Tag Archives | Exercises

Handstand Muscles

Today’s post will answer another question from the many I regularly receive.

“Hey I am Stefan I am now starting out with doing the handstand, but my question is what muscles are involved in doing the handstand and what exercises can I do to improve it?”

Let’s start with the first question, what muscles are involved in the handstand? And the answer is all of them.

When you’re starting out you need to be able to keep your body tight if you want to have any chance of staying upside down. This means every muscle must be engaged from the tips of your fingertips down to your toes.

This doesn’t mean you flex everything as hard as possible but you must stay tight. As you advance you’ll learn how to use only as much tension as is needed and no more. This allows you to go for longer periods. But to start out with squeeze all those muscles, arms, back, abs, legs and even the toes.

Now onto the second question. There is a rule of thumb in training. In order to get good at something you must do that thing. So if you want to get good at handstands you must do a lot of handstands. There is no way around this.

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

This is true but in some cases you’re better off working on easier skills. Do skills that are easier then the handstand itself that build up the same abilities that the handstand needs. For the handstand these include a wall handstand, frogstand, forearm stand, and headstand. All the details and proper progression for this is laid out in the Secrets of the Handstand Quickstart DVD.

Work on easier skills that lead up to the harder ones. For anything else in hand balancing check out the Hand Balancing Mastery Course.

As an analogy, if you wanted to learn the piano you wouldn’t start out with the Rach 3 but instead focus on scales and simple songs first. This concept holds true for all skills you desire to build.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Recent Results

A little while back I told you I was getting back into a regular practice of hand balancing. Well, its been a couple weeks and despite holiday craziness I’m happy to report great results.

I quickly did the lead-up stunts found in the Secrets of the Handstand Quick Start DVD before jumping right into the handstand (just like I recommend to anyone starting out). After I hit my goals there I moved on to another series of exercises.

And about that wrist pain I’ve been having? I’m doing something new that is blowing that out of the water. I’ve got a bit more experimentation and research to do before I report on that later.

One of my main goals this month was to hit a 60 second freestanding handstand again. Guess what? I did 63 seconds this morning. That puts me ahead of schedule.

I’ll be telling you a bit more about my training, my goals and how I’m going after them soon.

It looks like this whole email is about what’s coming soon, so I’ll end it by saying there’s two new videos coming later this week.

One is on the biggest tip I can give you for hand balancing success.

The other is on what to do if you want to achieve a straight handstand.

And soon the best resource, short of a personal coach, will be available to anyone who wants to MASTER hand balancing.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing
The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing on Amazon
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Give Me Your HSPU Questions?

I’m nearing completion of the second draft of The Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups. And I could use your help.

You see, Chapter 11 addresses all the common problems people may have when doing handstand pushups. I have a bunch of questions already from a survey I did awhile back, but I want to make sure I cover all the bases.

Read the questions I have so far below then comment below with any others you have.

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How do you combine handstand training with other exercises?

How can I train HSPU’s with an injury?

How often should I workout?

How long should I rest in between sets?

How should I warm-up before HSPU’s?

What do I do if I cannot lock out my arms?

I seem to be stuck at a plateau. How do I break through it?

I don’t have a good place to practice HSPU’s. What should I do?

I seem to have problems just kicking up to the handstand. What should I do?

Handstands seem to make my wrists hurt? What should I do?

How should I include HSPU’s into my training schedule?

My back seems to arch a lot when I try HSPU’s and I fall out of the handstand? What should I do?

When I try a harder variation of the HSPU I find it difficult to maintain my form?

I don’t think I’m working on HSPU’s enough to really get better at them? What is the minimum amount I need to do?

I have problems with my feet sliding up and down the wall. What can I do?

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

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

There is much else covered within the other chapters of the book, but I want to make sure I get everything you need to really make this the ultimate guide.

And something equally important.

I’m closing down the pre-publication sale in 48 hours. Consider this your last warning to save almost $20 off the retail price of this book.

Oh yeah, and stupid me, on the page I forgot to mention my guarantee. Everything I offer includes a 3 month money-back guarantee. That includes this guide and the three months won’t start until the day you receive it.

So send in your questions and if you haven’t already, join the many others who’ve taken advantage of this special off before its too late.

The Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups

Good Luck and Good Handstand Pushups,
Logan Christopher

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Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups FAQ

The Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups in flying of the shelves…

…I guess that’s not technically true, since it’s not done yet and there are no shelves for it to fly off of. 🙂

But tons of people are taking action and ordering now. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many orders come in on one day. It looks like many people really want this information.

Besides the orders many people have sent in a bunch of questions. In case you have those too I’ll answer them here.

‘Why are you doing a pre-publication sale?’

This is a way to make sure people want what I’m working on.

There’s nothing worse then working hours on a project to bring it to life and find that no one is really interested.  Yeah, unfortunately its happened before.

Because its not ready to ship yet when you buy now you’ll pay less then when its ready. Probably $49 later but only $29.95 now.

‘Are there going to be DVD’s?’

Yes.

My original plan was to have a course with the book and DVD’s. But I decided, since it takes less effort, to do the book first (actually a rough draft of the book was sitting on my hard drive for a long time).

There will be DVD’s down the line, probably a few months from now. Anyone who buys the book now or later will get a special deal on these when they come out.

‘Do you ship internationally?’

Absolutely.

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

‘Can I order my check, money order, paypal, or over the phone?’

Yes. Visit the Order Info page for details.

‘I can’t wait for the book. When will it be ready?’

The books will be shipped out in less than a month barring any unforeseen accidents. I have a tight schedule and I’m committed to keeping to it so it’s finished fast.

In fact, as soon as I send this out I’ll be writing more in the Advanced Handstand Pushup Exercises section. Gotta go!

Good Luck and Good Handstand Pushups,
Logan Christopher

P.S. I don’t have much to say here. Just go check out the guide and see all that you’ll learn about handstand pushups.

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One Small Change = One Big Difference

I remember one day in 2005 when I was working out in my garage in San Luis Obispo, California.

I was doing a circuit combining chinnups and handstand pushups (an awesome combo, by the way). I had hit my goal number of reps and sets in the handstand pushups so I thought I was ready to start adding some height to extend the range of motion.

Boy, I was wrong.

You see in order to increase the height, I had to do a new setup which ended up changing my position in the handstand. When I tried I couldn’t do a single rep in this new form when I was suppose to be doing sets of three.

Even after I eliminated the new height and replicated the same position I still found these handstand pushups dramatically harder then the version I had been doing before.

What was going on here?

That was my first realization that by changing your position in the handstand and for the pushups you can dramatically increase or decrease the difficulty of the move. And this is without adding any height or weight!

It’s funny when people say they can do 15 or 20 handstand pushups. That’s all great but HOW are you doing those reps?

I can tell you how to make handstand pushups as easy as possible or so hard it’ll cut your reps by at least half, again without doing anything but changing the position of your hands, arms, head and body.

And on that note I have a very special announcement coming tomorrow.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Handstand pushups really are one of the best exercises you can do for many reasons. Why not go deep and learn all you can about them?

Walking and Jumping On Your HandsWalking and Jumping On Your Hands on Amazon
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Straight Arm Pressing Tips

Having safely returned from my trip its time to get back into regular emails to help you go further in your hand balancing and acrobatics. I received a number of excellent questions while I was gone so I figured I’d start there.

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Learn How to Back Flip in 31 Days on Amazon

“How should your hands look when there on the ground for a handstand?”
Genoman

While it can change up depending on which hand balancing move you’re doing, for the normal handstand you want your hands flat on the ground with the fingers spread as far apart as possible. The middle or index finger should be pointing directly forward.

“I’ve been doing hand balancing for a while now. I’ve developed quite a strong upper body. I do hand-stand push-ups with ease.  I kick up successfully more times than not and can hold the balance for a considerable amount of time.  That is why I’m so perplexed as to why I cannot even come close to doing any of the stiff armed lever up exercises.  In doing exercise #2 in “The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing”, The best I can do is on push-up bars, hold myself with my knees still under me, but when I try and lever up, I barely budged, literally about an inch or so.  If I were to do this with bent arms, I do it with ease, same with all lever ups like with split or even straight legs.  What makes stiff arm so difficult?  What are the muscles being stressed most in a stiff arm lever up and how can one train them to get to do it?  I feel I’m not even close to getting anywhere with them.  Again, I’m extremely strong in the upper body.  Is it possible I’m doing something wrong, or possibly I have neglected to train a certain muscle or muscle group?”

Thanks,
Francis Ford

Straight arm presses are a different beast then bent arm presses. While you are having problems of this sort there are many people that can do straight arm moves but would fall flat in a bent arm press because they lack the strength.

Because of different body leverages the straight arm press may take you some time to get to, where others can do it almost immediately.

The straight arm press, in its various forms, requires strength in different areas as well as flexibility. You have to be able to get your center of mass over your hands. This requires your shoulders to go far out in front.

One method you may want to try is to do a bent arm press except try to bend your arms a little less, and gradually work up to a straight arm press. From the handstand you can do negatives lowering yourself down on straight arms.

Also having someone else to spot you can be a big help. They stand in front of you, your shoulders coming to meet their legs for support, and they assist you by raising your hips as much as you need to do the move.

And lastly I recommend you re-read Chapter 8 on pressing in the book for even more info. Most important is to just keep at it. If you find it difficult, it’ll be that much more satisfying when you finally make it.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. If you haven’t got your copy of The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing you can grab it 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.”

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

—–

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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Focusing on One Skill

Recently, I haven’t had a lot of time to devote to hand balancing. What with family visiting, traveling around and all that entails.

So I had to cut down on the time I practiced hand balancing. Especially when you factor in that hand balancing is just one aspect of training I’m going after.

I know there are some that want to become world class and are willing to train hours each day. They are the ones that will get to the top. All the more power to you, if that what you’re going after.

Then there are those who just think hand balancing is fun and a challenge. Something they’d like to get better at, but its not a major thing they do.

Even in this second category, over time you can reach skills that most people would never think of doing.

The point of all this is that even with limited time and practice you can still progress.

I’ve come to the conclusion that when you do, you’re better off focusing on one or at most two different skills.

When you got plenty of time you can work on everything. But when you only spend 10 minutes a day you need to go after one thing and go after it hard.

Make it your goal and you’ll get there quickly without being distracted by all the other things you could be doing.

This same idea works behind everything, not just hand balancing. The more you focus the better results you’ll get as your energies won’t be spread too thin.

So if you’ve been working on every different possible skill, now may be the time to pick one and really go after it. What can you accomplish before the year is over?

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

After all, you can always change your goal later on after you‘ve hit it. And since all the skills require balancing they will carry over to the other exercises.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Even if you focus on one skill there are multiple ways to work towards it. This Quickstart Guide will give you all the tools you need to reach the basic handstand quickly.

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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

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

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.

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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Advanced Bridging

Last summer I was traveling through Europe with a group of friends. We were in San Sebastian waiting to go to Pamplona for the running of the bulls.

There were several hours to kill before the train would arrive and take us off.

So we decided to play some football in a nearby park. (Finding an American football in Europe wasn’t easy but that’s a story for another time.)

Since the only place we could find was a field of half grass and half granite, we played two-hand touch rather then tackling each other. Still, being men it was bound to get rough. And of course highly competitive.

A little three on three action. The whole game was a tight battle for the lead.

And it was going smoothly until a certain kickoff.

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

The kick was high and short. As we scrambled forward to catch it, the other guys were rushing towards us. The ball hit the ground and bounced high up into the air.

I leaped upwards. I don’t know how exactly it happened, or who hit me, but my feet were taken out from under me sending me spinning.

Six feet up in the air I turned over and came crashing down onto the packed ground, the back of my head being the first point of contact. THUMP!!

I’m not gonna lie and say it didn’t affect me. It did. I was stunned and had to take some time out of the game. But within an hour I was fine.

Meanwhile one of my friends pulled a neck muscle by looking over his shoulder for a pass. Seriously.

But how did I avoid what certainly would should have been a concussion? How was I fine in just an hour but my friend had a nagging injury for months.

Its how I train. The neck and spine are often neglected by most people even if they do otherwise train their body.

All my neck training is done from the wrestler’s bridge. But I don’t just hold the position for time. I’ve developed a series of exercises that will give you one of the strongest necks in the world.

But that’s only part of the equation. There’s also the gymnastic bridge. Few exercises work the body from fingers to toes like this one. Especially when you consider the flexibility and agility to move into and out of position with ease.

Considering how I started so inflexible and weak many years back, its amazing some of the things I can do now. And now you can do it to.

Go to Advanced Bridging to find out more.

Be sure to watch the video to really see what is possible with a few bridging movements.

This is a special offer and your only notice. Come Friday morning the page is coming down. So go check it out while you have a chance.

Good Luck and Good Bridging,
Logan Christopher

P.S. On first appearance to many people the bridge in its many forms can appear injurious and dangerous. But if you go about it the right way not only will you build strength and flexibility, you can become concussion-proof. You’ll find out more at Advanced Bridging.

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