Tag Archives | Bodyweight

3 Mistakes You Might be Doing with your Bodyweight Squat

I’m going to start off by saying that there are many sources out in the world that will teach you correct form with your squats. Even we have a book called The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Bodyweight Squats and Pistols.

I’m going to take a different tact today and give you 3 mistakes you might be doing with your bodyweight squat.

Mistake #1 Rounding or Arching your Back

When I end up working with clients and have them do a squat , which is one of the key go-to bodyweight exercises that i give my clients with multitudes of variations, I will usually see one of these two things happen. A person will either be stuck in flexion of the back and become overly arching or have posterior tilt, although without engaging some of the other stabilizers like the abdominals or lats. Rarely do I see somebody with strong technique on the first go. A good test is to see where you land by having a profile view of yourself near a mirror completing the squat.

Mistake #2 Knee Position

I’m going to give you two knee placements that could be hurting your squat. The first is to have your knee extend past your toes. This can cause an excess load on your joints and is usually when I have somebody tell me their knee strains while they squat and asks for variations. The second knee position to look out for is when they collapse or pull towards each other. When this happens, you’ll tend to feel more load on your ankles or a bit of over-stabilization on your lower back.

Mistake #3 Foot Placement

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Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

Foot placement is important as well because you are working from a closed kinetic chain. Basically your foot is stationary and practically glued to the floor and everything else that is connected in proximity; knees, ankles, and hips have to move around your foot as a base point. If your foot is in an imbalanced position, it can thoroughly effect your squat as your other muscles have to compensate for that imbalance.

There you go! 3 possible mistakes with your squat. One final note. The human body was created with a buffer for variance. As long as you stay within a safety range of movement, you’ll be fine. Also don’t forget to listen to your body. If something hurts; remember there is a difference between pain and the burning sensation from working a muscle, analyze your body mechanics and see if you might be doing one of the 3 mistakes above.

If you want to learn more or even master your bodyweight squat, get The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Bodyweight Squats and Pistols.

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

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Bad Handstand Habits, Training Frequency + More

Thanks for all the suggestions after my last message. Going to answer a number of them today.

“I am just started handstands and I notice that my arms are bent it seems I have a bad habit, ideas?”

You know this is something I battled with for a long time. When doing a handstand you want to have your arms locked out the entire time.

Should you overbalance you can bend your arms to save yourself but this should only be used as a last resort. And when you’re starting out you are better off not doing it so that you learn to use your hands to balance.

So how do you break this habit? Returning to the wall and doing handstands there with locked out arms would certainly help.

Also, any time you kick-up into a handstand have your arms straight from the very start. Extend them fully and imagine they have a splint wrapped around them that forces you to keep them that way.

“Actually I am interested in high wire walking or rope walking. And in the future also slacklining. I live in Finland and I would like to know where I could buy a slackline? Sorry my bad english. Thank You for your inspiring messages.”
Taina

Its funny that you should mention this, Taina as a friend just brought to my attention trying out slack lines.

Its something I’m looking into and may feature on the site in the future. As an informal poll how many out there are potentially interested in learning this art? And who out there currently does it?

“I would like to know some good ways to build up to walking up stairs on my hands.”

Before starting to walk up stairs you need to have a good base. You should be proficient in walking on flat ground, walking down stairs, and be strong.

Because you’re walking up the stairs on your hands you are having to push your bodyweight up with mostly a single arm at a time. I’d say being able to do three freestanding handstand pushups in a row is the bare minimum.

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

If you’re there its just a matter of starting small and working your way up. Literally. Find small stairs and master those before moving up to large steps. The more incremental you can make it the better.

“I started trying some headstands and handstands today after perusing this site + I really enjoyed it. I lift weights regularly and was wondering how frequently i should train hand balancing, do I do it as with weights(every other day) or can I practice every day?
Thanks very much.
Stuart

This is a fairly common question. Because hand balancing requires very fine skill it is best to practice it every single day. A little practice each day is much better than a two hour session once a week.

Of course starting out you’ll need to give some time for recovery, also depending on what moves you are practicing and how tough your other workouts are.

But once you have a foundation some practice every day is the best way to go. If for some reason you are unable to train everyday, not to worry cause you can still make progress with less practice.

Well that’s plenty to chew on for one day. So until next time…

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Many of these topics are covered in much more detail in Professor Paulinetti and Bob Jones’ hand balancing book.

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Paul Hamm, Olympic Gold and the Rings

I can remember it like it was yesterday even though it was about four years ago.

Had never paid all that much attention to the Olympics before but this year was different.

My good friend and I were watching the men’s individual all-around competition. Gymnasts are truly some of the worlds strongest athletes but the Olympic level is just ridiculous.

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

There was some amazing competition. Of course, I was rooting for the USA and I got to see one of the most amazing comebacks ever in the history of sports.

After a disastrous fall on the vault it looked like Paul Hamm was out of the running. But two near perfect routines on the parallel bars and horizontal bar put him back in front.

Not only did he win the Gold but he was the first American to ever to so at the Olympics in the all-around competition. We were going crazy with excitement.

Yes there was some controversy behind a scoring error, but watching that piece of history will forever be burned in my mind.

It’s amazing what these athletes can do. It’s unreal.

How do they build that kind of strength and skill? One its how they train, which is long hours every single day working on perfecting their routines.

But it is also what they train with. The tools and apparatus on which they train. A big key to build gymnastic strength is to train the same way.

One of the most basic tools for the gymnast, and the one that epitomizes all that is gymnastics, are the rings.

There is nothing quite like ‘em. If you’ve never mounted a pair you’d be surprised at just how much you body shakes as you try to support your bodyweight.

Forget the iron cross or maltese. Can you manage a few pullups or dips? What about the classic muscle-up?

Well, now you can answer those questions. Now you can get started training your way to building Olympic level strength with the Elite Gymnastic Rings.

Not only that but you can get instructed by another world champion and Olympic medalist in how to use them.

And if you want to really impress someone do a handstand on top of the rings. Now that’s balance!

Paul’s performance on the rings back in 2004 was before the fall and comeback (a decent 9.587) but you can be sure I’ll be watching the gymnastics this year, especially the rings.

The difference is this time I’ll be training right alongside him. Will you?

Sincerely,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Notice that on either of the two pages as the bottom in the P.S. you can get both the Gymnastic Rings and the Ring Strength DVD in a special combo deal and save.

P.P.S. And yes, if you didn’t know, Paul Hamm will be back in Beijing. I’m rooting for a repeat.

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Leading up to any Handstand Stunt

Seemed to have raised some interest with my last email. So I’ve decided to go into a little more depth on the subject.

To sum up what I said last time: The best way to learn the handstand, one hand handstand, or any stunt is not to do the move itself, in the beginning, but work on lead-up stunts.

Obviously at a certain point you will need to work on the skill itself in order to master it but you shouldn’t start there.

If you look at a weightlifting move like the deadlift, let’s say you have a goal to lift 500 lbs. You wouldn’t start out trying to lift this weight because most likely you could not even budge it. No, you start with what you can do and move up in weight from there.

If your goal is to do a move like the one hand handstand you can’t just start with a lighter weight. Most bodyweight exercises don’t work this way. Just going for the move is like trying to deadlift 500 lbs. when your max is 300. Not gonna happen.

An easier version of the move is essentially the same thing as a lighter weight. When you are good with one move you move on to a harder variation, just like adding weight.

Failing to do this is why so many people never reach their goal. They just try the move over and over seeing little or no progress.

One move for the one hand handstand is to place your other arm on a raised box or chair and use it to help balance.

For the normal handstand you have moves like the headstand and frogstand. But there are many more for these moves and others.

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

That’s the genius in how Professor Orlick taught his students. Each move leads in to the next. For the best methods of mastering any hand balancing move check out the Hand Balancing Mastery Course.

If you learn this lesson well, you can apply to many other forms of exercise.By training in this manner you can and will progress much faster. I guarantee it.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Right now you can do no better than to get what has been affectionately referred to as the “Hand Balancing Bible“.

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Handstand Press

Another thing I’ve devoted more of my time to recently is the handstand press. While a normal handstand does not take very much strength many of the presses do.

Handstand presses can be broken down into two main groups. Those done with straight arms and those down with bent arms.

The various bent arm presses take a high degree of strength in the shoulders, triceps and also the chest in many cases.

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

Straight arm press-ups still take strength but in different areas. Also you will need flexible wrists, hamstrings, and the ability to compress your body in half. In fact the more flexibility you have the less strength you will need.

For all these reasons most people will be better at either straight arm or bent arm presses. There are many people who can do the straight arm variety but will fall on their face if they have to bend their arms.

On the other hand most stronger people can do many bent armed presses. These take tremendous arm and shoulder strength to pull off successfully as you have to hold your entire bodyweight in mid air for a length of time. But for these people the straight arm presses can be elusive.

In the end you want to be able to do both. In order to do this you must train for both.

That’s why there’s chapters on the pressing in all the main books like Hand Balancing Made Easy and The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing.

Presses are not easy, especially if you’re not of the average gymnast size. But it can be done.

If you’ve ever wondered why hand balancers are so strong this is one of the major keys. So start pressing.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. There are so many ways you can press up into a handstand. Have you mastered them all? Start where you can and work from there.

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Finger Handstand

Shaolin Fingertip Handstand

Two Finger Handstand by Shaolin Monk

Fingertip training is one of the less common forms of hand balancing today. In fact you hardly see it at all.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice it.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

First some words of caution. The fingers are small and fragile. If you move into this realm too fast, you may end up breaking them, snapping tendons or any number of bad things so be careful.

Starting with a fingertip handstand is probably too much for most people. Even this most basic move must be worked up to. And fingertip pushups are the best way to do that.

Even without practicing finger balancing you hand and finger strength will improve. Just from the practice of balancing on your hands you can’t help but gain some strength in your digits.

But for true fingertip stunts you need to do them in one form or another.

If you are ready for the fingertip handstand then I suggest using a wall on your first go. Holding your bodyweight on your fingers is one thing. Balancing is another.

Not only do you have a smaller base of support but you must add pressure in order to stay balanced. This makes your fingers support your weight and then some.

Once you can hold the fingertip stand it’s a matter of progressing until you reach your goal.

That goal may be the Thumb Stand made famous by Bob Jones. Doing it on top of Indian clubs is up to you.Or maybe you want to hold an index finger stand.

In Shaolin: Wheel of Life one of the stunts performed is a handstand held on the two index fingers. He has his feet supported but it’s still one of the most impressive feats possible.

If you don’t have a copy of this video yet get one now. It’s one of the most motivational, inspirational, and awe-inspiring videos in existence.

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Hand Balancing Mastery Course Details

The Hand Balancing Mastery Course is made up of three books, one of which is How to do the One Hand Handstand which I talked about last time.

The first book in the course is titled Handbalancing Made Easy. This is the book that every beginner should start with. It covers a lot more than just the handstand.

Inside you’ll find many exercises, using bodyweight, dumbbells, barbells, and more to build up the strength you need for hand balancing. You’ll find many other stunts and tricks that will help you get started with your first handstand.

Once your handstand is solid you can move on to the whole bunch of variations in your hand, body, head and leg positions.

And this just scratches the surface.

The other volume is Walking and Jumping on Your Hands. And it will show you how to do just that. The beauty comes in how simple he breaks down the various steps so that you can be climbing a staircase in as little time as possible.

Plus you will also find many variations on the themes that may never have occurred to you. Did you ever think to do a long jump on your hands? How about trying to run? Or climb a ladder?

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

I also added a section to the course myself. In these special reports you will find out about some of the most common problems that stump people interested in hand balancing. Questions like when and how should I train, what should I focus on, how do I track my progress, and more will all be answered.

But that’s not all.

There are a number of bonuses including interviews with some experts that you‘ve got to hear. I be filling you in on those details next time.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Also next time you’ll see how you can join the VIP list so you can get first crack at buying your copy and getting a chance at the additional fast-action bonuses.

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