Return to Sport - Why do Handstands?
When it comes to load bearing exercises overhead movements such as handstands can be very effective when incorporated accordingly - Here’s why:
This athlete here has a history of being a gymnast and is now a collegiate diver.
Both sports require a sufficient amount of shoulder stability/mobility in all planes in order to be successful for their sport.
Part of her return to sport protocol is exposing the musculature of the shoulders to different training stimuli. We still do the traditional lifts along with a few other untraditional lifts such as handstand walks.
I would argue that there are other exercises that could be used to elicit the same adaptation.
But, for this specific athlete handstands have always been a big part of HER life. To continue through a successful return to sport protocol sometimes to promote confidence that athlete needs to feel empowered by feeling and seeing that he or she can execute specific lifts.
The protocols are the same:
Create consistent habits in and outside the weight room
If those can be met then long term success for any sport is more likely to be achieved. Helping an athlete return to their sport is more than just prescribing exercises and being present.
It’s a combination of knowing when to push the athlete out of their comfort zone and understanding what tools could be used to get them performing at a higher level.