Tag Archives | gold medal bodies

“1 Min Tip”: Acrobatic Attributes: A-Frame Leadups

Hey Guys! In today’s post, I’m going to be expanding on the A-frame position. Each move in the GMB Elements program works on multiple attributes that one needs to develop for acrobatics.

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Specifically today, I’ll be talking about how the A-frame teaches one to utilize the hip while either walking up or kicking up while utilizing the wall!

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In the first position, drive up from your hips and try to align your hips above your shoulders. This will make it easier to get into the handstand than creating an arc from your feet to the wall.

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If you utilize the same hip drive in the reverse wall handstand, you can create an angle where you can fully extend your legs and really stabilize your body.

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Check out the full video below!

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

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

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How to Progress to a Front Lever

Ryan from Gold Medal Bodies goes deep into front level progressions and shows one of the ways to work your way up to a front level. Below are the recommended steps, but make sure to watch the entire video to fully understand them.

1. The mini pull – To strengthen up your scapula
2. Straight arm chest pullups – To increase ROM
3. Mini pulls with knee pulls – Improve core strength
4. The front tuck
5. The front tuck to the open front tuck
6. Tuck for reps
7. Tuck with leg extensions

Your gym doesn’t have gymnastic rings? Get them here.

The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing
The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing on Amazon
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How to Land Safely From the Parallettes Handstand

The first part of the video from GMB covers how to get out of bent arm stand, but for purpose of this post we’ll focus on the second part which teaches us how to bail out from a handstand on parallettes. The technique used for both is pretty similar anyway – a cartwheel, but with a twist.

Instead of going up and over, this technique relies on:

  • Pushing, twisting and going out at an angle
  • Keeping your arms straight
  • Gradual practice of kicking up and going over

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

For this and other exercises which can be done with or without parallettes, make sure to check out Gold Medal Bodies Parallettes Training program.

gbm-pa1

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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.

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

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.

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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Parallettes Two

My friends at GMB have just released their newest training program.

This covers more advanced training and skills using the parallettes.

I know many of you have experienced their great videos before…

And if you haven’t what are you waiting for?

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

Even if you don’t have parallettes (which are easy to build) this training can be done without them with some modifications.

I haven’t seen the whole program yet, but judging from their past record alone it’s going to be good.

Check out the full details here.

Parallettes 2

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Straight Arm Strength

If you’re into hand balancing you MUST build strength in a way that is not done with weight lifting, or almost any other form of exercise.

That is Straight Arm Strength.

I’ve been working a lot on this exact thing lately.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

My friends at Gold Medal Bodies just put up a great video I think you should see.

Go here to watch it.

Ryan Hurst Straddle

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Focused Flexibility Review

In the last post on Acrobatic Stretching we talked about how important flexibility is to your training.

If your flexibility is holding you back, I’ve found a new resource that will allow you to break through those blocks you’ve been having.

This program was very similar to the ideas I had on stretching before hand. Great trainers often think alike.

Still I picked up a few refinements, not to mention awesome and effective stretches I had not been doing before.

Since adding these in, I feel I’m making even faster progress towards my goal of hip flexibility to do the pancake drill.

In one, a variation of the Supine Dynamic Hip Rotations, I felt my hip cramp up like never before during the stretch. Yet when I was all said and done in the exercise my flexibility was already improved.

It’s affordable and immediately downloadable which means you can start on the program today.

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

Check it out here.

If you’re looking for something truly ground-breaking with a new scientific breakthru guaranteeing to double your flexibility tonight, this is not it.

But if you want an Easy System, that helps you to target your specific flexibility goals, this is exactly what you need.

What I like about Focused Flexibility is they give you a series of exercises to start with as a baseline. Then they tell you if you can’t do these well, which of the many stretches they show you will help you.

They also target the exercises, to specific conditions, like tight hips, that you may have.

The idea isn’t to do every stretch but to focus on the ones you need to achieve the flexibility you desire.

Read more about Focused Flexibility here.

Perhaps you’ve picked up a program from the Gold Medal Bodies guys before. If so you know they have high quality material. This program is no different.

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Parallette Training without Parallettes?

In the past three posts you’ve got tons of ideas on training you can do with parallettes. But what if you don’t have a pair of parallettes to train with?

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

One, you can easily make your own pair for cheap.

Two, you can replicate the same training with a variety of other objects. This video gives you more details. Not exactly the same but close enough to gain 95% of the benefits.

There are just a few days left to save 15% on Gold Medal Bodies awesome parallette training course. Just go check out P1 here and use the coupon code ‘LEGENDARY’ before March 31st.

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Combining Parallette Presses and Holds to Build Strength and Skill

Ryan Hurst from Gold Medal Bodies is here to show you how to move forward with your parallette training. Click here for Part 1 and Part 2. This is the third in a three part series.


By now, you should have developed some foundation strength in the basic parallette press and L-sit. That’s a great start, but we started off this series talking about advanced exercises like planches, and maybe it still seems like we’re a long way off from there.

Though it’s true we’re still not ready for advanced work, we can prepare for it by taking these basic skills and combining them into a combination routine.

Anyone following Logan is not going to be a stranger to the concept of sophisticated skills such as handstands and bridging. You’ve also been exposes to the idea of building from simple variations to more difficult ones. One way we like to achieve this is by building combinations – what we like to call “flows” – that put the basic movements together in more interesting and challenging ways.

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

Today’s video covers a simple flow exercise you can do on the parallettes.

As you can see, we’ve added one more basic exercise, then put them together into a simple combination.

The routine goes like this:
1. Pushup
2. Swing forward to L-sit
3. Swing back to inverted press
4. Repeat

Perform this for 3 to 5 sets of 3 to 5 repetitions. Do this 3 days in a row, rest one day, then test your strength the next day to check your progress. We’ve included a sample two week program using this routine that will get you ready to begin serious parallette training – the kind that moves you toward advanced skills.

Download link for sample program

Of course, there’s much more to using parallettes than this. The possibilities are really almost endless, but you’ll need some basic strength and control before you can pull off the fancy stuff.

The program above is a starting point. Once you’ve given that a shot, we encourage you to check out our Parallettes One course, which takes these basics to the next level, building pressing strength and skill that will serve you well for any goal.


Gold Medal Bodies has a full blown course on Parallette Training. Until the end of March you can save 15% off the price of any P1 bundle by using the coupon code ‘LEGENDARY’.

Parallettes One

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Parallette Training Foundation for Full-Body Power

Ryan Hurst from Gold Medal Bodies is here to show you how to build a training foundation with parallettes. This is the first of a three part series.


If you’ve ever seen a gymnast perform skills like the planche, you’ve probably wished you could too. Maybe you even got right down on the floor and tried one. Then looked around to make sure nobody was watching after you landed on your face.

Most of the classic bodyweight feats of strength are really damn hard (that’s why they’re called “feats of strength”), but with the right foundation, there’s no reason they can’t be achievable. But how do you build that foundation? Surely, if it were as simple as doing more bench presses, you’d see a lot more people who could perform a planche.

There’s a right tool for every job, and the tool gymnasts use to build upper-body strength for floor work is a set of parallettes.

Parallettes are great for a number of reasons. Not only do they allow greater stability and leverage than our hands have on the floor (which makes it easier to practice many skills), they’re small, light, and easy to build for yourself.

Everyone knows that pushing exercises are key for practical upper body strength, but what you may not know is how basic pressing can lay the foundation for more sophisticated, full-body movements, and parallettes are an ideal tool to help bridge that gap.

In recent years, parallettes have been adopted primarily by CrossFitters, owing primarily to their portability and cost. Unfortunately, the information on the web about parallette training is limited and simplistic. A quick check on YouTube shows tons of videos of people performing maybe three or four different parallette exercises, usually with poor form.

So let’s start there – by learning one high-leverage exercise with perfect form.

Enter The Parallette Push-Up

“Just a push-up?”

When you focus on your form and pay attention to finer details of the movement, you’ll find that doing correct push-ups on parallettes can be much more challenging than you’d expect.

As a reminder:
• Keep your elbows tight in to your side, with hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Shoulders stay over your hands and don’t let them drop below the level of the bar on the bottom of the repetition.
• Push and drive your elbow pits facing forward.
• A three second hold on the bottom and top position, with a locked down core, tight butt and legs will create a whole body tension, and make this into a full body exercise.

This exercise can be performed daily if repetitions are kept low (not more than 5 repetitions in a set).

We’ll have another video in a couple of days that builds on this foundation and really tightens up your core strength for more dynamic movements.

Until then, give these a shot and be sure to leave a comment and let us know how you like ‘em. Do you still think they’re “just push-ups?”

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

Gold Medal Bodies has a full blown course on Parallette Training.

Parallettes One

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