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Handstand For A Faster Swim

by Daniel Puddick
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handstand swim faster workout fitness

Want to swim faster, develop a stronger core, and look really cool? You need to be able to rock a handstand! 

I am not a believer in quick fixes. That goes for getting strong, getting fast, getting flexible, getting ripped. Living my life by the ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is’ motto has helped me avoid many scams and provided me with much needed reality. However, I believe that my challenge of mastering the handstand will help me to develop core strength, develop shoulder strength, and my final goal is to be able to do handstand push-ups. All this, and I have a goal of 2 months. 

Day 1

4 sets of 1-minute with the palms of my hands between 90cm and 1m away from the wall. By set 4 my body is shaking, my arms are shaking, and my core is screaming out. I was expecting to feel a lot more light-headed but it felt fine. Getting into position was pretty easy, walking up the wall and I didn’t feel off balance.

Day 2

For day two I did the same but with my hands closer to the wall. I felt the same pains but at least I know I'm getting stronger!

Day 3

On day four my palms are 70cm away from the wall; 1 foot closer than a few days ago. I'm now up to sets of 5 for 1-minute each and I am resting for 4 minutes between. The last 2 sets were very tough: my shaky arms were just screaming out for the minute to end. Oh, and the dismount (I’m guessing that’s what coming down off the wall is officially called) needs some work. A kind of splat at the base of the wall doesn’t feel very elegant. 

Week 2

Feeling fresh after the weekend, I got my palms to 60cm from the wall. Woah, feels a bit steep! But OK. Mixing this up with some press-ups and a few sit-ups, the minute timer on my phone could not come sooner by the third set.

A couple of days into week two and my palms are now just 50cm away from the wall. It seems a little easier to hold the minute today and my feet feel light against the wall. Feels to me like the beginning of a handstand!

After about 1 month my palms are more or less 30cm away from the wall. Mind over matter “I won’t fall over. I won’t fall over”. It is certainly a workout on the wrists from the lack of flexibility.

Now in the second month (end of week 1) I have now dropped my rest intervals down to 3 minutes between each minute of handstand-planking against the wall. Repeating for 5 sets. Not sure when that slipped in but it has! (I am sure I started at 4). I am also only doing this week days. So I am feeling stronger and now I think ready to take the leap of faith into the second stage whatever that may be.

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