What to do with your fears in handstands and contortion.
Fear is a natural emotion instilled in all of us. It's great emotion to have as it helps protect us; but is it limiting you from being able to progress?
There are certain tricks that I still do that scares me and this is just part of the journey. Here, I'd like to share a few steps that I do for myself to help overcome my some of my fears.
1. Baby Steps (practicing safe progression)
I fully understand that you'd like to jump straight into this cool trick that you've seen but you'll need hold your horses, slow down and be VERY honest with yourself on where you're at- physically and mentally.
If you're afraid of being upside down and unsure if you have the strength to hold yourself up against the wall? Maybe start on your hands with your feet still on the ground. Elevating your feet up higher each time to train your endurance, strength and build some confidence.
In saying that, you'll also need to know how to engage your muscles correctly which we will discuss next...
You'll need to trust your body and a couple of ways to do that is to build a better mind-body connection and increasing your overall strength.
A dropback requires a lot of strength, isolations work and body awareness; we aren't just going into a dropback using just our lower back and hips but we need to learn how to engage our shoulders, neck, lats, upperback and core.
We want to break things down into smaller, manageable bite sized pieces and training each muscle one at a time.
Isolation training and actually noticing and truly feeling how the muscles contract and relax is essential.
3. Using external objects
You can use a wall to kick up into handstands or if you're in a chest stand, perhaps use a chair under your feet to help support you in this movement.
Just remember that the external object is used as part of our progression and relying on it too much will just impact you negatively. It's a way for you to test and see what you need to work on - maybe strength on your lower back, endurance or isolations.
4. Hire an experienced coach
If you do feel "stuck", hire an experienced coach who'll be able to help you with these progressions.
An experienced coach will be able to help you build progression that you need for the particular trick you're working on and take note that they tend to also be your personal cheerleader.
This basically helps reduce the mental blockage you're experiencing as you know that there's an extra set of eyes to watch over you.