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Handstand Partner Drill for Stronger Shoulders

I asked one of my friends, Max, who competed as a former high-level gymnast to tell me about some of the exercises and drills he and his teammates used to build the strength they required.

You can see check one video of the partner drills he showed here.

[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1gHtenxGRA]

This is one of many things that he showed me on that bright, sunny day. While it’s a good one it’s not the best of the bunch.

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

You can do the same exercise without a partner, which is still good, though you can get more range and work a bit harder with someone’s help.

My favorite drill that Max showed me is one I’m calling the Ultimate Handstand Strengthening Exercise. This one exercise takes you through a wide range of motions and will boost your arm and shoulder strength like you wouldn’t believe.

Unfortunately, it’s a bit to complicated to get into right here.

But the full video is in this month’s Acrobat Accelerator, which you can sign up for here.

If you’re already signed up your issue hit the mail yesterday. There’s plenty of other exercises from working on the straight handstand that gymnasts use, press handstands and many more.

This is not beginner stuff, but if you’ve been in the game a little you can start using these drills to build your strength and skill.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. You can also get one of several hand balancing products that offer a one month trial to Acrobat Accelerator.

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The Ringless Victorian

Victorian Hand Balance

A big thanks to Chris for sending this picture in after last weeks email on the Victorian.

Who needs rings when you’ve got a partner? This is basically the Victorian held in a partner balance.

Notice how far the false grip is used. A necessity as every little bit helps the extreme leverage in this feat.

Having not tried this feat I can’t say for sure but I imagine the partner’s hands add a bit more support than the rings would.

And for a perfect Victorian the hands would have to be brought down a little more towards the hips.

Not to take anything away from this acrobatic feat. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything else like this one.

Which brings up another point. If you’ve got any remarkable hand balancing photos send them to [email protected] and there’s a good chance they make an appearance up on the blog.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon
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You've got Questions, I've got Answers

Been working on a new project. Hours of filming straight at a time. It’s rough work doing that much volume but the payoff should be great.

More on that later on, plus a few sneak peak video clips.

Right now, gonna dive into the mailbag to answer a few more of your questions. We got some good ones today.

“Quick question. I’m having trouble going past 30 seconds holding a handstand. My balance is constantly improving, so is strength (i can rattle off 12-15 pressups at a time – sometimes I’ll do 3 sets of 11). Just not getting why I hit a wall around 30 or so seconds in a free handstand. gotta run, Thanks for the great info”
Andy Moose

My first impression is that your hitting a wall because you think you’re hitting a wall.

There is nothing physiologically that changes after the half minute mark. If you can’t break it you just need a few options to work through it.

Set a goal to make 40 seconds. Maybe even visualize yourself doing it. But most importantly believe in your ability to do it. Do not think you’ll fail at 30 but that you can go on to 60 and eventually you will.

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

“how do you go back into a crab and flip over sucessfuly”
Gabrielle

I put out a video a while back showing how to do a similar move from the bridge position. If you haven’t seen it you can check it out here – Gymnastic Bridge Turn-Over.

The short answer is that it requires strength and flexibility in the shoulders to do this move. You have to be able to post your weight on the one arm while you rotate your body around.

“HI Logan,
A skill that I’m working to regain is the backward rolling summersault. I  think I did it as a kid, but it is escaping me now. Any suggestions to implement the back roll without risking neck strain?”
thanks
Jeff

Many people can’t do a backwards roll because it hurts their neck. The problem lies not in the move itself but in weakness.

If you build up your strength this move will not be a problem. In Tumbling Illustrated there’s even a back extension roll up into the headstand without the use of the arms. How’s that for neck strain?

In my opinion the best exercise to strengthen the neck is the wrestler’s bridge. Tried and true. And if you move from a laying down position to the top of the bridge you cover the same angles of pressure you need for the backwards roll.

You can avoid the problem by doing backwards rolls over the shoulder or you can address it and make you neck strong. Your choice.

And if you want to have a really strong neck (when most people don’t even train theirs) stay tuned to what’s coming soon.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Victorian on the Gymnastic Rings

Back for a little more Olympic Coverage.

Did you catch the Men’s Gymnastic Rings final the other night?

For anyone who has never mounted a pair of rings its hard to comprehend the difficulty of even basic moves.

But when you have, no matter your skill level or lack there of, you’ll have a greater understanding of what these Olympic athletes are going through.

It’s not just one move they do, but to string several highly difficult strength moves together flawlessly for close to a minute straight. Whew! Gets me tired just thinking about it.

But this Olympics saw something new. (Not 100% sure on this but I believe it was a first for the Olympics.)

That is the Victorian. Also known as an Inverted Maltese Cross.

Once thought to be an impossible move. Essentially it’s lying back so that you’re horizontal to the floor. You hold the rings near your waist with the arms not contacting the body. Kind of like a front lever except that your arms are to your sides instead of out front.

I have to give it to the French here. Their Danny Rodrigues performed the Victorian not once but twice in his routine. It wasn’t perfect but pretty close.

My guess is that in 12 to 20 years it will become a common move in the Men’s gymnastic Rings event at the Olympics.

Danny didn’t score too high overall but it was fun to watch. I’m glad he went for it.

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

We also had Jordan Jovtchev up once again most likely for his final Olympics. Unfortunately a couple mistakes put him out of the run for any medals.

That’s how it goes in the Olympics. To win you have to be close to flawless.

To get to that level takes years of practice. Hours and hours in the gym training for a few minutes in the spotlight. You probably don’t have aspirations of Olympic Gold but what’s important is to train to get better.

Fortunately for you, you can still have Jordan teach you how to build up the strength and skill in the Ring Strength DVD.

Mastering the Victorian isn’t important. Improving from where you are is. Learning from the best is a big step in the right direction.

Good Luck and Good Ring Training,
Logan Christopher

P.S. If you want crazy bodyweight strength than you should be on the gymnastic rings. If you don’t have a pair you can get the Elite Rings

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Paul Hamm, Olympic Gold and the Rings

I can remember it like it was yesterday even though it was about four years ago.

Had never paid all that much attention to the Olympics before but this year was different.

My good friend and I were watching the men’s individual all-around competition. Gymnasts are truly some of the worlds strongest athletes but the Olympic level is just ridiculous.

There was some amazing competition. Of course, I was rooting for the USA and I got to see one of the most amazing comebacks ever in the history of sports.

After a disastrous fall on the vault it looked like Paul Hamm was out of the running. But two near perfect routines on the parallel bars and horizontal bar put him back in front.

Not only did he win the Gold but he was the first American to ever to so at the Olympics in the all-around competition. We were going crazy with excitement.

Yes there was some controversy behind a scoring error, but watching that piece of history will forever be burned in my mind.

It’s amazing what these athletes can do. It’s unreal.

How do they build that kind of strength and skill? One its how they train, which is long hours every single day working on perfecting their routines.

But it is also what they train with. The tools and apparatus on which they train. A big key to build gymnastic strength is to train the same way.

One of the most basic tools for the gymnast, and the one that epitomizes all that is gymnastics, are the rings.

There is nothing quite like ‘em. If you’ve never mounted a pair you’d be surprised at just how much you body shakes as you try to support your bodyweight.

Forget the iron cross or maltese. Can you manage a few pullups or dips? What about the classic muscle-up?

Well, now you can answer those questions. Now you can get started training your way to building Olympic level strength with the Elite Gymnastic Rings.

Not only that but you can get instructed by another world champion and Olympic medalist in how to use them.

And if you want to really impress someone do a handstand on top of the rings. Now that’s balance!

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

Paul’s performance on the rings back in 2004 was before the fall and comeback (a decent 9.587) but you can be sure I’ll be watching the gymnastics this year, especially the rings.

The difference is this time I’ll be training right alongside him. Will you?

Sincerely,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Notice that on either of the two pages as the bottom in the P.S. you can get both the Gymnastic Rings and the Ring Strength DVD in a special combo deal and save.

P.P.S. And yes, if you didn’t know, Paul Hamm will be back in Beijing. I’m rooting for a repeat.

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Increase your Hand Balancing Abilities

Got a question from Patrick. “I am a beginner at hand balancing. How can I find exercises and stretching drills thats will increase my abilities”

C’mon people. This is a call to all who submit questions. Be more specific. I can provide better answer when I know what you want. In fact the more detailed the better.But I will take a blind shot at this question.

To increase your abilities you need to work on the specific abilities themselves. I’m going to assume that you’re talking about your hand balancing abilities.

Depending on what you are specifically having trouble with this could mean any number of things.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

If your having problems with balancing than I would recommend even easier skills than the handstand itself. Skills like the frogstand, headstand and forearm stand. Here’s the easiest way to learn how to do the handstand.

If you need strength I would recommend holding handstands against the wall and doing handstand pushups.

For flexibility, lets say in the shoulder region, you can do many drills. In a handstand against the wall you can bring your chest outward thus working the shoulder flexibility. That’s just one example of many. The gymnastic bridge also works wonders and for more than just the shoulders.

The concepts are universally applied to almost any exercise question. If you can analyze where you are at and where you want to be than break that down into things to work on you can attain any goal.

It’s a useful skill to have. Breaking down the seemingly complex into simple steps to follow.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Now if you want the whole hand balancing plan laid out for you than I recommend you check this one out – Hand Balancing Mastery Course.

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Gymnastic Bridge Turn-Over

Going to step away from hand balancing today and a bit more in the coming weeks to focus on related acrobatics and various tumbling moves. And I’ll be sharing many of them in video form like today!
First up is a bridging movement that I’ve been throwing in my routine the past few weeks.

This move involves going from a back bend or gymnastic bridge than turning face down. In order to do this you support yourself on one arm and turn to come on all fours. From here you continue the movement turning back into the bridge.

I’m calling it the Gymnastic Bridge Turn-over.

Just doing a single one of these moves is great. It requires great shoulder flexibility and strength. Can you say stability? In addition it will engage just about every other muscle in your body especially your abs, back and legs.

If one is no problem for you then do as I do in the video, stringing a bunch together to complete an entire circle. If you want a real challenge try to do five full circles each way.

Don’t feel bad if you can’t do this one. If this is a hard move for you it means one thing…you need to work on your gymnastic bridge. By improving your shoulder flexibility in this movement you can work up to doing the move shown here with ease.

So get on your back, press up, straighten the arms, and try to extend your chest over your hands.

You may also find that you can flip one way but not the other. Keep working at it until you can move seamlessly in and out of position in every way.

Good Luck and Good Tumbling,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Got another video next time that covers the very basics and why they’re so important regardless of who you are. In this and all things the fundamentals are of highest importance.

 

Learn How to Back Flip in 31 Days
Learn How to Back Flip in 31 Days on Amazon
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Yoga's Scorpion Pose

When I was practicing a bit of my hand balancing last week someone who practiced yoga commented on it and we started a conversation.

One balance that she told me about is the Scorpion Pose also known as Vrschikasana. (No, I don’t know how you pronounce that.)

For any hand balancer is should not be much of a problem to get started. But if you need it you can always use a wall.

Simply kickup into a forearm stand. From here all you do is bend your knees and bring your feet to your head.

In this pose you want to keep your feet and knees together, though your body will naturally want to separate them.

How far your feet can go depends on the flexibility of your back. For the contortionist is will be easy to touch the feet on the head or even bring them under the chin.

If you can’t get there, not to worry, just do what you can and build from there.

I just did a couple while writing this. Let me tell you this is one move that will instantly lift your spirits and make you feel alive.

Go ahead and give it a try.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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

P.S. With all my travels I fell out of my normal writing schedule but will get back on it now. In the mean time if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask – https://lostartofhandbalancing.com/question.html

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How to do a Front Walkover

Many gymnastics moves go through the handstand position. And in this post we will discuss how to do a front walkover as shown below. This is a composite picture of Diane Robinson performing the move with ease.

Diane Gymnastic Walkover

These are the instructions that come from Acro-Chat. The correct way to do a two arm walkover. Notice the arms are straight all the way through, the legs are extended and split as much as possible, the back is arched tightly with the head and arms trailing as she stands upright.

I will caution that this move takes a large amount of flexibility in both the back and legs. Though its not dangerous, you may end up falling on your butt if you can’t do it as well as Diane.

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

You can also perform a back walkover which is done moving backwards. Just follow the pictures from right to left and you’ll get the idea.

These moves are not to be confused with the handspring or back handspring. Though the motion is much the same, except for going off of two legs instead of one, there is another big difference.

Your hands will touch the ground before both your feet leave it in a walkover. Handsprings involve leaving the feet to get up in the air before your hands touch down.

While not strictly a hand balance, the walkover and handspring do move through the handstand position. At any rate they are excellent skills that you may want to master.

Good Luck and Good Tumbling,
Logan Christopher

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Handstand Press

Another thing I’ve devoted more of my time to recently is the handstand press. While a normal handstand does not take very much strength many of the presses do.

Handstand presses can be broken down into two main groups. Those done with straight arms and those down with bent arms.

The various bent arm presses take a high degree of strength in the shoulders, triceps and also the chest in many cases.

Straight arm press-ups still take strength but in different areas. Also you will need flexible wrists, hamstrings, and the ability to compress your body in half. In fact the more flexibility you have the less strength you will need.

For all these reasons most people will be better at either straight arm or bent arm presses. There are many people who can do the straight arm variety but will fall on their face if they have to bend their arms.

On the other hand most stronger people can do many bent armed presses. These take tremendous arm and shoulder strength to pull off successfully as you have to hold your entire bodyweight in mid air for a length of time. But for these people the straight arm presses can be elusive.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

In the end you want to be able to do both. In order to do this you must train for both.

That’s why there’s chapters on the pressing in all the main books like Hand Balancing Made Easy and The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing.

Presses are not easy, especially if you’re not of the average gymnast size. But it can be done.

If you’ve ever wondered why hand balancers are so strong this is one of the major keys. So start pressing.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. There are so many ways you can press up into a handstand. Have you mastered them all? Start where you can and work from there.

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