Tag Archives | Art And Science

Which Course To Get?

Handstand

Regular Handstand

All I can say is WOW!

The demand for the Hand Balancing Mastery Course is overwhelming.

That’s entirely understandable when you see the systematic approach Prof. Orlick takes in his books and all the added bonuses you can get like the interviews and DVD’s.

For all of you who ordered your courses will be shipping out very soon. In fact some of the first orders have already gone out. For those that haven’t ordered yours yet, what are you waiting for?

I’ve received a few questions asking about the new course in relation to the others I have available. How does the Hand Balancing Mastery Course compare to The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing?

First off, what’s the same? They both talk about hand balancing from beginning skills up to very advanced. But that’s about it!

The Hand Balancing Mastery Course is much more systematic in its approach. In most cases you’ll work on one move right before the next and you can honestly come close to following the book in order as its laid out.

While there is some crossover in skills there’s also a lot of difference. The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing is almost devoid of walking on the hands. The Mastery Course has a whole book on it. The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing covers the planche in some depth which the Mastery Course doesn‘t have in the books, but its covered in both the CD’s and DVD’s.

I will give The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing extra points for having real photographs to display the skills. The Mastery Course has drawings for most of the skills which do the job well, especially since I had every single one re-drawn. And yes the drawings you see here and on that page is what you’ll find in the books.

The biggest difference is the amount of content. The Hand Balancing Mastery Course has so much more. In the books alone you’ll find at least twice as much. And that doesn’t even include the several hours of audio and video.

There’s even less crossover between other products.

The Secrets of the Handstand Quick Start DVD was born out of the ideas I learned from the Hand Balancing Mastery Course in using the lead-up stunts as Professor Orlick describes. That DVD covers just working up to the handstand and nothing beyond it. If you were just starting out I would recommend starting there and once you have some proficiency then getting the Mastery Course.

The Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups is more about building strength then balancing. Sure it has a chapter on doing freestanding handstand pushups (which is covered in one of the DVD’s in the Mastery Course) but that’s the only real similarity.

That should give you an idea of the differences. To get more details take the time to read the product pages. Sure, they might be a little salesy but I do my best to actually show you what’s inside each book, DVD or course.

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

If you have any other specific questions let me know.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Advanced Progression

A One Hand Balance

A One Hand Balance in the Old Style

Here’s a question from Matthew on the difficulties and progression of advanced hand balancing skills.

“What would say is the difficulty of a planche vs a handstand, one handed handstand, 2 man planche, how should I be progressing if I am fairly competent in all of these skills?”

Each skill is very different from the next. The skill and strength it takes to do a planche is very different from that it takes to do a one handed handstand. Some people will find certain skills harder then others and to give them arbitrary difficulties wouldn’t really help.

But as a basic idea so you can know what you’re getting yourself into I would say the one hand handstand (and the planche too) are about 100 times as difficult as the two hand handstand.

How should you be progressing? The same as everyone else. Whether you are working on a basic handstand or and advanced skill like the one arm handstand you can progress by adding a second at a time.

If you are competent at the skills you listed, first off, congratulations. You are doing great. If you want to know where to go from that point there is a wide variety of options.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

You can work on a one handed planche. You can learn to hop on one hand. How about a tiger bend? And if that’s easy try it on one arm!

(By the way, all these skills are found in The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing.)

The sky is the limit. Just keep progressing. It’s the name of the game.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher.

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Planche Pushups Training

This question from Paul concerns planche pushups training.

“From a beginners perspective, what exercises would you recommend to working into a full planche pushup?”

That depends entirely on how much of a beginner you are. If you are really just starting out there is going to be a ton of work before you get to the planche and finally a planche pushup.

Suffice to say, you’ll need a strong planche before you can approach doing planche pushups.

There are two drills that come to mind to help on the pushup portion. Even if you can’t do the planche yet you will be able to do this planche pushup training and get started.

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

One involves having a friend hold onto your feet. Now, you don’t merely want to do pushups in this position. That would make this nothing more then an elevated pushup. Instead, lean far forward in advanced of your hands, that is to assume a planche position.

With your partner holding your feet you won’t have to support all your weight, but the goal is to do as much as you can on your own.

From this position you do your assisted planche pushups. The key is to do low reps and really maximize the effort that goes into each one.

The second drill is similar though it doesn’t require a partner. This is to do what are known as pseudo-planche pushups. You get on the ground and get into a normal pushup position.

Like before, you will lean forward so your shoulders are forward of your hands. Your feet are on the ground but you will be working in a similar planche position.

There are other methods but these will help you out big time. Along with them you’ll really need to be training your planche and making it strong.

Much more on the planche can be found in The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Wrist Strengthening Exercises

An important part of handstands is having hand strength and flexibility so here are some wrist strengthening exercises.

I’ve always had some wrist troubles when it came to handstands due to an old injury. And recently my right wrist has been acting up making even a regular handstand hard to hold.

How have I been able to make progress towards overcoming this?

By doing more handstands!

Because a handstand puts you near or at complete extension of your wrist it’s a position most people never really use or have need for strength in. But for those of us handbalancing that’s different.

Very few other exercises can even get close to this position. So using the handstand itself is the way we want to use to build wrist strength and flexibility.

Of course, if you are just starting out putting your full weight on your hands may be too hard. In this case going from pushups, to elevated pushups and finally to the handstand is the progression to follow. I had to go back to the starting point in order to build up.

It may be uncomfortable. The idea is to push your boundaries a little at a time. Keep doing a bit more each time to expand your wrist flexibility. Of course, you don’t want to push too hard you injure yourself even more. The idea is to make progress slowly and over time.

If its no strain to hold the position, when you are in the handstand (ideally against the wall) you can dig in and press down into the ground doing isometrics to further build your strength, and therefore control when balancing.

Regular practice with these kind of wrist strengthening exercises will result in strong, flexible and healthy hands and wrists.

Good Luck and Good Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. There’s also some nifty stunts by Bob Jones in Chapter 6 of The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing. Be sure to check those out to further build strength and flexibility in those hand balancing hands.

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

Forearm Development from Various Hand Balancing Skills

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One Finger Handstand

Is a one finger handstand even possible?

Most would say that no human could possibly do this feat. But then most would agree Shaolin monks are anything but normal people!

This video shows a 91 year old monk Hal-tank from the Sil Lum Temple in China perform that feat.

As I’m sure you’ll agree this move goes beyond just finger strength, requiring intense focus of chi.

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

There are many other monks who have mastered a two finger handstand like this picture shows. Thanks to Gay Ng for sending it to me.

Two Finger Handstand by Shaolin Monk

Two Finger Handstand by Shaolin Monk

(You can also witness this feat from another Shaolin monk in the awesome DVD Shaolin: Wheel of Life available for cheap on Amazon.)

But getting down to a single finger handstand takes many more years of dedicated practice.

Its sure to be an entirely different approach but there’s a full chapter by Bob Jones, famous for his thumbstand, on doing fingertip pushups and handstands in The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing.

You can get started with the basics. Whether you’ll work up to two or one finger handstand like the monks do is up to you.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Scissors Handstand

After most people, myself included, have some success with the handstand they want to move on to a variety of stunts, most of which are much harder.

My advice, nowadays, is to stick with the handstand itself for a bit longer.

Yes, you can always just work on adding more time in a hold while improving your balance. But to spice it up a little bit try changing up your position.

There are a huge amount of different ways you can do this with different areas of your body. For today let’s focus on the legs.

Again, any possible way you can move your legs can be done in the handstand but let’s narrow it down to just one. The Scissors Handstand.

Scissors Handstand by Bob Jones
From The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing:

“Do a hand stand in nice form, then separate the legs, one backward and the other forward. Start the legs backward and forward in scissor fashion. Go slowly at first, and increase the speed, and come to a sudden stop with the feet and legs in nice form. While in the motion, the legs should be kept straight, with the toes pointed. This trick is very effective and is not hard to learn. Variations of the above are, scissors while walking on the hands, also scissors with the head forward through the arms.”

Check out the hand balancing book for many other moves just like this one.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon
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The X Balance

X Hand Balance

I love this picture. Just how the legs and arms line up to become a perfect X.

With the arms spread wide balancing becomes much more difficult. You won’t have the simple back and forth balancing like in a regular handstand as your hands are pointed towards the sides.

The quality is not the best but if you look closely you’ll notice Rafael’s hands are on little blocks. These may aid a little in balancing.

Just try an arms wide handstand with the hands out to the sides and you’ll find just how hard it can be to stay up.

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

Its these kind of balances that you rarely, if ever, see these days.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. For similar poses check out photos 44 and 95 in the Inspirational Photo Section of The True Art and Science of Handbalancing

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Planche and Hand Position

A few comments were raised about the hand position in Rafael Guerrero’s planche in a previous post.

Why was he up on the fingertips? Is this necessary to do a planche in good form?

Unless you have hyper-flexible wrists you won’t be able to do a planche with the fingers pointing forwards and flat on the ground. Most people turn their wrists out to the sides to alleviate this sort of strain or come up on the fingers.

But there are other ways to do a planche with the hands not taking as much stress as these other pictures by Rafael show. You can do it on some sort of parallel bars.

Planche on Bars
Or completely on the fingertips.

Top Planche on Fingertips
Even in a hand-to-hand balance.

Top Planche in High Hand to Hand Balance
But if you do have the wrist flexibility you can do it on flat ground with the palms flat on the ground and facing forward. In the True Art and Science of Hand Balancing the chapter on planches showcases W.H. Mering doing just that.

And if you’re seeking to build incredible strength like these planches show I have an important announcement later this week. Stay tuned!

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

A few comments were raised about the hand position in Rafael Guerrero’s planche in a previous post. (If you missed that you can find it at https://lostartofhandbalancing.com/blog/the-true-planche/.)

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

Why was he up on the fingertips? Is this necessary to do a planche in good form?

Unless you have hyper-flexible wrists you won’t be able to do a planche with the fingers pointing forwards and flat on the ground. Most people turn their wrists out to the sides to alleviate this sort of strain or come up on the fingers.

But there are other ways to do a planche with the hands not taking as much stress as these other pictures by Rafael show. You can do it on some sort of parallel bars.

Or completely on the fingertips.

Even in a hand-to-hand balance.

But if you do have the wrist flexibility you can do it on flat ground with the palms flat on the ground and facing forward. In the True Art and Science of Hand Balancing the chapter on planches showcases W.H. Mering doing just that. Check out the book for more.

If you’re seeking to build incredible strength like these planches show I have an important announcement later this week. Stay tuned!

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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The True Planche

An older hand balancer recently sent me a CD full of pictures of himself and others hand balancing. There are some amazing pictures and I thought I’d start off with one of the best. And there will be many more coming posted up here. Without further adieu meet Rafael Guerrero.

A Planche in the best form.

What most people don’t realize is how to do the planche correctly. While any semblance of a planche is a great display of strength and skill, when you can pull it off in this form its that much better. Of course to do it like this being a much smaller size is a plus!

Here’s a small section from The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing talking about the correct form of the skill.

“As exemplified by Paulinetti, the planche on two hand’s finds the body straight, flat and horizontal from throat to toes, and especially from throat to pelvis. Since the chest is thicker than the waist, this means that the shoulders are decidedly humped, corresponding very much to the hips. The position is much as if the performer were lying on a bench with chin and toes extended over either end–there is no arch in the back, and the hips are NOT flexed at all. This is where much of the trouble comes in, just as in doing the straight handstand with the head between the arms. Usually the performer gets the chest fairly well positioned, but instead of leaving the hips straight and then flexing the waist area of the spine slightly, he leaves his arch in the back and jack-knifes the legs forward (pretty much as in Figure 6) in order to get the feet down into line with the trunk. Again, in trying the planche–especially if endeavoring to get the flat chest effect–he neglects to thrust the chin forward and as a result has his face looking right at the floor instead of raised about 45 degrees and looking straight ahead.

“All in all, the correct position is decidedly not a normal one to attain, especially to a balancer accustomed to arching his back, and nine out of ten aspirants never even approach it. They usually wind up in nothing other than a “horizontal handstand” position–back arched, head up, and latissimus muscles hooked against the triceps. Understand, this is much of an accomplishment in its own right…but it is not the true planche.”

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

If you want to find out much more on the planche the read the full chapter in the book for the full details. But now you know some of the specifics for what it takes to do a true planche.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. There’s still time to take the short survey so I can find out exactly what you want. Click here.

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Tuck Planche Training

“Hey, I’ve been working on my planche and I went from the frogstand to the tuck planche and I’m kinda stuck there, so anything you got to help would be appreciated.”
Mike

Without seeing a picture or video I can’t tell exactly how your tuck planche is looking. But most people when they first do the move, its challenge enough just to raise the body off of the ground with straight arms.

But once that becomes easy the next objective is start moving towards a real planche position. Of course, this needs to be done in small steps. The first one is to keep your back straight.

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

Then you need to raise your hips. You want to get them on level with your shoulders. And this involves leaning forward to where the shoulders pass over the hands.

This is a great progression to follow to work on the planche. Combined with a few other planche training moves you’ll eventually get there.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. For more on training the planche be sure to check out The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing.

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