Tag Archives | Exercise

Will Wall Handstands Help Balance? How Often to Train HSPU's?

I have some cool things in the work for this month. One of them is nearing completion. More on that subject later.

In the meantime let’s tackle a few more questions that have been sent in.

First off from Carol.

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“If I keep practicing kicking up to a handstand against the wall, and holding it as long as I can with a tight body, will I eventually be able to do the handstand without the wall?”

The handstand against the wall is an important lead-up stunt I advise beginners to do when starting out with the handstand. It is great to work up to holding for at least one minute while maintaining a good position.

However, although you can learn how to keep your body tight and up in space you will not learn how to balance from this position. This requires a few other moves as well as practicing at the freestanding handstand itself.

And next from Ashley.

“Hi there. I consider myself to be a quite a physical culturist. I have made handstands a staple exercise in my upperbody workouts. I am currently working towards handstand push ups with my hands elevated to get full range of motion. How often would you recommend to train handstands to get to the desired standard?”

First off congratulations. Handstand pushups are often no more then a dream to most people, especially when you start going after the full range of motion.

I just happened to be working on a few myself today. In all honesty, depending on how you train with them you could do them everyday or just twice a week. And either way you can make progress.

If you just do a few sets each day and none of them are an all-out effort, you could do them every day.

But in most cases I would advise two or three times a week. Train them hard and eventually you’ll be able to do many full range reps. The important thing to look at is if you are moving forward. If your are then your training is good and you should continue.

If you’ve been training handstand pushups whether just starting out or doing them with ease I’d love to hear about your training. Send in questions, concerns, workouts or specific exercises you’ve come up with. Just hit the reply button up above.

That’ll wrap it up for today.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. About that first thing I mentioned. If you’re following me on facebook or twitter there was a big hint just put up there in the form of a question. If you aren’t already become my friend on facebook or follow me on twitter by clicking the links.

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More Handstand Q&A

Gonna dip into the mailbag today and answer a couple questions.

——

I had a question that relate to both my bridging, and hand balancing. When I do either, the blood rushes to my head very soon, not letting me hold either very long. Is this normal? Will it go away after more time? Are there any special ways to get around this? I would like to be able to work on both more than I am able to now because of that. Thank you for you great websites and emails!
Thank you,
Justin

That’s just a sign of gravity doing its job. The human body is not normally use to being upside down so when you start out it can cause you to feel like your head is about to explode.

I would guess that this happens to most people in one degree or another. And it will get better with time just as you become accustom to the position.

In addition, here’s two things to try out. Holding your breath compounds this problem. Make sure you are breathing easily while you bridge or do handstands. It can be tough in the beginning but you need to breathe for best results.

Second you can do an exercise specifically to get yourself familiar with being upside down. Just go up into a headstand (against a wall or not) and hold for a long time. With practice you’ll be able to do this for minutes at a time. And then you’ll be able to deal with blood rushing to your head.

—–

Handstands are really frustrating to me.  For a while now I’ve been having consistent 3 sec handstands and it hasn’t been improving. I’m also a bboy and my planches are better than my handstands, I can hold a planche-ish thing with my body horizontal and my back bent with my legs slightly at an angle. Kinda like this \_.   Any tips?
Nate

I think the fact that you are strong from break dancing may actually be holding you back on the handstand. The handstand is really a balanced position. You don’t want to have to rely on your strength to hold you there, unlike the planche.

Professor Orlick use to say that it was easier to teach a little kid the handstand than a strong weightlifter because the kid would have to find the balance, while the weightlifter would try to use his strength. If you want to hear more from Prof. Orlick check out the Hand Balancing Mastery Course.

Its hard to say without some more details but give either of these techniques a try. If you are underbalancing, going toward that planche, push back upwards into the handstand. If you find yourself overbalancing correct yourself and get back to neutral.

But the main thing is to just keep working on it. Set a goal to hit 5 seconds and work on that. Really get a feel for the position. In time it will come.

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

Learn How to Back Flip in 31 Days
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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.

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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Strength, Disrespect and Fear

Going to answer a few more questions today.

“I can do a handstand for about 15 seconds now and I can also walk on my hands a bit thanks to this website but when I try to press into a handstand my arms die on me. is they any good exercises that will help me build up to a handstand press. btw this site rules lol”
Mellon

First off your welcome for the help. It really doesn’t take much strength to balance on the hands, but pressing up into a handstand is another matter. And of course, the amount of strength you need depends on the type of press you’re doing.

There are several ways to build up your strength. Really any manner of pressing. Any exercise that strengthens your arms and shoulders can be beneficial.

It’s a good idea to make sure you are strong enough before really working on the skills of doing handstand presses. If your max is somewhere around your weight you aren’t going to get much practice as you’ll be too fatigued.

“Well, I’ve been following your videos for a little while, particularly the handstand videos.  The video to learn to do a handstand was what got me started and I’ve been doing them since. “Unfortunately, I don’t understand why, but I get a lot of disrespect when I do them in public places (I.E. School (High School Senior)), but I’m still sticking to them proudly. Handstands for life, thanks for ultimately opening me up to the art of them!”
Greggory

Yeah, kids can be cruel. But don’t worry about what others think. After all is said and done, they’ll likely be jealous of the skills you’ve gained from your practice.

“How can you do a handstand if your scared.”
Quade

Get over the fear. How do you get over the fear? it’s a matter of working at it step-by-step doing easier skills until you feel comfortable with the handstand.

That’s why I created the Secrets of the Handstand Quickstart Guide. To give you the lead-up stunts that will build your abilities so that you can handle the handstand.

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

I didn’t think of it before but these same skills are going to get you comfortable being upside down and ease your way up to the handstand.

Often times its just a matter of doing it. I was at the beach the other day and decided to do some backflips which I hadn’t done in over a month. That period of time had made me a little rusty and brought back a bit of fear in me.

What did I do? I warmed up with a few back handsprings and other drills then moved on to the back flips. No problem after that.

And if you want to find out more about these and other tumbling drills get your copy of Tumbling Illustrated.

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

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

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

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Shoulder Weaving for Strength and Balance

This little drill has kept popping up in different places. Alright, I get the message. And I hope you do to.

I didn’t really ‘read’ it the first three or four times I read The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing but the fifth was different.

This exercise is going to build your strength and your balancing skills.

If you’ve ever wondered what’s really inside the hand balancing book here’s a sneak peek. Go check it out.

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

Even if you own the book its worth looking over again. And then put it into practice.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Underbalancing, Learning By Yourself, and Ab Training

Going to answer more questions today.

Before I begin let me once again advise that when you send in your questions to to give details and don’t just ask a broad question like ‘how do I do a handstand?’

Before you ask anything look around the site, especially the articles section to see if your answer can be found there. And please make your questions readable. I can’t answer if I don’t know what you’re talking about

“when i am doin my handstand i will kick up but i am havin trouble stayin balanced. how to i keep balanced if i keep falling forward so i am facing the same way as i was before i kicked up”
Alicia

It sounds like you are underbalancing Alicia. You need to keep the balance on your hands more towards the front and your body toward overbalancing. I explain why in depth in this article on scientific hand balancing.

“how do you learn how to do a handstand by yourself”
Felicity

Without any help the journey is going to be hard. So you should read the articles on the site or get instructions on how to do it. This will get you started – How to do a Handstand Article – and this will take your further – Secrets of the Handstand Quickstart Guide.

Anyway you do it though it’ll take a lot of practice. Be persistent.

One last question.

“I know that having toned abs helps you with balancing when doing a handstand, and since crunches don’t really work, I wanted to know if you have any exercises that I can do, that work very well. Exercises that don’t require an exercise ball, or anything like that.”
Kristina

Toned abs don’t help with a handstand, strong abs do. There are tons of possibilities. Here’s a few basic exercises that require no equipment at all.

V-ups (or any kind of sit-up)
Arms Extended Plank or Pushups
Holding an L-sit
Leg Raises and Thrusts

The important thing is to work your abs with not just high rep exercises. Do difficult ones where you can’t do more than 5 reps or a 5 second hold.

My favorite course on building strong abdominals like a gymnast is called just that, Gymnastic Abs, put out by my friend Ed. It’s a series of progressions from real basic exercises to difficult ones used by gymnasts. And you know what they can do.

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

If you want strong abs click here.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Handstand Stunts from the Olympics

Have you been watching as much of the Olympics as I have?

Honestly it’s a bit tiring staying up until the early morning hours since they take place halfway around the world from where I am. But what can I say, they only come around every four years.

And its always a pleasure of mine to watch the best in the world do what they do.

There’s been exciting matches, close calls and comebacks all around. Plus new world records are broken everyday. (Did you see Jamaica’s Usain Bolt on the 100m dash?)

Great events in gymnastics and they aren’t done yet. One problem I have with professional gymnastics is the judging because it’s not perfect. Since it’s done by humans it doesn’t always seem fair. But that’s how it is.

It shouldn’t take away from the pleasure of watching the athletes.

Tumbling Illustrated
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One exercise I’ve been seeing a lot of in the Men’s Floor Routines is a straight arm straddle press from a crucifix position. Also known as a Maltese Press to a Wide Arm Handstand or a Swallow Press to a Japanese Handstand.

Considering this is a D skill it may be out of your range but that doesn’t mean you can’t try the wide handstand itself.

Place your hands wide on the ground, with the hands out and the thumbs pointing forward. Kick-up into position and attempt to hold.

Alternatively you can jump from a normal handstand into the wide handstand. With a little push on the hands slide them outward in position.

Just another variation you can have fun with. And thanks to the Olympics for reminding me of it.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. You need to master the regular handstand before you attempt any variations. Get step-by-step handstand instructions here.

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Make Your Handstand Pushups Harder

Handstand pushups. I don’t know if anyone would deny this as a great exercise.

It’s amazing when someone tells you they can do 15 handstand pushups. But what KIND of handstand pushups are they talking about, assuming they are even telling the truth?

There are many ways to skin this cat, so to speak.

The thing is almost every handstand pushup is a partial rep. Do you touch your head to the ground? Some would call that full-range but it is far from THE full-range.

In fact, it’s only about half. Full-range is down to your shoulders.

Now, if you don’t have something raised off the floor to place your hands on you won’t be able to do a true full-range handstand pushup.

But here’s a tip to increase your range without anything but the floor.

Touch your nose to the floor rather than the top of your head. That’s about a 3 inch difference.

And trust me, those three inches make a big difference. Because that range is right near the sticking point for most people.

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Go ahead and try to max out each way and see where your numbers lie.

That’s just one way of many you can change the handstand pushup to make it harder or easier.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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New Kettlebell Juggling Site

I have a new website up that I think you might want to check out.

Often times when I train outside at the park or beach I am doing one of three things. Hand balancing, tumbling moves and kettlebell juggling.

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

Kettlebell juggling is another fun way to get stronger and in better shape. It’s another skilled exercise you can practice and show off to others. Plus many of the moves will work the body in ways that hand balancing misses.

Instead of going on and on about it here, just go check out the site. If nothing else watch the video to see if you might be interested.

Kettlebell Juggling

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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