Tag Archives | Abs

Handstand Muscles

Today’s post will answer another question from the many I regularly receive.

“Hey I am Stefan I am now starting out with doing the handstand, but my question is what muscles are involved in doing the handstand and what exercises can I do to improve it?”

Let’s start with the first question, what muscles are involved in the handstand? And the answer is all of them.

When you’re starting out you need to be able to keep your body tight if you want to have any chance of staying upside down. This means every muscle must be engaged from the tips of your fingertips down to your toes.

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This doesn’t mean you flex everything as hard as possible but you must stay tight. As you advance you’ll learn how to use only as much tension as is needed and no more. This allows you to go for longer periods. But to start out with squeeze all those muscles, arms, back, abs, legs and even the toes.

Now onto the second question. There is a rule of thumb in training. In order to get good at something you must do that thing. So if you want to get good at handstands you must do a lot of handstands. There is no way around this.

This is true but in some cases you’re better off working on easier skills. Do skills that are easier then the handstand itself that build up the same abilities that the handstand needs. For the handstand these include a wall handstand, frogstand, forearm stand, and headstand. All the details and proper progression for this is laid out in the Secrets of the Handstand Quickstart DVD.

Work on easier skills that lead up to the harder ones. For anything else in hand balancing check out the Hand Balancing Mastery Course.

As an analogy, if you wanted to learn the piano you wouldn’t start out with the Rach 3 but instead focus on scales and simple songs first. This concept holds true for all skills you desire to build.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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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.

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“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.

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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You Need Strong Abs for Hand Balancing

Let’s face it, you will NEVER become an excellent hand balancer or acrobat without having incredibly strong abs. Powerful statement but true.

Have you neglected training this area with the same kind of force you train the rest of your body? I know I did for a long time but that has changed.

One of the presenters at a seminar I attended last year led us through a long series of abdominal exercises. Many of which I had never done or heard of before.

These exercises were for the abs but they used the whole body. And after doing a few of them I could feel it everywhere.

You will be teaching your body how to act as one unit. Does this sound familiar? It should because that’s exactly what you need do pull off any hand balancing stunt.

It turns out the guy teaching us, Ed Baran, had started gymnastics at the age of 35. In order to get better at hand balancing and tumbling he was told he needed to strengthen his abs. These are the exercises he used and some he developed along the way.

And now he can do incredible things like hold an awesome v-sit. That’s a long way from not being able to hold a regular handstand against a wall.

If you want to build gymnastic abs like this then you need to check out the following – Gymnastic Abs

I only wish my gymnastics class had taught me these moves. During the conditioning I was often left wondering why are they doing crunches?

I’m sorry but no matter how many crunches you do you will not build the strength, flexibility and coordination you need for hand balancing or real gymnast strength.

What we learned at the seminar was just a sneak peak of what he was planning on releasing. He has an entire course available now. Unfortunately it took me seeing the course to remember what I had learned and put everything back into action.

No matter what your abilities are now there are progressions to take you from the beginning to advanced levels in moves like hollow position rocks, l-sits, leg raises, compressions and more.

In just a couple weeks of following these exercises the way he laid out I have seen phenomenal benefits. I highly recommend it. Go find out more details – Gymnastic Abs.

Good Luck and Good Ab Training,
Logan Christopher

P.S. That picture of Ed holding a v-sit was enough incentive for me to interview him for the Hand Balancing Mastery Course. Follow his step-by-step progressions and you too can be pulling this one off – Gymnastic Abs

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