Tag Archives | Finger Strength

Squeeze those Hips , But don’t Forget #1!

 

Squeeze your hips, clinch your butt, or feet together.

These are probably some of the most frequently used statements given out when trying to learn the handstand. Its also pretty common that enthusiasts who are just learning attempt to squeeze or clinch but still don’t get the desired result of keeping their body elevated and stable.

Where does the problem lie?

It comes in the form of visualization. The directives given for squeezing the hips or clinching the butt are mechanical, even if there is feeling behind them.

i.e. SQUUUUUUEEEEZZZZEEEE those hips!

Although the mechanics are correct, its hard to put together the sensations about what you are supposed to feel when you squeeze or clinch.

So how do we get past this issue?

Its actually pretty simple. You utilize a visualization that is also a mechanical directive.

Now this is something I look for when I teach. There are things that everybody has done which they can relate to a skill task. In regards to squeezing the hips. One things that everybody has done was “hold it in.”

Don’t worry, I’m going to expand on this.

Have you every had to go #1(title of the post!) but were far away from your destination by distance or even a long line. What do you do? You turn legs in, maybe jump around a bit and squeeze the heck out of your pelvic floor, adductors, etc. Everybody knows the feeling because everyone needs to use the restroom at some point, and if you don’t, wow. So one of my more commonly used visualizations has changed from squeeze those hips, to pretend you need to pee and have to hold it in. Without a doubt, its simple, directed, and the result speaks for itself.

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

Why don’t you give it a try and see if you can hold that inversion longer by stopping #1.

Stay Inverted!

-Jonathan Magno

PS If you want all the tricks of the trade for hand balancing, check out the Secrets of the Handstand Bundle!

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The Frogstand or the Crow Pose?

So today, I have another fun video for you that I’m hoping will show a different perspective on your body skill training.

Every person who trains their body has  a different view on similar or lateral skills. They might be in the same codified system or ones that overlap.

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

An example would be my friend Jonathan and I.

“Two Jons”.

One is hyper and the other is zen.

He’s a practitioner of yoga and martial arts. While I’m a combat enthusiast and movement trainer especial.

Since we follow lateral systems of movement, and the human body can only do so much, certain skills are definitely going to overlap.

A prime example would be the frogstand and the crow pose. They are basically the same move. What makes them differ from each other are the experience and accumulated depth of knowledge of the practitioners of different styles.

Which is why we made this video. Just watching, you’ll be able to see how we approach the same move. You’ll be exposed to multiple points of views and in turn have a stronger understanding of how to approach it.

Check out the video here!

Stay Inverted!

-Jonathan Magno

PS If you’re looking for a fully codified system of hand balancing, check out the Secrets of the Handstand Bundle!

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How your fingers enhance your floorwork!

It will probably come as no surprise that out of all the body weight styles of training from bar work, to rings, and even aerial flippy kicky skills; my favorite sets will always revolve around floorwork.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

My basis for this is probably another unsurprising fact. You really don’t need any other piece of equipment other than your body using this style of training. To top it off it creates a nice strong foundation for the other body skills. Even if you’re having an issue with a move through either fear or even sloppy form, you can practice a lateral skill progression on the ground to build up that kinesthetic or confidence. I do this all the time.

In relation to your floor work; having strong, flexible, and coordinated fingers is a top priority. This is because in certain maneuvers, you are basically replacing your feet with your hands, which should have a similar level of control.

Before we move forward, lets build out on this idea by touching on the feet for a second. Specifically we’ll focus on your toes.

I want you to try something without getting too deep into it. But before you do this make sure that you are in a safe area where you won’t hurt yourself.

I want you to lean your shoulders forward as far as you can until your shoulders get past your toes.

Did you notice something? Were your toes gripping for dear life so that you could try and stay upright? Did you also take steps or shift your feet so that you could find your balance again? My guess is yes.

You can go ahead and do the same laterally to the left or right and even backward if you like.

Its the same thing with your fingers and hands while you are doing floor work. Your fingers are like your toes gripping on to the floor to give stability and balance. If your body starts shifting forward, your fingers can grip the ground and act as your breaks. In a similar fashion, your thumb can slow you down if you start falling back to where you started. Your fingers are intergral in maintaining that structure. Especially in the beginning of your handstand journey.

A final way that your fingers can enhance your floor work is by relieving stress on your joints, and pulling the wrists out of full flexion thereby reducing the load on them. I’m all about testing. Try running through your floorwork with your fingertips gripping and see if it changes your stability and balance!

If you get some good results, be sure to let us know!

Stay Inverted!

-Jonathan Magno

PS If you want to become more skilled and develop your floor work, check out GMB Floor 1!

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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.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

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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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.

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.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

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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Handstands, Wrist Strength and Pain

Another question from a reader. And this isn’t the first time I have seen this problem pop up. Read on and find out what to do about it.

hello Logan,

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

well i have a question for you,

after a handstand practice i get wrist pain over the back of my wrist and sometimes on the sides the pain shows up while stress the wrist on pushups/ handstand position and sometimes on Ulnar Deviation and Radial Deviation

what can i do about it, maybe there are exercises that can strengthen my wrists and tendon ??

thanks 🙂
haggai D.B.

Let me first start of saying I am not a doctor. That may be obvious but I cannot diagnose what the problem is exactly, especially over the internet.

Hand Balancing takes a large degree of hand, wrist, and finger strength and flexibility. Not everyone has the flexibility to keep their hand back 90 degrees which is necessary to do a handstand.

I should say, not everyone starts of with this flexibility. But it can be gained through persistent effort.

Back in High School I suffered an injury to my right wrist. I would get shocked with pain any time I hit someone with my hands and had to get a special cast device made to help me out. Unfortunately it did affect my playing.

When I first started with handstands about a year after, I could not jump right into a handstand. In fact I still usually don’t. I take the time to stretch my wrists through flexion and extension. This primes them for any handstand work.

Even now my right wrist is less flexible than my right, but it has gotten better by leaps and bounds since then.

If holding a handstand causes to much pain then you will need to start at a manageable level and build from there. Pain is a sign you are pushing past your limits.

Do pushups or the pushup position cause you the same pain?

Wherever you need to start, go from there. It may take time but you will build the strength and flexibility to survive all hand balancing without the slightest discomfort.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. The results of the survey are still pouring in. If you haven’t taken the time yet to fill it out and get your f.ree report, do so now. I can tell you that the site will be changing for the better and soon because of your response.

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