Tag Archives | Alignment

Squeeze those Hips , But don’t Forget #1!

 

Squeeze your hips, clinch your butt, or feet together.

These are probably some of the most frequently used statements given out when trying to learn the handstand. Its also pretty common that enthusiasts who are just learning attempt to squeeze or clinch but still don’t get the desired result of keeping their body elevated and stable.

Where does the problem lie?

It comes in the form of visualization. The directives given for squeezing the hips or clinching the butt are mechanical, even if there is feeling behind them.

i.e. SQUUUUUUEEEEZZZZEEEE those hips!

Although the mechanics are correct, its hard to put together the sensations about what you are supposed to feel when you squeeze or clinch.

So how do we get past this issue?

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

Its actually pretty simple. You utilize a visualization that is also a mechanical directive.

Now this is something I look for when I teach. There are things that everybody has done which they can relate to a skill task. In regards to squeezing the hips. One things that everybody has done was “hold it in.”

Don’t worry, I’m going to expand on this.

Have you every had to go #1(title of the post!) but were far away from your destination by distance or even a long line. What do you do? You turn legs in, maybe jump around a bit and squeeze the heck out of your pelvic floor, adductors, etc. Everybody knows the feeling because everyone needs to use the restroom at some point, and if you don’t, wow. So one of my more commonly used visualizations has changed from squeeze those hips, to pretend you need to pee and have to hold it in. Without a doubt, its simple, directed, and the result speaks for itself.

Why don’t you give it a try and see if you can hold that inversion longer by stopping #1.

Stay Inverted!

-Jonathan Magno

PS If you want all the tricks of the trade for hand balancing, check out the Secrets of the Handstand Bundle!

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The Frogstand or the Crow Pose?

So today, I have another fun video for you that I’m hoping will show a different perspective on your body skill training.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

Every person who trains their body has  a different view on similar or lateral skills. They might be in the same codified system or ones that overlap.

An example would be my friend Jonathan and I.

“Two Jons”.

One is hyper and the other is zen.

He’s a practitioner of yoga and martial arts. While I’m a combat enthusiast and movement trainer especial.

Since we follow lateral systems of movement, and the human body can only do so much, certain skills are definitely going to overlap.

A prime example would be the frogstand and the crow pose. They are basically the same move. What makes them differ from each other are the experience and accumulated depth of knowledge of the practitioners of different styles.

Which is why we made this video. Just watching, you’ll be able to see how we approach the same move. You’ll be exposed to multiple points of views and in turn have a stronger understanding of how to approach it.

Check out the video here!

Stay Inverted!

-Jonathan Magno

PS If you’re looking for a fully codified system of hand balancing, check out the Secrets of the Handstand Bundle!

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How your fingers enhance your floorwork!

It will probably come as no surprise that out of all the body weight styles of training from bar work, to rings, and even aerial flippy kicky skills; my favorite sets will always revolve around floorwork.

My basis for this is probably another unsurprising fact. You really don’t need any other piece of equipment other than your body using this style of training. To top it off it creates a nice strong foundation for the other body skills. Even if you’re having an issue with a move through either fear or even sloppy form, you can practice a lateral skill progression on the ground to build up that kinesthetic or confidence. I do this all the time.

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

In relation to your floor work; having strong, flexible, and coordinated fingers is a top priority. This is because in certain maneuvers, you are basically replacing your feet with your hands, which should have a similar level of control.

Before we move forward, lets build out on this idea by touching on the feet for a second. Specifically we’ll focus on your toes.

I want you to try something without getting too deep into it. But before you do this make sure that you are in a safe area where you won’t hurt yourself.

I want you to lean your shoulders forward as far as you can until your shoulders get past your toes.

Did you notice something? Were your toes gripping for dear life so that you could try and stay upright? Did you also take steps or shift your feet so that you could find your balance again? My guess is yes.

You can go ahead and do the same laterally to the left or right and even backward if you like.

Its the same thing with your fingers and hands while you are doing floor work. Your fingers are like your toes gripping on to the floor to give stability and balance. If your body starts shifting forward, your fingers can grip the ground and act as your breaks. In a similar fashion, your thumb can slow you down if you start falling back to where you started. Your fingers are intergral in maintaining that structure. Especially in the beginning of your handstand journey.

A final way that your fingers can enhance your floor work is by relieving stress on your joints, and pulling the wrists out of full flexion thereby reducing the load on them. I’m all about testing. Try running through your floorwork with your fingertips gripping and see if it changes your stability and balance!

If you get some good results, be sure to let us know!

Stay Inverted!

-Jonathan Magno

PS If you want to become more skilled and develop your floor work, check out GMB Floor 1!

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Enhance your Body Skills through Crosstraining! Boxing 101

Crosstraining.

Its about introducing new information and growing body’s fitness or performance library of knowledge. This can be especially useful as we are developing are own body skills. Whether you are working on your handstand, deep squat, or even the backflip. There are many transferable elements found in each move.

The human body can only move in so many prescribed directions. Outside of a few with genetic differences outside of the norm. Your elbow bends in a certain way as does your hip runs through multiple ranges. Although this is a fact, the way you combine it all changes everything.

Here’s what I mean. A dancer will extend a leg or squat in a certain way. Likewise, a practitioner of yoga or even a crossfit athlete has their own version of similar moves. This understanding is important because it will add new information that can help you refine a body skill your working on or even help you get past a plateau.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

The more body of information you have the more effective you can make a change or come to a decision. When you are training your body, its once again a bit of a biological mess. Although the anatomy is the same, we’ve all introduced different information to our bodies. So the way that one person learn a move and understands it will be a different experience for another.

So with that said. I’m going to be introducing you to a sport and way of movement that I love. Boxing. It’s one of the oldest combat forms and can really show you how to combine simple concepts into something explosive and beautiful. In the video I go over things like alignment, hip-hinging, body positioning. While watching, you might even find something that could help you with your handstand or another body skill you’re developing.

Catch the video here:

Since this is all about introducing new stimuli to your body, check out the GMB Vitamin Program to give yourself new patterns to explore and play with!

Stay Inverted!

-Jonathan Magno

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Igniting Your Reason. What keeps you Motivated?

So I was coaching a small group of three people today working on unilateral body weight strengthening and finishing off with balance skill work focusing on the frogger lead-up stunt. After the session ended an all too familiar question came up from one of the ladies that was training this afternoon.

“How do you keep doing it? How do you keep working out?”

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

My immediate answer was that its hard, I’m currently having trouble staying as motivated, and I don’t consistently work out.(Although I am probably a bit more active than the average person!)

This wasn’t the most sales invoked answer but it was honest. I tend to try to be honest about these things as it won’t serve any purpose to the person to give them a half-made answer. Especially when I’m supposed to be there to guide them and support them in the right direction.

This next piece is where I got deeper into the question. I said that if you want to work out or train more, its gotta be something more than the workout.

For me, it was always about being able to perform. To be able to utilize the human body in ways that others could only dream of. Whether it was in combat situations or amazing feats.

I then asked her what does she like to do. Things that are active and with body.

She came up with multiple sports and multiple activities. ( She’s a very driven and motivated type. Being in the silicon valley, that’s a given. But it also means that motivation is usually directed to work.)

None of the activities had anything really in common. Some were team sports, while others were individual.

I could have left it there, but I had to dig deeper. I then asked her what made her stay. What was the defining reason that got her to keep going to one of the activites.

Now I’m not going to go into more details so we can fast forward to the reason for this story. ( hint: it involved milestones and progression)

So the reason for this story is that if you really want to make working out a consistent part of your life, you’ve got to find a goal bigger than just working out. ( Remember working out as it is today wasn’t even really a thing until the 1980s.)

Once you’ve found that one thing. Take a look at what things you’ve done the longest. Then find out why.

Finally; and this is probably those most important part.

Make a decision. Pull the trigger. Flip the light switch on.

Because if you don’t do anything, nothing will happen.

To help you with flipping the switch, take a look at this motivational video below!

Finally, since this site is all about hand balancing, check out the  Secrets of the Handstand System!

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

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Movement Flow to Overcome Plateaus!

Have you ever been stuck on a task that you couldn’t get past? You try to understand or finish the task but seem to meet consistent stops. You go through all the different variations you can try to accomplish the task, and probably all of the different levels of frustration, but still can’t seem to complete your goal.

Truth be told. This happens quite a bit. Especially when you’re learning a new body skill. When this occurs, it just means that we don’t internally have enough information to make a change. So if that’s the case, what can we do to make the change happen.

Simple.

Change your perspective and safely experiment.

The basic idea is that once you start adding new connected stimuli and experiences, you give your mind more to work and play with.

Let’s put it into the framework of skill development. When you’re working on a new skill, a good thing to do is isolate the skill. People tend to do this by breaking it down into separated movements, which is an excellent way to drill the skill. Although, they don’t think of the working on the skill as an isolated training method in itself. When you work on the handstand for example. Your main focus is to get the handstand and in turn that causes you to laser beam all your energy and thoughts into that one move.

But to gain mastery or even just attain a move you also have to test it. Honestly, the best way that I’ve found to test new moves is to place them in combinations or flows. Sometimes the combinations are predetermined to work on specific aspects and other times they are done in a free-flow to really gauge where everything is at.

This is important because it causes you to put your body in situations you would never have thought of while going through the different transition. In a sense, you add more information to utilize in your library with each flow session.

 

I’ll get more into the state of flows later. But, just in case you want a different way to look at it, check out the video below!

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

For another way to play with and test your skilled flow, check out the GMB Vitamin Program

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

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Drifting Cars and Your Hand Positions for the Handstands!

So this post comes a bit later than usual because I’ve been busy doing a small update on the training studio while getting ready for a bigger update. Hint: Colors are awesome!

For today’s post I’m going to be talking about cars and your handstand.

Specifically how your hand positioning can affect how much drive and control you need to balance while you kick up into the handstand.

There are two main hand positions your see. Either with your fingers facing forward or with you fingers externally rotated to the side. Although I have been known to play with my hands turned in as well.

Either way you choose to position your hands will work. But each position has its own set of rules to help you achieve the balance you’re looking for.

Lets take the turned out or externally rotated position. You can liken this position to a force choke in star wars. With the alignment of this position, your kick up becomes smoother and faster. Which means that you need to have good solid control to put on the brakes once you’ve reached the apex and are ready to keep the hold.

In contrast, the fingers forward position is similar to drifting. The muscles and fascia counterbalance each other to create drag and slow down your kick up. This gives you a little more control so that you don’t fall over on your backside. Although you might have a problem with underkicking the handstand or not kicking with enough force to get into position.

 

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

Test which version works best for you and look at the video below for deeper information and demonstrations on learning how to drift your handstands.

To get a done-for-you blueprint on the handstand check out The Secrets of the Handstand System today!

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

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A Superhero Solution to a Tiring Exercise

The Burpee!

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

There. I’ve said it.

Love it or hate it. The burpee is a mainstay in most fitness routines. I’ve even used it in my programming, although sparingly. Don’t get me wrong, the burpee is a solid exercise covering many different muscles groups while including strength, balance work, and power development. Although I normally see people use it as an ending metabolic finisher or something to throw in and get their clients tired. Honestly, it actually pains me to watch people run through technique without activating the correct muscles.

There’s a lot going on in that seemingly simplistic exercise, but that’s for another day and another breakdown.

Today I’m going to talk about doing something different with your burpee. Giving it a little bit more mobility, while also working on your motor control and endurance.

I usually breakdown the normal burpee into 3 different pieces. No different here.

This Superhero burpee includes a forward crawl, lateral jump, and even a cartwheel!

Take a look below to see how you can turn your burpee more superheroic: Spider-Man Style!

If you liked the video and want to develop your body’s endurance and conditioning, check out The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Conditioning!

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

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An Easy Fix to a Pressing Predicament

Today we are going to jump back towards simpler times with a supposedly simple exercise.

The Pushup.

Although it is a seemingly easy exercise, it can cause trouble for some people.

Whether it be sinking of the hips or lack, lack of core engagement, or any of the other number of possible problems.

Don’t worry though.

There are many methods to fix your pushup, and I’ve found a simple way to get you to feel the right movement while using a simple prop.

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

Take a look at the video below to see the simple tip to a better pushup!

If you liked the handstand pushup in the beginning of the video and want to develop them yourself, check out The Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups!

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

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Handstand Pushups and Handstand Hand Positions

Got two more handstand questions I’ll dig into today. I have to admit the quality of the questions has stepped up recently at least for the most part. Submit yours at https://lostartofhandbalancing.com/question.html.Here we go. The first one is from Ari.

“OK, Logan, I can balance on my hands, and I have the strength to do handstand pushups, but maintaining balance in an HSPU seems almost impossible. As I lower from the handstand my weight always starts to move to the ventral (stomach) side and unless I bend my legs at the knees so my calves counterbalance the weight, I lose my handstand. How do you maintain a straight bodywhile doing a handstand pushup?”

The first step is to make sure you have the strength to perform the move. When most people do handstand pushups against the wall it’s in an alignment that makes the pushup easier than the form you have to take for a free standing handstand pushup. This is a big topic in and of itself that I’ll have to dig into another time.

The important thing is to have an excess of strength. It’s not good to be burned out after two attempts, since you need to ‘practice’ the move. Onto the balancing.

It is going to be slightly different depending on how straight or arched you are. The thing is that your body will be at an angle and not perfectly vertical from the ground. When your head touches the ground it should be in a triangle formation with the hands. Like the headstand except you don’t rest on the head.

Because of this the upper body and lower body are on different sides of your center of gravity. As if you were lowering down toward the planche.

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

The most important thing you have to do in order to keep the balance and not fall toward the feet is keeping yourself toward overbalancing. The pressure must be toward your fingers at all times. If you go toward your palms you’ll lose it.

Of course the body has to be kept real tight at the same time. But keep the weight toward your fingers and you’ll be able to stay balanced while doing the pushups.

And here’s one from Ron.

“I’ve been doing handstand training for the past 4 months. For the purpose of experimentation, what are the effects of different hand positioning? In other words, if you spread your hands wider apart, does that provide any benefits, as opposed to keeping the hands at shoulder width?”

Here’s the words of Professor Orlick, from the beginning of chapter 11 in Hand Balancing Made Easy.

There is a two-fold purpose for learning these (that is handstands with different hand and arm positions). The first is for the stunts themselves, they look good, impress your audiences and give you personal satisfaction.

The second is for excellent balance they develop. When you vary the position of the hands you are forced to balance less and less with the fingers and hands themselves and more and more with the body as a unified whole. This may not be clear to you right here but after you learn a few of the stunts which are described you will understand exactly what is meant.

He then goes on to list 14 handstand exercises with different hand and arm position and even more in the next chapter. For details on the exact ones check out Handbalancing Made Easy.

But that explains it well enough. Changing your arm position will work your balance to a higher degree. These variations are good to throw into the mix from time to time.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Just to let you know there’s going to be changes to a few of the products next week.

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