Tag Archives | Bob Jones

Science of Head Balancing Coming Soon

I want everyone here to thank Rick Schwarz.

He sent me a copy of a book I’ve been long looking for. The Science of Head Balancing by Professor Paulinetti and Bob Jones.

Head BalanceBack when I found that original copy of The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing by Paulinetti and Jones, I also saw that they had a book on head balancing. At the time I wasn’t that interested in it, just in learning handstands, so I passed on it. Unfortunately since that time I’ve look for it everywhere I could but to no avail.

But then out of the blue Rick sent me a xeroxed copy of it. It’s much, much shorter then the hand balancing book and unfortunately the picture quality is quite poor. However the information is great.

And you know what? I’m going to put it up on the site for FREE. No strings attached. I just need to retype the work and scan the pictures in.

There are three sections:

The Science of Head Balancing
Head to Head Balancing
The Head Balancing Trapeze

Most people will be interested in just the first part but I’ll put up all three.

Good Luck and Good Head Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. To get you started here is the foreward by Bob Jones

*********************

Forward

The First Two Chapters of this works, on solo and head-to-head balancing, were published by Professor Paulinetti in 1929; that edition is now exhausted (April, 1943) and in reprinting it I am presuming upon myself to add a few words in a place or two, and to supplant his original line drawing illustrations (made from photographs which I took under his supervision) with those actual photographs in figures 12-13-14-15 and to pose for illustrations for the first ten positions (four of which are additions to the original course). Again, thanks to the increased interest in the art, I am adding a chapter on head balancing trapeze as taught me by the great master some fifteen years ago. Under his guidance this was the easiest feet I ever learned, and I trust that you, too, may find it likewise not difficult.

The Professor has answered his last curtain call, but his masterful accomplishments will ever keep his memory aline and his name honored by us of the balancing clan. It is to the memory of the man personally and his spirit of friendly and sympathetic helpfulness that this revised edition is respectfully and lovingly dedicated.

Robert L. Jones
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
April 18, 1943

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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!

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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.

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.

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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Over and Underbalancing in a Handstand

“Hey Logan, just a short question on the handstand, how do you get control when you go towards under balancing ( I think…I’m new to all this, hehe)? Because when I over balance I just push the floor with my fingers, but when I under balance I just have no idea what to do.”

Thanks,
Sebastien V-G

“Hey Logan, I felt like trying a handstand today, and I tried it. I think I did pretty good, but before I can even hold it for more than a few seconds, I lose my balance and fall forwards. I have read most of the articles on this website, and I have tried the handstand again, but I still keep falling forward. Any Help?”
-Andrew

Thanks for the questions Sebastien and Andrew. They are common ones and are really all about what it takes to stay in the handstand.

To begin with if you are overbalancing you will press your fingertips into the floor. If you are underbalancing you can’t really press your palm into the floor, but you’ll want to raise your fingers up.

This old article has more details on the science of balancing.

There are also other methods of saving your balance whether its over or under. Read this article on shoulder weaving. As Bob Jones recommends this is not for beginners.

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Learning this control whether by action of the hands or shoulders takes lots of practice. It’s a fine skill and will take time to develop or else everyone would be able to hold a handstand with ease.

That’s why I developed my Secrets of the Handstand Quick Start DVD. Using lead-up stunts will better help you to develop that balancing skill. And this review from Julia shows you why.

“Hi Logan, I appreciate your interest and support.  You probably have the best support system I’ve seen for people using your products.

“The DVD is great, and I think it’s a valuable tool for anybody who wants to have a strong and stable handstand.  I can really see the value of the lead-up stunts, and why a freestanding handstand is a bad idea until I get my frogstand under control.”

Thanks a lot!
-Julia

If you can’t control you handstand for more than a few seconds check out the Secrets of the Handstand Quick Start DVD.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Sig Klein Tribute


Video of Sig Klein

Sig Klein has to be one of my favorites of the old time strongman. He was just such a perfectly developed athlete. And he did it all from weightlifting, various feats of strength, to muscle control and more.

Not the least of which were his hand balancing abilities. In The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing Bob Jones compliments Sig on his planche, saying it’s the best he’s ever seen of a man of Klein’s size.

A few of Sigmund Klein’s favorite skills were the Tiger Bend and handstand press-ups, usually done between two chairs.

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

This video is a tribute to a few of the things he did.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Improving Stability in Handstands

I receive tons of questions and today I’ll get to a couple of them. You can always submit your question here.

Just know that I can’t respond to everyone individually but I’ll try to tackle them in these emails.

“I’ve got my position for my handstand right but I just can’t seem to hold it much longer than five or so seconds. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Please help!!”
Cheers,
Emma Shepard

I’m sure there are many people that share where you’re at Emma. A lot of people get frustrated that when they start trying out handstands they can’t hold one with ease after just a couple days.

Above all else, you need patience and commitment. Keep working on holding that position and you will get better in time. Its also good to re-visit some of the lead-up skills I outline in the Secrets of the Handstand Quickstart Guide like the frogstand and others.

Besides, without seeing you do the handstand its hard to give specific advice. If you want to send in a video I’ll offer some additional suggestions. Just post something on youtube and send me the link. This goes for anyone.

Hey Logan
So I’ve been getting better at my handstand but I have a super flexible back so I have been focusing on spinal stability exercises. Mostly planks held for up to a minute, feet on a swiss ball, forearm planks, side planks, etc. You got any other suggestions? Also, would push up bars be helpful? For some reason I have been real curious about those.
Thanks man,
Casey

Having a super flexible back can be a boon depending on how you look at it. Bob Jones recommends that a beginner use all of his back bend when starting out in order to make the balancing easier.

But if your goal is to straighten out, the moves you listed could certainly help establish strength in the abs and low back needed to hold a straighter handstand.

The most useful exercise though is a handstand against the wall. Kick-up and straighten the back out. When you do this you’ll feel your core working quite hard. The key point is to lengthen the body as much as possible. Try to get as tall as you possibly can.

And the next time you do freestanding handstands you can emulate this same movement.

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

As for pushup bars they are useful tools, but not specifically for what you‘re trying to achieve here. Besides with handstand most of the time your hands are flat on the ground so you want to train in that position.

That wraps up this email. Just remember the most important thing is always to keep working forward. Hand balancing takes time but in the end its worth the effort.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. The Parkour Tutorial DVD is selling like crazy. Plus I’ve been getting tons of messages of people who’ve been practicing for years. If you want to see what all the buzz is about click here.

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Sig Klein on Handstand Presses

Klein trained in a very precise, scientific fashion. He reminded Jim of an Old World

Of all his exercises, Klein’s Handstand press-ups were the most remarkable. Jim had never seen anything like it.

Klein performed the exercise on an old piano bench. He began placing his hands in the center of the bench. From there, he leaned forward and effortlessly kicked up into a free-standing, unsupported handstand. Klein had begun his career as a hand-balancer and stage performer, and he had no difficulty in maintaining the handstand position for as long as he wanted.

Once in the handstand position, Klein bent his arms and slowly lowered his body until his upper chest touched the edge of the piano bench. He then reversed the movement slowly and effortlessly, pushed himself back to the handstand position. He performed 15 reps with ease.

“What’s your best in that?” asked Jack.

Klein wiped the sweat from his forehead.

“Nineteen,” he replied.

“That’s a lot of press-ups!”

“I believe it’s more than anyone else has ever done in that style. I’ve often wondered how many reps Maxick or some other old timers could perform.”

“You’re awfully good at them, Sig.”

“Thanks, Jack. It’s like anything else – it’s just a matter of practice. Press-ups are one of my favorite exercises, an I include them in almost all of my workouts. They’re one of the very best for pressing power.”

—–

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This is an excerpt from Brooks Kubik’s new book Legacy of Iron, which I just finished this morning. If you want to learn how many of the old-timers trained this book is for you. While most of it is concerned with weightlifting and competitions surrounding the York Barbell Club, you get a mix of all the various means of physical culture.

Back in that day hand balancing went right along with lifting iron. Even Bob Jones makes an appearance earlier in the book as one of the contest’s judges along with a few other famous hand balancers.

If you want to read more go check out the new book, Legacy of Iron at www.BrooksKubik.com and prepare to get transported back in time.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Just a few issues left of December’s Acrobat Accelerator where I cover free-standing handstand pushups in depth. If you want one you have to order before the new year comes in. Get it along with one of several other hand balancing courses.

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Straight Arm Press Tips

Time to answer some of your questions again. What with the new site and new releases I’ve let some of these pile up.

Here’s two asking the same thing.

“How do you do a lever up handstand. Starting feet on floor in straddle. Used to be able to do it when I was training 10 years ago-but even then it was a struggle & a skill I lost quickly. There’s got to be a technique I’m missing. can lever down but not up from feet on floor. Wait to hear…”
Chrissie

“I would like to learn how to go into a handstand the way gymnasts usually do by leaning over the hands with legs straight until the feet lift off and the legs hang then lifting up the legs into a sort of planche then straight up. Can you do this and what would be the stages in learning it? Surprisingly, I couldn’t find any information on this on the site.”
Ross

Thanks for asking. With a bit of different language both these questions are asking about the same thing. And that is the straight arm press.

It will be easier if the legs are straddled, but once that becomes easy you can keep them together in the pike position.

This move not only takes strength in the arms, shoulders and abs but a big degree of flexibility as well. You have to get the center of you mass over your hands if you want to have any chance of succeeding. This means your shoulders will come far over your hands.

Chrissie was on to something when she said she could lower down. Work the negative, staying under control and soon you’ll be able to lift up into the handstand.

Another way is to hold a Jack-Knife handstand. When you can hold this position low pressing up into the handstand should be no problem.

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Some people have no problem doing this move. Others will have to do tons of work to get it based on there body leverages. If you fall into the later group just keep at it. A bunch of negatives, holds, and isometrics will get you there faster.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Bob Jones has some big tips for learning this move, found in the Chapter 8 – Pressing Up Into A Handstand of his book.

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The Biggest One Hand Handstand Tip

The one hand handstand is probably the most amazing skill in hand balancing. Sure there are more difficult ones and variations of the move but everyone can understand just how remarkable the one hand handstand is.

If you can hold a one armer you’re doing something right. If you can’t do it, you’re likely dreaming of the one day when you can.

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

On the following page you’ll find Bob Jones biggest tip for accomplishing this goal. Too many people gloss over this as it seems too simple (myself included).

Tips on the One Hand Handstand

This is just the tip of the iceberg. In fact The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing has not one but two chapters on this one arm balancing.

I received several comments from people who are loving the videos. If you want to add your name to the list you can go directly to the youtube pages and post your comments there. And while you’re at it, give it a good rating for me.

Here’s the videos from the previous three days:
One Hand Handstand
Handstand Pushup Tips
Handstand Shoulder Weaving

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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On Handstand Pushups

One exercise that brings more people into hand balancing more than any other is the handstand pushup. Many people do them against the wall to build up strength. Sooner or later they figure how much better it’d be without using the wall for balance.

Even if you have the strength to do them against the wall and the balance to hold a handstand the free standing handstand press can be a bit more challenging.

In this new video Bob Jones tells you what you need to do to make the move easier…or harder!

Bob Jones on Handstand Pushups

There’s much more on pressing where that came from.

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

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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