The Queda de Rins (Elbow lever), or QDR, are a fantastic – and trendy – foundation which can unlock a wealth of other patterns and more complex moves around dynamic variations of the elbow lever.
This is the second blog of a series presenting tools and drills that will lead to the QDR circles.
STEP 2: Introducing the QDR
With the foundations of correct prehabilitation properly laid out, you can now begin to work on the main meal: the elbow lever.
The first thing to note is that there are many different ways of achieving an elbow lever, and variations and differ from both a functional and an aesthetical standpoint. As a result, the form and details of an elbow lever might differ from breakdance to yoga, from capoeira to contemporary dance.
It is from the two latter universes that I have built my own QDR, hence me using the name queda de rins, from capoeira. I believe the drills I describe below serve many purposes, but you might need to discard some / add details depending on your final goal. Regardless, I invite you to try and practice them all at first, especially if you are a complete beginner.
Click on the video above to see all the following drills performed.
Squat to baby QDR – forward
From a squat, place both hands in front of you on the ground. Elevate the heels and shoot the knees to the right as you get the left side of your forehead closer to the ground and sit your ribcage on your left elbow. Bring the left knee down on the ground to facilitate the process, relieving some of the weight from your hands and allowing you to ingrain proper mechanics.
The knees give room to the QDR per se, and you want to think of the elbow as the lever being built for you to hold this position as your head goes to the ground. As you lean forward, feel the weight being redistributed on your hands.
As you push yourself back up, use the support knee to the extent you need – but remember the ultimate goal is to remove it completely from the equation.
Note: Do not put excessive weight on your head. I’d invite you to mainly use your hands to hold your bodyweight, and your head as a balancing tool.
Recommended set/rep: 5-10 reps each arm, 2 sets
Squat to baby QDR – side
From a squat, place your hands perpendicular to a line that would drawn between your two feet. Keep looking forward as you bring the head (temple area) closer to the ground and use both your back elbow and the knee from the side you are leaning towards as a support. Push yourself back to the squat.
Recommended set/rep: 5-10 reps each arm, 2 sets – aim for fluidity
Squat to QDR forward & side (no knees)
Once you have understood the basic mechanics of the QDR, perform the exact same as the two drills previously described without putting your knee on the ground. For strength purposes, push yourself back to the squat using mainly your upper body. For fluidity purposes, push yourself back to the squat involving as much as possible the lowerbody and shifting your center of mass as efficiently as possible.
Recommended set/rep: 5-10 reps each arm, 1 sets – aim for fluidity
Horse to QDR forward
From a horse stance, place both hands in front of you. If you lean on your right elbow, place the right hand slightly past the left hand, so that the nails of the left and the base of the right are parallel. Look to the left and perform the qdr. Notice the different structures you have to involve in order to push yourself back up to the horse.
Recommended set/rep: 5-10 reps each arm, 1 set
Horse to entry to meia lua QDR
From a horse stance, set yourself up the very same way you were doing just before. This time, as you lean forward to sit the ribcage on the elbow and bring the forehead to the ground, lift the leg opposite to the elbow in a semi-circular fashion.
The idea is to feel how the leg, straigth, offers a counterweight for you as you go down to the QDR. This takes time and practice, but with patience and diligence you will be able to refine the granularity of your bodyweight perception and time your entry into QDR/meia lua QDR better.
Recommended set/rep: 5-10 reps each arm, 1-3 sets
Ido’s beginner QDR variation (tuck side QDR)
No need to reinvent the wheel when it has already been made beautifully. Plus, If there is something I dislike about this industry, it’s the repackaging trend that consists in stealing somebody’s material/knowledge/drills. On that variation, I invite you to check out Ido Portal’s video tutorial and begin practicing the very first variation – with the legs tuckeds and the head down.
From a squat, go for a squat to QDR side (no knee) and, as your bodyweight shifts to your hands and head, lift your legs of the floor, keeping the tuck.
Recommended set/rep: 5-10 reps each arm, 2-3 sets
Archer QDR holds
The Archer QDR allows you to build up to QDR w/ one or both extended legs. From the squat, go in to the squat QDR and place the leg opposite to the direction you are going towards on the elbow from the same side. If you are doing a QDR on the left, place the bent right leg on the right elbow and extend the left leg.
The tigh resting on the elbow will provide great support and allow you to increase awareness in that position.
QDR holds with scissor legs
From the tuck side QDR, extend both legs, one forward (you see your foot in front of you), and one on the side, as continuing the line drawn between the head and the bum.
The easiest version consists in extending in front of you the leg that is closer to the ground from the archer QDR. You might want to play with the opposite variation (further leg pointing forward) in due time.
Notice how opening these legs in two different directions adds balance to the motion. Come back slowly to the tuck, then to the squat, and swap side.
Recommended set/rep: 5 reps each arm, hold for 5 sec, 1-2 sets
QDR holds with legs together
From the tuck side QDR, extend both legs on the side. You can alternatively bring the legs together from a QDR with scissor legs – and I would actually invite you the experiment both, as it will build more control for your QDR.
Recommended set/rep: 5 reps each arm, hold for 5 – 10 sec, 1-2 sets
As you become more and more efficient with the QDR, you might want to reduce the support. This can lead to interesting moves, but are not a prerequiste to move in this series.
As you will see, one smart way to proceed is to remove the head first – you can try all the drills we have done so far without using the head at all -, and, once you become proficient at it, explore the one arm elbow lever (static), from the scissor QDR position.
Recommended set/rep: the one arm static QDR is another topic for another tutorial. Feel free to apply the principles we have used so far to integrate this last drill into your routines if it is a goal of yours. Regardless, I’d invite you to try the drills with and without the head as a support.
10 STEP PROGRAM:
STEP 3; DEVELOPING THE SAFETY MECHANISM
STEP 4 : ADDING DYNAMISM TO THE QDR
STEP 5: WORKING ON THE START/END POSITION: THE LOW BRIDGE
STEP 6: SLIDING HALF ROTATION
STEP 7: HALF ROTATION FROM SQUAT to BRIDGE
STEP 8: HALF ROTATION FROM BRIDGE to SQUAT
STEP 9: PUTTING QDR CIRCLES TOGETHER
STEP 10: REFINING THE DETAILS
I hope this tutorial helped you.
Any question, leave me a comment below!