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Stunts, Skills, and a 60-Second Game Plan

Why 60 Seconds. I’d like to start off by saying that I’m a big advocate of education, skill development, and finding out what it takes to learn effectively. In my last post I talked about gaming and how it could be a new approach with your handstand development. Lets be honest, our bodies are a biological mass created from responses to a multitude of possible external stimuli. Basically the crap that we do with our bodies can change what makes us – us!

I’m not saying that you can jump into a vat of toxic chemicals and become a superhero/villain. What I am saying is that the things we do, has an effect on how our bodies are put together. Here are a couple of possible examples. If all you do for your core are sit-ups, you might have a weak lower back. Like-wise if you do a lot of upper-body strengthening without flexibility work, you might not be able to maneuver yourself into the alignment necessary to balance out a handstand.

So why 60 seconds. We’re using this as a baseline goal to reach for. A guiding light to pull yourself toward without getting lost in the sea of thoughts, stimulus and information. So where does the 60 Second Game Plan come into play with your handstand?

The Lead-up Stunts. Its a pathway of primary goals that can make the path to the freestanding handstand clearer of obstacles.

To partly break it down, here is an excerpt from our Secrets of the Handstand ebook:

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

Here are your first goals. Before you even attempt the freestanding handstand I want you to work up to one minute or 60 seconds in each of the main lead-up stunts.
1. Wall Handstand
2. Frogstand
3. Headstand
4. Forearm Stand
5. Elbow Lever
You’ll find that some of these come easier then others. If they do you can work on some of the other variations. For instance if the headstand is easy, but you’re still working towards the other moves, do the yoga headstand and try to get to 60 seconds there. It’s not an absolute requirement that you master every one of these moves. But if you do build up to 60 seconds in each of these moves, then the freestanding handstand will be much, much easier. Everyone wants to skip ahead to that part, but without the foundation it’s just going to be frustrating work. Contrary to that, working on these moves you’ll probably find you can add time just about every day to most if not all of these moves, at least in the beginning.

So, let’s break it down even further. Each of the different Lead-up Stunts become a different mini-quest on your final journey to the handstand. Each time you unlock one of the 60 second skills, a new set of tools become available to you that can really help you understand and perform the handstand. Some of the unlocked tools could be managing the fear, stabilizing with the hands, or even working on the upper thoracic. Now that you have a better idea about how to turn the development of the handstand into a game, I’ll start going over the lead-up stunts in the next set of posts!

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

PS If you can’t wait to take to learn more about these lead-up stunts, be sure to to check out the Handstand Mastery Program!

 

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The Handstand Game and Leveling up your Skills!

Whats going on Hand Balancers!

The handstand is one of those moves that can hit the range of being extremely easy to massively difficult. Honestly it just depends on the person, their starting point, and any deviation from the norm that could add that little bit of guesswork in order to complete the task. Things to look at would be finger strength, thoracic flexibility, and a whole set of other factors that can make or break your handstand.

The reason I’m talking about this is because, learning that handstand can be similar to playing an online roleplaying game or mmorpg. It might be a bit confusing, but hear me out. At LAOHB our Handstand Mastery Program focuses on 5 different skills in order to reach your goal.

These are the skills:

1. Wall Handstand
2. Headstand

Handstand and Headstand

3. Frogstand

Frogstand Press 1
4. Forearm Stand

Tiger Stand
5. Elbow Lever

Elbow Lever

Now these 5 different skills or lead-up stunts aren’t all necessary in order to reach the end goal, but they give you an advantage or specific ability that will work for your specific avatar to achieve the handstand. Each of them have their advantages like the elbow lever being your tank character because of the resounding strength it creates across the entirety of your line or the headstand being your balanced warrior because its the first step to learning how to stack your joints and keep your alignment.  With that said, over the next month or so, we’ll be revisiting these different lead-up stunts to help you attain your goal.

*note. I might not be as geeky during those posts!

Stay Inverted,
Coach Jon

How to do the One Hand Handstand by Professor Orlick
ow to do the One Hand Handstand on Amazon

PS If you can’t wait to take to learn more about these lead-up stunts, be sure to to check out the Handstand Mastery Program!

 

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Swinging for Primal Harmony

Reclaim your origins

Reclaim your origins

I know you feel it.

The blood flowing through your veins, calling, begging your body to return to the glory that was intended for it at birth. You can look at yourself and see the beauty of your own design: hands made not only for intricate processes like tool use and development, but for incredible pinching and crushing strength. Shoulders that can stabilize as well as they mobilize, attached to scapulae with 17 different tendons connected to transfer muscle power very efficiently. Your body was made for the beauty of brachiation, and it’s only fair that you reclaim your birthright.

What Is Brachiation?

Even without knowing much about the character, if I say “Tarzan”, you likely think of a wild man pounding his chest and swinging from vines. Well brachiating is just that: having the ability to swing on vines, branches, and whatever our hands can manage.

Swinging may not be something you recognize as a birthright as you would, say, bipedal movement, but if you think about it, jungle gyms and playgrounds almost always have an element that allows kids to do what they naturally enjoy: swinging. (They aren’t called monkey bars for nothing)

Swinging is critical to overall shoulder health. Gymnasts and traceurs swing often in their training, and you never hear of them suffering from a frozen shoulder joint, yet that problem plagues numerous trainees in the fitness industry. We often try to substitute by doing supplementary exercises to ease into mobility, but there are so few exercises that can encompass the benefits of the whole body dynamic nature of swinging

This is simple enough: find a bar, rope, or some other hanging element that you’re comfortable grabbing, and simply practice swinging back and forth, 20 swings forward and back. Doing this simple thing daily will start to make an incredible change in your mobility and grip strength in as little as a month. As you progress, practice swinging with only one arm, then practice reducing fingers and so on.

Shoulder Dislocates

Okay, this isn’t as painful as it sounds. No, the key to reconnecting with your original movement pattern is not forcefully popping your shoulder out of its socket.

However, the kind of mobility and strength toward both hand balancing and bar workouts that you get from training controlled shoulder dislocates is phenomenal. I’d argue that any and everyone seeking true movement mastery should add this one exercises to their repertoire.

Cue the video instruction, courtesy of our friends at GMB.

Walking and Jumping On Your HandsWalking and Jumping On Your Hands on Amazon

 

This can also be done with a towel. If you have the mobility to bring the towel or broomstick all the way down to your lower back, do so, but don’t rush or force the process. Your body has been programmed by years of immobile practices, so truly recovering your full mobility will be a progressive but worthy process.

 

In other words: reclaim the primal, primate strength that you deserve, and swing, baby, swing.

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Underkicking and Overkicking: The Secret Step to getting your Kick-Up

2 Common Handstand Kick Up Issues (and how to solve them)

Whats going on Hand Balancers!

Wall Handstands and Kick-Up Wall Handstands. Those are the usual starting points for people wanting to get into handbalancing. But what do you do after that. The very first goal usually revolves around getting into a solid freestanding handstand. Although having the safety of the wall can have its share of scares. Some of which could include:

  • Bending in an odd way
  • Losing control and falling
  • Falling on your face
  • Not having enough strength in your arms

There are lots of different tactics in order to get into the kick-up. One is utilizing underkicking or overkicking. In the first scenario, you’re not generating enough force to reach the “sweet spot” of balancing at the top, so you simply fall back to your starting position. When you overkick, you’re moving past the equilibrium point and fall forward. You can turn sideways into a carthwheel to land safely.

So where does this come into play?It helps you find the “sweet spot” while having a baseline of underkicking and overkicking. Take note of the results from each kick up attempt to determine how hard to kick the next time. In general, kick a little harder than you initially think, because it’s harder to stop yourself from underbalancing than it is to slow down your movement as you reach the balancing point. Use your hands and fingertips to press into the ground and control yourself in the handstand position.

 

 

We hope that this helped you gain some perspective on your freestanding handstand and how to get into it. If you need any more help, we’re willing to offer a “no strings” consulting session on the handstand. This will only last til the end of the week at 11:59pm on Sept. 17, 2016. You could get a hold of us by emailing us at [email protected]

The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing
The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing on Amazon
Stay Inverted,
Coach Jon

 

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Skills Vs Attributes: If you don’t use it, you’ll probably lose it!

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Hey Guys! Today Im going to share my thoughts about Skill Vs. Attributes.

What is a skill. Its basically the ability to perform a task. This is the base set of any coordinated movement. Whether it being running, jumping or climbing. Even the squat can be considered a skill. Attributes are the inherent characteristics gained from building a skill. These more often than not take the form of strength, endurance, agility, etc.

So why am I talking about this? Basically for two reasons. The first is because LAOHB is all about building skills. The second is a little bit more internalized. When most of us started on our training journey, we had a vision of who we wanted to be. That vision most often came from our idols and mentors who were capable of doing incredible things. Whether with their minds or with their bodies. We saw the results of their hard work but we didn’t have a pathway to get there. We have people like Usain Bolt who could sprint 100 meters in 9.58 seconds or even Bruce Lee he could impact a person within only an inch of distance. So we imitate and progress forward. As we progress, we build our bodies seemingly stronger and faster, yet we still don’t meet the goal of doing those incredible things and possibly hurt ourselves in the process.

The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing
The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing on Amazon

What do we find as the missing link?

The real secret is that we try to build our bodies to enhance what we want to do, yet we don’t stay focused on the main foundation. What does a person need to do to perform the task. Specifically how should a person move in order to perform a task effectively. Rather than running endlesss reps and sets of jump squats and dumbbell pullovers in hopes that it will help your 3 pointer. Why not pay more attention and mindful to how the skill should be performed.

More specifically, figure out how your body should move to perform the specific and give it the ability to adapt to most tasks. Our bodies are dynamic and meant to move. So move! Find ways to test safely test yourselves and get your bodies to adapt. Learn new skills, break them down, and then build your attributes through them.

Here is an example video of me doing just that!

 

Now going straight into playing like that could take time and might need some guidance. Luckily we have friends in many different areas of movement and fitness. One of our friends, Gold Medal Bodies, has a program that can help you gain that skill. Its called Floor 1 and here are some things it can give you:

  • A systematic practice in 4 movement categories: jumps, single leg balance, hand balance, tumbling
  • 24/7 availability on any device via online course area
  • Accessible day-to-day outlines
Stay Inverted,
Coach Jon

 

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Bodyweight Strong 2.0 – Old School Strength

There are numerous bodyweight training programs that litter the fitness industry, but many of them target calorie burning with no attention to strength development. After all, the hand balancers of the past didn’t seek calorie programs — they sought strength, and they achieved it through bodyweight training.

For a man weighing 240lbs to do a one arm handstand, you need more than just a calorie burning program

For a man weighing 240lbs to do a one arm handstand, you need more than just a calorie burning program

 

After all, physical culture was loaded with men of incredible strength, so why create a program that wouldn’t allow the men of that time to match up to their counterparts? These were men who understood the importance of proper progression, so sought to increase, for instance, the difficulty of their pushups rather than how many they could do. If they could manage 100 pushups, they would elevate themselves or do one arm pushups to increase the difficulty, rather than just shooting for 200.

Furthermore, very few physical culturists emphasized training to failure. “Whoa, hold on, I was always taught for weightlifting to train to failure for the most gains.” Well let me tell you that Sig Klein, one of the most renowed weightlifters and bodyweight trainers in history, as well as Maxick, a master muscle controller with incredible lifting feats, never advocated training to failure.

Sig Klein is the kind of man you'd want to listen to about training

Sig Klein is the kind of man you’d want to listen to about training

When it comes to bodyweight training, you want your nervous system to be fresh and gain energy from workout to workout, rather than have it depleted. Thus, they focused on consistent, daily training, which would overly tax your nervous system if you trained to failure each time. In fact, the more you advance in bodyweight skill, the less you’ll want to train to failure to improve skill and prevent injury. Failing during, for instance, a handstand pushup wouldn’t quite have a Cinderella ending.

One of the main reasons that people have trouble doing a handstand is that they simply haven’t trained it enough. If your goal with a single handstand session is to feel the burn in your shoulders until they’re essentially numb, you’ll have a much more difficult time progressing with a handstand than if you practiced daily with consistent progression.

Body Weight Strong 2.0

Bodyweight training balances you as an athlete, and introduces you at a skill level that anyone can begin with — their own weight. If you can learn to truly master your own weight, your strength can skyrocket. In addition, you may not take your weight set everywhere, but you take your body everywhere, so the training convenience is bar none.

These legendary physical culturists knew the proper way to train bodyweight, and Forest Vance is the kind of man who understands old school bodyweight strength. Luckily for you, he has created a program with a contemporary understanding on classic strength philosophy. Plus, there’s thorough video instruction for you to follow every step of the way.

How to do the One Hand Handstand by Professor Orlick
ow to do the One Hand Handstand on Amazon

In basic terms, Body Weight Strong 2.0 can evolve your strength to reach incredible levels just as true bodyweight training should do.

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Irradiate Your Path to Handstand Mastery

If you’ve ever been inside a gym, I’m sure you’ve seen it: the classic gym bro doing bicep curls, perhaps easily at first, but soon devolves into using practically his entire body to curl the weight.

Although personally, when I see a weight, curling it isn't my preference...

Although personally, when I see a weight, curling it isn’t my preference…

 

The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing
The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing on Amazon

What you’re actually watching is the law of irradiation, one of the Sherrington laws. What it means, in essence, is that you can contract other muscles in your body to strengthen the one you’re applying force with. If you’d like to experiment with this, try tensing your glutes the next time you shake someone’s hand; you’ll find that your hands can actually apply more force with the handshake.

Let’s review the curling gym bro again. As he continues to do the bicep curls, his biceps get tired and lose their strength of contraction. To compensate, his abs, forearms, lats, glutes, and even feet start contracting in order to provide enough force to lift the weight — it’s an unconscious response.

The problem is that the form of the curl itself begins to look incredibly sloppy as he’s unconsciously recruiting other muscles.

Now, what does this mean for handstand training?

The Law of Irradiation for Handstands


Here’s a great video of Otto Arco doing hand balancing and muscle control (which is key for the LOI)

Well, the handstand is an exercise that largely focuses on the shoulders, triceps, lats, forearms, traps, scapular muscles, and your core. However, fully body tension is really needed to maintain proper handstand form. Part of the reason is that having relaxed muscles can throw off your balance with the exercises, but the other factor is that recruiting other muscle groups like your glutes, neck, calves etc. into the handstand will help the required muscles to contract stronger.

“But you said that contracting extra muscles ruined the curler’s form…” Therein lies the difference, unconscious muscle recruitment vs. conscious muscle recruitment.

See, if that bicep curler had muscle control, and could consciously choose to flex other muscles to compensate, he could do so without affecting his form. That way, he wouldn’t lose the benefit on his biceps, and would also increase the benefit to other muscle groups and his overall muscle control.

The same goes for handstand training. If you’re able to consciously recruit different muscles to develop your overall strength in the handstand, you can help to both maintain your form and develop muscle control. Sig Klein, Otto Arco, and Maxick, who are all legendary hand balancers, knew the importance of muscle control and the law of irradiation in training, and used both to their advantages.

Try it out: develop your muscle control, and boost your progress with the law of irradiation.

Then, if you want to try more advanced moves like the handstand pushup, you’ll be more prepared.

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GMB Vitamin Feature: Coach Jon Flipping and Falling!?

Hey Everyone!

As you probably now we have lots of friends in the fitness and movement community that we work with in order to bring you the information you need to develop yourselves into excellent hand balancers and movement mechanics. This is a style of fitness that we don’t just talk about, but we also live the lifestyle as well.

One of the things I’ve been working on lately is my physical autonomy and being able to adapt my body in different situations. Our buddies at GMB featured one of my videos on their feeds and I’m super stoked!

You can watch the full video here!

Finally! If you liked the moves I was playing with in this video and want to develop a stronger sense for your own body, check out the GMB Vitamin Program here!

The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing
The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing on Amazon

 

Stay Inverted,
Coach Jon

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A Mini-Series on Flexibility Part 3: Full Bridge for Spinal Flexibility

Ok everyone, we are headed into the  final installment of the Flexibility Mini-Series from Gold Medal Bodies! Jarlo and Keira went through many iterations to prep you for the final movement. In today’s post, you’ll be focusing on none other than the full bridge.

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The full bridge is an excellent way to increase your shoulder mobility, thoracic extension and rotations, your hip flexors, wrists, and the list goes on and on. While preforming this movement, you basically get a chance to work on the muscles that you never get a chance to. Muscle balance and mindful movement gives you the understanding of what your body can do as well as allow you to delve into those crazy acrobatics. Lets first take a look at the initial bridge demonstrated by Keira.

 

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After getting into the initial bridge, she starts by correcting her curvature and form. She lowers her arms slightly, opens up her chest, and walks her feet closer to her hips.

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Once gotten into a more balanced position, she extends her arms and drives up her chest and hips.

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In order to achieve a cleaner curve with her bridge, she extends her chest towards the wall she’s facing and her hips to the opposing wall.

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To get a full breakdown from Jarlo, watch the video below!

One more thing guys!The GMB special will be ending this Saturday April 30, 2016 and you will lose out your chance to get the program with the NEW BONUSES for $75. After Saturday the price shoots up to $95. Be sure to grab GMB Focused Flexibility Plus program  here: https://lostartofhandbalancing.com/go/focusedflexibility/

 

Learn How to Back Flip in 31 Days
Learn How to Back Flip in 31 Days on Amazon

Stay Inverted,
Coach Jon

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A Mini-Series on Flexibility Part 2: Back Bend Preparation for Spinal Flexibility

Welcome to Part 2 of the Spinal Flexibility Series! In yesterday’s post we discussed the Forward Bend. As the Back Bend is a bit more extensive, its been broken up into two parts. Today’s portion will be focused on the prep work. Pay special attention to the thoracic extensions and rotations as they will directly affect your handbalancing!

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The first movement we will be working on is the thoracic extension. While working this movement situate your chest up and hold your shoulders into place.

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The next movement pattern in your back bend prep is to work a thoracic rotation. If you have good shoulder mobility, you can keep a locked arm position as seen below. If your mobility is lower, try the position with wrist and elbow behind the back which is viewable in the full video!

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The next movement is the first pre-back bending pattern we’ll dive into. In the Kneeling Back Bend, start in a tall kneeling position and drive the hips forward. Lift your chest up and look backwards. A key point is to relax your glutes during this movement.

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The next pattern is a deep lunge sequence. The main take away from this movement is to rotate towards the lead hip.

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The Camel Stretch is the next pattern. Its a similar movement to the Kneeling Back Bend except that you stay on the balls of your feet and grab your heels to increase difficulty.

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How to do the One Hand Handstand by Professor Orlick
ow to do the One Hand Handstand on Amazon

Up next is the Quadricep Stretch. Focus on keeping your body between your heels. Another key point to work towards a posterior tilt while in this position to decrease the lower back arch and flatten the back as much as possible.

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The final movement pattern is the Shoulder Bridge. In this movement your are going to grab your ankles and push through your quads. Be sure to keep your ankles in line with your hips and relax your glutes do allow your hips to drive up!

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There is a lot of information in this post so be sure to check out the full video here for all of the info!

If you like this information and thought it was useful in your flexibility, GMB has a special going on that will end this Saturday April 30, 2016 where you could get the program with the NEW BONUSES for $75. Afterwards the price shoots up to $95. Be sure to grab GMB Focused Flexibility program here: https://lostartofhandbalancing.com/go/focusedflexibility/

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