body for plow pose. Variation - bend knees and gently press against ears for deaf man’s pose.

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20

crow & crane 1

2

3

4

Face plant pillow

1 2 3 4

Begin in squat position with palms flat on floor shoulder distance apart. Lift hips up high, bend elbows, and place knees on back of upper arms (close to armpits). If uncomfortable place knees slightly to the outside of upper arms. Engage core and round shoulders. Press down firmly through fingertips, and move weight forward while keeping head lifted. Lift one foot up at a time towards hips. Place a cushion on the ground if concerned about falling forward.

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21

crow & crane 5

If concerned about face planting... Have a spotter kneel in a low lunge with hands ready to support your shoulders.

6

6 7

7

Find your balance and press big toes together, pulling heels towards hips. Gaze at a point on floor and hold crow. For crane pose – extend arms straight. Lean slightly forward to counterbalance.

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22

tripod headstand 1

2

3

1-3

Breathe comfortably whilst in a headstand position and be sure not to move or twist your head or neck Begin in kneeling position with hands on floor shoulder distance apart and spread fingers. Place crown of head on floor creating a triangular shape between hands and head. Lift knees and walk feet towards body, bringing hips above shoulders. Have spotter stand with feet at hip width distance apart and knees slightly bent. Spotter’s hands can assist with lifting the hips over the shoulders. Lean into spotter if required whilst lifting legs. @elle_fit I @ellefitactive

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23

tripod headstand 4

5

6

7

4 5 6 7

Begin in kneeling position with hands on floor shoulder distance apart and spread fingers. Place crown of head on floor creating a triangular shape between hands and head. Lift knees and walk feet towards body, bringing hips above shoulders. Place knees one at a time on upper arms. Draw knees into a small tuck position. Stay in this position until confident. Extend one leg into the air and then the other. @elle_fit I @ellefitactive

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24

tripod headstand 8

8

Keep elbows in line with shoulders and elbows stacked over wrists (90 degree angle), lift through shoulders to protect neck, engage core, squeeze legs together, and extend through toes. Be sure not to move or twist your head or neck. @elle_fit I @ellefitactive

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25

headstand 1

2

3

4

1 2 3 4

Begin in kneeling position with elbows on floor. Clasp each elbow with opposite hand to check that elbows are shoulder width distance apart. Keep elbows in this position and interlace fingers. Place crown of head on floor. Cup back of head with hands. Lift knees and walk feet towards body, bringing hips above shoulders. Push into forearms and lift through shoulders to take pressure off head and neck.

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26

headstand 5

6

Stay in a tuck position until you are confident and stable. remember to breathe!

5 6

Draw knees into a small tuck position. Stay in this position until confident. Extend one leg into the air and then the other.

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27

headstand 7

8

Grab a friend!

7 8

Have spotter stand with feet at hip width distance apart and knees slightly bent. Spotter’s hands can assist with lifting hips over shoulders. Lean into spotter if required whilst lifting legs.

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28

headstand 9

10

the wall can be your friend too!

11

12

reach through toes

lift through shoulders 9-12

keep legs & core strong

press into forearms

Position body in front of wall and repeat steps in photos 1-4. With control, draw knees into a small tuck position. Stay in this position until confident. Extend one leg into the air and then the other. Press into forearms and lift through shoulders to protect neck. Engage core, squeeze legs together, and extend through toes. Use wall as required for support. Avoid an arched back as much as possible. @elle_fit I @ellefitactive

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29

headstand 13

13

Press into forearms and lift through shoulders to protect neck. Engage core, squeeze legs together, and extend through toes. @elle_fit I @ellefitactive

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30

forearmstand 1

2

gently kick up try not to hit your friend!

1 2

Have spotter stand with feet at hip width distance apart and knees slightly bent. Begin in dolphin pose with forearms parallel. Walk feet in towards hands as much as possible. Bring shoulders above elbows. Extend one leg up straight. Lightly kick up the other leg. While kicking up, maintain 90 degree angle between forearm and upper arm, keep pressing away from floor.

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31

forearmstand 3

3 4

4

If back is arching have spotter assist in finding alignment. Bring head to neutral to form a straight spine. Slowly return gaze to floor when comfortable.

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32

forearmstand 5

7

6

wash your feet before using the wall!

5-7

Position body in dolphin pose with feet close to wall. Slowly walk feet up wall and shuffle upper body towards wall.



Create a straight line from hips to elbows with feet gently resting on wall. Slowly bring one leg away from the wall at a time finding balance.



Engage core, squeeze legs together, extend through toes.



Facing the wall this way encourages correct alignment. If facing opposite way, arching will occur (we don’t want this).

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33

forearmstand 8

9

10

8-10

Begin in dolphin pose with forearms parallel. Walk feet in towards hands as much as possible. Bring shoulders above elbows. Extend one leg up straight. Lightly kick up the other leg. While kicking up, maintain 90 degree angle between forearm and upper arm, keep pressing away from floor.

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34

forearmstand 11

11

Press forearms into floor, lift through shoulders, engage core, squeeze legs together, extend through toes.

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35

forearm scorpion safety before attempting a forearm scorpion... make sure you are comfortable in a forearm backbend this pose requires considerable shoulder flexibility

a forearm backbend is a common place to end up when safely falling out of scorpion

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36

forearm scorpion 1

2

3

with wall...

4

1 2-3 4 5

5

Begin in dolphin pose with fingertips facing wall and forearms parallel. Extend one leg up straight. Lightly kick up the other leg then rest both feet on wall. Shift gaze forward and bring chest through and begin to walk feet down wall. Bring feet towards head and find balance. @elle_fit I @ellefitactive

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37

forearm scorpion 6

7

without wall...

8

6 7-9

9

Gently kick up into straight forearmstand. Shift gaze forward and bring chest through whilst bending legs. Continue to bring feet towards head and find balance.

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38

forearm scorpion 10

10

Bend knees further and press feet towards head.

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39

handstand drills 1

2

1 2 3

3

Begin in an upper plank position with spotter holding ankles. Shift hips over shoulders creating a right angle. Lift one leg to straight whilst spotter holds other ankle. @elle_fit I @ellefitactive

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40

handstand assists 1

2

3

4

1 2 3 4

Begin in a downward dog position Have spotter pick up one leg and place it on their shoulder. Press into spotter’s shoulder with ankle and lift other leg up straight. Have spotter grab both feet and assist you into a straight position. Have spotter move to the side and gently assist if required.

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41

handstand assists 5

6

make sure spotter stands to the side you don’t want to kick the spotter!

5 6

Have spotter stand to the side with their hands lightly on your hips. Gently kick up whilst spotter assists in bringing hips over shoulders.

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42

handstand assists 7

7-8

8

Have spotter move to the side and gently assist if required.

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43

handstand correction 1

3

2

Arch

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Neutral

Return gaze to floor

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44

handstand exits 1

2

3

Practice cartwheeling to one side to exit a handstand

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45

handstand with wall 1

3

2

feet float away from wall

pike at hips

Using a wall encourages a hollow pike position

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46

handstand 1

2

4

1 2 3 4-5

3

5

Begin in downward dog position. Bring shoulders over wrists. Raise onto balls of feet (tip toes). Step one foot slightly forward. Lift one leg into the air. Gently kick up into a handstand.

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47

handstand 6

7

stack wrists, shoulders, and hips!

6 7

Begin in a narrow downward dog position on balls of feet. Gently jump up in a tuck position and bring hips over shoulders.

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48

handstand 8

8

Arms straight, press away from ground, engage core, squeeze legs together, extend through toes. @elle_fit I @ellefitactive

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49

have a go at these variations

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50

lift variations 1

3

2

Tuck

Pike

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Piked Straddle

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51

leg variations 1

3

2

5

7

6

Stag

Front Split

9

Half Lotus

8

Full Lotus

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Double Stag

Open Stag

11

10

Piked Straddle

Pike

Tuck

Straight

4

12

Bound Angle

Open Straddle

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52

give your spine some loving with these counterposes @elle_fit I @ellefitactive

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53

counterposes 1

2

3

4

5

try these before and after inversions to keep your back happy 1 2-4 5

Child’s pose Table top – cow pose – cat pose Begin in table top. Gently place head on floor and grab heels with hands. Arch back to enhance stretch.

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54

have fun be safe remember to stretch download get bendy & get split at www.ellefitactive.com @elle_fit I @ellefitactive

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55

happy inverting

@elle_fit

@ellefitactive

elle fit active

www.ellefitactive.com

Copyright © 2015 elle fit active. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Photography by @AndreCois I Design by @PeterSedlacik, creacreastudio.com | Spotter @ActiveWithD

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