Tag Archives | Barbell

Doug Hepburn Handstand

This is one of my favorite pictures of all time with Doug Hepburn balancing a 205 lb. barbell plus a 145 lb. man doing a handstand on top.. Just recently I came across the same picture from another view. A perfect blend of strength and balancing.

Doug Hepburn Handstand Balance

Not any strong person could hold this. Besides the 350 lbs. of weight it is really the responsibility of the under-stander to keep the person in the handstand balanced.

If you haven’t heard of Doug Hepburn you may want to check him out. Suffice to say he was an all-around strongman, setting many weightlifting records in his time, and this was starting crippled at a young age.

What most people don’t know is that he was also a fine hand balancer.

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

Early in his career he was capable of twelve reps in the handstand press and five reps in the tiger-bend.

That’s some strength there.

Seeing and hearing about people like Doug Hepburn and Bert Assirati all doing hand balancing you can’t possibly think that hand balancing is only for the small framed.

Large size is no excuse.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Can’t say that being small doesn’t help though. Professor Paulinetti weighed around 110 lbs which made the One Arm Planche possible. To duplicate some of his feats check out The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing.

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Weightlifting and Hand Balancing

Does lifting weights help to hand balance? The answer is yes and no.

Let me qualify all the following by saying there are many different ways to lift weights. Whether you are doing power lifting, Olympic lifting, bodybuilding, or just good old fashioned strength training with barbells and dumbbells. How you lift matters as much as anything.

Certain exercises are going to help you out. And others won’t do much for you.

Specifically for pressing movements. It requires a tremendous amount of strength to be able to push your bodyweight overhead. You need strong triceps and shoulders.

Since many presses take you through different planes of movement, not strictly overhead work, such as a press from half planche to handstand or the frogstand press you will also need strong pectoral muscles. Of course your back and abdominals are used to keep you stabilized.

If you use weights to make these muscles stronger than you will be able to do these stunts easier.

Of course hand balancing takes a huge degree balance. While weightlifting can help your coordination, it is nothing compared to what you need to stand on your hands.

Being able to press a heavy barbell overhead has no carryover to being able to hold a handstand.

A handstand is a skill and needs to be practiced in order for you to get good at it.

These days many people are moving away from weights because they think they are not functional. To that I have to say it all depends on how you use them.

Whether you decide to build you upper body strength with barbell presses or with handstand pushups is up to you. They both build strength.

Spend some time using both and see how well they work for you.

Professor Orlick outlines a full on course of barbell, dumbbell, bodyweight and other exercises in Hand Balancing Made Easy. If an accomplished hand balancer like him believed in them, than there surely is value in the exercises.

In addition, in the interview I did with Jim Bathurst he talks about his favorite weightlifting exercises and which ones carryover to his hand balancing best.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,

Logan Christopher

P.S. Professor Orlick even has some very creative weightlifting exercises to help with the one hand handstand. Now you can get How to do the One-Hand Handstand by itself.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

Hand Balancing and Weightlifting Combined

Hand Balancing and Weightlifting Combined

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