Tag Archives | gmb

The Monkey Stall and your first freestanding handstand!

First off you’re probably wondering what a monkey is. Well its a foundational movement pattern from the folks at GMB or Gold Medal Bodies.

If you’ve been following LAOHB, you know two things.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon
  1. I like to joke around.
  2. I’m a big fan of their style of training.

So lets get back to the subject at handy. The monkey and your first freestanding handstand.

Usually when a person attempts their first handstand they place their hands on the ground and drive their legs up with the hope that they stay inverted. This can be scary for most people and can be a bit difficult to control when you are starting out. The reason being that you’re utilizing your strong posterior muscle groups to drive and then change to stabilize with hopes that you don’t fall on your back or on your face.

By a mix of training clients, personal training, and utilizing the GMB Method; I think I might have found an easier way to get up into the handstand without so much fear.

This is where the monkey comes in.

While the monkey is a locomotive pattern, its focus is on lateral movement. So while you are moving laterally, you can use your stronger muscle groups to focus on stabilizing. Its a simple answer to a scary question.

To illustrate I have another funny video below. I hope you like it and gain something new to play with!

To learn more about the monkey and the GMB Method, check out the GMB Elements Program

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

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1 Min Tip: Acrobatic Attributes – Kickup Coordination and Strength

For today’s post, I’ll be showing you a nice way to build up the strength of your kick up into the handstand! Whats great about this move is that its a nice diversion from the usual lead up stunts. It also helps you with your hip-hinging, driving power from the floor, as well as your mindful body feel! The move we’ll be working on is called the Frogger to Banzai Hop from the Gold Medal Bodies Elements Program.

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The first thing you want to do is start in a deep squat position and make sure your arms are on the inside of your legs.

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Up next, get your arms in a locked position and load them onto the floor. Once you’ve put the load on your hands, drive your hips up and let them fall naturally forward.

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Once your legs land, get into an overhead squat position and complete a small hop.

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

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Continue with this combo for about a minute, being mindful about whats happening with your body!

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You can catch the action in the video below!

This combo came from the Gold Medal Bodies Elements Program. If you’re interested in delving more into developing your acrobatic foundation go here!

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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1 Min Tip: Acrobatic Attributes – The A Frame

Logan and I are always looking for ways to increase the effectiveness of  you training with handbalancing and luckily we’ve found a great resource from our friends at Gold Medal Bodies. This new set of videos that were inspired by the wealth of information in their foundational programs will simultaneously develop your strength, mobility, and biomechanics needed for acrobatics.

Here is the  first video in the Acrobatic Attributes Series: The A Frame

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The A Frame is a great position to work on in order to build your hip and back strength and mobility. It will teach you how to use your hips for lead up stunts like the kick-up wall handstand or the kick-up in general!

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You want to start out in an Athletic Stance and then bring your hands to the floor.

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

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One of the key components you want to pay attention to is the straightening of your legs and back while keeping your biceps by your ears and driving your hip up!

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Be sure to check out the full 1 min. tip below.

Also if you are looking to really develop your foundation for anything in your acrobatic skillset check out the GMB Elements program here: https://lostartofhandbalancing.com/go/elements/

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How To Breathe Properly in A Handstand – Guest Post by Ryan Hurst

When you first try a handstand, there are just so many things to think about. Your hand and shoulder position, where to direct pressure through your hands, hip and leg positioning, and every other detail from head to toe.

With all the things you have to think about in the handstand, it’s pretty easy to forget about your breathing, and the tendency is to hold your breath. Well, that’s not a great idea. Along with raising blood pressure there is a chance – albeit small – of passing out when you hold your breath.

Obviously, passing out when you are upside down is not good!

Ryan Hurst One Hand Cane Handstand

Ryan Hurst doing a One Hand Handstand on canes.

Holding your breath is a natural habit though, especially in difficult exercises that require a lot of concentration. The handstand certainly qualifies as that kind of exercise.

In the video below I talk a bit about how I monitor my clients and teach them how to avoid holding their breath. It’s definitely best to have a coach or training partner right there to give you cues and help you, but even if you don’t have someone available, the techniques I’ll share with you can be immediately applied in your practice.

Signs You May Be Holding Your Breath

We receive a lot of different questions from our training clients, and one of the more common issues when people start practicing handstands is a feeling of increased pressure in the head and around the eyes.

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Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

Some of this pressure is just a minor phenomena that changes for the better with more practice and improved technique, but breath holding is a very likely culprit.

You also may notice fatiguing much more quickly than your current level of conditioning would indicate. Holding your breath while muscles are actively working is not just dangerous, but it will also decrease your performance. Hard working muscles require the increased oxygen intake and carbon dioxide expulsion to work properly and well.

Also common are sensations of lightheadedness and dizziness. I shouldn’t need to tell you this is a bad thing to happen when you are upside down practicing handstands.

Another sign is that when you end a set you hear yourself loudly exhaling. The exhale was loud because you were keeping your air by holding your breath.

How To Keep Breathing

One of the techniques I use with my clients is to simply engage in conversation with them. It’s impossible to be holding your breath and talking at the same time. Along with keeping them breathing and alive (kind of important), it also helps them to focus on just a few points at a time. This is important, not just for the handstand, but also when doing other exercises that require a lot of concentration and practice.

Another way I keep my clients breathing is by having them recite a favorite phrase, or something like the alphabet, over and over again. It might be a bit boring, but it gets the job done.

Other Tactics for Smoother Breathing in Your Handstand Practice

Treat handstands as a skill, not as an exercise in which to get tired!

The key to improvement in a skill is consistent practice with as good technique as you can muster. If you keep pushing into fatigue too often, you may end up ingraining poor form.

RyanteachingHS

Ryan teaching body alignment in the handstand

End the set when your breathing becomes labored and then try again when you’ve caught your breath and can control it.

These basic but important strategies for breath control in a handstand will keep your practice safe, consistent, and successful.

Author Bio

Ryan Hurst is the Program Director for GMB Fitness, with over 20 years of experience in strength and movement coaching. He holds black belts in Kendo, Judo, and Shorinji Kempo, and he practiced for 10 years as a competitive gymnast. These days, Ryan spends most of his time playing with his kids and helping others move better.

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