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A broom, your body, and handbalancing!

Everyone has done this at one time or another. A broom is a common item but any long straight object will do just fine.

Put one end on your open palm with the other end straight up in the air and keep it there by balancing.

This is not very difficult and let me tell you why. The broom is straight and solid. Your efforts at balancing it from the bottom translate straight up to the top so it is quite easy to keep it in the air.

Of course, this is related to hand balancing. However, there are some big differences.

Your body is not just one straight long object. You have mobile joints at your elbows, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. And then there’s your spine which has many moving pieces.

This is not an anatomy lesson. My point is that your efforts of balancing on your hands may not directly translate to keeping your feet in the air.

Your target must be keeping your body from wrists to toes unmoving so that you can balance.

Keeping your body tight is the key to holding a quality handstand. Any leak means getting out of proper position and a much tougher time getting back in.

So stay tight, but don’t forget to breathe.

In the beginning all this is not as easy as it appears, especially when you are in the unfamiliar upside down position. But keep practicing.

When you can keep your body rigid then handstands are a piece of cake.

The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing
The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing on Amazon

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

P.S. Although this post is about keeping a straight line, sometimes you need to be a bit more bendable or flexible. Increase your body’s strength and mobility by working on your handstand pushups.

 

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Tired from the Holidays? Let the Professor Help!

So which Professor are we talking about?

Professor E.M. Orlick. You’ve probably read the last few post about him and have wondered why his material is so great.

Here is an excerpt from Handbalancing Made Easy, which forms just one of many pieces of the new course coming out soon. This covers many of the benefits of hand balancing no matter your reasons for doing it.

“I honestly believe that handbalancing is one of the finest mind-body activities there is, and that everyone should learn something about this invigorating sport. I am also convinced that our national health, both mental and physical, would improve materially, if all of our people spent a little time each day in the stimulating upside-down position.

FOR THE GYMNAST, the ability to hold a perfect handstand is a must. This stunt, with its numerous variations, is used more often in gymnastics than any other trick known to man. Without it, you cannot become a champion gymnast, or even an accomplished performer.

FOR THE ACROBAT, whether amateur or professional, the handstand is of similar importance, because it can be used in such a great variety of ways and in such a multitude of different acts. The handstand belongs in the repertoire of every good acrobat.

FOR THE BODYBUILDER, and all others interested in building impressive, muscular, he-man physiques, the handstand is a natural. Not only does handbalancing help to build big, powerful muscles, but it also shows off the well-developed body to its best advantage. Furthermore, it proves to the whole world that your muscles are not a lot of useless bulk, because handbalancing requires a find combination of balance, controlled strength, and neuro-muscular coordination.

FOR THE WEIGHTLIFTER, and other strength athletes, the handstand serves a similar purpose, but does even more, for it helps to develop terrific pressing strength. All good handbalancers possess powerful triceps. I have yet to find one who could not press his own body weight over his head. Some can press much more, even though they have never practiced weight-lifting. Most handbalancers practice some weight-lifting to help them with their sport, and likewise, many weight-lifters do some handbalancing to help them improve their lifts.

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

FOR THE ATHLETE, no matter what his favorite sport may be, handbalancing is a wonderful, exhilarating, strength-building activity. It is particularly good for those sports which require strong fingers, wrists, forearms, upper arms, shoulders, upper back and lower back. However, it exercises all of the muscles of the body to some degree, is a good circulation stimulator, and a fine warm-up exercise.

FOR THE ORDINARY PERSON, who just wants a strong, healthy, useful body, which can serve him efficiently and enable him to enjoy a happy, exciting life, handbalancing is just the thing. Handbalancing brings into play every muscle in your body and has a beneficial effect upon all of your vital organs and systems. It improves circulation, respiration, digestion, elimination, and other important functions. It aids thinking and reasoning by bringing more blood to your brain, and more oxygen to your blood. It is challenging and exciting and has a beneficial effect upon the central nervous system as a whole. There is no better way to get fit and stay fit…mentally and physically… than through handbalancing.

HANDBALANCING is more than a series of stunts, more than a system of exercising, it is a way of life. To be a good handbalancer you need a sound mind in a sound body. You need strength of character, will-power, self-confidence, determination, perseverance, and the will to succeed. You need a mind free from worry, fear, and tension. You need a medically fit body, that is free from disease, injury, or infection. You need good balance, fine coordination and rapid recuperative powers. You need strength, stamina, and endurance; you need vim, vigor and vitality. You need mental and physical fitness of the highest order.”

As you can see Prof. Orlick was a huge believer that anyone and everyone can benefit from doing some hand balancing.

P.S. Why does it seem like all the best teachers of hand balancing seem to be professors or doctors? Maybe I should go get a degree.

If you are still unsure, why not just follow our lead and get your hand balancing skills in order.
We’ll even help you out by giving you a 50% discount til the end of 2016 to 3 of our Hand Balancing Products using the code: NEWTRICKS

 

Hand Balancing Made Easy – Beginner/Intermediate

Walking and Jumping On Your Hands – Intermediate/Advanced

How to do the One Hand Handstand – Advanced

 

Get one or all 3 of the books before 2016 ends.

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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Get a Head Start on 2017 Before 2016 ENDS!?

It’s almost 2017 and its pretty much the closing of a very interesting year. But no matter what environmental factors happen around us, we always have a choice to progress and be successful.

So, let me ask you a question.

What have you decided to in order to progress for 2017?

I’ll give you a second to think about that…

For many of us, the question hasn’t formulated in our heads yet, because we are still in “Holiday Mode.” For the ones that are going to kill it this 2017, the planning has already begun.

If you are still unsure, why not just follow our lead and get your hand balancing skills in order.
We’ll even help you out by giving you a 50% discount til the end of 2016 to 3 of our Hand Balancing Products using the code: NEWTRICKS

Hand Balancing Made Easy – Beginner/Intermediate

Walking and Jumping On Your Hands – Intermediate/Advanced

The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing
The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing on Amazon

How to do the One Hand Handstand – Advanced

 

Get one or all 3 of the books before 2016 ends.

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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Why am I still talking about flexibility?

Whats going on fellow handbalancers! This one is a bit of a rant lol.

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

If you remember from a few posts back I was discussing with you about flexibility. (PS if you don’t remember, just go here.)

Well here I am back at it again. The reason why? Its that I keep seeing the need for it in my daily life as a coach and/or trainer.(whichever you choose)

We are in a time when people are healthier than they have been in the past 5-10 years. We understand that we need to get our bodies strong and fit in order to elongate our lives but also to enjoy more of what if has to offer. All of the marketing and reality shows have probably helped. Although people are still getting stronger and faster, I still see a consistent issue. In fact its the top thing people have been coming to me for lately.

Flexibility. A typical situation is to have a new client call me up or email. The usual verbage is that they were working on their own or with a previous trainer and they hurt themselves. But they don’t know why but want to keep training without being inhibited. (Huge red flag for me) Awareness of your own body is key while your training. There are those cases where their movement patterns are off but that can be discussed at a later time. I do an assessment of their form and alignment and notice a few things. Maybe its overly stressed traps or tight it band causing irritation in the back. We get to work on a few flexibility protocols and in up to a few short weeks they are able to complete their programming without inhibited movements.

So why is this so important? If you have a muscular imbalance or tightness in certain areas of your body, it can cause not so needed stress to other areas as an effect. You can look at how the protocols for tennis elbow have changed in the past 3 -4 years to see what I’m talking about.

So do yourself a favor and get more flexibility! If you need a program, try the GMB Focused Flexibility Program.

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

 

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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

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.

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

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!

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

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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

 

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Stretching, Mobility or Flexibility?

Do you want to stretch, get more mobile, or be more flexible? Whatever you call it, your goal is to increase the range of your muscles and joints in various positions to be able to complete whichever activity you’re training for.

Here’s an example. Say you’re into the martial arts like I am. Maybe you want to complete a cartwheel so that you can build out into something more difficult or impressive like an aerial( no handed cartwheel). An easier example would be in tying your shoes. If you don’t have the range to bend over (hips, hamstrings, lower back) you will probably strain your muscles or have to get creative to complete a simple task.

This brings out a bunch of choices in how to get the job done. Before I give you an obvious choice that we follow, here’s some food for thought from Jarlo at GMB Fitness.

As the argument goes, muscles don’t actually stretch; a fully relaxed muscle is up to 50% longer than a muscle in it’s typical semi-contracted state. Therefore, “stretching” a muscle doesn’t so much elongate its fibers as it simply trains them to hold less unnecessary tonus.

-Jarlo Ilano, GMB Fitness

So now to the obvious choice. I’ve gone through different protocols of mobility and flexibility in my time-frame as a trainer. The best protocol I’ve found is actually in the Focused Flexibility program from GMB. It bases its protocols on customization. The human body is not a static machine, it constantly changes. Focused Flexibility uses a baseline and then it works you through a series of static and dynamic stretches that are a variant of physical therapy protocols.

So if you want to develop your “flexibility, mobility, or increase your stretching range” pick up the GMB Focused Flexibility Program.

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

 

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!

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!

 

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

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

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!

 

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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

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

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.

*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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