Tag Archives | Headstand

Advancing the Basics: Frogstand Variation – Using Your Head 1 Min Tip

Here is the first official tip post of 2016 for LAOHB! Today we are going over the Frogstand. Specifically, we are going to take a look at a nice regression you can use to help build the stabilizers necessary to keep you balanced, while you are in this position!

 

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First you want to Begin in the Frogstand Position. Make sure that you are gripping the floor tightly with your fingers and that you have as much surface space that you can rest you legs on!

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Second, carefully let the crown of your head rest on the floor as you drive your hips up. Reposition your legs if necessary to gain a stronger position.

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Finally attempt to hold the position for at least one minute while you keep your back aligned with a posterior tilt.

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An added benefit of this modified position is that you can use it to drive up into your headstand!

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Look below to see the entire tip!

If you want to delve deeper into your hand balance training, go to Handstand Mastery!

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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23 Handstand Exercises For You to Try Out

There are so many handstand exercises and variations that they could keep you busy forever. Instead of trying to master them all at the same time, it’s far more effective to focus on one at a time.

This video from Calisthenic Movement shows a number of basic and advanced exercises that should give you enough inspiration to start your training today and master a handstand exercise of your choice.

Basic:

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

Intermediate:

Advanced:

  • Freestanding Straight Handstand
  • Pike Press
  • Straddle Press
  • Tucked Press on Parallettes
  • Straddle Press on Parallettes
  • L and V Sit to Handstand on Parallettes
  • Frog to Handstand
  • Rolling HSPU (very cool!)
  • Freestanding HSPU
  • Tiger Bend
  • 90 Degree Pushup
  • One Arm Handstand
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Balancing Compilation

This video contains a number of amazing balancing moves, including one arm handstand, human flag, headstand on a head, hand-to-hand handstand and many extraordinary feats from circus performers.

A video that left the biggest impression on me was the one with a circus guy who went up and down stairs on his hands. What’s your favorite one among those in the video?

In case you want Professor E.M. Orlick to teach you how to learn a one hand handstand, make sure to check it out here. 

How to do the One Hand Handstand by Professor Orlick
ow to do the One Hand Handstand on Amazon
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How to do a Headstand for Beginners

A headstand is an intense display of upper body strength. To attempt it without proper preparation could lead to severe personal injury or permanent damage to your body. It is also probably not best for you to jump into something like the headstand without having any idea of what you’re doing. It’s important to build on your core and shoulder strength before attempting to learn how to do a headstand for beginners. This is one of the more enjoyable and extreme gymnastics moves to master, and it’s best to have someone with you to spot you when you’re first learning on the process of a beginner’s headstand. People commonly feel refreshed and revitalized after being in an inverted position such as the headstand.

Preparing to Enter the Headstand

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  • While facing a sturdy wall, lower yourself onto your elbows and knees.
  • Keep your hands together in front of your head and place the center of the top portion of your head down onto the mat.
  • Make sure that you never put the back portion of the top of your head down on the mat.
  • If you can’t go exact center, further to the front is acceptable.
  • Keep your elbows fairly close together by lining them up under your shoulders. Keep your breathing controlled and steady.
  • Now, straighten your legs by lifting your knees and buttocks and bringing your heels off of the ground. Rock back and forth on your toes a bit to get loosened up.

Entering and Exiting the Headstand Pose

The last step to learning how to do a headstand for beginners is to actually do the headstand.

  • Start walking your feet, on their tiptoes, closer and closer to your head.
  • Once it feels right, lift one of your legs up to the wall.
  • Let your other leg follow the first one up; this is a great time for your spotter to step in and help you straightened up.
  • While you’re in this pose, take some deep cleansing breaths. If you feel comfortable, close your eyes and count to five.
  • Don’t stay in an inverted pose like this for too long at a time.
  • Make sure that you do this slowly and in a controlled way.

Part of learning how to do a headstand for beginners is to learn how to make every movement involved steady and controlled. It keeps you from injury as well and helps strengthen your body against its own natural resistance.

 

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How to do a Headstand Yoga

Sirsasana is another name for the Yoga Headstand, which is a challenging posture within the inversion category. Other inversions include postures such as the handstand, the forearm balance and the shoulder stand. There’s a wide array of benefits to be had from learning how to do a headstand in yoga, but one should never attempt a headstand without taking the time to properly learn the correct alignment and setup for this particular yoga pose.

Preparation and Alignment

To get prepped and aligned for the headstand, get into your hands and knees.

  • Lower onto your elbows, making sure your elbows are under your shoulders and your knees are under your hips. Bring your hands together, and interlace your fingers, making sure to tuck under your outer most pinky.
  • Lower the crown of your head down and place it on the floor, cup your head with your interlaced fingers.
  • As if you were coming into the downward facing dog position, bring your hips up over your shoulders by walking up towards your head.

The Full Headstand

Now that you’re prepped and aligned, you are most on your way to learning how to do a headstand yoga. All that is left is to go into the full headstand.

How to do the One Hand Handstand by Professor Orlick
ow to do the One Hand Handstand on Amazon
  • Bring your knees and bring them in towards your chest while lifting both of your feet into the air.
  • Allow yourself to stabilize, and then straighten your legs. Do your best to bring both of your legs up at the same time.
  • Push up into the balls of your feet and turn your thighs inwards just slightly.
  • Push down deep into your forearms.

You should try to hold the pose for at least 10 breaths count. Congratulations, you just learned how to do a headstand yoga! To get yourself out of this pose safely, just slowly lower each leg one at a time on to the floor.

Benefits and Risks

There are both physical and mental rewards to the yoga headstand. You’ll find that this pose will increase strength in your arms and legs, as well as positive effects on your pituitary glands and lungs. Some claims state that the headstand pose can alleviate stress and depression, by changing your outward perspective of things. It is a fact that the act of acting against the gravity helps with the cleansing of our intestines. However, if you should suffer from high or low blood pressure, a heart condition, or back/neck injuries, you should not attempt this pose. People without sufficient upper body strength can also compress their spine and damage their body in doing this pose. Make sure that you are totally prepared and capable before attempting the yoga headstand.

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Is A Handstand Easier Than A Headstand?

Are you asking is a handstand easier than a headstand?

The short answer is NO! (Although there are some exceptions.)

Let me explain why.

The handstand has a smaller base of support, i.e. your two hands, rather then the two hands and your head that are commonly used in the headstand.

The leverage of your body is also longer in the handstand then in the headstand, making your center of gravity higher, and thus it harder to balance.

Handstand and Headstand

For these two reasons handstands are not easier then headstands.

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Here are the exceptions:

1 – You have cervical problems that don’t allow you to put weight on your head. If it causes pain or injury then a handstand may be easier then a headstand.

2 – If you’re talking about the hands-free headstand then yes the handstand is easier then this very advanced skill. To learn how to train the hands-free headstand click here.

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Head Balancing

I still kick myself to this day. Back when I first purchased my original copy of The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing by Paulinetti and Jones they had another course on head balancing. At the time I was only interested in doing handstands so I only got the one book. Since that time I have never seen another copy of the head balancing course offered even though I’m always looking.

While the regular headstand with the use of the hands is an easy stunt just about anyone can do, doing it without your hands is an entirely different matter. It takes tremendous balancing ability throughout your body. Here is a photo of Rafael Guerrero balancing on his head in good style.

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Head Balancing

I think the best way to work up to this stunt is to start with your hands and slowly do away with the fingers, similar to an approach you’d make with the one arm handstand.

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Benefits of Inversions

This past weekend at a longevity conference I learn one more benefit of inversions.

Did you know that every species on this earth suffers from osteoarthritis? That is except for two, bats and sloths. What makes these two immune to this disease? They spend so much time hanging upside down!

Headstand

The simple headstand can give you the benefits of inversion

I’m not saying headstands or hand balancing will cure arthritis, but isn’t that interesting.

By reversing the flow of gravity you do your body many benefits.

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

It allows the body to clear the often stagnant blood from your legs and feet. You heart needs to work hard to pump blood back up the body. Getting upside down makes this easy.

Inversion helps with not only circulation, but to increase oxygen to the brain which has obvious benefits.

Inverting can help relax the muscles, re-align the body and train your balance. In fact, being completely upside down is the only time your spinal discs get a break from the normal pull of gravity.

For more details on the benefits of inversion check out this page.

Now you don’t have to be a yogi or professional equilibrist to reap these benefits.

Doing a headstand even against the wall will give you all these benefits. You can also try hanging upside down.

But you can imagine what doing 30 minutes a day of hand balancing can do for your health.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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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.

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.

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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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