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Old 02-06-2012, 08:19 PM   #1
Kenny Laughton
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Serious fear of being upside-down

(I didn't know if I should post this here or in Exercises; sorry if I made the wrong call.)

A member of my training group has a legitimate fear of being upside down. I don't think it's a phobia in the literal sense of the word, because she says that she wants to work to overcome it, but I still have no idea how to handle this type of problem. She's done handstand pushups in the past (with a band harness and against a wall), but they upset her significantly enough to affect the rest of her workout. Does anyone have any experience with this type of problem, and how I can help her handle it? Any advice would be appreciated. I'm planning a workout with wall-climbs for the day after tomorrow, which is why I'm asking now.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:43 PM   #2
Sean Rockett
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Re: Serious fear of being upside-down

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Laughton View Post
(I didn't know if I should post this here or in Exercises; sorry if I made the wrong call.)

A member of my training group has a legitimate fear of being upside down. I don't think it's a phobia in the literal sense of the word, because she says that she wants to work to overcome it, but I still have no idea how to handle this type of problem. She's done handstand pushups in the past (with a band harness and against a wall), but they upset her significantly enough to affect the rest of her workout. Does anyone have any experience with this type of problem, and how I can help her handle it? Any advice would be appreciated. I'm planning a workout with wall-climbs for the day after tomorrow, which is why I'm asking now.
At CFNE we have people start leaning over a box with the front of their thighs on the box and they are leaning over the box, at least there is a feeling of support that she may like with this.
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Old 02-07-2012, 07:52 AM   #3
Steven Low
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Re: Serious fear of being upside-down

One of the better ways to overcome fears is through desensitization.

Have her integrate it every time she comes into the gym as a warm up.

What Sean is saying can be a good intro move that makes her feel more secure.

Does rolling such as forward or backward rolls affect her as well? That may be a decent way to work just brief moments of periods of upside down and gain more body awareness
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:10 PM   #4
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Serious fear of being upside-down

I would include some inversion work every day as skill work.

Doing inversion work when you are tired or amped up due to elevated HR can get very interesting.

I've come across this A LOT with little kids and occasionally when I used to teach the adult gymnastics classes. Just taking it slowly from the basics like doing HS with a wall, One legged downward dog holds (and hopping), basic donkey kicks. Even stuff like candlestick/shoulderstands and supported inversion on rings or a low bar (not really accessible in a CFgym but you can do inclined body rows with a plyo box).

When you wait till adulthood to get inverted, it is way different than when you have been upside down since childhood. I probably didn't work inversion stuff till HS but I did my share of rolling and flipping into pools as a small child.
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:10 AM   #5
Kenny Laughton
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Re: Serious fear of being upside-down

Thanks for the advice everyone. I appreciate it. The buildup movements to handstands are useful, and I'm going to suggest that she spend some time upside down as part of her warmup. That will probably get the job done with time.
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