Tag Archives | aerial

How to do a No Handed Cartwheel

This video will show you how to do a no handed cartwheel which is also known as an aerial.

This is a difficult skill to get to, especially for men, who tend to have less hip flexibility. But with dedicated training I think just about everybody can do it.

The basics of this movement are to first master your cartwheel then your one handed cartwheel. When you can do these easily you can start working towards the aerial.

Be forewarned, that the more hip flexibility you have the easier it will be.

When you’re starting out you’ll need to launch off hard from both the rear leg then front leg. Running into the movement can help.

It’s also helpful to think of your point of rotation at the shoulders.

At one time I was finally able to do the no handed cartwheel after a lot of time spent trying. Unfortunately I can’t currently do it, but am working back up to the skill. You can see it’s not the most graceful aerial but I did pull it off.

If you enjoyed this article on how to do a no handed cartwheel please leave a comment below.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon
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Your Flexibility is Holding You Back

One of the most useful things to do in any training is to look at what your weaknesses are. When it comes to most hand balancing and acrobatics, this can be split up into three main areas.

Strength – Let’s face it. Most moves take strength to be able to do and without it you won’t have a chance of doing them.

Skill – Another obvious one. It takes skill which is built up through practice to do anything requiring balance or aerial coordination.

Flexibility – Many people, especially men, don’t want to face this one. Sometimes all you need is to be more flexible.

In certain cases, you can make up for a lack of one, with another. For instance, let’s take the aerial. If you don’t know what that is, think of a no handed cartwheel. A lot of women in gymnastics easily work up to this movement. Why? Two words…

Hip Flexibility.

What is the one area that most men don’t have much flexibility in? Yeah, the hips (myself included but I’m working on it).

Sure, with more power, you can lift yourself higher and accomplish the aerial. I’ve been there. But if you just open up your hips it becomes almost effortless.

Hip flexibility helps for the Aerial

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

What stops many people in doing handstands? Wrist pain. What helps to cause that? Lack of wrist flexibility. (Been there too)

All the skill in the world won’t help you if you’re in pain and can’t even hold the right position because of it.

When it comes to bridging movements, what stops people? Is it lack of strength or skill? Almost never, but instead it is flexibility. (Believe it or not, the first time I did a hand bridge my back was pretty much straight!)

Of course along with that is having strength in those flexible ranges, and proper stretching will build that too.

With the proper flexibility certain moves become effortless. And that’s what we all want right? Not just being able to muscle our way through a move, but show an ease and grace while doing it, that makes other people go “wow you make it look so easy.”

That’s the idea behind Focused Flexibility. To specifically work on what you need. It’s not some generic stretching program, but is structured to give you what you need.

Tons of people have picked up this new course based on my recommendation. Won’t you join them?

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6 Steps to Mastery?

I’ve been practicing my hand balancing a lot more lately working on some new moves.

Its fun to see the difference between just working towards a new move for the first time and one that you have mastery of. In fact, just looking at this model I came up with 6 steps between the two (7 if you count zero ground).

0 – This is where you can’t do the move

As much as we want to, there are seldom times that we start off being capable of doing many exercises. No one is born with the ability to stand on their hands (heck, they can’t even stand on their two feet without much trial and error). But you go through the process and eventually gain the skills.

There are a whole bunch of progressions and steps you’ll be working on in order to work up to the given move. Like doing the lead-up stunts will accelerate you reaching the next step in the handstand. Full details can be found in the Secrets of the Handstand Quick Start.

1 – Shakily doing it first time

Wow! Isn’t it amazing the first time you accomplish something you’ve been working on for sometime. But chances are that first success is a bit ugly. Your form isn’t perfect, you might not have exactly the right position, but dammit it was close enough to count. It’s a success in my book.

I remember the first time I hit an aerial. By no means was it perfect and flawless. I used tons of speed ion the takeoff and my landing was low and not in optimal position. But I did do it.

2 – Solidly doing it first time

After you’ve done that first shaky rep or hold, the next time you come back to the gym you will progress to something that is more solid. A better hold or a better looking execution. While some people may have doubted your first rep, there is no doubt here. You’re on your way.

When I was working on the back lever in a straddle I was getting close for sometime. Then one day I hit truly parallel and held for about three seconds. I was elated.

Straddle Back Lever

3 – Being able to do it several times.

Now that you’ve got a couple reps or holds under your belt its time to increase the volume. Many times when you hit something for the first time, you only manage one of that day. Sometimes you hit a genuine breakthrough and can all of a sudden skip to this step. Now you do several successful attempts at the exercise in one workout.

4 – Being able to consistently do it.

If it’s a tough move you may not hit it every single day you try. Some days you’re “on” and some days you’re “off”. But at level you’re consistently hitting it all the time, possibly after some warmup drills or lead-up stunts. Along with this your performance improves and your volume increases ever higher.

I’ve started working on a number of bent arm handstand presses recently. In the past my freestanding handstand pushups have been hit or miss. Now they are becoming consistent. Want to learn the steps I used? They can be found in a bonus chapter here.

5 – Doing it any time you desire

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

Eventually you come to the point where you own the movement. You can do it anytime. Fatigue doesn’t matter. If you were woken up out of bed in the morning, you’d still be able to do the exercise. In your training you’re increasing your timed holds big time or pumping out the reps.

6 – Mastering it and moving onwards

Beyond owning the movement you look to the next step. How can you make this movement harder? What else can you do that will take you to the next level? Basically, where are you going next that will start this process all over?

As my mentor says, “Do the drills and get the skills.” This applies to everything and with this model you may see what you’re working on in new light. Plus if you look between the lines there’s some training tips found within.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. With my increase in hand balancing practice I’ll have a lot more to write about and share with you, including new courses coming down the line. Stay tuned.

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November Gymnastic Progress

I put together a short video showing some on the recent progress I’ve made in gymnastics. There’s plenty of other things but I don’t get everything on film.

The first move shown here is a back lever on the rings. This is a strength movement that requires whole body tightness and coordination. You’ll noticed I’m straddling the legs which lessens the leverage slightly.

Just lowering into a horizontal position takes skill, especially being able to know when you’re parallel to the ground. It’s helpful to have someone tell you when you’re there.

As in the case with all these moves I had better attempts but they weren’t always caught on film.

The next move is an aerial. This is like a cartwheel done without the use of the arms. I still figured I was weeks or even months off from being able to do these but all of a sudden I was successful.

This move tends to be much easier for women due to hip flexibility. What I may lack in there I try to make up for in power. The landing was not graceful but I have since duplicated the move gradually making more improvement.

The third is a goal I set just because I thought it would be fun. My goal is 10 backflips in a row. In the video I do seven. Since then I have hit nine.

The difficult part about this is two-fold. One, I get dizzy and my take-off becomes less vertical giving me less space to flip. Secondly, it’s tiring to do such an explosive move over and over.

Hope you enjoyed the video. With my new gym I have some exciting projects in store. Stay tuned.

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

Good Luck and Good Gymnastics,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Nothing takes the place of practice but learning is a way to start and build the foundation. To do many of the moves I recommend Tumbling Illustrated. You’ll learn tons of tumbling moves whether you’re beginner or advanced.

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