Tag Archives | Little Bit

Gymnastic Handstand

The gymnastic handstand or straight handstand is a more difficult move then the natural or curved handstand. For that reason I believe a beginner should work on the curved handstand first and once they become proficient at that then they can move onto the straight handstand.

Working on the straight handstand will take a good bit of dedication as you must learn to maintain a straight body while upside-down, something that certainly doesn’t come natural. As with any move its best to learn it in the easiest possible way first. For that reason we go to the wall.


Gymnastic Handstand

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

When working on the gymnastic handstand it is better to face the wall with your body rather then have your back to it. This makes it easier to get into the straight body position. You can cartwheel into position or walk your feet up the wall.

Once you are in the handstand get your hands as close to the wall as possible. Stick your head through your arms. This alone will help your back to stop curving. While keeping the arms locked push through with your chest to open up the shoulders. If this is difficult you may need to work on shoulder flexibility.

Another key part is the lower body. You want to maintain what is known in gymnastics as a hollow body position. That is you tuck your pelvis in. Think as if you were trying to reach your tail bone to your navel and shorten that distance. You may need to practice this position while not in a handstand if it is unfamiliar to you.

Once you have a good position hold for time against the wall. Work up to 2 minutes for multiple sets. If you can do this you have good endurance not just to hold the handstand but to keep your position while you do it. At that point the gymnastic handstand should feel natural to you.

The next step is to transition to freestanding. Instead of just kicking up out in the open start in the straight handstand against the wall and come off a little bit to find your balance. But that will have to be an article for another time…

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Planche Progression

Here you’ll find tips on planche progression.

“I’m 21 years ( physically strong ) I do need to get into Planche. Can you advice me on something to start with ???”
Kenji

I have not built myself up to doing the planche. Haven’t really worked on it much.

But I can give you a variety of drills and methods to build it up, proven by a number of other people who have had success. The basic planche progression is to increase the leverage of the movement little bit by little bit.

That is going from a tucked position to a straddle and finally a complete planche. When you get good at one position, building the strength and skill to do it, you move onto the next.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

I first learned about this method from Coach Sommer. In his article below you’ll get many more details on this planche progression. Plus it also covers the front lever.

Check it out here.

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.

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

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

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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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.

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.

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

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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First Attempts at Parkour

 I was filming another project and I figured I had to give a few of these Parkour moves a shot. As you’ll see in the video, I didn’t have all that much crazy terrain to go off of. But I did manage a few different vaults.

Even that little bit was fun to do. And, after all, you have to start somewhere. You can be sure in the future I’ll be on the lookout for some spots to practice more.

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

After watching the Parkour Tutorial DVD all you have to do is get out there and start doing it.

Good Luck and Good Free Running,
Logan Christopher

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The Ringless Victorian

Victorian Hand Balance

A big thanks to Chris for sending this picture in after last weeks email on the Victorian.

Who needs rings when you’ve got a partner? This is basically the Victorian held in a partner balance.

Notice how far the false grip is used. A necessity as every little bit helps the extreme leverage in this feat.

Having not tried this feat I can’t say for sure but I imagine the partner’s hands add a bit more support than the rings would.

And for a perfect Victorian the hands would have to be brought down a little more towards the hips.

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

Not to take anything away from this acrobatic feat. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything else like this one.

Which brings up another point. If you’ve got any remarkable hand balancing photos send them to [email protected] and there’s a good chance they make an appearance up on the blog.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Combining Kettlebell Juggling with Acrobatics

The other day I went to a park that’s only a couple blocks away to do a little bit of training.

Nothing scheduled, just to work on some skills and have a little fun.

Various acrobatic moves. I’m always working on the backflip in order to get better. Plus walking around on the hands and the like.

On top of that I brought along a kettlebell. Not a heavy one, only 35 lbs., to do some kettlebell juggling.

I always enjoy this combo. Acrobatic work along with the kettlebell juggling.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

Besides them both being fun I find that the juggling tends to work the body in ways hand balancing and tumbling doesn’t.

Toss the weight around. Do a few backflips. Toss it around some more. Work on a one hand handstand. And so on and so forth.

Thirty minutes will blow by so quick and in that time you’ll achieved much. Get a decent workout without trying hard at all. But most importantly you’ll quickly improve your skills. Especially if you string a few practices like this together on a consistent basis.

Now I know that kettlebell juggling isn’t for everyone, nor is hand balancing for that matter. But if you like one I think you should at least give the other a spin.

Over the years I’ve gotten quite good with the kettlebell juggling. And now I can teach you all my moves.

I just released a two DVD set covering everything I know about kettlebell juggling.

I like to keep the various sites I have separate because I know some people are only interested in certain aspects of training. Which is fine and why in general I do just that.

But I just wanted to put out this one notice in case anyone who would be interested missed my other websites.

Like I said before I think they go well together. So give it a shot, you’ll be glad you did. Click here for The Definitve Guide to Kettlebell Juggling

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Of course you need a kettlebell to get started and if you don’t have one you can get the best here.

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Photo Montage with Paulinetti, Jones and more

[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wosNb3MuO7w]

I threw this video together this morning. A little bit of a test run for my editing software, which I am still in the process of learning.

It shows some of my favorite shots from The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing as a photo montage. Kind of a commercial.

If you don’t own the book you’ll definitely want to see these pictures. I said it once and I’ll say it again, “The pictures in this book alone are worth the price.”

Not to worry as there will be more informative clips coming soon.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

Feel free to post your comments directly on youtube, give it a rating, or whatever. Here’s the page for that – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wosNb3MuO7w

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Fellow Hand Balancers

I spent this past weekend as an Assistant Instructor at the Russian Kettlebell Certification.

Kettlebells are a great tool and they could help your hand balancing, as described in part by Rif in the interview found in the Hand Balancing Mastery Course, but that is not the main point of this message.It just that at the event I was practicing a little bit of my hand balancing during some of the off time. Lo and behold some of the people in my group happened to be fellow hand balancers. And not just novices either.

One of them is actually working on a partner hand balancing act. She showed me a video of her and her partner’s hand-on-hand balancing.

How about holding a pretty decent straddle planche? Definitely past the beginner stage.

I also picked up an interesting variation of the forearm stand from yoga that I’ll share with you next time.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

When they found out about my site they went ahead a purchased The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing on the spot.My point is that when you get around like minded people you are likely to learn some new things. I encourage you to get out and find other hand balancers to help you on your path. Its not always an easy thing to do but worth the effort.

If you can join a gymnastics class.

Just practice outside and you might get lucky and stumble upon someone. Who knows?

When you get together you can help one another out. You learn best by teaching after all. You may pick up a crucial tip that benefits you. Plus there is the challenge to out do each other.

If you are fortunate enough to have a like-minded friend then you know what I’m talking about. (On a side note you should tell them about my site so you can talk about and practice many of the tips together.)

If you don’t you gotta find one.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. You can find out much more about kettlebells and many other great training resources right here.

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Changing up your Handstand Pushups

In sticking with the pressing theme started earlier this week I want to cover a little bit more in this tip.

Many people get into hand balancing as a result of doing handstand pushups against a wall. This was the case for me and I know its the same for many others.

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

I learned that holding a handstand then doing pushups is one of the ultimate bodyweight exercises for your upper body. But when I started I couldn’t do a single rep.

Still the idea of one day being able to rep out handstand pushups AWAY from a wall always inspired me and I have made my way toward that goal.

Being able to do freestanding handstand pushups is a feat very few can replicate. Many people do not have the strength. Even fewer have the balance.

One thing I noticed that tends to throw people off is their hand and arm position.

If you were to kick up against a wall to do pushups what position would you take? Is this the same position you’d take away from the wall?

Play around with the width and angle of you hands and arms and you will find you can change the difficulty of handstand pushups considerably.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. There is no way I would have made this much progress without the help of these two men – Professor Paulinetti and Bob Jones.

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