When it comes to your training, how's your compression? Now I'm not talking about those compression tights or socks ... but your ability to meet your upper and lower half together. Think *human sandwich!
Having good compression mainly requires active hamstring flexibility, hip flexor strength and core strength. We utilize compression in the air anytime we invert, tuck or pike our legs. Certain skills require more compression than others.
In addition, compression is imperative when it comes to skills like pressing to handstand. Something I wasn't fully aware of until I started training handstands seriously.
When I say human sandwich - the two parts of your body that draw towards each other are your lower tummy area and the top of your thighs. Sometimes this is achieved with bent legs and other times with straight.
This week I'm sharing my top 3 favorite exercises to improve your compression. Make sure you're nice and warm and have given your hamstrings some love prior!
*Keep in mind if you have anything nervy going on like sciatica or a lower back injury compression is something you may want to avoid training as it might aggravate it more. You know your body best!
Hollow Body to Single Leg Extensions -
Begin from hollow body, exhale as you draw abs in & lift up in a seated tabletop position. Squeeze knees together as you straighten one leg at a time holding for 3-5 counts at the top. Lower to hollow body and repeat 6-8x.
*For an added challenge extend both legs at the same time. Aim to use control and not momentum when extending
Lie on your back with one knee bent and foot on the floor with your opposite leg reaching long. Lengthen arms overhead and draw ribs in.
Exhale as you sit up, lift your straight leg and reach toward your foot, inhale to lower to your starting position. Aim to keep your leg straight by engaging your quad muscle.
Repeat 10-20x each side
Leg Lifts in a V & Pike
Sit with legs in a small V position. Elongate your spine and draw abs in. Align hands with knees (or even further forward for an added challenge). Lift legs up and down with control 10x aiming to keep them straight throughout. Repeat the same in a pike position 10x.
I'm confident if you repeat these exercises a few times per week your compression will improve!
In addition, if handstands are something you'd like to add to your training repertoire you still have time to grab your spot in our online course The Handstand Method!
Not only are handstands a cool party trick and make for fab Instagram photos, but they're also a great way to cross-train. Since aerial requires pulling and handstands require pushing it's a win-win for balancing out your shoulder strength!
>> To learn more and grab your spot click here.
Enrollment is open through this Thursday, May 26th at 6 pm pst.
Cheers to improved compression!