Tag Archives | Progressions

On Parallettes

Back at the end of January I had the pleasure of meeting up with some new friends at a seminar they were hosting.

It was some top quality gymnastic strength type training information suitable for all levels.

It was a lot of fun and some of the exercises and drills were new to me. That’s saying something because I have a bit of experience in this field.

The best part though has to be the progressions. As you know training with balancing and bodyweight exercises it isn’t always easy to make the jump from one skill to the next. Progressions are the key that makes it work.

I’ve convinced them to give you some info to get started regarding training with parallettes.

In case you don’t know parallettes are mini parallel bars. The sizes can differ but they allow for some fun and unique training as you‘ll come to see.

Any pushup bar or similar setup can be used.

In fact in my book The Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups I show you how to make them. But I’m not going to make you buy the book to get started.

Over at my friend Mike’s site he has a good tutorial on how to put a set of parallettes together for cheap.

And tomorrow Ryan Hurst will show you how to use them. Stay tuned.

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Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Straight Arm Press

It’s a skill that has long eluded me. A straight arm press.

With my long limbs, I don’t have the leverage and flexibility to quite get the move. Bent arm presses are easy. Straight arm presses not so much. But I am making progress.

There are a number of ways you can work up to this skill. And today I’ll be discussing one which has been a big help.

Straddle Straight Arm PressThe first straight arm press to work on is from a straddle. With the legs spread wide the idea is to bring them out and around as you come up into a handstand.

This skill takes strong arms, particularly the shoulders as you must support your body in a leveraged position. Plus you need the ab and core strength to raise the legs up while holding yourself in space.

As the legs start low, it makes sense that in order to make this move easier, you start off with the legs on a raised platform. From here it’s like starting in the middle of the move. The higher up you go the easier it becomes (that is until a certain point where it just becomes awkward due to the height).

As you improve you ability to raise off the ground in complete control, with no momentum, you can lower the height you start from. Eventually you’ll make it to the ground.

Follow this progression and you’ll be able to do straight arm presses from a straddle. From there you can move onto more difficult progressions.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

Tumbling Illustrated
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Handstand Endurance

In my last post on juggling I talked about the differences between learning most skills and that of hand balancing. The biggest difference being that hand balancing takes a lot of strength and endurance.

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People talk about having the proper position which places the stress along the structure of the body versus using your strength to hold yourself up. This is true.

One Hand Handstand

Building endurance holding this position against the wall allows you to train more when trying to learn the balance.

But either way you will only be able to hold a handstand so long. What can you do to increase this time?

While holding a handstand out in the open is largely a matter of balance, you know once you get past a certain point fatigue starts to set in.

By working to increase the time you can hold a handstand against the wall you can increase your endurance overall. You should be able to balance and hold a freestanding handstand longer with more endurance.

But the main benefit is you’ll also have the endurance to train longer with greater effectiveness.

So even if you are working on balancing, still spending some time against the wall to improve your endurance will benefit you.

This applies to more than just the basic handstand. Why not try the same thing with the one hand handstand?

Of course, as going for long timed holds against the wall is fatiguing you’ll want to do these at the end of your practice, not at the start.

The same can be said of handstand pushups. Are you working on presses and freestanding handstand pushups? Make sure you have adequate strength to work on the skills of the movements. And to do that increase your reps and follow the progressions laid out in The Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups.

Work to increase your skills. Work to increase your endurance. Both lead towards the same goal.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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You Need Strong Abs for Hand Balancing

Let’s face it, you will NEVER become an excellent hand balancer or acrobat without having incredibly strong abs. Powerful statement but true.

Have you neglected training this area with the same kind of force you train the rest of your body? I know I did for a long time but that has changed.

One of the presenters at a seminar I attended last year led us through a long series of abdominal exercises. Many of which I had never done or heard of before.

These exercises were for the abs but they used the whole body. And after doing a few of them I could feel it everywhere.

You will be teaching your body how to act as one unit. Does this sound familiar? It should because that’s exactly what you need do pull off any hand balancing stunt.

It turns out the guy teaching us, Ed Baran, had started gymnastics at the age of 35. In order to get better at hand balancing and tumbling he was told he needed to strengthen his abs. These are the exercises he used and some he developed along the way.

And now he can do incredible things like hold an awesome v-sit. That’s a long way from not being able to hold a regular handstand against a wall.

If you want to build gymnastic abs like this then you need to check out the following – Gymnastic Abs

I only wish my gymnastics class had taught me these moves. During the conditioning I was often left wondering why are they doing crunches?

I’m sorry but no matter how many crunches you do you will not build the strength, flexibility and coordination you need for hand balancing or real gymnast strength.

What we learned at the seminar was just a sneak peak of what he was planning on releasing. He has an entire course available now. Unfortunately it took me seeing the course to remember what I had learned and put everything back into action.

No matter what your abilities are now there are progressions to take you from the beginning to advanced levels in moves like hollow position rocks, l-sits, leg raises, compressions and more.

In just a couple weeks of following these exercises the way he laid out I have seen phenomenal benefits. I highly recommend it. Go find out more details – Gymnastic Abs.

Good Luck and Good Ab Training,
Logan Christopher

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

P.S. That picture of Ed holding a v-sit was enough incentive for me to interview him for the Hand Balancing Mastery Course. Follow his step-by-step progressions and you too can be pulling this one off – Gymnastic Abs

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