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Technique Tip - Opposite Side Swim + Shoulder Warm Up!

In the spotlight is a simple skill that can be daunting, especially if your shoulders are tight. Now I'll admit, I never really considered this specific maneuver to be a challenge until I experienced tight shoulders for myself! Ever since I began training my handstands consistently my shoulders have gotten much stronger ... but also tighter.

I call this week's skill Opposite Side Swim. The pathway can lead to an array of shapes and drops hence why it's important to be able to do it with ease. If you also relate to tight shoulders included are a few of my favorite exercises to warm up.

See the video below for a step-by-step breakdown.

Shoulder Warm-Up Exercises

  • Arm Circles Back 10x each arm

  • Arm Swings 10x each arm

  • Shoulder Flossing with the silk 8-10x

  • Prone Shoulder Press with Silk 8-10x

  • Shoulder Flossing with Silks in Superman 8-10x

Step 1: Begin from an opposite side knee hook (silk on right hook left).

Step 2: Release the same hand to the knee that is hooked.

Step 3: Extend your arm overhead, bend your elbow & place your hand next to your opposing ear. Scoop up the silk using the back of your hand. Pass the silk behind your head and into your opposite armpit.

Step 4: Climb above your knee, press hips forward and key over to your hooked knee side into Hip Key (one option of where you can go with this!)

COMMON MISTAKES Mistake #1 - Hooking your knee on or too close to your hand when inverting. Doing so feels very precarious and makes it dangerous to release your opposing hand. A strong inversion with lifted hips is key.

Mistake #2 - Grabbing behind your back. While it is possible to grab the silk by reaching behind your back it doesn't make for a very smooth transition and can feel 'shouldery'.

Mistake #3 - Not preparing your shoulders well enough. If you can't quite reach the silk when 'swimming' for it then it's likely you didn't prepare your shoulders well enough. Tight shoulders do make it more difficult but with a proper warm-up, you'll increase your chances of success!

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