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A Mini-Series on Flexibility Part 1: Forward Bending Sequence for Spinal Flexibility

Flexibility and Acrobatics. The two go hand in hand. Yes its true that people need more flexibility in their lives. But for the Acrobatic enthusiast, flexibility takes a stronger hold as you’re going to need much more of it in order to pull off the different maneuver’s and be in tune with your own body. In today’s post, we’ll be looking at a great sequence on spinal flexibility from our friends at Gold Medal Bodies. If you’ve ever wanted to do a back handspring, work on your rolling, or even make your handstands more dynamic, pay attention to this sequence!

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Listen to Jarlo as he keys Keira in to the sequence. Keira starts off with some prep work by going in a deep squat with her heels up and feet close together. Her goal here is to open up her hips by rocking back and forth. After working the position for a bit, she kicks back and goes into upward facing dog.

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Once she’s warmed up, she goes into the first sequence. In the Standing Forward Bend her focus is on flexion and rotation. She begins in a deep squat with her hands placed onto the floor to her side. She then drives up her hips and pulls back on her hamstrings while focusing on keeping her heels to the ground. She works the position on both sides. Jarlo gives more detail and another variation in the video.

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The Final sequence is the Seated Forward Bend. This sequence is completed at a 45 degree angle. Keira keeps her chest up and extends with her shoulders.

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Check out the full video here!

Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups
Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups on Amazon

I want you all to stay tuned because we have more spinal flexibility tips from our friends at Gold Medal Bodies. For those of you who took advantage of  the Focused Flexibility program about a month back, you should be reaping the rewards as well as the new update that just came out! If you haven’t, 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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1 Min Tip: Lateral QM Strides and Your Handstand

04_12_01

Hey Everybody! Its been a while since we’ve done a video just for you. So today, we’re coming at you with Lateral QM Strides! This lateral movement pattern is going to you keep your balance as well as to feel the hold on the top end.

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The first thing you are going to do is sit into a deep squat and shift your hips side to side so that you can open them up a bit before you start moving.

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Start the actual movement pattern by extending your hands and placing them to your sides. You’ll then elevate your hips and land them next to your hands!

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Move in both lateral directions and see if you can start driving your hips higher with each pass. Don’t forget that you should do this within the range of your comfort levels!

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Finally, see if you can slow the movement at the top end with your hips above your shoulders so you can simulate the handstand hold!

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Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

Check out the full video here!

I hope you liked this tutorial!

Stay Inverted,
-Coach Jon
Do you want the quickest  way to develop your handstands?
Then go to our Handstand Mastery Course at:
https://www.handstandmastery.com/

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Handstand Pushup Variations

handstand pushup variations

Handstand pushup demonstrated by Logan Christopher of Lost Art of Hand Balancing

 

The handstand pushup is an advanced hand balancing skill that demonstrates shoulder strength, scapular mobility, and a proper challenge to those who are willing. But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you’ve already achieved the handstand pushup, and are looking for something a bit more thrilling…some handstand pushup variations.

(Note: these handstand pushup variations aren’t only for the advanced trainees. In fact, variation 2 and 3 helped me to achieve my first HSPU, so don’t be afraid to try something new!)

 


Variation 1 : Lateral Handstand Pushup

Well first, what would be the benefit of exploring different handstand pushup variations? Without the variations, there is still sufficient opportunity to progressively improve the intensity of the HSPU and get stronger with each turn. With the variations, however, comes the opportunity to increase all-angle strength in your training.

For instance, while the basic HSPU does a lot to strengthen your shoulders, traps, and scapular elevation, this lateral HSPU variation trains scapular protraction, retraction, and upward rotation. In addition, as your mobility increases, you can slow down and exaggerate the lateral movement to emphasize your one arm handstand balancing skill.

 

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

Variation 2: (Elevated) Backbend Pushup

Furthermore, your posterior deltoid has a critical role in your handstand stability, as it is the primary shoulder hyperextensor. One of my favorite handstand pushup variations to train for developing that strength is the back bend pushup.

The back bend alone is a powerful stability exercise that, with isometric tension, can provide incredible strength. The integrated strength, posterior deltoid strength, and scapular mobility that you can build from the back bend pushup will do wonders to strengthen your HSPU. To increase the difficulty of this exercise, elevated your feet by putting them onto a wall.

As I said, this exercise was a huge part of the reason I was able to develop the strength and range of motion for the HSPU.

 


Variation 3: Handstand Walking

Often times as kids, we have an easier time walking in a handstand than we do holding a stable handstand. However, having the strength to walk in a handstand position without compromising the integrity of your form can develop your technique, strength, and mobility fairly quickly.

This is one of my favorite handstand pushup variations to couple with the lateral HSPU, because it does the same work to progressively improve balancing strength on one arm, but has a much sharper focus on the shoulders and triceps because…well, you’re walking.

When you’re searching to advance not just in strength but also in skill, especially with hand balancing, be sure to add some fun and variation to your training, and you’ll be sure to see some results. Be sure to let us know in the comments how these variations help you, or if you’ve tried them before. Finally, if these do improve your training skill, be sure to share!

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Legendary Strength Lockups

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Hey everybody! In today’s post, I went back into the archives and caught a great tutorial by Logan on how to start developing single arm chin-ups. He calls these drills lockups.

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You start off with a single ring or pull up bar. Begin in an alternating grip position. Whichever hand you are going to preform the lock-up with, you’ll use the opposite hand only a baseline support. Gauge yourself and try not put too much weight on the support hand.

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Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

Once you’ve locked up at the top end, complete the rep by releasing the hand and controlling the drop like a normal chin up.

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Now the final addition is to turn each rep into a negative so you can begin to build your maximal strength!

Check out Logan performing his Lockups below!

March is the month to get yourself in tune with your body, so be sure to pick up the Advanced Bodyweight Training Bundle!

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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Are Handstands Possible at an Older Age?

03_15_01

Hey everybody.  Every now and then we get some feedback on not just how do start balancing with your hands, but also is it attainable at an older age. Luckily while browsing through the archives I was able to find Logan’s opinion on the subject.  Mindful movement is the key. So, if this is an endeavor you want to jump into, listen to your body and watch the video below for tips.

Now that you’ve watched the video, we found an excellent example of performing acrobatics as an older adult. This gentleman’s name is Lee Mowatt and if I remember right, he did this video at 64 years old(don’t fully quote me on that!)

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Take a look at his stabilization and control below.

Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups
Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups on Amazon

If you want to get better at your mindful movement pick up our Advanced Bodyweight Training Bundle!

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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1 Min Tip: Acrobatic Attributes – Reverse Shoulder Roll

For today’s tip, I’ll be going over an easy stretch that everybody does, yet with a little more detail than the usual. The move we’ll be working on today is the reverse shoulder roll. It’s probably something you all have done since your school days, in sports, or physical education(if you had it).

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The first thing to keep in mind while doing this combo is that your main focus in on the lats and the traps. You want to pay attention to keeping the shoulder neutral and in a relaxed position.

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

Once you begin your reverse shoulder roll. Pay attention to your arm when it gets behind your back. From personal experience with clients, I found that once they finish getting their hand overhead they completely relax their arm and let it drop behind their back. Lets not try to do that and be more mindful of our movement!

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As your bicep lines up with your ear, outstretch up to activate the lat and keep it activated during the rest of the rotation.

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Check out the full video here!

Also if you are looking to really develop your foundational range of motion and flexibility for acrobatics, check out the GMB Focused Flexibility program here: https://lostartofhandbalancing.com/go/focusedflexibility/

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1 Min Tip: Acrobatic Attributes – Kickup Coordination and Strength

For today’s post, I’ll be showing you a nice way to build up the strength of your kick up into the handstand! Whats great about this move is that its a nice diversion from the usual lead up stunts. It also helps you with your hip-hinging, driving power from the floor, as well as your mindful body feel! The move we’ll be working on is called the Frogger to Banzai Hop from the Gold Medal Bodies Elements Program.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

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The first thing you want to do is start in a deep squat position and make sure your arms are on the inside of your legs.

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Up next, get your arms in a locked position and load them onto the floor. Once you’ve put the load on your hands, drive your hips up and let them fall naturally forward.

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Once your legs land, get into an overhead squat position and complete a small hop.

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Continue with this combo for about a minute, being mindful about whats happening with your body!

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You can catch the action in the video below!

This combo came from the Gold Medal Bodies Elements Program. If you’re interested in delving more into developing your acrobatic foundation go here!

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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Some Inspiration from 47 year old Freerunner

Hey guys! If you don’t know much about me, know that I started in on movement training at a later age. I’ve always done the martial arts and have trained in combat sports, but working on tying it together into a cohesive art of self expression didn’t happen till later. I’ve still got a long way to go, but its great to see what others have accomplished even later in life!

P.S. No highlights in this one. Just watch the video as it is, you won’t regret it!

Only a couple of days left to pick up the Advanced Bridging Course. You’ve heard us talking about over the past month and you can get it by clicking here!

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

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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AcroYoga Beginner Tutorial – Therapeutic Flying

Hey Everyone! You know that there have been quite a few posts on Acroyoga this month. With it being Valentines (and Deadpool for those of you who caught my Saturday email) month we felt it would be great to showcase a different type of hand balancing with a partner. In today’s post, Noga is going to go over a more therapeutic side of acroyoga involving thai massage!

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The first position has the base posting on the hips and shoulders of the flyer. They then bend their knees independently or together to open up the flyer’s hips. The flyer should stay relaxed the entire time.

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Up next are flyer circles. The base will take the flyer into forward and back circular pattern to open up the shoulder and hips with increasing leverage.

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In the next position, Noga runs her flyer through a spinal twist to gain an inverted thoracic stretch.

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Another stretch is to have the flyer elongate their spine while the base lengthens their position from the ground,

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

Noga goes through many more positions in the video that you can catch below!

One last thing! Flexibility and core stabilization is key for both the flyer and the base. So don’t forget that Logan and I have a special February deal for the advanced bridging course. Increase your core strength and mobility by going here!

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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Acrobatic Attributes: A GMB Elements Review

So, we’ve been talking a lot about foundation recently. Especially on how to get your body accustomed to all types of 3d movement. It can be scary, I won’t lie. Its a constant cycle, but after the initial work gets easier like the progress from walking, to running, to sprinting. Take myself for example, when I started on this journey of movement I was just like how most of you probably were in the beginning. NO IDEA what to do or which direction to take. Even with all the quick info out there, its hard to pull everything together in an easy to follow manner. Luckily you’ve got people like Logan who’ve done the hard work and can help you reach that level that you want to achieve.

The work is consistent but its a gratifying journey. The reason I’m talking about this is because i want to open you up to a way of making this body skill passion easier. As you know, our friends over at Gold Medal Bodies have been at the body skill game for multiple years. In their big pot of experience and talents, they’ve narrowed down the necessary attributes needed to develop any acrobatic skill. This information is compiled together in their Elements Program. Which we use of inspiration for our evolving outlook on handstand and hand balancing development.

I’ve always been a person about simplicity and the Elements Program accomplishes this by having you focus on 3 movement patterns in a progressive fashion over the course of 7 weeks. Even after a few days, I began to understand the value of the information. Although not just myself; my own clients have benefited with their own hip mobility and stabilization, which for some of them has been 2 years of work. Every piece of information is meticulously detailed and compliments each other.

As I said, the program is broken down into 7 weeks with 6 days of training. The main goal is to build necessary strength and conditioning, but more importantly to understand your body. As the weeks go by, Ryan and the GMB team start adding more tweaks as well as give you the guidance to work on your own free flow floor work.

If you’ve never been inverted or have never tried any acrobatic feat, be sure to pick up the GMB Elements Program. I can’t recommend it enough!

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

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Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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