Tag Archives | Index Finger

Straight Arm Pressing Tips

Having safely returned from my trip its time to get back into regular emails to help you go further in your hand balancing and acrobatics. I received a number of excellent questions while I was gone so I figured I’d start there.

“How should your hands look when there on the ground for a handstand?”
Genoman

While it can change up depending on which hand balancing move you’re doing, for the normal handstand you want your hands flat on the ground with the fingers spread as far apart as possible. The middle or index finger should be pointing directly forward.

“I’ve been doing hand balancing for a while now. I’ve developed quite a strong upper body. I do hand-stand push-ups with ease.  I kick up successfully more times than not and can hold the balance for a considerable amount of time.  That is why I’m so perplexed as to why I cannot even come close to doing any of the stiff armed lever up exercises.  In doing exercise #2 in “The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing”, The best I can do is on push-up bars, hold myself with my knees still under me, but when I try and lever up, I barely budged, literally about an inch or so.  If I were to do this with bent arms, I do it with ease, same with all lever ups like with split or even straight legs.  What makes stiff arm so difficult?  What are the muscles being stressed most in a stiff arm lever up and how can one train them to get to do it?  I feel I’m not even close to getting anywhere with them.  Again, I’m extremely strong in the upper body.  Is it possible I’m doing something wrong, or possibly I have neglected to train a certain muscle or muscle group?”

Thanks,
Francis Ford

Straight arm presses are a different beast then bent arm presses. While you are having problems of this sort there are many people that can do straight arm moves but would fall flat in a bent arm press because they lack the strength.

Because of different body leverages the straight arm press may take you some time to get to, where others can do it almost immediately.

The straight arm press, in its various forms, requires strength in different areas as well as flexibility. You have to be able to get your center of mass over your hands. This requires your shoulders to go far out in front.

One method you may want to try is to do a bent arm press except try to bend your arms a little less, and gradually work up to a straight arm press. From the handstand you can do negatives lowering yourself down on straight arms.

Also having someone else to spot you can be a big help. They stand in front of you, your shoulders coming to meet their legs for support, and they assist you by raising your hips as much as you need to do the move.

And lastly I recommend you re-read Chapter 8 on pressing in the book for even more info. Most important is to just keep at it. If you find it difficult, it’ll be that much more satisfying when you finally make it.

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

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. If you haven’t got your copy of The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing you can grab it here.

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Hand Placement in Handstands

Here’s an interesting question.

“I can only hold a handstand for about five seconds, with all fingers spread out, but when I bend in my right index finger I can hold for 15 seconds on up.  What should I do?”
Matthew Romero

If you can hold it longer with your fingers bent then that’s probably what you should do. I’m not to sure why bending that single finger helps you so much but here’s a more general reason why you should bend the fingers.

Because balancing on the hands can be difficult to do you want to give yourself the widest base possible. This means you spread your fingers out. As in spacing your fingers and not keeping them together.

But you don’t want them fully extended. Keep your fingers slightly curled and this helps you to grip the ground harder. With more grip you can balance easier.

By using your hands in this way you’ll have more control and that means you stay up in a handstand longer.

On a different note, I’m going to be having a few important announcements in the next couple of weeks. Make sure you stay tuned.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. If you need help getting started with your handstand check out my Secrets of the Handstand Quickstart guide.

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Finger Handstand

Shaolin Fingertip Handstand

Two Finger Handstand by Shaolin Monk

Fingertip training is one of the less common forms of hand balancing today. In fact you hardly see it at all.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice it.

First some words of caution. The fingers are small and fragile. If you move into this realm too fast, you may end up breaking them, snapping tendons or any number of bad things so be careful.

Starting with a fingertip handstand is probably too much for most people. Even this most basic move must be worked up to. And fingertip pushups are the best way to do that.

Even without practicing finger balancing you hand and finger strength will improve. Just from the practice of balancing on your hands you can’t help but gain some strength in your digits.

But for true fingertip stunts you need to do them in one form or another.

If you are ready for the fingertip handstand then I suggest using a wall on your first go. Holding your bodyweight on your fingers is one thing. Balancing is another.

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

Not only do you have a smaller base of support but you must add pressure in order to stay balanced. This makes your fingers support your weight and then some.

Once you can hold the fingertip stand it’s a matter of progressing until you reach your goal.

That goal may be the Thumb Stand made famous by Bob Jones. Doing it on top of Indian clubs is up to you.Or maybe you want to hold an index finger stand.

In Shaolin: Wheel of Life one of the stunts performed is a handstand held on the two index fingers. He has his feet supported but it’s still one of the most impressive feats possible.

If you don’t have a copy of this video yet get one now. It’s one of the most motivational, inspirational, and awe-inspiring videos in existence.

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