Deadlift Elbow Stand Help

 
PaulettePoles

Got a question!

Ive done yoga for years and lots of headstands...

I can deadlift my legs no prob up and down in a headstand, but when I try in an elbow stand, I cant! (or pencil) Ive been working really hard at it the last couple weeks and all that has happenned is I am now really good at it in headstand. What could I possibly be doing wrong, and does it make sense that I should be able to do it or is the muscle placement so different that it requires different strength? Thanks for any help / tips/ responses! :)
Oct 15, 2011
emotioncatcher

without a pole or wall i think the headstand is easier to balance (at least for me^^)

did you try it against something?

the most important thing is to place your feet close to your head, straighten them and lean over until your hips are over your shoulder. then you legs should lift nearly automatically ^^ 

if you use a pole, you should keep some distance, so that you can lean over enough
Oct 15, 2011
PlatinumAni

I replied on my video but wanted to add that watching it back, the best ones my hips were really over my shoulders.
Oct 15, 2011
amy
In a headstand, you are actively pushing away from the ground with your hands and arms. In a forearm stand, you may be forgetting to do that?
Oct 15, 2011
PaulettePoles

Thanks for the tips! I will try them tomorrow and let you know how it goes.. :)
Oct 15, 2011
Tine007

I'm not sure it is anatomically possible to deadlift and elbow stand (unless you're contortionist, maybe?).

Even the most advanced yogis I've seen and who can deadlift a headstand and handstand in the middle of the room always go into forearm stand one leg leading, even if it happens super slow and controlled.

My teacher explained in an inversions workshop that forearm stand is actually harder to get into than a handstand (even one leg at a time) because it is much more difficult to bring your heart forward through your arms due to the position of your shoulders. This however is what enables you to bring your hips over your shoulders, which makes lifting sooooo much easier :)

I can dead lift into headstands, handstand w. back against the pole and Iguana mount, but for forearm stand it feels like my shoulders won't allow to hips over my shoulders enough.

For the iguana, try bringing your head closer to the ground, that helps getting the hips over the shoulders and you don't have to lift as high :)
Oct 15, 2011
emotioncatcher

@ tine: against a pole or wall it´s definitly possible. you can lean your hips enough over so that your feet can´t do anything else but lift =)

i have a tutorial on it where you could see: [www.youtube.com]
Oct 16, 2011
mizvix

It is possible - i'm not a particularly gymnasticy person but have been working for months on being able to deadlift into a straddle elbowstand. i always do it away from poles and walls to ensure that i'm not using them for support (but my core is strong and i'm confident that i won't overbalance). i started by lifting one leg, then the other and then holding different leg shapes and straddling down slowly.  i focus on is keeping my arms, shoulders and tum engaged and pull my legs up from my tum. one of my friends keeps her elbows wide to keep her more stable, as close to a 'tripod' headsand as she can get with elbows down.
Oct 16, 2011
amy
I always tell students to set up their forearms a little bit in front of the pole, not with your hands wrapped around the base. If you wrap it is much more difficult (or anatomically impossible!) to stack your weight properly with a rounded back. I did this Tuesday tips that goes into way more detail, hope it helps!

[aerialamy.com]
Oct 16, 2011
Veena
You don't have to be a gymnast to deadlift from an elbowstand, I can do it with straight legs or v legs. Your balance points are different in the headstand than the elbow! Headstand you can lift up even if your weight is a bit forward the forearm however you have to have your butt/hips over your head/shoulders you also have to place the elbows right and the shoulders must be engaged, hamstring and shoulder flexibility is needed and triceps and core strength will help you control the move. I go over all of this in the lesson..... Elbowstands like handstands and forearmstands take time!!!!! Don't expect to master this in a few tries!
Oct 16, 2011
Veena
Oh I should also add you will not be able to hold or be close to the base of the pole/wall if your deadlifting with straight legs, because the hips have to move way beyond the shoulders :)
Oct 16, 2011
PaulettePoles

Hopefully TODAY I will be able to go try out your tips! Going to watch your video now @emotioncatcher and then off to your blog @amy, @veena- I am so dumb! I have your lessons and havnet watched this one. My daughter has been in the hospital- which is 2 cities away from my home, I have 2 other kids and my hubby is out of towm so I have had 0 time to pole or anything this last week. Today is a new day!
Oct 17, 2011
Veena
Oh lol well good luck. Hope you find the lesson helpful!
Oct 17, 2011
sparrow

Paulette--well, I can do elbowstands finally after a LOT of practice, but handstands I can't do yet. Interesting how some things come easier than others. GL!!!

Now today I tried the straddle into a backbend, can the experts on here critique?? [www.youtube.com]

 

 
Oct 17, 2011
emotioncatcher

@sparrow: looks very pretty! i like that you lie down on your back instead of lifting your feet back, never seen this on a pole before like this =)
Oct 17, 2011
ajpole

@Sparrow - try cusping your hands around the bottom of the pole and then resting on your forearms...this will put you closer to the pole and can create some really nice lines and shapes with the backbends and leg variations
Oct 17, 2011
amy

hm, something looks sort of funky. are your elbows aligned under your shoulders? it looks liek they're spread very far apart-- if they're further then shoulders-distance apart, then your weight isn't trasnferring correctly down through your shoulders, upper arms, and into the ground.

you may find it easier to actively press into the ground with your fingers interlaced, rather than palms facing down.

i would recommend setting up a little closer to the pole, so you don't "fall" into it, and try to really balance your weight in the straddle and hold it after you pull your hips all the way up-- really engage through the core and find that balance, and work the negative (bring the straddle back down) as well =) as you get more comfy, try them further away from the wall/pole and balance without touching the pole at all- and then go freestanding in the middle of the room =))

great job! huge progress, good for you!!!
Oct 17, 2011
Veena

I agree with amy on all of the points she talked about. If you go back to the lesson you'll see a close look at arm placement and my suggestions for the hands as well. Having your hands flat with fingers spread will give you a nice base.
Oct 17, 2011
Tine007

Sparrow, I love your variation going into a backbend!!! Looks very pretty! I'm gonna try :)

Your elbows look very far apart as Amy already mentioned, but I also noticed that your palms are facing down. Maybe try clasping your hands (still in front of the pole) and press down through the pinky side. That also helps keeping the elbows in :)

 

I think I'm having different definitions of 'elbow stand' and 'deadlift' than the rest of you folks because I'm used to yoga nomenclature and I noticed the same terms mean different things sometimes.

Let me explain what I meant with some pictures:

If the head touches the floor (even though most of the weight should be on the forearms), it is a headstand. this is what emotioncatcher ans Amy talk about. Deadlifting no problem. Like amy mentioned, I never cup my hands around the pole, I lift freestanding and then find the pole with my butt.



 

Forearm or elbow stand, Pincha Mayurasana, you are standing on the forearms, but the head is off the floor at all times, even when going up. This one I can't deadlift with both legs at the same time because my shoulders are not open enough to bring my hips over my shoulders. Haven't seen anyone deadlift this one at all. I've seen people lift into headstand  and then lift the head off the floor though like this: [www.youtube.com] (she's also deadlifting a handstand at the end). Lifting controlled leading with one leg is no problem.



 

Handstand, obviously, you are on your hands, and I can almost deadlift w. both legs with the back against the pole, still need a little push from my toes. Hopefully, one day I'll deadlift in the middle of the room :)



Deadlift, to me, means lifting both legs off the floor at the same time without pushing off.  Not leading with one leg and following with the other,like lifting from a standing split (as Natasha Wang does it so beautifully),  no matter how slow. Not hopping the feet off the floor either.

 

If anyone can lift with both legs into Pincha Mayurasa, I'd love to see a video because I'd like to learn, if it's possible :)
Oct 17, 2011
amy

tine-- i call this  a yoga headstand, and the first picture that you have below, a forearm headstand or elbow headstand or just a forearm or elbow stand. the second picture i call a handbalancing forearm stand.  i agree with your terminology but most polers i teach aren't familiar with yoga, contortion, handbalancing-- or anything other than pole, really-- (and neither was I, or most of my early teachers!)... and so it's easier to call the forearm headstand by the shorter (lazier) forearm stand instead. 
Oct 17, 2011
amy

and yes, i consider a deadlift to be both legs off the floor at the same time, and i'd also add that i don't think its a deadlift if you are relying on improper positioning of the hands/head/elbows to use weight shift alone to get your feet up, rather than compeltely pressing up with core-- what i mean by that is when people set up very far from the wall/pole and let their hips drop back and arch their back, then pull teir legs up, instead of stacking weight over their hands, and pulling their legs up with a rounded back.
Oct 17, 2011
sparrow

ooh, did i invent a variation?! LOLOL

thanks for all the tips! hmm. need to work on this more. I guess i have so many thoughts in my head as far as where to place hands and the placement of the hands (ie-flat or lace fingers) that I don't know what's best for me. So, more practice! 
Oct 17, 2011
PaulettePoles

Well, I tried last night and still couldnt do it but it was closer! Now that I understand I will keep working on it and hopefully post a video soon. I will keep at the headstand variation as it makes me feel better to be able to deadlift my legs there! lol This has been very imformative- thanks all TONS! Cant wait till I can post that I have it!
Oct 18, 2011
emotioncatcher

just a last little tipp for the right elbow distance: i place my elbows on the ground and grab my left elbow with the right hand and the right elbow with the left hand. then i let my elbows on that distance and place my hands in the prefered position (around pole or flat)

 
Oct 18, 2011
Veena

I'm making you all a video that will hopefully help you see the difference between a headstand, elbowstand, forearmstand, and handstand. Then I need to get back to work on hooping lessons! 
Oct 18, 2011
Tine007

That would be great, Veena!!! Too many names and variations...

 

Amy, thank you for explaining, it makes sense :) I just keep forgetting and was writing my first comment with the wrong pose in mind...  We call your yoga headstand tripod or headstand 2 (there's at least 7 different ones in yoga to make it even more confusing...)

I totally agree on lifting from the core vs. dragging the feet up by sticking the butt out. I was taught the deadlift by just lifting the toes into a tuck (knees to chest) and then un-curl up from there, to make sure you use core and stay hollow :) Straddle and pike lift came only after A LOT of practice doing the tuck.
Oct 18, 2011
emotioncatcher

i had no idea that elbow stand and forearm stand refers to something different. i´m really curious now ^^ can´t wait to watch your video veena
Oct 18, 2011
HollySatine

Can someone check out my form?  I just uploaded a video to my profile ("elbow stand deadlift?") and I'm not sure if I'm having the same problem.

I wrote this in the description but I'll copy it here:

Am I doing this right? Should my elbows be directly underneath my shoulders (bent at a 90 degree angle) while I lift up? They look like they're too bent to me and I thought that might mean that my weight is too far behind me and I'm falling into the pole, but my legs are already up before my back actually hits the pole and my hips appear to be stacked, so I'm not sure...
Oct 18, 2011
heathalynne

^ Yeah, HollySatine, it looks more like a headstand than forearm/elbow stand. Your biceps should be parallel with the pole, shoulders/elbows aligned, with hands flat on the floor (see my pic below).

Also I agree with deadlifting into it is way harder than headstand or handstand deadlifting. I lead with 1 leg too. Actually I agree with Tine007, I think only contortionists or super bendy ppl can do this massive task! Hahhaha! I've only seen it twice in person and well... they were both contortionists.


Oct 18, 2011
HollySatine

Okay...so in looking for examples of a deadlift in action, I found this one of Felix Cane (super bendy!) and she does a lift at 1:57 here: [www.youtube.com] She starts out closer to the pole with her hands wraped around the base, but her biceps do not appear to be parallel with the pole as she lifts her legs - so I guess my question is, is this also still improper form, and does it really matter if they're not exactly parallel during the lift as long as you take the weight off your head and align everything once your legs are up? Is there a danger in this?
Oct 18, 2011
heathalynne

The beginning of Felix's deadlift was improper form with arms bent for a split second. She used the pole as an extra balance point to deadlift up. But after, she used proper form as she straightened her arms up and looked to the floor.

The only real danger I can see is falling on your head or face. If there's no pole, then you'd just fall flat on your back. LOL!
Oct 18, 2011
Tine007

Felix has her head placed down in the moment she lifts, so it's a head/elbow stand lift.  Her elbows are shoulder distance apart, so I think her form is correct. She takes the head off the floor into forearm stand after.

For the elbow (head) stand, the head is close to your hands and your upper arms are not completely vertical (and i checked in Veena's lesson, she does it the same way [www.studioveena.com] :) ). This way the center of gravity is in the middle of the triangle formed by your clasped hands and two elbows. When lifting the head, the weight needs to go back over your elbows and they become vertical.
Oct 18, 2011
amy

agree w/Tine.. she starts in a head/elbow stand to deadlift legs and raises her weight to just forearms when she is doing the backbend. it's correct form-- it's how I do mine every time =) umm minus the um... Felixy flexy.
Oct 19, 2011
emotioncatcher

just saw your video on youtube veena! it shows very good the difference. love the bodywaves you did in the elbow stand!
Oct 19, 2011
Tine007

Thank you,Veena!! Great demo! :) And your handstand is rocking, you hold it forever!!!

Here's the link: [www.youtube.com]
Oct 19, 2011
PaulettePoles

Thank you Veena for that demo! I had no idea such a little question would be so complicated! Thank you all for all the videos you have made and tips. This has now taken #1 priority for me in training. lol
Oct 19, 2011
Veena

Thanks for posting Tine! Glad you guys liked it
Oct 19, 2011
Miraine

Aaaah...  No wonder I've been finding it so hard to do the elbowstand.  I've been attempting to do a forearm stand instead the whole time, which as various people have pointed out, isn't usually possible as a deadlift.

I do hate having any pressure on my head though, even a tiny bit.  I guess I need to just get used to that, instead of bailing every time my head touches the ground.

Thanks for the clarification all :)
Oct 19, 2011
polergirl

If you want to see a study in how much of a difference an inch further or closer makes...

[www.studioveena.com]

Bounced onto the pole on that first one. Ooops. LOL. I've now got the distance pretty much down, for me, my knuckles must be right about at the base of my pole and then I can roll up/lift with control all the way.

Miraine, I'm the same way about having pressure on my head. Hate it!!! I have head down until my legs are lifted, then I raise onto forearms so my head's free.
Oct 19, 2011
heathalynne

So I tried Felix's elbow stand lift to forearm stand today during improv dance. It's actually easier than I thought it would be! Was able to slide my legs and deadlift up when my head was straight, barely touching the ground. Then pushed up into forearm stand, looked at the floor, and bent to scorpion. 

I'm still wondering if it's possible for polers to deadlift straight from forearm stand. lol! PaulettePole's original question.
Oct 20, 2011
RoseMay

Do you think it's possible to lift into an elbow stand on a desk, from standing/sitting in front of it? Probably not a deadlift, but with kicking up?

Everytime I brainstorm (= daydream) at work I'm thinking it would be pretty cool if I could do that - in the office, when no one's watching
Oct 20, 2011
dustbunny Previous Paid Member

Absolutely possible!  Gymnasts do this move all the time into a handstand usually, but the principles of doing it into an elbow stand are the same.  It is called a press handstand. :)
Oct 20, 2011
Miraine

@RoseMay - Heehee, the mental image of you furtively looking around to check there's no-one near by then hopping up into an elbow stand on your desk at work is so funny :D  I love your new word for daydreaming...  Next time someone asks me why I've got nothing done all day, I shall remember: brainstorming ;)
Oct 20, 2011
Veena

Today way my youngest 3rd birthday so before we celabrated I snuck a workout in! Had to let you guys know I tried deadlifting from a forearmstand and got it!! [www.studioveena.com] not pretty and its harder than hell, but I did manage it, sooooo much harder than with the head on the floor. I'll post the vid tomorrow. its kinda funny and I left it uncut you can hear all the huffing and puffing. LOL
Oct 20, 2011
emotioncatcher

wooow! i´m very impressed veena! i´m very curious about your video!

i´m really scared of forearm stands because i always think i might fall on my face =) i always start with a elbow stand and then change to a forearm stand. think i have to work on this
Oct 21, 2011
heathalynne
Haha Veena! You go girl, with your huffing and puffing bad self! ;) Be the first (female) poler. The only other ones I saw do this were David Owen and Isaac Pena. It's hard!!!
Oct 21, 2011
Veena

LOL it's a real fear to have Emotion, I did come down on my head. Was not hard, just had my arms give out, and was like slowmoition. lol Here is the video [www.studioveena.com]
Oct 21, 2011
emotioncatcher

seems like it didn´t hurt when you came down as you still smiled afterwards :) that´s good to see!
Oct 21, 2011
HollySatine

wait - I thought the forearm stand and the elbow stand were the same thing?
Oct 21, 2011
Veena

If you watched my demo video Holly you would see the difference. There are many names too so. [www.youtube.com]
Oct 21, 2011
HollySatine

Wow I'm dumb.  I had watched the video while I was doing other things and missed the fact that they were different (I'd assumed the elbow stand was a variation of the headstand and didn't notice that it had it's own name).  Thanks!
Oct 21, 2011
sparrow

wow, Veena! You rock! And I love the huffing and puffing. LOL. That's how I am just doing an elbowstand. hee hee.

Ok, I had a little bit of pole time and tried to remember the suggestions. I still think my elbows are too far apart, but here's 2 short clips:  [www.youtube.com]

@polergirl, I loved your video!!  WOW!!
Oct 21, 2011
pole cat diva
Hi!! I'm having so much trouble with this. I have this elbow stand straddle up in my class routine and all the ladies in the class can do it except me. :( When I try to walk my legs in and shift my hips over the shoulders, i find that at the same time my elbows will tend to lift off the floor. When i look at my video, i realize my upper back is round instead of straight. Any advise?? Now the only thing i can do is to kick up with one leg or tuck in one knee and push off with the other in order to get my legs up.
Jun 23, 2015
Phoenix Hunter
post your video if you can. that would help to figure things out. :)
Jun 23, 2015
pole cat diva
Managed to upload my videos

[youtu.be]
[youtu.be]
[youtu.be]
[youtu.be]
Jun 24, 2015
Phoenix Hunter
pole cat diva, your elbow stand is looking really good. I see a couple of things that might help you during practice. move the mats. I would only put maybe a yoga mat or towel my elbows while I practice. having them under your feet is really making it harder for you. by not having the mats there you may also be able to slide on the front of your platforms. also, dont wrap your hands around the pole. I find that makes it very hard for me to lift my elbow stand. instead have your hands a little bit in front of the pole. this gives you room to lean forward in your lift and once you've lifted you can rest your butt against the pole. your elbow stand looks very strong! and it's already nice and neat. those two things will help get you started toward getting your lift. Veena has made a few elbow stand videos recently that could help you out alot.
Jun 24, 2015
pole cat diva
@Phoenix Hunter, thank you for the tips. Yes the mat is really irritating but i put it there just in case i fall over :D my major problem now is when i try to shift the weight over the shoulders, my elbows will tend to lift up. I can't seem to press it down.
Jun 25, 2015
Phoenix Hunter
I didnt notice them lifting in the video. maybe I just didnt see that. did you try it with your hands in front of the pole rather than wrapped around the pole? you will need to come in front of the pole a few inches. you can keep your hands in the same position, they just wont have the pole between them. you look like you are very close to lifting cause you look strong in your elbowstand.
Jun 25, 2015
pole cat diva
You can see it the first video starting from 15s. u can see me walking in but my elbows were lifting. My hands were in front of the pole. Even my instructor also can't figure out :(
Jun 25, 2015
Phoenix Hunter
oh! I cant see the first video, it comes up as an error. that's why I wasnt seeing what you were talking about. I will check it again and see if the link works.
Jun 25, 2015
Phoenix Hunter
yes, it wont let me see the first video for some reason. :(
Jun 25, 2015
Phoenix Hunter
pole cat diva, Veena has few lessons on these specifically that will really help if there is any way you can get those. I havent found anybody who can explain as well as veena does. but hopefully we can all help you figure this out. :) I just wanted to tell you that even if you arent able to get the lift by time you do your routine- that the way you are getting into them without the lift looks really pretty from what I can see in your second video ( cant view the first one). you seem to sweep up into it very smoothly with your toes pointed. it looks pretty and graceful. I'm sure it just some small adjustment your missing that will help. I hope we can help you get it.
Jun 25, 2015
pole cat diva
Alright perhaps u can try to view again - [youtu.be]
Thank you so much for the encouragement! Appreciate it :) I'm so stressed whenever i reach this part during my routine.

Alright i will search for the lessons by Veena.
[youtu.be]
Jun 25, 2015
Phoenix Hunter
ok! I can see it on my phone but not my stupid computer. hopefully Veena will see your video too cause I know she will have good advice. with your hands in front of the pole, I think you still need to move a little further away from the pole. it doesnt sound helpful but it usually is. I think your upper back is touching the pole before your butt does. I really try to concentrate on getting my butt to the pole and I can only do this if I have a little distance from the pole to do so. I think your upper back is touching the pole because your still a little bit too close. and when your upper back is resting against the pole, you have to really arch back to get your butt and legs up and that is why your elbows are lifting. you actually dont have to arch as much when you are a little further away from the pole. so it could be that youre too close to the pole and that is why your elbows are lifting or it could be hamstring flexibility. but you actually look like you have good hamstring flexibility. you are gonna get this! dont get frustrated.
Jun 25, 2015
pole cat diva
Ok i will try to move further away from the pole. I think my tight hamstring also plays a part. I don't really have good hamstring flexibility. In fact my hamstring is still recovering from a strain early this year.

Let me try tonight and see if it works. :)
Jun 25, 2015
Phoenix Hunter
oh goodness, sorry about that hamstring. yes those play a big role in this. if you cant get all the way to the pole you may be able to just get as close as you can and gently push off the ground with the toes. I wouldnt do that if you have to push very hard. but a small gentle push might be just enough to activate the lift without having to have all that hamstring flexibility. just make sure youre all warmed up and stretched a little bit before trying. I had a hamstring injury last year so I know how that is. your tuck that you did also looked very nice and might be an option to work on too. I think a beautiful sweeping leg or tuck is prettier than a strained lift. work with whatever you can do and just make it look pretty. if you dont get the lift now, I think you will definitely have it soon. I wish you lots of good pole vibes. :) be careful with your hammy.
Jun 25, 2015
Veena
Sorry for the delayed reply, I was out of the world of internet access for the afternoon! :)

The link isn't working for me either, however, it's common for people to feel they can't keep their elbows on the ground. One of my dear friends insisted her arms were too short, even had an instructor tell her they were, BUT, I was able to coach her into the correct form. So, when I hear that elbows are coming up that usually means you are not engaging the shoulders (scapula) correctly. Doing so will open up the space between the ears and shoulders (think more space between) this allows the elbows to stay on the ground and protects the body.

I wouldn't work on the deadlift until you have the elbow position down, there's nothing wrong with reaching one leg up at a time, that can be very pretty too.

Once you understand how to hold the then you can focus on reaching the back to the pole as Phoenix mentioned. In order to have an easier time lifting you need to get your hips over or past your head. I do have several lessons that will help you with this if you are interested. Good luck with your performance!
Jun 25, 2015
 
MissKitty83
Thank you again for another WONDERFUL, detailed lesson, Veena.
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