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One of our visitors, Justin, submitted this gymnastics training question in our “Ask American Gymnast” section:

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“What are the most effective exercises you know or have used with gymnasts in order to develop an L-sit or Straddle L-sit, press to handstand?”
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I thought the best way to answer was to use our Gymnastics on Demand Online Video Training Program to show several gymnastics videos illustrating drills for the Straddle L-sit press to handstand.

The gymnast should first be able to do a straddle press to handstand from a basic straddle stand before learning it from the Straddle-L.  The first several videos show some drills for teaching the press to handstand from a basic straddle stand, such as doing the press against the wall to prevent “planching” during the press, and then doing the press with your feet up on a panel mat.

Once the gymnast can comfortably perform the press from the straddle stand, they can then work on pressing from the straddle-L.  The first video on this part of the press shows a great way to practice rolling back and forth into the straddle L-sit, building up the hip flexor strength to enable the gymnast to hold that position.  The next video shows how a coach can spot the press up from the straddle-L and back down to the straddle-L, while keeping the gymnast in the proper body alignment and pressing position.

These drills will hopefully get you on your way to developing some good straddle L-sit press handstands with good technique.  Thanks for the question Justin … be on the lookout for your $20 off coupon in your email soon!

If anyone has any other drills for presses that you use in your gym, feel free to post them in the comments section below.

Train Smart. Compete Hard!

Jay Thornton
American Gymnast