Tag Archives | Elbow

Handstand Tutorial

Here is a basic handstand tutorial. This will cover first practicing against a wall. If you are trying to go out into the open check out this article on how to do a hand stand.

Holding a handstand is not an easy skill. It requires much practice especially if you want to do it out in the open. The tips in the article will help you get started. Before we begin just know that practice is the biggest determinant of whether you’ll be successful or not with the handstand. The more you can practice the faster you’ll get results.

What you learn here will go a long way to helping you out. Also, these tips will ensure you get started with good habits which will set you up to learn even more advanced stunts later on. If you attempt the handstand without any instruction you may setup yourself for failure. Sure, you may figure out how to do the handstand but you may build bad habits which will make other hand balancing skills harder to do in the future.

The easiest way to learn the handstand is to first practice it against a wall. You’ll be able to learn proper body position first.

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The first step is to kick-up into the handstand. In order to become successful you’ll need to build a good kick-up. So practice this skill by itself as much a you need to.

Kick-up to Handstand

Kick-up to Handstand

Get in a sprinter’s stance. Place both hands on the floor about shoulder width apart approximately 6-10 inches from the wall. One foot should be close to your body while the other is farther back. With the back leg you kick up and then bring the other leg to meet up with it against the wall. Kick enough to get yourself up into the handstand but not too much so that you slam into the wall.

Now lets focus on your form in the handstand. Spread the fingers wide apart and grip the ground. This will help especially with balancing later on.

Make sure your elbow are locked. If you bend your arms you’ll have to rely on your strength versus your body’s structure to hold you up. Also push your arms into the ground from the shoulder girdle. Think of trying to reach your shoulders to your ears. This will give you a better locked out position.

The rest of your body should remain tight as well from your back to the legs all the way to your toes. Point the toes and keep the legs together to help with this. By keeping tight you make holding the position, and balancing later on, much easier.

For most people some arch in the back is normal. There are different ways to go about it depending on the style of handstand you are going after. Just do whatever is comfortable for you as long as its not an excessive arch. But if you try to stretch your body upwards you’ll straighten a bit and get tighter.

You can keep your head neutral or tilt it back to look at the ground.

Handstand against Wall

Handstand against Wall

All the points for a good and stable handstand position are here. The goal is to create this same position every time you do a handstand whether against the wall or freestanding. Practice these steps enough until they are a habit every time you go into the handstand.

After you can hold this handstand for about a minute you can get started with a freestanding handstand, although there are a few other important lead-up stunts, like the headstand and frogstand, to work on to build up your abilities.

Remember to keep practicing and you will succeed.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. For more on how to do the handstand check out the Secrets of the Handstand Quick Start DVD.

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Overbalancing in the Forearm Stand

This question comes from Fady.

“Hi Logan, hope you’re doing fine, actually I’m facing some overbalancing problems when trying to make elbow stand I find myself falling to a bridge no matter how hard I pressed with my fingers or trying stretching my legs and back.

“Actually I’m good at HS against wall, also balance good on frog stand and can save underbalanced HS pretty well (when I’m against wall), also I think I have a flexible back (I can make wrestler bridge and make my chin touch the floor)

“But I think I’m facing overbalancing problems, do you think that this could be due to my back strength lagging my flexibility? plz advice?”

My guess is that because of your great flexibility your legs and feet hang too far over in the forearm stand. This is what causes you to overbalance and land in a bridge.

Here’s two things you can do to correct this issue. First off, attempt to straighten your back. Don’t allow your legs to extend to far past. Instead try to reach up and stay tall.

The other thing to try is to do the forearm stand in front of a wall just like you would a handstand. By using the wall just as much as possible you can work your balancing and, of course, it’ll stop you from overbalancing.

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

Working these two methods you should be able find the balance.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. For more tips on the forearm stand be sure to check out the Secrets of the Handstand Quick Start DVD.

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Cirque du Soleil: Kooza

Went to Cirque du Soleil this past weekend. The shows title was Kooza.

As expected I was amazed. But I have to say it even exceeded my expectations.

The show is touring through the eastern States now. If it’s coming nearby to you, Go and See It. But the same can be said for any Cirque du Soleil performance.

Unfortunately, no pictures are allowed otherwise I would love to share with you a few of the amazing feats performed.

From the synchronized contortionists to people on stilts being launched in a double back flip. From jumping over people on high wires to the best juggler I’ve ever seen. My favorite was the Wheel of Death. Every single thing was astounding.

Not to mention the funniest clowns ever. I’m not usually a big fan of the clowns but these guys were good.

One great thing was the answer to a question I had posed just a few weeks ago was shown in full force.

I’m talking about the Chinese acrobats hand balancing on chairs.

The hand balancer stacked one chair on top of the other. When he got high up, assistants would hand him chairs by using long poles.

Mind you these are not your average chairs but very sturdy things. They’ve got to be because he went up over 10 chairs high.

By standing on each chair he would place the next on top and press up to get into position. Every couple of chairs he would do a new feat.

A head balance on one. A handstand on another.

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To top it off the last chair was not laid flat but tilted to be at a diagonal angle. On top of this the acrobat performed a one arm half-planche or elbow lever.

You could see the chairs wobble and shake.

After he was done they took the chairs done one by one and the act was over.

One thing I realized at this show is that you tend to have great respect for the people practicing the things you know. I could see the contortionists using their hands to balance. I understand how they do what they do (not so much their ungodly flexibility).

Same with some of the acrobatics.

But unicycling or balancing on the tight wire I have no experience with. Not to say I didn’t respect these people, because I did.

But when you know how hard it is to do something it makes you appreciate it more.

Not a lot of people understand the patience and effort over the long haul it takes to accomplish this kind of thing. But you do.

Are you looking for a quick fix or are your prepared to go the distance? The time is going to pass either way so why not become a master at a few things.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. For less than the cost of a ticket, you can get your hands on The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing, to see a bunch of similar feats and learn how to do them.

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Diane Robinson – Contortionist Extraordinaire

From the November 1950 issue of Acro-Chat.

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

Diane Robinson Hand Stand

Diane Robinson like many others has spent many happy hours working out with the gang at Santa Monica’s “Muscle Beach.” But her real training came from dancing school acrobatic teachers in Oakland and Hollywood, California.

Diane’s ease of manner, grace of work and charming personality has made her a favorite with western audiences. Many contortionists perform their bending on top of a small platform or pedestal, but Diane goes them one better by performing her difficult bends and balances on top of a large ball.

Here she is very much at ease in a free elbow stand balance.

 Elbow Stand Balance

In you want to try the contortionism thing then its still a matter of progressing from where you start. Trying to get the little bit more of back bend each time.

I wouldn’t recommend starting off on top of a ball. Just standing on top of a swiss ball proves to much for most people.

As far of the points of the elbows stand, go ahead and give it a try. Simply start from a forearm balance and raise your hands up. With a little practice you can add this trick to your repertoire.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. There’s a few more pictures of Diane demonstrating the front walkover which I’ll put up next time. Until then be sure to check out the new review on the Hand Balancing Mastery Course if you haven’t already.

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A Night at the Circus

Circus Chimera had come to town. And I was not going to miss it. Last night, a group of friends and myself went to get in on the fun.

Sure its not Cirque de Soleil, but still, these guys and gals were good.

I knew that among the dancing, clowns, jugglers, acrobats, tap dancers from Argentina, and everything else there was bound to be some hand balancing.

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The contortionists did not disappoint.

First up was a guy who started in the splits then moved into positions they probably don’t even have names for.

He crouched down on one arm and lifted up into a one-arm half planche. Now this skill is not very difficult (unlike a normal one-arm planche). Since your body rests on your elbow it does not take a huge amount of strength, just bodily control and balance. What impressed me was how this guy made it look. Perfect and steady as a rock, he got a big round of applause from the crowd.

After he squeezed into a small box as his finale, a Chinese girl came on stage. She went into the super limber back routine. A few kick-overs and turning about in inhuman ways later, she placed her hands on the ground.

She went into a hand balance with here legs spread wide. I can imagine, that doing the splits in air makes it easier to balance, since it lowers your center of gravity.

Bob Jones talks about the degree of bend in your back. Well this girl had her rear hovering just over her head as she balanced. You can find similar pictures in the last chapter of the book. Overall the show was well worth my time. It got me to thinking. What I have described was pretty much the full extent of hand balancing within this show.

If you could put together a nice little routine like the ones outlined in The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing, with your very best skill being a one-arm handstand, you could rightfully run off and join the circus.

I realize that may not be on your list of goals in life.

However, with a decent amount of practice you could be amazing people with your skills just like these performers anywhere you choose.

I suggest to all of you anytime you have an opportunity to see this kind of show you go. It will be sure to entertain and inspire as well.

Until next time,
Logan Christopher

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Handstand Lead-up Stunts (The Two Arm Elbow Planche)

In Handbalancing Made Easy, Professor E.M. Orlick explains that there are a number of stunts which will  teach you many of the aspects that are needed for a good handstand. Two of these stunts are covered in the downloadable guide. These are the headstand and frogstand. Today I want to talk about one more of the 21 covered in the course.

In his own words these are the benefits on mastering all of these stunts.

The following lead-up stunts constitute stepping stones to perfection. They serve a multiple purpose and are of inestimable value. Taken alone each is a stunt in itself and worth learning even if you had no interest in handbalancing. All of them have something in common to the handstand and thus, pave the way for good handbalancing.

Each accustoms you to the upside-down position of the handstand, each helps to develop the strength, balance and muscular coordination necessary to handbalancing. Many form the very basis of the advanced stunts which will be dealt with later.

Anyone who sincerely desires to become an expert at the art of handbalancing should master each and everyone of these lead-up stunts. Even if you can hold a fairly good handstand now you should practice these stunts, for no matter how good you may be there is always room for improvement.

The Two Arm Elbow Planche.

Two Arm Elbow Planche

In addition to being an excellent lead-up trick the two arm elbow planche plays an important part in advanced handbalancing. Many difficult stunts can be built around it.

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

To perform the trick kneel on the floor, bring both elbows together and place them in your stomach and turn the palms of the hands facing upwards. Now lean forwards slowly and place the hands flat on the floor with your fingers pointing backwards. Arch your back slowly until your toes leave the floor and you will be doing the two arm elbow planche.

You will find the balance a little difficult at first but just keep on practicing. The stunt can also be performed on the edge of a table or on the end of any ordinary bed.

I have also heard this move called many other things, from an elbow lever to a half-arm planche. The obvious next step, and much more advanced, is to switch to doing this move on a single arm.

Why is this stunt helpful? It trains the balancing aspect on your hands from a low center of gravity. You also have to keep a decent arch and your body tight or else you will touch the ground with more than your hands.

Looking back I realize just how helpful these lead-up stunts are. I was going after a handstand before I could easily hold a headstand. Logically, you should go after the easier stunts first before tackling the more difficult.

The great thing about this course is just about every stunt and move shown leads in to the next one. If you want to get the One Hand Handstand then you have eight different lead-up stunts before you even attempt it.

On that note don’t forget you can get early access to ordering the Hand Balancing Mastery Course by signing up for the VIP List at Hand Balancing VIP List

And you can win yourself a free copy by sending in your success story. Don’t forget to do it soon because the deadline for entries is midnight on Monday, November 19th.

Have fun with this one and until next time…

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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