Tag Archives | back lever

Blast From the Past: Back Lever Leg Raises

Hey guys! Check out this blast from the past on the Gymnastic Rings from Logan! In this Video, Logan performs a Back Lever into a Leg Raise.

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Back Lever Leg Raises are a great way to mimic a Reverse Hyper Machine while using Rings.

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

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Take a look at Logan’s demo below!

Don’t forget that our friends at Gold Medal Bodies have revamped their Rings One Program and if you act before tomorrow ends, you can receive two special bonuses including shoulder health and a conditioning workout using the gymnastic rings!

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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Back Lever Flutter Kicks

Since my recent progress in the back lever I’ve been looking to make it harder. Just a couple months ago I held my first ever, legs together back lever, and now that’s pretty easy. So I’m adding some movements into the mix and I came up with this one, which I call back lever flutter kicks.

It’s much harder then the regular lying on your back version of flutter kicks that the Navy Seals made famous. Though it is tougher then a hold it’s not that too much harder to do. The reason I didn’t do it longer in the video was because I shot this after a new PR for me, of a 10 second back lever hold.

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

Of course this same movement could be done in the front lever position. Haven’t got to the full position there yet though.

I’m thinking about doing a DVD just on Lever progressions. Would you be interested in that?

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First Back Lever

I was “playing” at the park yesterday with my friend. Great to always have a camera on hand.

Here I was able to hold my first back lever with legs straight but also together.

Check off one major goal for this year!

Compare this to my earlier straddle back levers.

Straddle Back Lever

The crazy thing is I haven’t even been working on this skill lately. I have been working towards one arm pullups and a number of exercises with the Power Wheel to strength the abs. I guess those two things are carrying over. I also noticed I was better at various front lever progressions we worked on.

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

I also think that it may have been a little easier on these monkey bars, over the rings that I’ve normally done them on. But then I did another back lever, possibly even better then this one, on some rings they had there a little later. Sorry, no video of this one but I will have lots more from the park in coming weeks and months.

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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

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

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

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.

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

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.

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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Entcho Hand Balancing

This is one of my favorite hand balancing videos by Entcho Keryazov from Bulgaria. Simply amazing.

I stumbled across this awhile ago, and many people have pointed it out to me, but this is the first time I’ve featured it here.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

Some of my personal favorites:

  • The back lever at 1:00
  • Hopping from one hand handstand to another at 1:59
  • Handstand on the stacked blocks and throwing them away at 3:14
  • The smooth muscle up on the stands at 4:24
  • No to mention his dismount and how he comes across as knowing just how good he is.

I don’t know about you but I’m inspired to practice right now.

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