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More Handstand Q&A

Gonna dip into the mailbag today and answer a couple questions.

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I had a question that relate to both my bridging, and hand balancing. When I do either, the blood rushes to my head very soon, not letting me hold either very long. Is this normal? Will it go away after more time? Are there any special ways to get around this? I would like to be able to work on both more than I am able to now because of that. Thank you for you great websites and emails!
Thank you,
Justin

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

That’s just a sign of gravity doing its job. The human body is not normally use to being upside down so when you start out it can cause you to feel like your head is about to explode.

I would guess that this happens to most people in one degree or another. And it will get better with time just as you become accustom to the position.

In addition, here’s two things to try out. Holding your breath compounds this problem. Make sure you are breathing easily while you bridge or do handstands. It can be tough in the beginning but you need to breathe for best results.

Second you can do an exercise specifically to get yourself familiar with being upside down. Just go up into a headstand (against a wall or not) and hold for a long time. With practice you’ll be able to do this for minutes at a time. And then you’ll be able to deal with blood rushing to your head.

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Handstands are really frustrating to me.  For a while now I’ve been having consistent 3 sec handstands and it hasn’t been improving. I’m also a bboy and my planches are better than my handstands, I can hold a planche-ish thing with my body horizontal and my back bent with my legs slightly at an angle. Kinda like this \_.   Any tips?
Nate

I think the fact that you are strong from break dancing may actually be holding you back on the handstand. The handstand is really a balanced position. You don’t want to have to rely on your strength to hold you there, unlike the planche.

Professor Orlick use to say that it was easier to teach a little kid the handstand than a strong weightlifter because the kid would have to find the balance, while the weightlifter would try to use his strength. If you want to hear more from Prof. Orlick check out the Hand Balancing Mastery Course.

Its hard to say without some more details but give either of these techniques a try. If you are underbalancing, going toward that planche, push back upwards into the handstand. If you find yourself overbalancing correct yourself and get back to neutral.

But the main thing is to just keep working on it. Set a goal to hit 5 seconds and work on that. Really get a feel for the position. In time it will come.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Injury-Proofing Your Ankles

A subscriber wrote in after the release of the Parkour Tutorial DVD with a warning. Thanks again Adam for bringing it to my attention.

Tricking, Parkour, even gymnastics can be rough on the ankles. Sprains, strains, and broken ankles are unfortunately not that uncommon.

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

In order to avoid this you want to do two things. First off, you want to make sure you can do moves within your capabilities. Don’t start off jumping off of two story buildings.

Secondly, prepare for the worst. Make your body more resilient. The stretches on this video will help prepare your feet and ankles for landings and all the impact.


Injury-Proofing Your Ankles

And if you take part in running, these same moves will injury-proof you so that no pot-hole is likely to roll your ankle.

Just add a few of these moves to your regular routine and you’ll be better off no matter what you do.

Good Luck and Good Training,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Of course you need to know how to do the moves properly. If you want to get started in Parkour this is the video for you.

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Straightening Handstand, Wrist Strength & More

Diving into a few questions and comments today.

“In the hand stand, and especially in the bridge, the main persisting difficulty is an inherent wrist weakness. In fact I observe steady improvement in back and shoulder flexibility, but the wrist is always setting me back!”
Joseph

I know your pain Joseph, having my own share of wrist problems. But I’ve come a long way in part thanks to handstands.

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

Here’s a few things you can try out. Always stretch before hand balancing or bridging. Just open the wrist back as far as it will go. And afterwards its great to work it the other direction too.

Try working some of the positions of the fists as well. This is known to help strengthen the wrists.

Of course there is much else to do, including many mobility drills for the hands and fingers. Since this is a problem for many people I’ll be covering it in more detail in the future. But for now I hope that helps.

Onto another comment.

“I got it! Thanks a bunch. I’m pleased with the quality of the material and your service.

“The handstand is really one of the most difficult skill I’m trying to learn, I’m almost there. Been practising since august but I was doing it wrongly by starting to do the handstands and not the build up moves! now I know what I know I’m doing wrong.

“Unfortunately my online friend who is into handbalancing didn’t tell me about the build up moves so I ended up wasting a lot of time practising doing handstands immediately. And most of the resources over the internet failed to teach this important aspect in learning this skill. Out of desperation I even attended a gymnastics class once. After many months of practice (4months) out of 10 attempts 1 will get thru and I would consider that a lucky day if I could hold it for 3seconds! It got so frustrating that I was ready to give up.

“I’m not back to ground zero but I could feel its just a matter of time in learning this. I’ve already mastered the frogstand, headstand and now been practising the kick up. Next would be the forearm stand.

“Here in the philippines, there isn’t much interest in handbalancing. I could only see some B-boys doing a walking handstands but doing static holds? I’ve never seen one. Though when I saw the press to handstand I was blown away by some guy at the gymnastics class.

“Ok got to read the books and dvd! I can’t wait till I can master the handstand! Once I could balance for 30 seconds then on to the advance course.

“Handbalancing is truly a lost art. It’s great that you that you decided to open this resource site.”

Regards,
Gerald

Thanks for sending in the report Gerald. You are too right. Learning the handstand can be frustrating, especially if you take the long slow road of going right to it.

That’s why I created the Secrets of the Handstand Quickstart Guide to give you the lead-up stunts you mentioned and plan to attack the handstand in an easier way.

Once you have that its just a matter of time and practice. You’ll be holding a handstand for 30 seconds in no time.

“How do you correct the arch of the back in a handstand?”
Martha

Let me start off by saying that arching in a handstand is not wrong to do as many people believe. But if you want to straighten out here’s what to do.

Go back to the wall.

Walls are flat so kick up into a handstand and straighten out to the point where all the points on your body are in contact with it.

Of course, you’ll also bring your head down in between your arms and this alone will help to eliminate the arch.

But don’t expect this to go away overnight, and especially be able to balance in the position. You’ll have to work at it to re-configure the body to do as you please since an arched handstand is not only easier but more natural.

That’s it for today. Going to have some new stuff for you this week so stay tuned.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Frustrated with the difficulty of the handstand? Don’t know the best place to begin? Find the proper path with the Secrets of the Handstand Quickstart Guide

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Improving Stability in Handstands

I receive tons of questions and today I’ll get to a couple of them. You can always submit your question here.

Just know that I can’t respond to everyone individually but I’ll try to tackle them in these emails.

“I’ve got my position for my handstand right but I just can’t seem to hold it much longer than five or so seconds. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Please help!!”
Cheers,
Emma Shepard

I’m sure there are many people that share where you’re at Emma. A lot of people get frustrated that when they start trying out handstands they can’t hold one with ease after just a couple days.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

Above all else, you need patience and commitment. Keep working on holding that position and you will get better in time. Its also good to re-visit some of the lead-up skills I outline in the Secrets of the Handstand Quickstart Guide like the frogstand and others.

Besides, without seeing you do the handstand its hard to give specific advice. If you want to send in a video I’ll offer some additional suggestions. Just post something on youtube and send me the link. This goes for anyone.

Hey Logan
So I’ve been getting better at my handstand but I have a super flexible back so I have been focusing on spinal stability exercises. Mostly planks held for up to a minute, feet on a swiss ball, forearm planks, side planks, etc. You got any other suggestions? Also, would push up bars be helpful? For some reason I have been real curious about those.
Thanks man,
Casey

Having a super flexible back can be a boon depending on how you look at it. Bob Jones recommends that a beginner use all of his back bend when starting out in order to make the balancing easier.

But if your goal is to straighten out, the moves you listed could certainly help establish strength in the abs and low back needed to hold a straighter handstand.

The most useful exercise though is a handstand against the wall. Kick-up and straighten the back out. When you do this you’ll feel your core working quite hard. The key point is to lengthen the body as much as possible. Try to get as tall as you possibly can.

And the next time you do freestanding handstands you can emulate this same movement.

As for pushup bars they are useful tools, but not specifically for what you‘re trying to achieve here. Besides with handstand most of the time your hands are flat on the ground so you want to train in that position.

That wraps up this email. Just remember the most important thing is always to keep working forward. Hand balancing takes time but in the end its worth the effort.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. The Parkour Tutorial DVD is selling like crazy. Plus I’ve been getting tons of messages of people who’ve been practicing for years. If you want to see what all the buzz is about click here.

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Get Free Bridging Info

If you celebrated Halloween this past Friday, I hope you had a good one. Mine was certainly an interesting night.

Now that its over we’re into the home stretch of 2008. Just two months left in the year. Now you can relax in all your efforts as the holidays come upon us…

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

Or you can use that same time to move forward, while still enjoying the holidays.

I choose the later and I hope you do too. Instead of slacking off, you can double your efforts and set the pace for 2009.

And here’s something that may help you to do just that.

A few weeks back I held a limited time offer to get on the pre-production offer of the brand new Advanced Bridging Course. If you took me up on the offer great, your course will be out in the mail by tomorrow.

And if you didn’t you have a second chance. But not quite yet.

Before I make the course available again, I want to share with you some fr.ee information on why adding bridging in its different forms to your training is a good idea.

I’ll be releasing a special report near the end of this week, giving some of the details on how I came to this point. In addition to that, I’ll be sharing select video clips from the course.

All you have to do is raise your hand and say I’m interested. Just go to the following page and enter your name and email. In a few days you’ll get the fr.ee info.

https://legendarystrength.com/advanced-bridging-exercises/

Like I said I will be selling the full course next week. If its something you’re interested in after I’ve shown you a small piece of what’s inside then you’ll be able to get it.

But if you only want to take a look at the fr.ee stuff to see if it’s a fit for you, that’s fine too.

Head on over to the site, to enter you name and email. That’s all you gotta do.

Advanced Bridging Exercises

Good Luck and Good Bridging,
Logan Christopher

P.S. I know its called advanced bridging, but really this is for all levels. If its something you want to learn more about it sign-up now.

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Where to Setup the Elite Rings?

Got a question today. And if one person is asking it, many more are probably thinking it.

“Hi, I am seriously considering buying a set of the gymnastic rings, the question is where can one use them?, it is nice that they are portable, but where would one hang them if one lived in the city or even in the park? Maybe from the crossbar of a soccer goal? any more suggestions.”

Thanks for the question Trevor. You are correct that the rings are portable. And they can be hung from most things.

The first thing to make sure is that whatever you are hanging them from will support your weight.

You can run the straps over any beam, bar or tree limb. Once you have the strap in place, you simply run the strap through the buckle and you are ready to go.

Thick tree branches would be my first pick. A soccer goal could work, assuming its stable and strong. There would also be many areas over play structures that could be used like swing sets or monkey bars.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

Just make sure the area is free should you be trying some of the more dynamic exercises on the rings.

If you want to get yourself a pair of the Elite Rings click here.

Good Luck and Good Ring Training,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Maybe I’ll go shoot a video of the setup and use in the park one of these days…

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Free Movement and Complete Control

Free to move and in control.

Isn’t that what hand balancing and all acrobatics is all about? Being able to move your body in any which way and having complete control.

Capable of hopping onto your hands and shifting one way or another, posting on a single hand then coming down to your feet only when you want to.

What separates the amateur from the pro is having charge of all movement and making it look easy.

I’m always on the lookout for anything that can help give me an edge and also to make life more enjoyable.

One piece of training that too many people neglect is mobility. The issue isn’t flexibility. The issue is being able to move each joint individually through a range of motion that it is SUPPOSE to be able to go through without hurting or stiffness.

This is the key to longevity. To living without aches and pains. And at the same time it will make you a better athlete more capable to handle your challenges.

Many people are familiar with some level of this training whether it was done for a warm-up back in school for physical education or some sports. Simple things like arm or ankle circles. Turning the head from side to side and the like.

But those most basic moves, if they’re done at all are not the complete picture. Too many joints are neglected. The mid-back, pelvis and individual fingers are just a few examples.

And like anything else mobility practice should be progressive. You gain better control by adding complexity to the movement.

To learn more about gaining control of your body and movement check this out.

If you have issues with your hands, shoulders or back this could be the one thing that helps you take back your body.

The newly-released book Free to Flow will guide you through the starting movements up to complex waves, diagonal infinities and clovers for each part of the body.

And it’ll give you much else. You can get this 390-page book right now for only $34.95.

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

Consider it an investment in your health and as a way to improve your performance whether in sports, martial arts, hand balancing, or just about anything else.

Click here to find out more about Free to Flow

Sincerely,
Logan Christopher

P.S. I don’t often make recommendations of other people’s products but when I do you know its good. Considering what this book can do for you I think it’s a steal at the current price. Click to read more about it including Sonnon’s amazing story.

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Joe Nordquest

Joe Nordquest was a classic strongman back in the early part of last century. He was the brother of ‘The Young Sandow’ Alfred Nordquest.

Joe Nordquest Hand Balancer

Here are some of his hand balancing exploits. From Klein’s Bell in November of 1931:

Joe Nordquest performed a one hand stand and with the free hand lifted a 100 pound dumb bell off the floor and held the balance. He also has on numerous occasions done 28-30 hand stand press ups in succession on the floor.

From David Willoughby’s The Super Athletes:

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

He later put on some weight moving up from 168 pounds to 190. Even at this size he was capable of jumping off a 30 inch table onto the floor while staying in a handstand.

Joe Nordquest Shoulder Bridge

Here he is pictured pressing 388 in the shoulder bridge. This was before the bench press ever came to be. You think his success and strength in hand balancing helped him get to this level?

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Straight Arm Press Tips

Time to answer some of your questions again. What with the new site and new releases I’ve let some of these pile up.

Here’s two asking the same thing.

“How do you do a lever up handstand. Starting feet on floor in straddle. Used to be able to do it when I was training 10 years ago-but even then it was a struggle & a skill I lost quickly. There’s got to be a technique I’m missing. can lever down but not up from feet on floor. Wait to hear…”
Chrissie

“I would like to learn how to go into a handstand the way gymnasts usually do by leaning over the hands with legs straight until the feet lift off and the legs hang then lifting up the legs into a sort of planche then straight up. Can you do this and what would be the stages in learning it? Surprisingly, I couldn’t find any information on this on the site.”
Ross

Thanks for asking. With a bit of different language both these questions are asking about the same thing. And that is the straight arm press.

It will be easier if the legs are straddled, but once that becomes easy you can keep them together in the pike position.

This move not only takes strength in the arms, shoulders and abs but a big degree of flexibility as well. You have to get the center of you mass over your hands if you want to have any chance of succeeding. This means your shoulders will come far over your hands.

Chrissie was on to something when she said she could lower down. Work the negative, staying under control and soon you’ll be able to lift up into the handstand.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

Another way is to hold a Jack-Knife handstand. When you can hold this position low pressing up into the handstand should be no problem.

Some people have no problem doing this move. Others will have to do tons of work to get it based on there body leverages. If you fall into the later group just keep at it. A bunch of negatives, holds, and isometrics will get you there faster.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Bob Jones has some big tips for learning this move, found in the Chapter 8 – Pressing Up Into A Handstand of his book.

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Advanced Bridging

Last summer I was traveling through Europe with a group of friends. We were in San Sebastian waiting to go to Pamplona for the running of the bulls.

There were several hours to kill before the train would arrive and take us off.

So we decided to play some football in a nearby park. (Finding an American football in Europe wasn’t easy but that’s a story for another time.)

Since the only place we could find was a field of half grass and half granite, we played two-hand touch rather then tackling each other. Still, being men it was bound to get rough. And of course highly competitive.

A little three on three action. The whole game was a tight battle for the lead.

And it was going smoothly until a certain kickoff.

The kick was high and short. As we scrambled forward to catch it, the other guys were rushing towards us. The ball hit the ground and bounced high up into the air.

I leaped upwards. I don’t know how exactly it happened, or who hit me, but my feet were taken out from under me sending me spinning.

Six feet up in the air I turned over and came crashing down onto the packed ground, the back of my head being the first point of contact. THUMP!!

I’m not gonna lie and say it didn’t affect me. It did. I was stunned and had to take some time out of the game. But within an hour I was fine.

Meanwhile one of my friends pulled a neck muscle by looking over his shoulder for a pass. Seriously.

But how did I avoid what certainly would should have been a concussion? How was I fine in just an hour but my friend had a nagging injury for months.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

Its how I train. The neck and spine are often neglected by most people even if they do otherwise train their body.

All my neck training is done from the wrestler’s bridge. But I don’t just hold the position for time. I’ve developed a series of exercises that will give you one of the strongest necks in the world.

But that’s only part of the equation. There’s also the gymnastic bridge. Few exercises work the body from fingers to toes like this one. Especially when you consider the flexibility and agility to move into and out of position with ease.

Considering how I started so inflexible and weak many years back, its amazing some of the things I can do now. And now you can do it to.

Go to Advanced Bridging to find out more.

Be sure to watch the video to really see what is possible with a few bridging movements.

This is a special offer and your only notice. Come Friday morning the page is coming down. So go check it out while you have a chance.

Good Luck and Good Bridging,
Logan Christopher

P.S. On first appearance to many people the bridge in its many forms can appear injurious and dangerous. But if you go about it the right way not only will you build strength and flexibility, you can become concussion-proof. You’ll find out more at Advanced Bridging.

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