I’m going to say that I’ve been excited about Capoeira for a while. It involves alot of my favorite things; music, rhythm, martial arts, acrobatics, and of course hand balancing. Today I’m going to be giving you a primer on the Subject. In all honesty I’ll probably be doing a few posts on Capoeira. The reason being that I’m excited at the fact of introducing it in my own little training studio. I’ve found an instructor with similar goals, so these are exciting times!
Back to the subject. What is Capoeira?
Truthfully there isn’t much written record of Capoeira. But we do know that it was created in Brazil by African Slaves. It’s a Martial Art that was taught in secret by the slaves for self protection and was delivered through traditional music, singing, dancing.
Combining Rhythm, movement, and music; Capoeira is a very engrossing system that will help to build up body skills. Take a look at this video to get a better idea about what it is!
If you’ve been a part of this community for a while, you’ll know that it was started by the gentleman above, Logan Christopher. A true renaissance man; he was able to reinvigorate and expand the hand balancing community with a nothing but a keyboard.
Over the years, he moved into different facets of fitness and life in general. One of the biggest steps he made was transitioning over Legendary Strength. Hence now I’m becoming the main voice for LAOHB. As we grow and push forward in life, new opportunities arise.
Once such opportunity happened to Logan recently as he was able to purchase his first house. With that good fortune comes many other benefits. One being that there is a Legendary Strength Training Home and second that more videos will be coming your way!
The last benefit is that Logan is offering 50% his Legendary Strength Courses, which you can pick up here!
Take Advantage of this while you can because the sale is only on for 24 more hours and as always… Stay Inverted!
Training is a huge part of my life. Its fun, tests my limits, and is a HUGE stress reliever. But what happens when something key to that chill factor adds to the stress. Living in Silicon Valley, stress is a very common thing. Fear, anxiousness, and doubt are always just around the corner. With the pressures of being around some of the most intelligent people, helping to move the world around, this anxiety and doubt can creep into the oddest places.
Once such occasion happened to me just yesterday. I was training in Tricking. If you don’t know what that is, its all those cool martial arts guys spinning and flipping in the air while throwing kicks. While working on a normal Butterfly kick but with a new entry, my anxiousness started setting in. Its an odd fact, but even I get this way.
With the stress of building a business, personal stuff, and helping clients through their own processes in getting better; the fear, anxiousness, and more started to set in. Luckily with supportive people around me, I was able to push and move forward.
But what do you do if you don’t have that support?
Try these 3 ways to overcome that negativity and keep moving!
Way #1 Move Into The Fear.
It’s all about meeting your fears and facing them head-on. Aim to recognize your fears, acknowledge them and then move through them. Ask yourself what is it that makes you uncomfortable? Have you let yourself get out of shape and are afraid you’ll never get back? Do you have an injury that’s caused you to be afraid of your body? If you can visualize creatively, then you can put your fears in check. Remember: your body has knack at baselining itself. Your only job is to trust it and listen.
Way #2 Trust Your Intuition.
It is important when overcoming obstacles and learning to break through barriers that you begin to listen to the still small voice of your body. In most cases, we all want the comfort of having someone telling us what we can and cannot do. However, our highest truth is usually deep down. This is not to say that good opinion of others are not important, but ultimately the decision making comes from within.
When facing a challenge or an obstacle look to how you feel. What are your instincts telling you? Often it is simply your instinct that will move you into a new mindset and raise your consciousness. It’s simply about changing your perspective. Although in order to do this you have to find where your restrictions and boundaries are so that you can move past. Once you know what they are, remember “WAY #1” and meet them head-on.
Way #3 Live Beyond the Boundaries
So what’s the final takeaway from all of this? Staying afraid often keeps us from truly living. Moving forward starts with your attitude. Are you going to keep letting things beat you down and miss whats happening today. Or will you make today the right time to face them.
Life Beyond The Boundaries.
Push past your fears and boundaries and when you’ve settled with that, look for another skill, trick, or plateau to jump.
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.
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.
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.
Pushups. Something so simple and yet so versatile, so progressive yet so intense, a pushup is one of the ultimate multifaceted tools of hand balancing mastery.
Of this multifaceted tool, this variation is one of my personal favorite pushups: the Hindu pushup.
Also known as a dand, this is a full body workout; with one simple exercise, you can work the shoulders, back, arms, legs, and chest. Not only that, but the mind muscle connection that you gain from honing your technique through the movement will help your body very quickly return to its natural state of absolute strength.
Now, this exercise was used often by Indian wrestlers like the famous Great Gama to develop incredible strength, mobility, and power. Now, add to that the intensity of a dynamic tension workout, flexing the appropriate muscles from the start to the finish of your training, and you’ve got a phenomenal workout.
Dynamic tension has been used to strengthen tendons, muscles, and nerves in so many physical arts through history that it almost seems like adding it to a Hindu pushup was meant to be.
Additionally, if you want to increase the intensity of your workout even more, do a dynamic tension Hindu pushup on your fingertips and engage the power of your grip strength. For the truly adventurous, using a weight vest will take the intensity of the pushup to a whole new level.
Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast
This is an exercise that is not for the faint-hearted. This is an advanced variation pushup, so take it slowly. As I say in the video, slow is smooth and smooth is fast.
That goes not just for your movement speed during the exercise, but also the speed of your progression. There’s no need to rush, and no need to risk injury. Enjoy the training journey, keep it fun, and look forward to the incredible levels of strength that you acquire. Onward, and happy training to you all!
Leave a comment to let me know your thoughts on the variation.
The Pull Up. Its a staple bodyweight movement that, much like the pushup alludes many. Some People don’t have enough core stability to follow through the motion, while others are stuck at the beginning phase with the scapular activation. Luckily the Tapp Brothers have a 4 stage plan that you can follow to reach your first pull up!
The 4 Stage Plan:
3.Isometric/Eccentric Pull Ups
4.Assisted Pull Ups
Watch the video below to get a full breakdown of the process!
If you want to learn how to train your body to do more than just the pull ups, the Tapp Brothers have tons of great information to give in their new program Rapid Primal Fitness!
In today’s installment of Ask the Tapps, Jonathan Tapp goes over 2 tricks that you can use to increase your muscle size and strength. Whats excellent about this tutorial is that its geared toward the bodyweight enthusiast.
The 2 tricks are:
Eccentric Contractions – Lengthening of the muscles or negatives
Increase Resistance – Engaging the correct muscle fibers and increasing the load on them
Jonathan goes over these tricks in much more detail in the video below!
Download your FREE Eccentric Bodyweight workout here!
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
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
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.
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.
In basic terms, Body Weight Strong 2.0 can evolve your strength to reach incredible levels just as true bodyweight training should do.
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…
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.