Tag Archives | Forearm

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.

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.

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Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

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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Walking on Hands

Here is a great question on the value of walking on hands versus standing on them.

“Hey Logan I just now started to do the frogstand and I can do it for a long time. I’ve been learning the handstand and couldn’t find my balance and I can walk all the way down my hall on my hands but I cant hold a handstand and Its frustrating so I stuck to walking on my hands. I’m gonna start practicing my frogstands right now. Is there any other things I could do to work on my balance for a handstand?”
Marcus

I recommend that anyone getting started with the handstand attempts to not walk around but instead finds the balance and holds the position on the hands.

You see, how you balance while walking on your hands can be entirely different then how you balance while standing on your hands. The first when you come out of balance you step to get back in balance. So your balance is maintained by moving around your body.

When standing on your hands you maintain your balance by keeping the body in a certain range that can be balanced by the hands and arms. If you start to fall out of balance you shift the pressure to keep your body up.

Doing this is tough. That’s why I recommend using lead-up stunts to teach you how to balance. The frogstand is great for teaching you hand balancing while in an easier position with your body low to the ground.

Other moves that help you build balance, different from the frog stand, include the headstand and forearm stand. If you can’t do these easier stunts well then you definitely should not be attempting the handstand yet.

Full details on these and other helpful stunts can be found in the Secrets of the Handstand Quick Start DVD.

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

Learning how to balance your body will in the end make walking around that much easier.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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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.

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

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.

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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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.

How to do the One Hand Handstand by Professor Orlick
ow to do the One Hand Handstand on Amazon

“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

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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Acrobatics outside Gymnastics

I received an interesting comment from Jonathan when he order a copy of The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing and Tumbling Illustrated.

“Thanks a lot! I’m an ex high-level gymnast, I just stopped competing, but I’m still training really hard, just for myself, just for fun, and now, I can finally train any kind of skills I want, I’m not anymore obligate to train only for winning competitions. It’s nice to find products about acrobatic training!”

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

First off, I think that’s awesome. While I’m a fan of gymnastics, it is in a sense a very narrow path, meaning that there is so much more right outside the boundaries.

In the world of acrobatics there are many moves you’d never see when watching a gymnastics competition.

And I have to agree with the statement ‘I’m training really hard, just for myself, just for fun.”

Not to say you can’t focus on any competition. If you are more power to you, but there is freedom when you can do what YOU want.

Just cracking open a copy of Tumbling Illustrated I found a variety of moves, that you sure won’t see in gymnastics. See if you can do some of these moves:

Backwards roll into a forearm stand

Headspring…without the hands (be very careful with this one)

One hand back handspring

From a hand balance, lowering down to the shoulders and kipping up to the feet.

Just a few examples from the 248 moves you’ll find in the book. I know you’ll find plenty to work on when the book arrives Jonathan, and I look forward to hearing how it goes.

No matter your level of ability you too can find many moves in Tumbling Illustrated to work on. Grab your copy now.

Good Luck and Good Tumbling,
Logan Christopher

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Increase your Hand Balancing Abilities

Got a question from Patrick. “I am a beginner at hand balancing. How can I find exercises and stretching drills thats will increase my abilities”

C’mon people. This is a call to all who submit questions. Be more specific. I can provide better answer when I know what you want. In fact the more detailed the better.But I will take a blind shot at this question.

To increase your abilities you need to work on the specific abilities themselves. I’m going to assume that you’re talking about your hand balancing abilities.

Depending on what you are specifically having trouble with this could mean any number of things.

If your having problems with balancing than I would recommend even easier skills than the handstand itself. Skills like the frogstand, headstand and forearm stand. Here’s the easiest way to learn how to do the handstand.

If you need strength I would recommend holding handstands against the wall and doing handstand pushups.

For flexibility, lets say in the shoulder region, you can do many drills. In a handstand against the wall you can bring your chest outward thus working the shoulder flexibility. That’s just one example of many. The gymnastic bridge also works wonders and for more than just the shoulders.

The concepts are universally applied to almost any exercise question. If you can analyze where you are at and where you want to be than break that down into things to work on you can attain any goal.

It’s a useful skill to have. Breaking down the seemingly complex into simple steps to follow.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Now if you want the whole hand balancing plan laid out for you than I recommend you check this one out – Hand Balancing Mastery Course.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

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Frog Stand

The frog stand makes it easier to learn the handstand by training your hand balancing skills in an easier manner.

[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vp86vFUlV84]

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

They call it hand balancing for a reason after all. The frogstand lowers your center of gravity and makes this learning the skills of manipulating your balance with your hands easier.

If you can’t hold the frog stand for at least a minute you have no reason to go after a free standing handstand. That’s my stance and I’m sticking to it.

But it’s not the only move. In fact there’s four. Master these and the handstand becomes much easier to learn.

You want to know what the four are?

Okay, it’s the frogstand, headstand, forearm stand, and handstand against the wall. But make sure you do them right.

The Secrets of the Handstand Quick Start DVD covers all four lead-up stunts and much more.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Yoga's Scorpion Pose

When I was practicing a bit of my hand balancing last week someone who practiced yoga commented on it and we started a conversation.

One balance that she told me about is the Scorpion Pose also known as Vrschikasana. (No, I don’t know how you pronounce that.)

For any hand balancer is should not be much of a problem to get started. But if you need it you can always use a wall.

Simply kickup into a forearm stand. From here all you do is bend your knees and bring your feet to your head.

In this pose you want to keep your feet and knees together, though your body will naturally want to separate them.

How far your feet can go depends on the flexibility of your back. For the contortionist is will be easy to touch the feet on the head or even bring them under the chin.

If you can’t get there, not to worry, just do what you can and build from there.

I just did a couple while writing this. Let me tell you this is one move that will instantly lift your spirits and make you feel alive.

Go ahead and give it a try.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. With all my travels I fell out of my normal writing schedule but will get back on it now. In the mean time if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask – https://lostartofhandbalancing.com/question.html

Walking and Jumping On Your HandsWalking and Jumping On Your Hands on Amazon
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Fellow Hand Balancers

I spent this past weekend as an Assistant Instructor at the Russian Kettlebell Certification.

Kettlebells are a great tool and they could help your hand balancing, as described in part by Rif in the interview found in the Hand Balancing Mastery Course, but that is not the main point of this message.It just that at the event I was practicing a little bit of my hand balancing during some of the off time. Lo and behold some of the people in my group happened to be fellow hand balancers. And not just novices either.

One of them is actually working on a partner hand balancing act. She showed me a video of her and her partner’s hand-on-hand balancing.

How about holding a pretty decent straddle planche? Definitely past the beginner stage.

I also picked up an interesting variation of the forearm stand from yoga that I’ll share with you next time.

When they found out about my site they went ahead a purchased The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing on the spot.My point is that when you get around like minded people you are likely to learn some new things. I encourage you to get out and find other hand balancers to help you on your path. Its not always an easy thing to do but worth the effort.

If you can join a gymnastics class.

Just practice outside and you might get lucky and stumble upon someone. Who knows?

When you get together you can help one another out. You learn best by teaching after all. You may pick up a crucial tip that benefits you. Plus there is the challenge to out do each other.

If you are fortunate enough to have a like-minded friend then you know what I’m talking about. (On a side note you should tell them about my site so you can talk about and practice many of the tips together.)

If you don’t you gotta find one.

How to do the One Hand Handstand by Professor Orlick
ow to do the One Hand Handstand on Amazon

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. You can find out much more about kettlebells and many other great training resources right here.

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Tiger Bend

I was shooting some video a couple days ago doing a variety of hand balancing stunts. One of them was the Forearm Stand. Prof. Orlick also called it a Tiger Stand. From the stand you can do what is called a Tiger Bend, but we’ll start with the stand first.

This is a great trick in and of itself but its also a good way to work up to a full on handstand. Since you are resting on your entire lower arm and hand you have a bigger base with which to balance.

One you overcome the oddness factor of trying this exercise for the first time you can see the benefits. All the main points of holding a handstand are still there, like keeping tight, but you may have to arch your back a little more for this one.

Of course the ultimate goal with this exercise is to do what’s known as a Tiger Bend. An advanced exercise for sure. It involves going from the Forearm Stand up into a Handstand. With a little overbalancing and strong triceps you can get there.

Sig Klein doing a Tiger Bend

Since few of us will be able to pull that one off at the present time here are two easier ways. Do the negative movement which is dropping from a Handstand into a Forearm Stand. When you go for this don’t just fall into the position but control it as much as possible.

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

You can also do Tiger Bend Pushups. Get in a normal pushup position except you are resting on your forearms instead of the hands. Without any rocking motion pushup on to your hands to the top position and lower back down.

You don’t see these moves too often but that doesn’t mean they aren’t great.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. For the super advanced hand balancer you can try to duplicate Johnny Weber’s one arm Tiger Bend. Find out how to do it in The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing. The picture above is of Sig Klein from the same book.

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