Tag Archives | Parallel Bars

Five Ab Workouts on Parallel Bars

It’s pretty much impossible to become an excellent hand balancer if don’t have very strong abs. Without strong abs your back has to over compensate and you don’t want that.

Here are five exercises by Incite Fitness on parallel bars which will help strengthen your abs:

1. Leg Raises
2. X’s
3. Scissors
4. Knee tucks
5. L-Seats

Some of these are pretty advanced, so you might want to start with something a bit easier. Check out my Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Ab Exercises to discover the best bodyweight exercises for abs development with tons of progression workouts.

Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups
Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups on Amazon
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How to Perform a Human Flag On Parallel Bars

61 year old Paul Scott often hangs out at the Santa Monica Rings where he can be seen performing the human flag and holding it for quite some time. In this very cool video he gives instructions on the human flag using parallel bars to a random guy who just happened to be there and wanted to learn.

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

I’ve never seen this technique before. It relies on using legs to get upside down and then slowly laying your body out using parallel bars.

More in-depth tutorial on how to do the human flag on regular poles can be found here.

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5 Craziest Gymnastic Moves

I saw this video of the 5 Craziest Gymnastic Moves and felt it had to be shared here. You most likely have never seen these moves (and possibly never even heard of them) unless you’re in the profession.

#5 – 1.5 Twisting Kovacs on the Gymnastic High Bar

#4 – Triple Twisting Double Backflip on the Floor

#3 – Full Twisting Triple Backflip off the High Bar

#2 – Triple Backflip from the Parallel Bars

#1 – The Tkachev Salto

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

Now you may not agree that these are the craziest moves EVER but they’re certainly up there and a blast to watch.

If you have any other crazy videos to share post a link below. And if you can do any of these skills (or even come close) tell us about it.

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Gymnastic Clips

As I’ve reported here I’ve started going back to gymnastics. My skills quickly returned and I feel I’m beginning to break new ground. Below you can watch a couple clips from Tuesday night’s session.

First off, the back flip. I’m happy to be able to do this skill once again on the floor. But as you can see in the video I’m still jumping too far back and not up enough. Sometimes even when you know what you need to do, its not always easy to correct it. But then last night I was on and going just about straight up.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

Second is the round-off to the back handspring. One of the things I haven’t quite mastered yet is stringing moves together. Hence this move, as I’m just getting use to it is done on mats. It feels fairly easy but I know I’ll need many more reps in it.

Third in the video is swings on the parallel bars, as I mentioned previously here. One of the great things about video is that is shows you your weaknesses. In some ways it can be even better than a coach, as someone else can tell me what I’m doing, but seeing it myself is something else. What I noticed here was that my legs were not tight and together. Once I corrected that I was getting more air.

I’ll be having more clips in the future.

Good Luck and Good gymnastics,
Logan Christopher

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New to Parallel Bars

I was back at gymnastics last night.

Instead of the normal routine of starting with a bunch of tumbling we did something different by working on the parallel bars. Besides a few dips this is not something I’ve much experience in.

We started off with swings. Going from a planche-like position with a hollow body to just the reverse. You keep your arms locked out the entire time and generate momentum while keeping the body tight. In the future I may try to get some video or at least pictures up of it.

It’s a fun move and can be interesting once you start to get some real height on the swings.

We also did a few other basic moves like shoulder stands and various rolls.

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

By no means did I pull of anything amazing but since it was my first real introduction I’m happy with it. And I’ll definitely be back, especially working on those swings.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Planche and Hand Position

A few comments were raised about the hand position in Rafael Guerrero’s planche in a previous post.

Why was he up on the fingertips? Is this necessary to do a planche in good form?

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

Unless you have hyper-flexible wrists you won’t be able to do a planche with the fingers pointing forwards and flat on the ground. Most people turn their wrists out to the sides to alleviate this sort of strain or come up on the fingers.

But there are other ways to do a planche with the hands not taking as much stress as these other pictures by Rafael show. You can do it on some sort of parallel bars.

Planche on Bars
Or completely on the fingertips.

Top Planche on Fingertips
Even in a hand-to-hand balance.

Top Planche in High Hand to Hand Balance
But if you do have the wrist flexibility you can do it on flat ground with the palms flat on the ground and facing forward. In the True Art and Science of Hand Balancing the chapter on planches showcases W.H. Mering doing just that.

And if you’re seeking to build incredible strength like these planches show I have an important announcement later this week. Stay tuned!

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

A few comments were raised about the hand position in Rafael Guerrero’s planche in a previous post. (If you missed that you can find it at https://lostartofhandbalancing.com/blog/the-true-planche/.)

Why was he up on the fingertips? Is this necessary to do a planche in good form?

Unless you have hyper-flexible wrists you won’t be able to do a planche with the fingers pointing forwards and flat on the ground. Most people turn their wrists out to the sides to alleviate this sort of strain or come up on the fingers.

But there are other ways to do a planche with the hands not taking as much stress as these other pictures by Rafael show. You can do it on some sort of parallel bars.

Or completely on the fingertips.

Even in a hand-to-hand balance.

But if you do have the wrist flexibility you can do it on flat ground with the palms flat on the ground and facing forward. In the True Art and Science of Hand Balancing the chapter on planches showcases W.H. Mering doing just that. Check out the book for more.

If you’re seeking to build incredible strength like these planches show I have an important announcement later this week. Stay tuned!

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Mako Sakamoto's Handstand Pushup Record

Mako Sakamoto is not likely a name you have heard. He was a US National Champ in the 1960’s and has coached many successful gymnasts, including Olympic Gold Medalist Peter Vidmar.

One day during the athletes training they decided to find out how many freestanding handstand pushups they could do on the parallel bars. Mind you that these were full range, dropping down to the shoulders, not the head, and pressing back up. Coach Sakamoto got 19 on that day.

But he continued to train for many years. Twelve more to be exact, when he was 50 years old he set a new record. 163 consecutive full range freestanding handstand pushups.

One Hundred Sixty-Three!

He is over 60 years old now and still trains every morning. Though he won’t be breaking that record he can easily do 75 handstand pushups in the same manner which is far and beyond what most people would dream of doing.

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

To most people who can’t do a single rep or hold a handstand, that number seems unfathomable. But with the right training and true dedication it can be done.

I learned of this amazing feat from Coach Sommers over at www.GymnasticBodies.com. Check out his site and especially the new book Building the Gymnastic Body for great gymnastic training information.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. If you want to get started on your first freestanding handstand pushups you can get it in this month’s Acrobat Accelerator.

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Paul Hamm, Olympic Gold and the Rings

I can remember it like it was yesterday even though it was about four years ago.

Had never paid all that much attention to the Olympics before but this year was different.

My good friend and I were watching the men’s individual all-around competition. Gymnasts are truly some of the worlds strongest athletes but the Olympic level is just ridiculous.

There was some amazing competition. Of course, I was rooting for the USA and I got to see one of the most amazing comebacks ever in the history of sports.

After a disastrous fall on the vault it looked like Paul Hamm was out of the running. But two near perfect routines on the parallel bars and horizontal bar put him back in front.

Not only did he win the Gold but he was the first American to ever to so at the Olympics in the all-around competition. We were going crazy with excitement.

Yes there was some controversy behind a scoring error, but watching that piece of history will forever be burned in my mind.

It’s amazing what these athletes can do. It’s unreal.

How do they build that kind of strength and skill? One its how they train, which is long hours every single day working on perfecting their routines.

But it is also what they train with. The tools and apparatus on which they train. A big key to build gymnastic strength is to train the same way.

One of the most basic tools for the gymnast, and the one that epitomizes all that is gymnastics, are the rings.

There is nothing quite like ‘em. If you’ve never mounted a pair you’d be surprised at just how much you body shakes as you try to support your bodyweight.

Forget the iron cross or maltese. Can you manage a few pullups or dips? What about the classic muscle-up?

Well, now you can answer those questions. Now you can get started training your way to building Olympic level strength with the Elite Gymnastic Rings.

Not only that but you can get instructed by another world champion and Olympic medalist in how to use them.

And if you want to really impress someone do a handstand on top of the rings. Now that’s balance!

Paul’s performance on the rings back in 2004 was before the fall and comeback (a decent 9.587) but you can be sure I’ll be watching the gymnastics this year, especially the rings.

The difference is this time I’ll be training right alongside him. Will you?

Sincerely,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Notice that on either of the two pages as the bottom in the P.S. you can get both the Gymnastic Rings and the Ring Strength DVD in a special combo deal and save.

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

P.P.S. And yes, if you didn’t know, Paul Hamm will be back in Beijing. I’m rooting for a repeat.

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Routine for Abs

Here is a routine for abs especially for people who want to be strong for acrobatics and hand balancing.

A couple of you went ahead and purchased Gymnastic Abs and that may be one of your smartest moves. But I figured you might be one of those people sitting on the fence about it. Let me tell you about my current routine I have put together using this course. Some of these moves you have undoubtedly heard of, but others may be new to you.

Leg Raises. Usually 3 or 4 sets of these either hanging or on the parallel bars. It’s a matter of increasing reps and then increasing height until you get your legs all the way up.

The other exercises are done in a circuit fashion. V-Ups, Russian Ballet Thrusts, Side Plank Raises, and Compressions.

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

One of the biggest things I picked up from Ed’s course is these compressions. Of course there are different ways to do it but it’s an isometric contraction that will work everything. Not only does it strengthen your abs but it builds your ability to compress them, hence the name. This one alone is worth the price because it will make straight arm handstand presses easier. Unfortunately this move has alluded me for a long time, but not too much longer. I then finish of with hollow body rocks and arch rocks. These act as great finishers especially done ‘til you can’t do anymore.

Whether you get the Gymnastic Abs program or not just make sure you train those abs hard and with your whole body.

Good Luck and Good Ab Training,
Logan Christopher

P.S. If you’ve got any questions about the course I’d be happy to answer them for you. Shoot your question to me here.

Leg Raises

Leg Raises

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Handstands and Hand/Grip Positions

First off I want to remind you that the New Year’s Sale is still going. Check Hand Balancing New Year’s Sale to see how you can save 20.08% off of everything. It ends Saturday so if you’re putting it off you better do it now before you forget.For today I’ll dig into the question bag and answer another one.

When I think of how handstands are done with flat palms, I think of how pushups are also done with flat palms. Similarly, both have been done on a bar (pronated grip) or on a set of parallel bars (neutral grip). I have seen variant pushups done with a reversed grip (supinated) and indeed, I think this is the position people take for doing planches. There are also pushups done on fists, on the back of the hand instead of the palm (wrists flexed instead of extended as usual) and on fingertips. While I did hear of some shaolin master doing a supported handstand (with wall) on two fingers, I have never seen these variations addressed in any guides. Are you familiar with anything like that, attempted any of the difficult variations, or have ideas about them?
-Tyciol

This is more than one question so I will break it apart.

Handstands can be done with a variety of grips. Of course you have the standard extended wrist position. But every other way you can move your hands is a way you can do handstands.

Parallel bars do add extra dimensions, and having something to grip can help you be stronger, but similar positions can be taken on the floor if you make your hands into fist.

The supinated grip, where your fingers are pointed back the opposite way of normal, makes a handstand much harder to do. Planches could be done like this, but more often you just turn them slightly out from the normal straightforward location.

Fingertip handstands is a big subject that I will cover in some more detail soon.

As far as do any of the books cover training for this stuff, the answer is absolutely.

In Hand Balancing Made Easy, Professor Orlick covers all of the various hand positions you can do in a handstand. In total I counted 35 exercises covering different positions for the fingers and hands.

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

When you master all these you can balance from just about any position. If you can do a normal handstand try turning your hands. Just a few attempts at doing a handstand with your hands backwards and you will understand the benefits. Great for flexibility too.

You can get this book alone at  or as part of the Hand Balancing Mastery Course.And in The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing, Bob Jones brings you through the progressions he used to master his famous Thumb Stand.But don’t order any of these from the page itself. Get your discount at the Hand Balancing New Year’s Sale

. The sale ends on Saturday.Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. I dug up and old picture I had forgotten about of an interesting feat my friend and I performed. You’ll get to see it next time.

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