Tag Archives | mobility drill

The Tiger Bend

The Tiger Bend!

On top of being a skill to work towards on its own, the tiger bend is also a good way to work up to a full on handstands. Since you are resting on your entire lower arm and hand you have a bigger base with which to balance.

When you get over the fact that it can be an odd position to try and get into, the benefits of the tiger bend start to shine. All the main points of holding a handstand are still there, like keeping tight, but you may have to arch your back a little more for this one.

Though it is a lateral move to the handstand, its also an advanced move that can increase the control and variety of skills you have in your library. It involves going from the Forearm Stand up into a Handstand. With a little overbalancing and strong triceps you can get there.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

Since this is a move that can’t be pulled off quickly, here are two easier ways. Do the negative movement which is dropping from a Handstand into a Forearm Stand. When you go for this don’t just fall into the position but control it as much as possible.

You can also do Tiger Bend Pushups. Get in a normal pushup position except you are resting on your forearms instead of the hands. Without any rocking motion pushup on to your hands to the top position and lower back down.

These moves aren’t performed often but that doesn’t mean they aren’t great.

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

P.S. For the more advanced inverted artist, you can try to duplicate Johnny Weber’s one arm Tiger Bend. Find out how to do it in The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing. The picture above is of Sig Klein from the same book.

 

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The Path of the Shaolin Monk: Training with your Fingers

What’s interesting to me is about how many people have embraced the benefits and fun of being inverted. You can catch people training at a park or even at you’re local gym. Although, if there is one form of hand balancing that you don’t see much of today, its training with your fingers.

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

Let me start off with a word of caution. The fingers are small and fragile. You have to start off by being mindful of your body while beginning your training; otherwise you may end up breaking them, snapping tendons or any number of bad possibilities. 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, your hand and finger strength will improve over time. 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.

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

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

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.

If starting with your finger is still a bit away from your level, but you want to develop your hand balancing, check out our handstand mastery course.

Stay Inverted
-Jonathan Magno

 

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The First Stunt of 2017: Part 2

Elbow Lever

A couple of days ago we talked about the Elbow Lever and gave you a quick lesson on how achieve the skill. If you missed, out I’ll include the lesson at the end of this post just in case.

Today, I’ll be talking to you about a different aspect of the lead-up stunt. The Benefits.

Why is this stunt helpful? It trains the balancing aspect on your hands from a low center of gravity. You also have to keep a decent arch and your body tight or else you will touch the ground with more than your hands.

Internally, these lead-up stunts help to fill in the foundational blocks to understanding how to control your body. Logically, you should strive toward building small successes. The more consistent you are at being successful and learning the intricacies of the moves, the closer you’ll get to that freestanding handstand or more.

Before I forget…

Elbow Lever Quick Lesson:

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

To perform this lead- stunt kneel on the floor, bring both elbows together and place them in your stomach and turn the palms of the hands facing upwards. Now lean forwards slowly and place the hands flat on the floor with your fingers pointing backwards. Arch your back slowly until your toes leave the floor and you will be doing the elbow lever.

You will find the balance a little difficult at first but just keep on practicing. The stunt can also be performed on the edge of a table or on the end of any ordinary bed.

Stay Inverted
-Jonathan Magno

P.S. If you want to own your elbow lever or your other hand balance lead-up stunts check out our handstand mastery course.

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A broom, your body, and handbalancing!

Everyone has done this at one time or another. A broom is a common item but any long straight object will do just fine.

Put one end on your open palm with the other end straight up in the air and keep it there by balancing.

This is not very difficult and let me tell you why. The broom is straight and solid. Your efforts at balancing it from the bottom translate straight up to the top so it is quite easy to keep it in the air.

Of course, this is related to hand balancing. However, there are some big differences.

Your body is not just one straight long object. You have mobile joints at your elbows, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. And then there’s your spine which has many moving pieces.

This is not an anatomy lesson. My point is that your efforts of balancing on your hands may not directly translate to keeping your feet in the air.

Your target must be keeping your body from wrists to toes unmoving so that you can balance.

Keeping your body tight is the key to holding a quality handstand. Any leak means getting out of proper position and a much tougher time getting back in.

So stay tight, but don’t forget to breathe.

In the beginning all this is not as easy as it appears, especially when you are in the unfamiliar upside down position. But keep practicing.

When you can keep your body rigid then handstands are a piece of cake.

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

P.S. Although this post is about keeping a straight line, sometimes you need to be a bit more bendable or flexible. Increase your body’s strength and mobility by working on your handstand pushups.

 

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon
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Friday the 13th: Some Positive Motivation!

It’s officially the first Friday the 13th of the year. To move you all through the day with positivity, we have a motivational video coming from Metin Dabak.

Not only did he manage to perform 50 handstand pushups in five sets, but he claims to have done them in supersets with weighted chin-ups.

Test yourself this weekend and see if you can complete the same challenge!

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

P.S. If you need help with your handstand pushups, check out the Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups to learn how to perform them as soon as possible.

 

How to do the One Hand Handstand by Professor Orlick
ow to do the One Hand Handstand on Amazon
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Underwater Handstands and where to spot?

Is doing an underwater handstand a good idea? Read below for that and other questions from readers like you. Remember that if you want your questions answered just email them to me. I can’t personally reply to all of them but I will post them for all to see.

Here’s the first one:

Thank you so much for the good tips. I am just a beginner of the hand stand on land. I already know how to do headstand (“King of Yoga” ). I also do good hand stand and hand walk underwater in the swimming pool at my local LA Fitness. In fact I handwalked the entire length of the pool in one breath few days ago. But I find it much more difficult to do hand stand on land. Shall I keep practicing underwater hand stand and hand walk while trying to learn hand stand on land? Will I pick up “bad habits” while doing the underwater hand balancing?
Best regards, Brian Ko

Now I have never heard this one before. Not having practiced in the water it is hard to say for sure but here are my feelings.

Water is going to give you some resistance for you to push off of. This is why it is easier. When you balance on land you cannot push off the air in this manner. I imagine that you will be balancing with your body rather than your hands for the most part. If you want to be able to do a handstand on land then you should be practicing that.

The other thing is holding the breath. Obviously this must be done if you are underwater, and unless you have great lungs you won’t be able to balance for a long time. However, in hand balancing you do not want to hold your breath. A big key, and also something hard to learn, is to be able to breathe normally when you practice.

My advice is to stick to the land. It is harder but you will get the hang of it. There may be some benefit from practicing underwater but I the time would be better spent on solid ground.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

And from our friend Seth:

Hello, I was wondering where is the best place to look while you are in a handstand, I find myself always looking at the ground, but recently I started trying to look forward and keeping neck straight. Which way is correct? Thank you for all your help it is very much appreciated.

Both are correct depending on what you are going for. Most of the time I look at the ground. I find this position easier. Remember that the back tends to follow the head, so if you are looking at your hands then you will naturally arch.

Now if you look forward then your back will straighten out and this will give you the straight handstand look and feel. Once you get use to this position it can be just as easy as the other one.

It all depends on what you are going for but both are correct for hand balancing.

That wraps it up for today.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

PS   Jonathan here! If you need more guidance in 2017 toward your handbalancing goals, try out our Handstand Mastery Program!

 

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Make Haste Slowly, A Late Start to 2017

2017 day 4. If i had my way I would have given you this advice on day 1 of this year inspiring you and guiding you towards your right track. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out that way. Each day of 2017 has involved an odd occurence. Had my phone pick-pocketed from me on the first day, hurt my back on the second, and we move forward. If I had the capacity to turn back time and redo, I would. Unfortunately that isn’t the case.

Much in the same way with your training. If there was a pill that you could take, that would immediately transform you into a world class hand balancer, would you take it?

YES I would! Unfortunately, there is no such pill.

Becoming a great hand balancer requires work and perserverance. Lots and lots of work. Especially if you “start late.”

The problem is that the more you want it and push for it sometimes the farther away it seems.

The worst part of learning any new stunt is the frustration when you just can’t get it right. So you keep on pushing and only get worse it seems.

When you are going after a handstand, and mind you this applies to any trick, as soon as you fall out of balance you may want to kick right back up again. Trying to force the situation will never help.

Whenever this happen take the time to step back. Take a deep breath and think about how you can do better. Don’t over think the process, but analyze your technique and realize if you are doing things correctly.

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

Now go at it again with optimism.

If you throw yourself into a hand balance you may feel like you can get more work in a shorter amount of time. Maybe you get one in ten to stick and you feel like you are progressing.

The question to ask yourself is do you want to go about this haphazardly or in the correct manner?

I am hoping you answered with the second option. You need to start slowly in order to make progress in the long run.

Going after the handstand with no prior skills is a hard way to do it. Learning the position and hand control with exercises like the Frog stand and Head Stand will give you two steps in the right direction.

Don’t just go after the One Hand Handstand by getting into a normal handstand and raising one hand off of the floor quickly. Practice handstands with a smaller base of support or with one arm elevated up.

Don’t be too anxious to get to your goal or you are putting obstacles in your own way.

If you needed to cover a distance of 30 feet would you try a broad jump or walk each step at a time?

I am as guilty of this problem as any of you. What we need to do is realize how much assistance exercises and lead-up stunts can help, use them, and in the end we will make progress faster.

By breaking your goal into easier steps along the way you will get there with haste.

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

PS   If you need more guidance in 2017 toward your handbalancing goals, try out our Handstand Mastery Program!

 

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Tired from the Holidays? Let the Professor Help!

So which Professor are we talking about?

Professor E.M. Orlick. You’ve probably read the last few post about him and have wondered why his material is so great.

Here is an excerpt from Handbalancing Made Easy, which forms just one of many pieces of the new course coming out soon. This covers many of the benefits of hand balancing no matter your reasons for doing it.

“I honestly believe that handbalancing is one of the finest mind-body activities there is, and that everyone should learn something about this invigorating sport. I am also convinced that our national health, both mental and physical, would improve materially, if all of our people spent a little time each day in the stimulating upside-down position.

FOR THE GYMNAST, the ability to hold a perfect handstand is a must. This stunt, with its numerous variations, is used more often in gymnastics than any other trick known to man. Without it, you cannot become a champion gymnast, or even an accomplished performer.

FOR THE ACROBAT, whether amateur or professional, the handstand is of similar importance, because it can be used in such a great variety of ways and in such a multitude of different acts. The handstand belongs in the repertoire of every good acrobat.

FOR THE BODYBUILDER, and all others interested in building impressive, muscular, he-man physiques, the handstand is a natural. Not only does handbalancing help to build big, powerful muscles, but it also shows off the well-developed body to its best advantage. Furthermore, it proves to the whole world that your muscles are not a lot of useless bulk, because handbalancing requires a find combination of balance, controlled strength, and neuro-muscular coordination.

FOR THE WEIGHTLIFTER, and other strength athletes, the handstand serves a similar purpose, but does even more, for it helps to develop terrific pressing strength. All good handbalancers possess powerful triceps. I have yet to find one who could not press his own body weight over his head. Some can press much more, even though they have never practiced weight-lifting. Most handbalancers practice some weight-lifting to help them with their sport, and likewise, many weight-lifters do some handbalancing to help them improve their lifts.

FOR THE ATHLETE, no matter what his favorite sport may be, handbalancing is a wonderful, exhilarating, strength-building activity. It is particularly good for those sports which require strong fingers, wrists, forearms, upper arms, shoulders, upper back and lower back. However, it exercises all of the muscles of the body to some degree, is a good circulation stimulator, and a fine warm-up exercise.

FOR THE ORDINARY PERSON, who just wants a strong, healthy, useful body, which can serve him efficiently and enable him to enjoy a happy, exciting life, handbalancing is just the thing. Handbalancing brings into play every muscle in your body and has a beneficial effect upon all of your vital organs and systems. It improves circulation, respiration, digestion, elimination, and other important functions. It aids thinking and reasoning by bringing more blood to your brain, and more oxygen to your blood. It is challenging and exciting and has a beneficial effect upon the central nervous system as a whole. There is no better way to get fit and stay fit…mentally and physically… than through handbalancing.

HANDBALANCING is more than a series of stunts, more than a system of exercising, it is a way of life. To be a good handbalancer you need a sound mind in a sound body. You need strength of character, will-power, self-confidence, determination, perseverance, and the will to succeed. You need a mind free from worry, fear, and tension. You need a medically fit body, that is free from disease, injury, or infection. You need good balance, fine coordination and rapid recuperative powers. You need strength, stamina, and endurance; you need vim, vigor and vitality. You need mental and physical fitness of the highest order.”

As you can see Prof. Orlick was a huge believer that anyone and everyone can benefit from doing some hand balancing.

P.S. Why does it seem like all the best teachers of hand balancing seem to be professors or doctors? Maybe I should go get a degree.

If you are still unsure, why not just follow our lead and get your hand balancing skills in order.
We’ll even help you out by giving you a 50% discount til the end of 2016 to 3 of our Hand Balancing Products using the code: NEWTRICKS

 

Hand Balancing Made Easy – Beginner/Intermediate

Walking and Jumping On Your Hands – Intermediate/Advanced

How to do the One Hand Handstand – Advanced

 

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

Get one or all 3 of the books before 2016 ends.

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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Get a Head Start on 2017 Before 2016 ENDS!?

It’s almost 2017 and its pretty much the closing of a very interesting year. But no matter what environmental factors happen around us, we always have a choice to progress and be successful.

So, let me ask you a question.

What have you decided to in order to progress for 2017?

I’ll give you a second to think about that…

For many of us, the question hasn’t formulated in our heads yet, because we are still in “Holiday Mode.” For the ones that are going to kill it this 2017, the planning has already begun.

If you are still unsure, why not just follow our lead and get your hand balancing skills in order.
We’ll even help you out by giving you a 50% discount til the end of 2016 to 3 of our Hand Balancing Products using the code: NEWTRICKS

Hand Balancing Made Easy – Beginner/Intermediate

Walking and Jumping On Your Hands – Intermediate/Advanced

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

How to do the One Hand Handstand – Advanced

 

Get one or all 3 of the books before 2016 ends.

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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Why am I still talking about flexibility?

Whats going on fellow handbalancers! This one is a bit of a rant lol.

If you remember from a few posts back I was discussing with you about flexibility. (PS if you don’t remember, just go here.)

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

Well here I am back at it again. The reason why? Its that I keep seeing the need for it in my daily life as a coach and/or trainer.(whichever you choose)

We are in a time when people are healthier than they have been in the past 5-10 years. We understand that we need to get our bodies strong and fit in order to elongate our lives but also to enjoy more of what if has to offer. All of the marketing and reality shows have probably helped. Although people are still getting stronger and faster, I still see a consistent issue. In fact its the top thing people have been coming to me for lately.

Flexibility. A typical situation is to have a new client call me up or email. The usual verbage is that they were working on their own or with a previous trainer and they hurt themselves. But they don’t know why but want to keep training without being inhibited. (Huge red flag for me) Awareness of your own body is key while your training. There are those cases where their movement patterns are off but that can be discussed at a later time. I do an assessment of their form and alignment and notice a few things. Maybe its overly stressed traps or tight it band causing irritation in the back. We get to work on a few flexibility protocols and in up to a few short weeks they are able to complete their programming without inhibited movements.

So why is this so important? If you have a muscular imbalance or tightness in certain areas of your body, it can cause not so needed stress to other areas as an effect. You can look at how the protocols for tennis elbow have changed in the past 3 -4 years to see what I’m talking about.

So do yourself a favor and get more flexibility! If you need a program, try the GMB Focused Flexibility Program.

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

 

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