Tag Archives | Gymnasts

Science of Handwalking

I was sent a couple of articles by Rick over at GymnasticsCoaching.com

Trampoline Handbook
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These can be found in the Science of Gymnastics Journal found here.

handwalking

They actually did a study on this? Cool...

One particular article caught my eye, concerning a comparison of hand walking to regular walking.

You’re welcome to read the seven page report yourself but I’ll give you the results they found.

I’ve seen many people compare hand balancing to standing on the feet. While this can be useful in certain situations this study showed that because of the structure of the body things have to be different (no big surprise there).

Gymnasts of various, but all above average skill levels, were used in this study.

What they found was the cadence of walking on the hands was similar to the feet albeit much shorter even if you take into consideration the difference in lengths of the arms and bones.

Also hand walking requires a wider base of support then on the feet.

What they found is that the more skilled gymnasts spent more time with both hands on the ground at one time and with more consistent stride length.

These are just a few things to take into consideration the next time you go for a stroll on your hands.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Want full details on how to walk, run, jump, skip and even tap dance on your hands? Check out How to Walk on Your Hands in the Hand Balancing Mastery Course.

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Hand Balancing for Different People

Different groups of people practice hand balancing for different reasons.

yoga handstand

Handstand in Yoga

Yoga – Within the multitude of yoga asanas there are quite a few hand balancing poses. In yoga these are mostly known as inversions, as that is exactly what they are doing, inverting the body. Many of the poses are the same like the headstand, handstand and crow stand (aka frogstand) although they often come in different names. Others use various components of yoga like the lotus position in a handstand which isn’t seen outside of yoga too often.

When doing hand balancing in yoga, as in all yoga the goal, is to hold the pose, usually for longer periods of time. (I know this is a simplification.) To balance and go inside, as yoga is more than a physical practice.

Break Dancing – Breakdancing incorporates a number of hand balancing movements. Again these come in all different names. In break dancing moves are rarely held for a long time instead movements are strung together and made to flow.

Often in these balances break dancers will contort their body in order to hold the balance. This gives their balances a different look then the other disciplines. Make no doubt about it, great break dancers have great skill and strength.

Circus Performers – The circus has a wide range of skills and many of the incorporate hand balancing at one time or another. Contortionists, acrobats, even jugglers go into various hand balances. Then of course, there are the equilibrists, the best of the best. The hand balancing they do is the best in the world and awe inspiring to watch.

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

In order to get to this level you will need professional coaching, and many hours over years of practice.

Bodyweight Trainees – This is how I came to hand balancing. Working out in various ways I came to use my own bodyweight as my primary means of resistance. This led to doing handstands and eventually handstand pushups against the wall. One day I thought it would be fun to do it all without the wall and that led to my first attempts at doing a freestanding handstand. Hand balancing goes well with any variety of strength training.

Gymnasts – Probably the most well known and even biggest group of hand balancers. Their balances are done with a perfectly straight body to score good with the judges (and many think if you do it any other way you are doing it wrong and/or going to hurt yourself).

In a lot of gymnastics the skills move into and out of the handstand but specific hand balancing skills aren’t practiced all that often. In order to do a one arm handstand a gymnast will have to work outside of the normal gymnastic skills. But you can’t deny the best gymnasts are some of the strongest and most skilled people out there.

Everyday People – Then there is just your average person who wants to do a handstand. Maybe these other categories inspired them to want to do so. Maybe the idea came from somewhere else. You don’t have to fit into one of these groups to get good although just working on the basic movements is often enough for many people. Being able to hold a handstand with ease is the end goal. But some choose to keep pursuing what they can do in hand balancing.

No one group of people is better than any other. They can all learn from one another. They can all pursue what they want in their own way. Here at Lost Art Of Hand Balancing I hope to offer something to everyone regardless of their goals.

For your average person looking to get started the Secrets of the Handstand DVD would be the best place to start.

Someone looking to expand their repertoire would want to check out The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing or the Hand Balancing Mastery Course to discover tons of new and advanced skills.

An expert or professional may have skills beyond these materials but maybe they could use a pair of hand balancing stands.

And this doesn’t even begin to cover the acrobatic arts outside of handbalancing that are closely related.

If you’ve read this far why don’t you comment below and tell me what brought you to hand balancing in the first place?

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Mako Sakamoto's Handstand Pushup Record

Mako Sakamoto is not likely a name you have heard. He was a US National Champ in the 1960’s and has coached many successful gymnasts, including Olympic Gold Medalist Peter Vidmar.

One day during the athletes training they decided to find out how many freestanding handstand pushups they could do on the parallel bars. Mind you that these were full range, dropping down to the shoulders, not the head, and pressing back up. Coach Sakamoto got 19 on that day.

But he continued to train for many years. Twelve more to be exact, when he was 50 years old he set a new record. 163 consecutive full range freestanding handstand pushups.

One Hundred Sixty-Three!

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He is over 60 years old now and still trains every morning. Though he won’t be breaking that record he can easily do 75 handstand pushups in the same manner which is far and beyond what most people would dream of doing.

To most people who can’t do a single rep or hold a handstand, that number seems unfathomable. But with the right training and true dedication it can be done.

I learned of this amazing feat from Coach Sommers over at www.GymnasticBodies.com. Check out his site and especially the new book Building the Gymnastic Body for great gymnastic training information.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. If you want to get started on your first freestanding handstand pushups you can get it in this month’s Acrobat Accelerator.

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Straight Arm Press Tips

Time to answer some of your questions again. What with the new site and new releases I’ve let some of these pile up.

Here’s two asking the same thing.

“How do you do a lever up handstand. Starting feet on floor in straddle. Used to be able to do it when I was training 10 years ago-but even then it was a struggle & a skill I lost quickly. There’s got to be a technique I’m missing. can lever down but not up from feet on floor. Wait to hear…”
Chrissie

“I would like to learn how to go into a handstand the way gymnasts usually do by leaning over the hands with legs straight until the feet lift off and the legs hang then lifting up the legs into a sort of planche then straight up. Can you do this and what would be the stages in learning it? Surprisingly, I couldn’t find any information on this on the site.”
Ross

Thanks for asking. With a bit of different language both these questions are asking about the same thing. And that is the straight arm press.

It will be easier if the legs are straddled, but once that becomes easy you can keep them together in the pike position.

This move not only takes strength in the arms, shoulders and abs but a big degree of flexibility as well. You have to get the center of you mass over your hands if you want to have any chance of succeeding. This means your shoulders will come far over your hands.

Chrissie was on to something when she said she could lower down. Work the negative, staying under control and soon you’ll be able to lift up into the handstand.

Another way is to hold a Jack-Knife handstand. When you can hold this position low pressing up into the handstand should be no problem.

Some people have no problem doing this move. Others will have to do tons of work to get it based on there body leverages. If you fall into the later group just keep at it. A bunch of negatives, holds, and isometrics will get you there faster.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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

P.S. Bob Jones has some big tips for learning this move, found in the Chapter 8 – Pressing Up Into A Handstand of his book.

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Handstand Partner Drill for Stronger Shoulders

I asked one of my friends, Max, who competed as a former high-level gymnast to tell me about some of the exercises and drills he and his teammates used to build the strength they required.

You can see check one video of the partner drills he showed here.

[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1gHtenxGRA]

This is one of many things that he showed me on that bright, sunny day. While it’s a good one it’s not the best of the bunch.

You can do the same exercise without a partner, which is still good, though you can get more range and work a bit harder with someone’s help.

My favorite drill that Max showed me is one I’m calling the Ultimate Handstand Strengthening Exercise. This one exercise takes you through a wide range of motions and will boost your arm and shoulder strength like you wouldn’t believe.

Unfortunately, it’s a bit to complicated to get into right here.

But the full video is in this month’s Acrobat Accelerator, which you can sign up for here.

If you’re already signed up your issue hit the mail yesterday. There’s plenty of other exercises from working on the straight handstand that gymnasts use, press handstands and many more.

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

This is not beginner stuff, but if you’ve been in the game a little you can start using these drills to build your strength and skill.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. You can also get one of several hand balancing products that offer a one month trial to Acrobat Accelerator.

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Paul Hamm, Olympic Gold and the Rings

I can remember it like it was yesterday even though it was about four years ago.

Had never paid all that much attention to the Olympics before but this year was different.

My good friend and I were watching the men’s individual all-around competition. Gymnasts are truly some of the worlds strongest athletes but the Olympic level is just ridiculous.

There was some amazing competition. Of course, I was rooting for the USA and I got to see one of the most amazing comebacks ever in the history of sports.

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

After a disastrous fall on the vault it looked like Paul Hamm was out of the running. But two near perfect routines on the parallel bars and horizontal bar put him back in front.

Not only did he win the Gold but he was the first American to ever to so at the Olympics in the all-around competition. We were going crazy with excitement.

Yes there was some controversy behind a scoring error, but watching that piece of history will forever be burned in my mind.

It’s amazing what these athletes can do. It’s unreal.

How do they build that kind of strength and skill? One its how they train, which is long hours every single day working on perfecting their routines.

But it is also what they train with. The tools and apparatus on which they train. A big key to build gymnastic strength is to train the same way.

One of the most basic tools for the gymnast, and the one that epitomizes all that is gymnastics, are the rings.

There is nothing quite like ‘em. If you’ve never mounted a pair you’d be surprised at just how much you body shakes as you try to support your bodyweight.

Forget the iron cross or maltese. Can you manage a few pullups or dips? What about the classic muscle-up?

Well, now you can answer those questions. Now you can get started training your way to building Olympic level strength with the Elite Gymnastic Rings.

Not only that but you can get instructed by another world champion and Olympic medalist in how to use them.

And if you want to really impress someone do a handstand on top of the rings. Now that’s balance!

Paul’s performance on the rings back in 2004 was before the fall and comeback (a decent 9.587) but you can be sure I’ll be watching the gymnastics this year, especially the rings.

The difference is this time I’ll be training right alongside him. Will you?

Sincerely,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Notice that on either of the two pages as the bottom in the P.S. you can get both the Gymnastic Rings and the Ring Strength DVD in a special combo deal and save.

P.P.S. And yes, if you didn’t know, Paul Hamm will be back in Beijing. I’m rooting for a repeat.

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Comment on the Hand Balancing Blog

I wanted to share with you an interesting debate I had with one of my subscriber’s and than I want to encourage you to add your own comments.

So here is part of Nathan’s comments:
“I take issue with some of the things you say on this site, also I do not believe you should be creating videos and tutorials that teach people handstands when you yourself use the technique deemed improper by Gymnasts and Circus Artists alike.

“Handstands should not be taught over the internet as it is an incredibly precise discipline that requires constant feedback and personalized training, something which with this medium you cannot deliver.”

And my response:
Deemed improper? Perhaps the straight body style is better but its not easier to learn. Having an arch is natural which is why it ‘use’ to be the only way up until about the 70’s. All the gymnasts (don’t actually know any circus artists myself) I’ve talked to say its just a matter of style anyway. In the end you should be able to take any position and balance right. After all look at many contortionists. Are they doing straight handstands?

I agree with you partially here. Yes personalized instruction would be best but its not really feasible. But isn’t some instruction better than nothing? Not all the people that come to my site are looking at this as a career, just something they’d like to be able to do.

And his comments back:
“Just to add to the perfect handstand discussion that’s going on. I believe the straight bodied handstand came around when people were trying to emulate the standing up normally position on their hands to create a more stable position. Hands below shoulders below hips below feet, in essence standing up but reversed.

“The arched position handstand is the beginners preference as the body naturally falls into that position and requires less core strength. The scorpion handstand common among contortionists is an entirely different type as this is a handstand trick rather than a base handstand. As you said earlier both work and are fine, but the more solid and versatile handstand in my opinion is the straight body one.

“Just my two cents, was an interesting little debate to read.”

And now here is your chance to weigh in on the situation. You know blogs are made to be two-way communication tools. But I haven’t ever encouraged this in the past. Well now I am.

All you have to do to post your comment is register here:
https://lostartofhandbalancing.com/blog/wp-login.php

And then go to the post itself to leave your comments:
https://lostartofhandbalancing.com/blog/comment-on-the-hand-balancing-blog

Think you can do that? I’d be happy if you took the time to give it a shot, so you can let me know what you think.

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. It really sounds harder than it is. I’ve resisted this blog stuff in the past but once I got into it, its actually a lot of fun.

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