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Handstand Walk Substitutions

If you can’t walk on your hands specifically, here are a couple exercises that are handstand walk substitutions.

They require much less balance then walking out in the open, but still train the same muscles and support ability needed.

#1 – Walk laterally in a handstand across a wall. Here is an example.

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#2 – Walk vertically up into a handstand and down from a pushup position.

Both these are great exercises most people can do, even if they haven’t learned how to balance in a handstand yet.

If you don’t have the strength to support yourself in these positions yet, you can also do animal movements, which take some of the weight onto the hands which will build up your ability until you can support yourself.

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Treadmill Handstand Success

In a previous post we covered a bunch of handstand fails, one of which was the close to famous handstand on treadmill fail. Well when looking at that video I also came across the opposite, a treadmill handstand success.

There is one big main difference I can tell in what led to failure versus success. The SPEED that the treadmill was going.

It also looks like this guy knew what he was doing and was confident in his ability to walk on his hands, whereas the other was probably an un-proficient college kid who thought it would be cool if he could do it. Still not the best form but he did it.

You have to laugh at his friend saying “He is a beast” without much excitement in his voice throughout this video.

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

If you want to learn all your need to walk and jump on your hands go here.

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Amazing Hand Balancing Video

Here’s another video of an amazing hand balancer.

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

  • The video starts off with 15 straddle L presses to handstand.
  • This is followed by 10 handstand pushups, a half pirouette, then 3 more.
  • Using rotating hand balancing stands a series of elbow lever press to handstands.
  • Front and side splits (including extended).
  • One arm handstands in a variety of positions on the floor and on stands.
  • This is followed by one arm presses and hopping from hand to hand.
  • I don’t think I’ve ever seen the move at the 5:30 mark before (it has to be way harder then the straddle version)
  • A variety of walking, holds, human flag, the grand arch and much more.
  • And it ends with one of the most visually appealing hand balancing stunts.

Hand balancing is not a lost art to this individual. Thanks to Mark for sending me this video.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Hand Walking

I’m often asked about handwalking in the many questions that come in. Usually it comes in two types; how do you hand walk, and what to do next?

Let’s talk about the first part.

hand walkingFirst a warning. I’ve said this many times before and will continue to say it. You must learn to stand on your hands first, before you start walking around. The reason for this is that if you learn to walk and never to stand, you will only be able to balance by walking around and never learn the necessary wrist and shoulder balance necessary for all other hand balancing.

Assuming you can stand, walking should pose no problem. Simply lift one arm up slightly, place in a little in front of where it was, repeat with the other arm, and continue on.

In the beginning, strive to make small steps to stay in control. As you improve you can lengthen your stride. With this you’ll be spending more and more time on a single arm, thus making hand walking harder to do.

The thing you want to strive for at all times is to stay in control. Just about anyone can stumble around on their hands for a few seconds. Even someone proficient in doing handstands may be able to walk on their hands but lose control the last few steps as they over balance beyond their ability.

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Now let’s tackle the second part. After you’ve done some handwalking what do you do next. Here is a list of different things you can do.

  1. As was already mentioned work on lengthening your stride.
  2. Work on going for distance. This is especially fun to challenge someone else in.
  3. Walk and stop. This method really increases your control and is further detailed in this Handstand Walking article.
  4. Vary the speed of your steps. Try hand walking faster and slower then normal.
  5. Walking forward is easy. Try handwalking to the sides and to the rear. And of course make turns, doing pirouettes on your hands.
  6. Try slapping while walking on your hands. Take the free hand and touch it to your head, shoulder, or hip with each step. (Each one of these is more difficult then the last).
  7. Can you dance on your hands? Sure, if you’ve got the skill and the rhythm.
  8. Handwalking is normally done with a regular position of the body. But there is no reason you can shift that around to add to the fun.
  9. And of course you can combine many of these. Try going for distance, quickly, while slapping your hip with each step.

For tons more details on all these and more, including stair walking and jumping, be sure to check out Walking and Jumping on Your Hands, one of the books only available in the Hand Balancing Mastery Course.

This should give you tons of ideas on where you can take your hand walking skills.

In fact, I’m going to be working on some of these tonight at my gymnastics class.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Gaining Skills at Older Age

I got this in just a couple days ago from Steve.

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

Thank you. I am a 60–almost 61–year old man, 6’1″, about 185 lbs. I have lifted off and on since age 15, trying to stay in shape. During my college years I did a small amount of handstands. I taught myself to do them by kicking up against a wall. Back then I could even do what I call handstand pushups, which I have always considered a true gauge of pressing strength. I figure that if you can do say, 10 handstand pushups, kissing the ground at the bottom of each rep, then you are pretty strong. I would even try to make them a little harder by putting each hand on a gallon paint can, and lowering myself between them. After a while, I learned to walk on my hands, but it’s been many, many years since I’ve even practiced any of this stuff consistently.
They say as a person ages they lose their sense of balance, unless they work on it. So that is why I am interested in your site. I watched part of your 30 minute video and already have learned some things. I’ve been kicking up against a wall and slowly lowering myself a few inches at a time, then pressing out, to try to develop my handstand strength. I also need to work on my balance. My goals would be to do a one-minute free handstand, to do ten “floor kiss” handstand pushups, AND to walk on my hands for at least one minute without falling. Not sure if any of these are attainable for an old geezer like me. Maybe my goals are too lofty; what do you think?

Thanks for coming by Steve.

Professor PaulinettiYes, I absolutely think your goals are attainable. While it is easier for young people to learn these skills this doesn’t mean anyone older can’t do it. Professor Paulinetti practiced his hand balancing into his 70’s before passing on at 76. Granted he was already one of the best but that doesn’t mean anyone can’t practice and attain new skills at any age.

Add to the fact that you have prior experience and I see no reason why you can’t get back to what you were doing in your college days.

My advice would be to follow what’s laid out in the Handstand quick start video. Work on standing still in a free handstand before you start walking around. And once you hit about 30 seconds in a free handstand you can add in the hand walking practice.

Add to that a few handstand pushups, which you can find more information about that here and here, and you’ll be well on your way. What you wrote, doing the partials reps, is an excellent place to begin.

Be sure to keep me posted of your progress.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Science of Handwalking

I was sent a couple of articles by Rick over at GymnasticsCoaching.com

These can be found in the Science of Gymnastics Journal found here.

handwalking

They actually did a study on this? Cool...

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

One particular article caught my eye, concerning a comparison of hand walking to regular walking.

You’re welcome to read the seven page report yourself but I’ll give you the results they found.

I’ve seen many people compare hand balancing to standing on the feet. While this can be useful in certain situations this study showed that because of the structure of the body things have to be different (no big surprise there).

Gymnasts of various, but all above average skill levels, were used in this study.

What they found was the cadence of walking on the hands was similar to the feet albeit much shorter even if you take into consideration the difference in lengths of the arms and bones.

Also hand walking requires a wider base of support then on the feet.

What they found is that the more skilled gymnasts spent more time with both hands on the ground at one time and with more consistent stride length.

These are just a few things to take into consideration the next time you go for a stroll on your hands.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Want full details on how to walk, run, jump, skip and even tap dance on your hands? Check out How to Walk on Your Hands in the Hand Balancing Mastery Course.

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Walking on Hands

Here is a great question on the value of walking on hands versus standing on them.

“Hey Logan I just now started to do the frogstand and I can do it for a long time. I’ve been learning the handstand and couldn’t find my balance and I can walk all the way down my hall on my hands but I cant hold a handstand and Its frustrating so I stuck to walking on my hands. I’m gonna start practicing my frogstands right now. Is there any other things I could do to work on my balance for a handstand?”
Marcus

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I recommend that anyone getting started with the handstand attempts to not walk around but instead finds the balance and holds the position on the hands.

You see, how you balance while walking on your hands can be entirely different then how you balance while standing on your hands. The first when you come out of balance you step to get back in balance. So your balance is maintained by moving around your body.

When standing on your hands you maintain your balance by keeping the body in a certain range that can be balanced by the hands and arms. If you start to fall out of balance you shift the pressure to keep your body up.

Doing this is tough. That’s why I recommend using lead-up stunts to teach you how to balance. The frogstand is great for teaching you hand balancing while in an easier position with your body low to the ground.

Other moves that help you build balance, different from the frog stand, include the headstand and forearm stand. If you can’t do these easier stunts well then you definitely should not be attempting the handstand yet.

Full details on these and other helpful stunts can be found in the Secrets of the Handstand Quick Start DVD.

Learning how to balance your body will in the end make walking around that much easier.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Scissors Handstand

After most people, myself included, have some success with the handstand they want to move on to a variety of stunts, most of which are much harder.

My advice, nowadays, is to stick with the handstand itself for a bit longer.

Yes, you can always just work on adding more time in a hold while improving your balance. But to spice it up a little bit try changing up your position.

There are a huge amount of different ways you can do this with different areas of your body. For today let’s focus on the legs.

Again, any possible way you can move your legs can be done in the handstand but let’s narrow it down to just one. The Scissors Handstand.

Scissors Handstand by Bob Jones
From The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing:

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

“Do a hand stand in nice form, then separate the legs, one backward and the other forward. Start the legs backward and forward in scissor fashion. Go slowly at first, and increase the speed, and come to a sudden stop with the feet and legs in nice form. While in the motion, the legs should be kept straight, with the toes pointed. This trick is very effective and is not hard to learn. Variations of the above are, scissors while walking on the hands, also scissors with the head forward through the arms.”

Check out the hand balancing book for many other moves just like this one.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Correcting Bad Handstand Habits

First off thanks to everyone who took the time to fill out the short survey. I appreciate you spending your time to help me out even it its just a couple minutes. I’ll be sharing what everyone said a little later on but today I thought I’d tackle a couple questions.

But before that a few other updates. That last blog post on the planche brought a couple great comments. I’ll delve further into that subject soon (with a few more pictures). In fact, there’s been a few comments on several different blog posts which I’m pleased with. Keep the conversation going.

And recently, I was notified that the company that makes the Elite Rings and Ring Strength DVD has switched over to fre e shipping within the USA. And I’m passing that offer on to you.

So if you are in the US you can get these products even cheaper now!

Now onto the questions. It’s a long one but worth reading.

“I’ve been practicing (more or less playing with) handstands and handbalancing for about a year.  I taught myself 100% and so I’ve adopted ALOT of bad habits. I can walk yards forward or backwards on my hands, I’ve held a handstand for 42 seconds once, and I’ve even been expirimenting with walking up and down stairs with some mild success.

“Unfortunately, despite the impressive feets that I can achieve I get criticized frequently on my form.  My back has a huge arch and I let my legs dangle over my head.  It works for me, but just doesn’t have that impressive look to it.  I’m sure it’s not hard to teach someone to keep their legs together and toes pointed, but after a year of success it’s a little bit harder to break the habit. Plus I get frustrated easier because I think ”I can just do it better my way anyway.”  So as you may have already guessed, because I usually let my legs dangle, when I try to pick them up I underbalance.  It’s like trying to learn it all over again and It’s quite frustrating. If you have any tips on gradually recovering from this habit as opposed to just relearning it I would appreciate your advice. And is it suppose to be harder or easier with you legs together?

“A second question I have is a specific skill question.  I can walk in a circle on my hands, but I can’t stay in one place and pivot around.  It would be a cool tutorial for you to make if you can teach how to pivot on your hands. Or if you could just point me in the right direction that would be cool too.”

Thank you for your time,
Josh Reed

Thank you for taking the time to write a detailed question. Much easier to answer this when there’s lots to draw from.

About the form and how to correct it. First let me start by saying why some people go towards the feet hanging form. Because of the bend at the knees the lower legs are hanging down and this effectively lowers your center of gravity. Also like you mentioned it throws your weight a bit more forward toward an overbalance.

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If its easier why is it not generally recommended? The key word is the legs were ‘dangling’ over the head. In this position it is harder to keep the legs under control, and without control hand balancing becomes much harder. You want the legs together and straight so that they act like one object, which is easy to control.

It may be a bit harder in the beginning but in the long run it’ll make more advanced stunts (and doing simpler ones for longer) that much easier.

This is a case of taking two steps back so you can move three steps forward. Yes, you’ll have to go back to re-learn the move in a sense. Going back to the wall will help.

But the best thing I think would be to learn how to move from one position to the other. Learn to stay in a stationary handstand. Raise and bring the feet together from your hanging, knees bent position, then go back and forth. Raising and lowering them under control.

Your handstand position isn’t wrong (even if others say its ugly). You should be able to assume any position you want. Learn to control your legs and make them do what they want.

Which brings me to the next question regarding doing pirouettes. Turning around in one spot is much harder than just walking forwards.

I’ll likely do a longer tutorial later on but for now just a couple tips. Start off with small steps and gradually reduce the number you use over time. Eventually it should only take two steps to turn around, but start with up to six if you need to.

Also pay attention to the feet. Its common just to focus on the hands as you do the move but giving mind to the furthest point from your balance will help you even more to stay up. And this goes for all walking and even standing still.

“I have subscribed to your Updater and it seems like Every time I learn of something new from a friend or somewhere on the internet I come to my e-mail to find you have already e-mailed me with a new set of tips or instructions JUST ON THE VERY THING! This is far from a question but I wanted to let you know you personally inspired me to continue my journey to become stronger and more powerful then I ever thought possible.”

Balancing diligently
~Matt

Thanks a lot Matt. I am happy to inspire and teach. And that’s going to wrap it up for today.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Bad Handstand Habits, Training Frequency + More

Thanks for all the suggestions after my last message. Going to answer a number of them today.

“I am just started handstands and I notice that my arms are bent it seems I have a bad habit, ideas?”

You know this is something I battled with for a long time. When doing a handstand you want to have your arms locked out the entire time.

Should you overbalance you can bend your arms to save yourself but this should only be used as a last resort. And when you’re starting out you are better off not doing it so that you learn to use your hands to balance.

So how do you break this habit? Returning to the wall and doing handstands there with locked out arms would certainly help.

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

Also, any time you kick-up into a handstand have your arms straight from the very start. Extend them fully and imagine they have a splint wrapped around them that forces you to keep them that way.

“Actually I am interested in high wire walking or rope walking. And in the future also slacklining. I live in Finland and I would like to know where I could buy a slackline? Sorry my bad english. Thank You for your inspiring messages.”
Taina

Its funny that you should mention this, Taina as a friend just brought to my attention trying out slack lines.

Its something I’m looking into and may feature on the site in the future. As an informal poll how many out there are potentially interested in learning this art? And who out there currently does it?

“I would like to know some good ways to build up to walking up stairs on my hands.”

Before starting to walk up stairs you need to have a good base. You should be proficient in walking on flat ground, walking down stairs, and be strong.

Because you’re walking up the stairs on your hands you are having to push your bodyweight up with mostly a single arm at a time. I’d say being able to do three freestanding handstand pushups in a row is the bare minimum.

If you’re there its just a matter of starting small and working your way up. Literally. Find small stairs and master those before moving up to large steps. The more incremental you can make it the better.

“I started trying some headstands and handstands today after perusing this site + I really enjoyed it. I lift weights regularly and was wondering how frequently i should train hand balancing, do I do it as with weights(every other day) or can I practice every day?
Thanks very much.
Stuart

This is a fairly common question. Because hand balancing requires very fine skill it is best to practice it every single day. A little practice each day is much better than a two hour session once a week.

Of course starting out you’ll need to give some time for recovery, also depending on what moves you are practicing and how tough your other workouts are.

But once you have a foundation some practice every day is the best way to go. If for some reason you are unable to train everyday, not to worry cause you can still make progress with less practice.

Well that’s plenty to chew on for one day. So until next time…

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Many of these topics are covered in much more detail in Professor Paulinetti and Bob Jones’ hand balancing book.

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