Tag Archives | Planche

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!

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.”

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

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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One Arm Muscle Up to One Arm Handstand

This is from circus acrobat Yury Tikhonovich.

Yes, it involves a lot of momentum but this is one of the most impressive feats I have ever seen. A one arm muscle up into a one arm half-planche into the one arm handstand.

Isn’t it amazing what people can do these days? After this holding a regular handstand or a normal muscle up just seems easy.

Good Luck and Good Handbalancing,
Logan Christopher

Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups
Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups on Amazon
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Tuck Planche Training

“Hey, I’ve been working on my planche and I went from the frogstand to the tuck planche and I’m kinda stuck there, so anything you got to help would be appreciated.”
Mike

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

Without seeing a picture or video I can’t tell exactly how your tuck planche is looking. But most people when they first do the move, its challenge enough just to raise the body off of the ground with straight arms.

But once that becomes easy the next objective is start moving towards a real planche position. Of course, this needs to be done in small steps. The first one is to keep your back straight.

Then you need to raise your hips. You want to get them on level with your shoulders. And this involves leaning forward to where the shoulders pass over the hands.

This is a great progression to follow to work on the planche. Combined with a few other planche training moves you’ll eventually get there.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. For more on training the planche be sure to check out The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing.

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Handstands When Your Wrists Hurt

A common problem many beginners have with handstands is that their wrists can’t take it.

I know the feeling. From a football injury back in high school my right wrist has never been the same. Its less flexible and even hurts when too much pressure is put on it in certain ways.

Actually working on handstands to regain that flexibility has helped a lot over the years. But recently, due to some other work its been flaring up again.

This means any handstands I do, I’m favoring and leaning to my left side which isn’t good. But there is a way to work around the problem.

And that is doing handstands on bars. Many objects will work; parallettes, pushup handles, kettlebells and more. As long as its stable you can do hand balancing on it.

At first you may have difficulty balancing since it changes the way your hands have to move, but with a little practice it’ll get easier, even more so than balancing on flat ground since you can grip it hard.

So if you have any wrist troubles hop on some bars to give your wrists much needed relief. Even if you don’t use these tools to change up the feel of your handstands.

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

And if you’re doing advanced moves where the wrist must bend even more, like in a planche or some presses, again the bars can be a big help.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. I write more about wrist issues in a special report you can find in the Hand Balancing Mastery Course.

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Sig Klein Tribute


Video of Sig Klein

Sig Klein has to be one of my favorites of the old time strongman. He was just such a perfectly developed athlete. And he did it all from weightlifting, various feats of strength, to muscle control and more.

Not the least of which were his hand balancing abilities. In The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing Bob Jones compliments Sig on his planche, saying it’s the best he’s ever seen of a man of Klein’s size.

A few of Sigmund Klein’s favorite skills were the Tiger Bend and handstand press-ups, usually done between two chairs.

This video is a tribute to a few of the things he did.

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

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Handstand Pushups and Handstand Hand Positions

Got two more handstand questions I’ll dig into today. I have to admit the quality of the questions has stepped up recently at least for the most part. Submit yours at https://lostartofhandbalancing.com/question.html.Here we go. The first one is from Ari.

“OK, Logan, I can balance on my hands, and I have the strength to do handstand pushups, but maintaining balance in an HSPU seems almost impossible. As I lower from the handstand my weight always starts to move to the ventral (stomach) side and unless I bend my legs at the knees so my calves counterbalance the weight, I lose my handstand. How do you maintain a straight bodywhile doing a handstand pushup?”

The first step is to make sure you have the strength to perform the move. When most people do handstand pushups against the wall it’s in an alignment that makes the pushup easier than the form you have to take for a free standing handstand pushup. This is a big topic in and of itself that I’ll have to dig into another time.

The important thing is to have an excess of strength. It’s not good to be burned out after two attempts, since you need to ‘practice’ the move. Onto the balancing.

It is going to be slightly different depending on how straight or arched you are. The thing is that your body will be at an angle and not perfectly vertical from the ground. When your head touches the ground it should be in a triangle formation with the hands. Like the headstand except you don’t rest on the head.

Because of this the upper body and lower body are on different sides of your center of gravity. As if you were lowering down toward the planche.

The most important thing you have to do in order to keep the balance and not fall toward the feet is keeping yourself toward overbalancing. The pressure must be toward your fingers at all times. If you go toward your palms you’ll lose it.

Of course the body has to be kept real tight at the same time. But keep the weight toward your fingers and you’ll be able to stay balanced while doing the pushups.

And here’s one from Ron.

“I’ve been doing handstand training for the past 4 months. For the purpose of experimentation, what are the effects of different hand positioning? In other words, if you spread your hands wider apart, does that provide any benefits, as opposed to keeping the hands at shoulder width?”

Here’s the words of Professor Orlick, from the beginning of chapter 11 in Hand Balancing Made Easy.

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

There is a two-fold purpose for learning these (that is handstands with different hand and arm positions). The first is for the stunts themselves, they look good, impress your audiences and give you personal satisfaction.

The second is for excellent balance they develop. When you vary the position of the hands you are forced to balance less and less with the fingers and hands themselves and more and more with the body as a unified whole. This may not be clear to you right here but after you learn a few of the stunts which are described you will understand exactly what is meant.

He then goes on to list 14 handstand exercises with different hand and arm position and even more in the next chapter. For details on the exact ones check out Handbalancing Made Easy.

But that explains it well enough. Changing your arm position will work your balance to a higher degree. These variations are good to throw into the mix from time to time.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Just to let you know there’s going to be changes to a few of the products next week.

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Handstand Positions, One Hand Balancing and more

Dipping into the mailbag today to answer a few questions. If you’ve got something on your mind, send it my way. You can easily click here to ask away.Here’s a good one from Rose talking about the new 10 Handstand Mistakes report.

“I really love the guide, but some things, to me, are a little confusing. Like where exactly should you bend your back, and what will it feel like when you hit that perfect thing? Is that just something that should be experienced simply by experience? And also, on my hands, I have a hard time really keeping the balance depending on the position of my hands…if I’m leaning forward slightly, or if my fingers are even the slightest moved…Is there anything you can write in there about your experiences with hand positions? Other than that, I can’t really think of anything. Thanks! :D”

Where you bend your back will be dependent on you. Yes you have to experience it but you can learn a lot from looking at pictures and of course watching video.

Most of the bend is in the low back, and personally I feel like I get ‘locked in’ to the right position whenever I do a handstand. Keep at it and you’ll get the feel.

As for the hands, there is much you can do with them. Honestly any position you take with your hands is doable for the handstand, whether its on the fists, hands backwards, or just the thumbs.

But the standard position is hands flat on the ground with either the middle or index fingers pointing forward. Work on this position first and foremost until you have build up your balancing ability.

Once you have a decent handstand feel free to mix up your hand positions. Professor Orlick gives you 25 different hand positions and 10 different finger positions to work on it Hand Balancing Made Easy. Many of these I had never even though about trying.And here’s one from Aldy.

“I can do straddle planche well enough, but I cant do one handstand balance. what is d secret of one hand handstand and one hand planche. for notes, I am not learning gymnastic, because in my country gymnast is not popular. Thank You!!!”

The secret? Alright you asked so I am going to give it to you. The secret is…You have to work up to it progressively.

First off, congratulations on doing the planche. That is a move few can do. But there is a big difference in the planche and the one hand handstand. One requires more strength while the other requires much more balance. And you have to be progressive in your balance training.

Jim Bathurst and I talked at length about this in the interview for the Hand Balancing Mastery Course. Basically you are going to have to train a bit differently for each. Just like you would train the free standing handstand and handstand pushups against the wall differently you should do the same here.

And like the normal handstand, the way I teach it, you have to work on a series of lead up stunts that will give you the ability to balance on one hand. There are many helpful variations that lead up to the one hand handstand. Professor Orlick lays them all out in as easy to use manner in How to do the One Hand Handstand.

I am working on my own plan, exactly what is working for me, but details on that another time.

Since this is already running long I’ll have to save more for next time.

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

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. If you want to get all of Professor Orlick’s works plus the interview with Jim and more than click here.

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Cirque du Soleil: Kooza

Went to Cirque du Soleil this past weekend. The shows title was Kooza.

As expected I was amazed. But I have to say it even exceeded my expectations.

The show is touring through the eastern States now. If it’s coming nearby to you, Go and See It. But the same can be said for any Cirque du Soleil performance.

Unfortunately, no pictures are allowed otherwise I would love to share with you a few of the amazing feats performed.

From the synchronized contortionists to people on stilts being launched in a double back flip. From jumping over people on high wires to the best juggler I’ve ever seen. My favorite was the Wheel of Death. Every single thing was astounding.

Not to mention the funniest clowns ever. I’m not usually a big fan of the clowns but these guys were good.

One great thing was the answer to a question I had posed just a few weeks ago was shown in full force.

I’m talking about the Chinese acrobats hand balancing on chairs.

The hand balancer stacked one chair on top of the other. When he got high up, assistants would hand him chairs by using long poles.

Mind you these are not your average chairs but very sturdy things. They’ve got to be because he went up over 10 chairs high.

By standing on each chair he would place the next on top and press up to get into position. Every couple of chairs he would do a new feat.

A head balance on one. A handstand on another.

To top it off the last chair was not laid flat but tilted to be at a diagonal angle. On top of this the acrobat performed a one arm half-planche or elbow lever.

You could see the chairs wobble and shake.

After he was done they took the chairs done one by one and the act was over.

One thing I realized at this show is that you tend to have great respect for the people practicing the things you know. I could see the contortionists using their hands to balance. I understand how they do what they do (not so much their ungodly flexibility).

Same with some of the acrobatics.

But unicycling or balancing on the tight wire I have no experience with. Not to say I didn’t respect these people, because I did.

But when you know how hard it is to do something it makes you appreciate it more.

Not a lot of people understand the patience and effort over the long haul it takes to accomplish this kind of thing. But you do.

Are you looking for a quick fix or are your prepared to go the distance? The time is going to pass either way so why not become a master at a few things.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. For less than the cost of a ticket, you can get your hands on The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing, to see a bunch of similar feats and learn how to do them.

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

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Weightlifting and Hand Balancing

Does lifting weights help to hand balance? The answer is yes and no.

Let me qualify all the following by saying there are many different ways to lift weights. Whether you are doing power lifting, Olympic lifting, bodybuilding, or just good old fashioned strength training with barbells and dumbbells. How you lift matters as much as anything.

Certain exercises are going to help you out. And others won’t do much for you.

Specifically for pressing movements. It requires a tremendous amount of strength to be able to push your bodyweight overhead. You need strong triceps and shoulders.

Since many presses take you through different planes of movement, not strictly overhead work, such as a press from half planche to handstand or the frogstand press you will also need strong pectoral muscles. Of course your back and abdominals are used to keep you stabilized.

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

If you use weights to make these muscles stronger than you will be able to do these stunts easier.

Of course hand balancing takes a huge degree balance. While weightlifting can help your coordination, it is nothing compared to what you need to stand on your hands.

Being able to press a heavy barbell overhead has no carryover to being able to hold a handstand.

A handstand is a skill and needs to be practiced in order for you to get good at it.

These days many people are moving away from weights because they think they are not functional. To that I have to say it all depends on how you use them.

Whether you decide to build you upper body strength with barbell presses or with handstand pushups is up to you. They both build strength.

Spend some time using both and see how well they work for you.

Professor Orlick outlines a full on course of barbell, dumbbell, bodyweight and other exercises in Hand Balancing Made Easy. If an accomplished hand balancer like him believed in them, than there surely is value in the exercises.

In addition, in the interview I did with Jim Bathurst he talks about his favorite weightlifting exercises and which ones carryover to his hand balancing best.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,

Logan Christopher

P.S. Professor Orlick even has some very creative weightlifting exercises to help with the one hand handstand. Now you can get How to do the One-Hand Handstand by itself.

Hand Balancing and Weightlifting Combined

Hand Balancing and Weightlifting Combined

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Handstand Lead-up Stunts (The Two Arm Elbow Planche)

In Handbalancing Made Easy, Professor E.M. Orlick explains that there are a number of stunts which will  teach you many of the aspects that are needed for a good handstand. Two of these stunts are covered in the downloadable guide. These are the headstand and frogstand. Today I want to talk about one more of the 21 covered in the course.

In his own words these are the benefits on mastering all of these stunts.

The following lead-up stunts constitute stepping stones to perfection. They serve a multiple purpose and are of inestimable value. Taken alone each is a stunt in itself and worth learning even if you had no interest in handbalancing. All of them have something in common to the handstand and thus, pave the way for good handbalancing.

Each accustoms you to the upside-down position of the handstand, each helps to develop the strength, balance and muscular coordination necessary to handbalancing. Many form the very basis of the advanced stunts which will be dealt with later.

Anyone who sincerely desires to become an expert at the art of handbalancing should master each and everyone of these lead-up stunts. Even if you can hold a fairly good handstand now you should practice these stunts, for no matter how good you may be there is always room for improvement.

The Two Arm Elbow Planche.

Two Arm Elbow Planche

In addition to being an excellent lead-up trick the two arm elbow planche plays an important part in advanced handbalancing. Many difficult stunts can be built around it.

To perform the trick 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 two arm elbow planche.

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.

I have also heard this move called many other things, from an elbow lever to a half-arm planche. The obvious next step, and much more advanced, is to switch to doing this move on a single arm.

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.

Looking back I realize just how helpful these lead-up stunts are. I was going after a handstand before I could easily hold a headstand. Logically, you should go after the easier stunts first before tackling the more difficult.

The great thing about this course is just about every stunt and move shown leads in to the next one. If you want to get the One Hand Handstand then you have eight different lead-up stunts before you even attempt it.

On that note don’t forget you can get early access to ordering the Hand Balancing Mastery Course by signing up for the VIP List at Hand Balancing VIP List

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

And you can win yourself a free copy by sending in your success story. Don’t forget to do it soon because the deadline for entries is midnight on Monday, November 19th.

Have fun with this one and until next time…

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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