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Underwater Handstands and where to spot?

Is doing an underwater handstand a good idea? Read below for that and other questions from readers like you. Remember that if you want your questions answered just email them to me. I can’t personally reply to all of them but I will post them for all to see.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

Here’s the first one:

Thank you so much for the good tips. I am just a beginner of the hand stand on land. I already know how to do headstand (“King of Yoga” ). I also do good hand stand and hand walk underwater in the swimming pool at my local LA Fitness. In fact I handwalked the entire length of the pool in one breath few days ago. But I find it much more difficult to do hand stand on land. Shall I keep practicing underwater hand stand and hand walk while trying to learn hand stand on land? Will I pick up “bad habits” while doing the underwater hand balancing?
Best regards, Brian Ko

Now I have never heard this one before. Not having practiced in the water it is hard to say for sure but here are my feelings.

Water is going to give you some resistance for you to push off of. This is why it is easier. When you balance on land you cannot push off the air in this manner. I imagine that you will be balancing with your body rather than your hands for the most part. If you want to be able to do a handstand on land then you should be practicing that.

The other thing is holding the breath. Obviously this must be done if you are underwater, and unless you have great lungs you won’t be able to balance for a long time. However, in hand balancing you do not want to hold your breath. A big key, and also something hard to learn, is to be able to breathe normally when you practice.

My advice is to stick to the land. It is harder but you will get the hang of it. There may be some benefit from practicing underwater but I the time would be better spent on solid ground.

And from our friend Seth:

Hello, I was wondering where is the best place to look while you are in a handstand, I find myself always looking at the ground, but recently I started trying to look forward and keeping neck straight. Which way is correct? Thank you for all your help it is very much appreciated.

Both are correct depending on what you are going for. Most of the time I look at the ground. I find this position easier. Remember that the back tends to follow the head, so if you are looking at your hands then you will naturally arch.

Now if you look forward then your back will straighten out and this will give you the straight handstand look and feel. Once you get use to this position it can be just as easy as the other one.

It all depends on what you are going for but both are correct for hand balancing.

That wraps it up for today.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

PS   Jonathan here! If you need more guidance in 2017 toward your handbalancing goals, try out our Handstand Mastery Program!

 

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Make Haste Slowly, A Late Start to 2017

2017 day 4. If i had my way I would have given you this advice on day 1 of this year inspiring you and guiding you towards your right track. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out that way. Each day of 2017 has involved an odd occurence. Had my phone pick-pocketed from me on the first day, hurt my back on the second, and we move forward. If I had the capacity to turn back time and redo, I would. Unfortunately that isn’t the case.

Much in the same way with your training. If there was a pill that you could take, that would immediately transform you into a world class hand balancer, would you take it?

YES I would! Unfortunately, there is no such pill.

Becoming a great hand balancer requires work and perserverance. Lots and lots of work. Especially if you “start late.”

The problem is that the more you want it and push for it sometimes the farther away it seems.

The worst part of learning any new stunt is the frustration when you just can’t get it right. So you keep on pushing and only get worse it seems.

When you are going after a handstand, and mind you this applies to any trick, as soon as you fall out of balance you may want to kick right back up again. Trying to force the situation will never help.

Whenever this happen take the time to step back. Take a deep breath and think about how you can do better. Don’t over think the process, but analyze your technique and realize if you are doing things correctly.

Now go at it again with optimism.

If you throw yourself into a hand balance you may feel like you can get more work in a shorter amount of time. Maybe you get one in ten to stick and you feel like you are progressing.

The question to ask yourself is do you want to go about this haphazardly or in the correct manner?

I am hoping you answered with the second option. You need to start slowly in order to make progress in the long run.

Going after the handstand with no prior skills is a hard way to do it. Learning the position and hand control with exercises like the Frog stand and Head Stand will give you two steps in the right direction.

Don’t just go after the One Hand Handstand by getting into a normal handstand and raising one hand off of the floor quickly. Practice handstands with a smaller base of support or with one arm elevated up.

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

Don’t be too anxious to get to your goal or you are putting obstacles in your own way.

If you needed to cover a distance of 30 feet would you try a broad jump or walk each step at a time?

I am as guilty of this problem as any of you. What we need to do is realize how much assistance exercises and lead-up stunts can help, use them, and in the end we will make progress faster.

By breaking your goal into easier steps along the way you will get there with haste.

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

PS   If you need more guidance in 2017 toward your handbalancing goals, try out our Handstand Mastery Program!

 

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Forest Vance and his Sneaky Trick to Do More Push Ups – Instantly

We’ve got another guest post from  Certified Progressive Calisthenics Instructor Forest Vance. Last time he discussed a bodyweight apparatus mainstay with the pull up.

Today he’s coming back with a sneaky trick in order to develop your push up.


Sneaky Trick to Do More Push Ups –
Instantly by Forest Vance, creator, Bodyweight Strong

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

A couple of years ago – after charity event we had held at FVT Boot Camp – we went out to a bar to eat, drink, and celebrate.

Several of us get to talking about how many push ups we think we can do … one thing leads to another, and before you know it, I’m in the middle of a push up contest!

The guy I was going against could do a surprising amount of push ups…I ended up squeaking out a victory, but barely …and the big way I was able to do it was using the technique I am going to share with you in today’s article.

Try this technique today … if you do it right, you’ll be able to do more push ups, instantly!

Sneaky Trick to Do More Push Ups – Instantly

– At the top of your push up, get as tight as you can. Take a deep breath to load up your muscles. Tighten your upper body, legs, core, everything.

– Drop into your push up without letting your breath out. Maintain tension in your abdominals and throughout your entire body. Do NOT exhale or let tension ‘escape’ in any way!

– Exhale as you press through your sticking point in the push up or after you finish the move. This will also help you keep tension throughout.

– Once finished with the push up, pause at the top and take a breath or two. Either lower back down to the ground and repeat, or rest.

This is a technique that can be used to tap into additional strength reserves, and boost your strength and power instantly. You can use this technique not only for push ups, but for other bodyweight moves as well, and also when lifting heavy weights. Give it a try today – I think you’ll be surprised at the results!

Train hard, and talk soon –

Forest Vance Author, Bodyweight Strong


Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

PS – For more tricks like the one outlined in this article, and for a full 12 week bodyweight only training program that will take you from whereEVER you are now, to bodyweight STRONG, click the link below:

Bodyweight Strong.

 

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Can’t Do Pull Ups? Forest Vance Will Show You How to Get There!

We’ve got a special post on  the pull-ups by Forest Vance for you today.

If you have problems, with this pulling motion, take a look at some of the things Forest will show you below!

— The difference between a pull up and a chin up .. and which one is easier
— What “counts” as a legit pull up or chin up rep
— The PROPER way to do a jumping or assisted pull up or chin up
— The PROPER way to do a band-assisted pull up or chin up
— How to work to full, unassisted pull ups / chins ups – and beyond

Have a look at the video below!

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

PS If you liked the information he gave out, have a look at his program Bodyweight Strong.

 

The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing
The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing on Amazon
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Building your core to handle your balance skills or get more athletic!

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

We’ve got something a bit different for you today. As many of you who have attempted to do a freestanding handstand or even a wall handstand know, having a strong core is one of the key factors in keeping yourself inverted or even in safely getting up into a handstand safely. You also need to be dynamic in your mobility and flexibility.

Now, the reason why today is different is because you’ll rarely see me posting a movement drill with weights, although I do them myself. I like to stay focused on the buildup of the skill. But once the skill is built up to a certain point, you need to start testing it in different modalities in order to develop the dynamic nature of the skill. Remember, even though we are doing a “handstand hold”, we are actually dynamically adjusting to all the different changes while in the inverted position.

So, for today’s post we have a simple yet effective QM(quadredal movement) that you can do in order to test your functional movement and build your core to handle those dynamic changes. An added tip is to add a hollow body to movement to really engage your mid-thoracic and lower lumber!

Here is the video.

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

PS If you really liked the drill, its by our good friend Nick Nilsson. You can find other great core exercises in his Best Core Exercises ebook!

 

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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:

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!

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

 

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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.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

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

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

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]

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.

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.

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

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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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!

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

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!

 

Stay Inverted,
Coach Jon

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