Tag Archives | Legs

How to do a Wallrun

No matter if you have seen it in movies, video games or on other videos, wallruns are always quite astonishing to look at. For a moment it appears as if though you are defying the laws of gravity, and anything that unnatural is certain to impress anyone.

The best way to go with this is to start off slowly by using only one foot and simply walking on the wall, pushing yourself away from it. Start off with the side you feel most comfortable with, and later as you progress you can practice both legs.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

Once you have done a few tries with only one step, try incorporating the second one as shown on the video. This time you will need to gain more momentum. To do this, you need to start thinking of a Wallrun as a long jump, so the more speed you get the higher you go, and the longer your Wallrun will be.

However, be sure to start off slowly and only progress as you become comfortable with the way you are going. This is a pretty easy skill to learn with just a little practice.

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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?”

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

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.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Scissors Handstand

After most people, myself included, have some success with the handstand they want to move on to a variety of stunts, most of which are much harder.

My advice, nowadays, is to stick with the handstand itself for a bit longer.

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

Yes, you can always just work on adding more time in a hold while improving your balance. But to spice it up a little bit try changing up your position.

There are a huge amount of different ways you can do this with different areas of your body. For today let’s focus on the legs.

Again, any possible way you can move your legs can be done in the handstand but let’s narrow it down to just one. The Scissors Handstand.

Scissors Handstand by Bob Jones
From The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing:

“Do a hand stand in nice form, then separate the legs, one backward and the other forward. Start the legs backward and forward in scissor fashion. Go slowly at first, and increase the speed, and come to a sudden stop with the feet and legs in nice form. While in the motion, the legs should be kept straight, with the toes pointed. This trick is very effective and is not hard to learn. Variations of the above are, scissors while walking on the hands, also scissors with the head forward through the arms.”

Check out the hand balancing book for many other moves just like this one.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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The X Balance

X Hand Balance

I love this picture. Just how the legs and arms line up to become a perfect X.

With the arms spread wide balancing becomes much more difficult. You won’t have the simple back and forth balancing like in a regular handstand as your hands are pointed towards the sides.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

The quality is not the best but if you look closely you’ll notice Rafael’s hands are on little blocks. These may aid a little in balancing.

Just try an arms wide handstand with the hands out to the sides and you’ll find just how hard it can be to stay up.

Its these kind of balances that you rarely, if ever, see these days.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. For similar poses check out photos 44 and 95 in the Inspirational Photo Section of The True Art and Science of Handbalancing

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Correcting Bad Handstand Habits

First off thanks to everyone who took the time to fill out the short survey. I appreciate you spending your time to help me out even it its just a couple minutes. I’ll be sharing what everyone said a little later on but today I thought I’d tackle a couple questions.

But before that a few other updates. That last blog post on the planche brought a couple great comments. I’ll delve further into that subject soon (with a few more pictures). In fact, there’s been a few comments on several different blog posts which I’m pleased with. Keep the conversation going.

And recently, I was notified that the company that makes the Elite Rings and Ring Strength DVD has switched over to fre e shipping within the USA. And I’m passing that offer on to you.

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

So if you are in the US you can get these products even cheaper now!

Now onto the questions. It’s a long one but worth reading.

“I’ve been practicing (more or less playing with) handstands and handbalancing for about a year.  I taught myself 100% and so I’ve adopted ALOT of bad habits. I can walk yards forward or backwards on my hands, I’ve held a handstand for 42 seconds once, and I’ve even been expirimenting with walking up and down stairs with some mild success.

“Unfortunately, despite the impressive feets that I can achieve I get criticized frequently on my form.  My back has a huge arch and I let my legs dangle over my head.  It works for me, but just doesn’t have that impressive look to it.  I’m sure it’s not hard to teach someone to keep their legs together and toes pointed, but after a year of success it’s a little bit harder to break the habit. Plus I get frustrated easier because I think ”I can just do it better my way anyway.”  So as you may have already guessed, because I usually let my legs dangle, when I try to pick them up I underbalance.  It’s like trying to learn it all over again and It’s quite frustrating. If you have any tips on gradually recovering from this habit as opposed to just relearning it I would appreciate your advice. And is it suppose to be harder or easier with you legs together?

“A second question I have is a specific skill question.  I can walk in a circle on my hands, but I can’t stay in one place and pivot around.  It would be a cool tutorial for you to make if you can teach how to pivot on your hands. Or if you could just point me in the right direction that would be cool too.”

Thank you for your time,
Josh Reed

Thank you for taking the time to write a detailed question. Much easier to answer this when there’s lots to draw from.

About the form and how to correct it. First let me start by saying why some people go towards the feet hanging form. Because of the bend at the knees the lower legs are hanging down and this effectively lowers your center of gravity. Also like you mentioned it throws your weight a bit more forward toward an overbalance.

If its easier why is it not generally recommended? The key word is the legs were ‘dangling’ over the head. In this position it is harder to keep the legs under control, and without control hand balancing becomes much harder. You want the legs together and straight so that they act like one object, which is easy to control.

It may be a bit harder in the beginning but in the long run it’ll make more advanced stunts (and doing simpler ones for longer) that much easier.

This is a case of taking two steps back so you can move three steps forward. Yes, you’ll have to go back to re-learn the move in a sense. Going back to the wall will help.

But the best thing I think would be to learn how to move from one position to the other. Learn to stay in a stationary handstand. Raise and bring the feet together from your hanging, knees bent position, then go back and forth. Raising and lowering them under control.

Your handstand position isn’t wrong (even if others say its ugly). You should be able to assume any position you want. Learn to control your legs and make them do what they want.

Which brings me to the next question regarding doing pirouettes. Turning around in one spot is much harder than just walking forwards.

I’ll likely do a longer tutorial later on but for now just a couple tips. Start off with small steps and gradually reduce the number you use over time. Eventually it should only take two steps to turn around, but start with up to six if you need to.

Also pay attention to the feet. Its common just to focus on the hands as you do the move but giving mind to the furthest point from your balance will help you even more to stay up. And this goes for all walking and even standing still.

“I have subscribed to your Updater and it seems like Every time I learn of something new from a friend or somewhere on the internet I come to my e-mail to find you have already e-mailed me with a new set of tips or instructions JUST ON THE VERY THING! This is far from a question but I wanted to let you know you personally inspired me to continue my journey to become stronger and more powerful then I ever thought possible.”

Balancing diligently
~Matt

Thanks a lot Matt. I am happy to inspire and teach. And that’s going to wrap it up for today.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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The True Planche

An older hand balancer recently sent me a CD full of pictures of himself and others hand balancing. There are some amazing pictures and I thought I’d start off with one of the best. And there will be many more coming posted up here. Without further adieu meet Rafael Guerrero.

A Planche in the best form.

What most people don’t realize is how to do the planche correctly. While any semblance of a planche is a great display of strength and skill, when you can pull it off in this form its that much better. Of course to do it like this being a much smaller size is a plus!

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

Here’s a small section from The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing talking about the correct form of the skill.

“As exemplified by Paulinetti, the planche on two hand’s finds the body straight, flat and horizontal from throat to toes, and especially from throat to pelvis. Since the chest is thicker than the waist, this means that the shoulders are decidedly humped, corresponding very much to the hips. The position is much as if the performer were lying on a bench with chin and toes extended over either end–there is no arch in the back, and the hips are NOT flexed at all. This is where much of the trouble comes in, just as in doing the straight handstand with the head between the arms. Usually the performer gets the chest fairly well positioned, but instead of leaving the hips straight and then flexing the waist area of the spine slightly, he leaves his arch in the back and jack-knifes the legs forward (pretty much as in Figure 6) in order to get the feet down into line with the trunk. Again, in trying the planche–especially if endeavoring to get the flat chest effect–he neglects to thrust the chin forward and as a result has his face looking right at the floor instead of raised about 45 degrees and looking straight ahead.

“All in all, the correct position is decidedly not a normal one to attain, especially to a balancer accustomed to arching his back, and nine out of ten aspirants never even approach it. They usually wind up in nothing other than a “horizontal handstand” position–back arched, head up, and latissimus muscles hooked against the triceps. Understand, this is much of an accomplishment in its own right…but it is not the true planche.”

If you want to find out much more on the planche the read the full chapter in the book for the full details. But now you know some of the specifics for what it takes to do a true planche.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. There’s still time to take the short survey so I can find out exactly what you want. Click here.

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How to do a One Hand Handstand Against Wall

“How to do a one hand hand-stand? I can do a two handed hand-stand on the wall(to keep balance) but when I lift one hand away I fall, any tips?”
Sisi

The first time I did a one handed handstand against the wall I used a corner where to walls meet. This makes it easier to balance as you can press into the sides.

The one hand handstand even with a wall takes a strong core plus coordination. Make it easier by spreading the legs out wide. Make it harder by keeping them together.

And another tip is to not lift your hand instantly off of the ground. Instead as you shift more and more of your weight onto the one hand start using the other less.

So there you have three tips on doing the one hand handstand against the wall.

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

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Kicking Up into a Handstand Problems

“Okay, so I have been trying for about 3 weeks to learn how to do a handstand. I often psych myself out and end up stopping. And then when I [sometimes] go to kick up, one leg will stay down then when I go to pull it up it bends and I loose my balance. Any help?”
Shelby

“As I go into a handstand I get one of my legs right up but cant seem to bring the other leg up far enough and then drop back down any advice???”
Ami

Its sounds like there are some troubles kicking-up into the handstand position. The first thing I’d say to do is to get out of the open and go to a wall.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The freestanding handstand is too difficult to jump right into. You should practice several easier skills before going at it. Check out the Secrets of the Handstand Quick Start DVD.

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

If you can kick up against the wall without problems all you have to do is recreate it out in the open. Fine tune your kick-up so that you kick hard enough to get both legs up but not so hard that you go over.

And it you want more you can check out this recent video on kicking up into a handstand against the wall

And this one on kicking up into a handstand out in the open

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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More Handstand Q&A

Gonna dip into the mailbag today and answer a couple questions.

——

I had a question that relate to both my bridging, and hand balancing. When I do either, the blood rushes to my head very soon, not letting me hold either very long. Is this normal? Will it go away after more time? Are there any special ways to get around this? I would like to be able to work on both more than I am able to now because of that. Thank you for you great websites and emails!
Thank you,
Justin

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

That’s just a sign of gravity doing its job. The human body is not normally use to being upside down so when you start out it can cause you to feel like your head is about to explode.

I would guess that this happens to most people in one degree or another. And it will get better with time just as you become accustom to the position.

In addition, here’s two things to try out. Holding your breath compounds this problem. Make sure you are breathing easily while you bridge or do handstands. It can be tough in the beginning but you need to breathe for best results.

Second you can do an exercise specifically to get yourself familiar with being upside down. Just go up into a headstand (against a wall or not) and hold for a long time. With practice you’ll be able to do this for minutes at a time. And then you’ll be able to deal with blood rushing to your head.

—–

Handstands are really frustrating to me.  For a while now I’ve been having consistent 3 sec handstands and it hasn’t been improving. I’m also a bboy and my planches are better than my handstands, I can hold a planche-ish thing with my body horizontal and my back bent with my legs slightly at an angle. Kinda like this \_.   Any tips?
Nate

I think the fact that you are strong from break dancing may actually be holding you back on the handstand. The handstand is really a balanced position. You don’t want to have to rely on your strength to hold you there, unlike the planche.

Professor Orlick use to say that it was easier to teach a little kid the handstand than a strong weightlifter because the kid would have to find the balance, while the weightlifter would try to use his strength. If you want to hear more from Prof. Orlick check out the Hand Balancing Mastery Course.

Its hard to say without some more details but give either of these techniques a try. If you are underbalancing, going toward that planche, push back upwards into the handstand. If you find yourself overbalancing correct yourself and get back to neutral.

But the main thing is to just keep working on it. Set a goal to hit 5 seconds and work on that. Really get a feel for the position. In time it will come.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Moving Handstands

When you first get started with the handstand all you want to do is strive to hold it for a longer and longer time. In the beginning that may just be five seconds.

As you get better you’ll eventually reach half a minute, a full minute and even beyond that too.

But is that the best way to make progress in hand balancing? Probably not.

At a certain point to improve your game you should be go outside of the regular handstand. Instead of holding the regular position without moving, purposefully move your legs around. Arch your back more or straighten it out. Break that shoulder angle.

You see its one thing to balance standing still but another thing to keep that balance as you change your position.

So focus on not moving when you’re starting out, but after you’ve hit 30 seconds or so start moving with purpose.

When you can balance from any position you are well on your way.

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

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. If you want tons of positions for you to practice be sure to check out Hand Balancing Made Easy by Prof. Orlick.

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