Tag Archives | Muscles

Handstand Muscles

Today’s post will answer another question from the many I regularly receive.

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

“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.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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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.

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

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.

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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Parkour Terrain and How Much to Practice Handstands

Thought I answer a couple more questions today. Lots of them have been coming in recently. While I can’t get to every one individually I’ll try to answer them in these posts.

“I always wanted to start parkour and didn’t know how to start. When I saw the dvd that your selling I thought this is an excellent starting point, but the problem is that there is no vaults, rails etc… in the place that I live in. Any suggestions?”
Ahmed

Unfortunately, Parkour does require a certain kind of terrain in order to really practice the moves. My advice is to just be on the lookout for anything you can use.

While most people practice in cities even small benches and fences can give you a few obstacles to overcome. Most places should have some walls you can climb and areas to jump off of.

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

The most basic moves can even be practiced with nothing like jumping and rolling.

But in the end you may have to travel a bit to get the best results.

To learn all the Parkour basics get the Parkour Tutorial DVD.

“I have training towards the goal of achieving a full range of motion handstand pushup, I am currently still doing the regular hand stands, which I have not mastered yet. How often would you advise to train handstands.”
Ashley

To keep it short, the more practice you do the better you’ll get.

Handstands are a very tough skill. Getting to the point where you can do them easily and consistently is going to take many hours of practice.

So to get best results you should practice them every single day. How much you do it is up to you. You can do one long practice or spread it out over the day.

And if you’re just beginning you may have to work up to this volume of training.

Before working on the handstand pushup you should be consistent with your handstands. And because this move can also be taxing on your muscles you may have to practice it a bit less.

I hope that helps. Later this week I’ll have another video or two to show you.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. On another topic, I’m doing a free teleseminar on hitting your training goals this Wednesday. Its more focused on strength training but will cover practicing skills as well. If you want to sign up for the Goal Teleseminar click here.

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Tumbling Tip to Train Relaxation + A Deadline

Today is the last day you’ll be able to get your hands on the Tumbling Course for the launch price of $49. After midnight tonight (PST), it goes up to $79.

I know I’ve been mentioning a lot. But I don’t want someone to come after me in an angry manner because they failed to see it coming. This is your last chance!

Now on to a great comment from a reader. About why you NEED to have the most basic tumbling skills.

Also a great tip for training yourself to relax through tumbling moves and not tense up. Something I’ll be practicing myself. I wish I had thought of it.

Hey Logan

This looks like a great course I will be ordering it soon.

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

I learned many tumbling moves from my Ju Jitsu and Judo training, I think people need to learn this valuable tool.

I remember my instructor telling me a woman who use to take her son to his Ju Jitsu class use to watch them tumble and do break falls.

Well one day she fell down a flight of stairs and was able to walk away from that fall with a few bumps and scrapes, due to her learning how to tumble in her sons class and without ever practicing them.

She told him that if it wasn’t for her being able to tumble she would have broken her neck or back.

So tumbling is not just for exercising only but it can be good for your health and well being, also for self defense purposes as I teach my students to tumble as opposed to break falling, this way they can pop up off the ground and fight standing up instead of staying on the ground and fighting from there if they are knocked down.

That’s not a good place to be in a street fight.

Here is a tip I learned that helped me in tumbling; when rolling in any direction always hum as you do it, as you roll if you catch yourself not humming you tightened up your muscles in that area.

Which means you have to either loosen the muscles in the area or relax more, then when you can hum all the way through the movement you have mastered the roll.

Well take care Logan

Daniel
www.SuperHeroSystems.com

Thanks Daniel. Its true that you need to know how to roll should you ever need it.

For some reason I always picture having to roll out of a car going high speeds on the freeway, but falling down stairs is a better example, and much more common.

If you don’t know how to roll safely and effectively, take the time to learn it. If you never move beyond those rolls that’s alright. Just learn those necessary skills.

But if you want to move beyond the basics than you know where to start. (Although this course does teach the most basic moves, as well as everything progressing up to the most advanced.)

Get the Tumbling Course here.

Once again, last chance to get it at this price. Don’t put it off any longer.

Good Luck and Good Tumbling,
Logan Christopher

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Just who is Professor E.M. Orlick?

If you’ve read the Complete Beginner’s Guide to Holding a Handstand than you were already introduced to this amazing man.

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.

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

“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.

And don’t forget you can win a copy of the entire course for free. See the details on the blog below.

More details to be released soon. I am working like a banshee to get everything ready but it is looking real good.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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. Until then you can check out Professor Paulinetti’s work.

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