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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/

 

Stay Inverted,
Coach Jon

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

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

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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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!

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

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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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Check out the full video here!

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

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!)

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

 


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.

 


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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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!

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

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?

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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.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

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.

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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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!

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

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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Returning to Basics: The Headstand 1 Min Tip!

For today’s 1 minute tip, I’m going to be talking about the headstand. Its a great beginner lead-up stunt that will help with your stabalization really break that fear of being inverted without the wall or partner support!

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Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

The first thing to do is begin in a sprinter stance similar to how you would get into the Kick-Up Wall Handstand.

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Once you’ve situated your position, create a tripod with your hands and your head. Make sure to lock in your shoulders and activate your lats for increased stability.

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Finally Kick up into the handstand! Make any distance adjustments with your hands and head as soon as you get into the position. Finally be sure to dig your fingers into the ground to root yourself onto the floor.

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Catch the entire tip here!

To get a stronger understanding and solid system for the Handstand, pick up the video course!

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Developing the QDR Part 2! QDR Lead Up Stunts

Here is a great video by Mike Pinto that is full of tips on different progressions to lead up to a full QDR. Pay attention to your positioning and definitely listen to your body. I’m including some quick breakdown on the static positions, but be sure to watch the video below to also get info on the dynamic positions!

1. The first step to balancing the QDR is to create a supportive tripod using your head as a base. The lead foot is placed on the ground as a balance point to help with stabalization.

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

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2. Next work on increasing your lateral stability by raising your head off of the ground. Keep the balancing foot in place during this progression.

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3. For the next progression elevate the balancing foot to increase the load on your elbow and core.

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4. Finish off with the static positions slowly releasing the support arm finger by finger and ending with a single arm elbow lever.

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Watch the video of Mike as he showcases the static positions and more!

For more single armed maneuvers, check out How to do the One Hand Handstand!

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