Tag Archives | Spine

Do You Make These 4 Press to Handstand Mistakes?

We already had several videos from Yuri Marmerstein and there’s a reason for it. He’s an awesome hand balancer! Today, Yuri teaches us about four common press to handstand mistakes.

The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing
The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing on Amazon
  1. Downward Shoulder Collapse – Try to keep your shoulders in the same position throughout the weight transfer.
  2. Forward Shoulder Collapse – Keep your arms at straight angle instead of bending forward.
  3. Early Hip Extension – Only open your hips once the shoulders and back have aligned.
  4. Failure to Articulate Spine – Get used to manipulating your spine as opposed to keeping your back straight at all times.

Don’t forget to visit Yuri’s blog, some very cool stuff can be found there. It also wouldn’t hurt to pick up one of the hand balancing courses/books from this page!

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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.”

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.

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

Last summer I was traveling through Europe with a group of friends. We were in San Sebastian waiting to go to Pamplona for the running of the bulls.

There were several hours to kill before the train would arrive and take us off.

So we decided to play some football in a nearby park. (Finding an American football in Europe wasn’t easy but that’s a story for another time.)

Since the only place we could find was a field of half grass and half granite, we played two-hand touch rather then tackling each other. Still, being men it was bound to get rough. And of course highly competitive.

A little three on three action. The whole game was a tight battle for the lead.

And it was going smoothly until a certain kickoff.

The kick was high and short. As we scrambled forward to catch it, the other guys were rushing towards us. The ball hit the ground and bounced high up into the air.

I leaped upwards. I don’t know how exactly it happened, or who hit me, but my feet were taken out from under me sending me spinning.

Six feet up in the air I turned over and came crashing down onto the packed ground, the back of my head being the first point of contact. THUMP!!

I’m not gonna lie and say it didn’t affect me. It did. I was stunned and had to take some time out of the game. But within an hour I was fine.

Meanwhile one of my friends pulled a neck muscle by looking over his shoulder for a pass. Seriously.

But how did I avoid what certainly would should have been a concussion? How was I fine in just an hour but my friend had a nagging injury for months.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

Its how I train. The neck and spine are often neglected by most people even if they do otherwise train their body.

All my neck training is done from the wrestler’s bridge. But I don’t just hold the position for time. I’ve developed a series of exercises that will give you one of the strongest necks in the world.

But that’s only part of the equation. There’s also the gymnastic bridge. Few exercises work the body from fingers to toes like this one. Especially when you consider the flexibility and agility to move into and out of position with ease.

Considering how I started so inflexible and weak many years back, its amazing some of the things I can do now. And now you can do it to.

Go to Advanced Bridging to find out more.

Be sure to watch the video to really see what is possible with a few bridging movements.

This is a special offer and your only notice. Come Friday morning the page is coming down. So go check it out while you have a chance.

Good Luck and Good Bridging,
Logan Christopher

P.S. On first appearance to many people the bridge in its many forms can appear injurious and dangerous. But if you go about it the right way not only will you build strength and flexibility, you can become concussion-proof. You’ll find out more at Advanced Bridging.

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What a broom can teach you about hand balancing

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.

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

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.

Sincerely,
Logan Christopher

P.S. For in depth instuctions on how to get into position and hold it check out Professor Paulinetti and Bob Jones’ Book

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Robert Jones Celebrates His 50th Birthday

When I was visiting my brother down near Los Angeles last weekend I noticed one of the books he had on his bookshelf. The name Ripley’s Believe it or Not was displayed on the spine.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

Knowing that Bob Jones had been featured by Ripley‘s nine different times, I decided to see if one of his feats made the cut in this book.

I flipped to the index and found his name. He was on page 87. I turned expecting to see his most famous stunt the thumb stand on top of Indian clubs which you can see for yourself here.

I was surprised and elated to see a feat I had neither seen nor read about before.

Bob Jones holds a One Handed Handstand while cutting cake

For his 50th birthday Bob Jones cut his birthday cake while holding a one handed handstand.

Not only is it hard to hold a one hand handstand, but to do it for probably at least a minute while cutting a cake is something else.

It also listed one of his other feats (but had no picture), which was holding a handstand with 200 lbs. tied around his waist! How you even get into the handstand with that kind of weight is beyond me.

If anyone can duplicate these feats let me know.

Good Luck and Good Handbalancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. There was more than one hand balancer featured in this book. If you own a copy of The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing his name will be familiar to you. You’ll have to wait until next time to see and read about it.

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Bridge Gymnastics

Check out this video of some wrestler’s bridge gymnastics.

[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MD56_U–TI0]

Here is another video I took while I was at my gymnastics class. Let me start by saying don’t try this at home. It took a lot of effort to work up to this level. I didn’t jump into this on a whim.

It is actually several different feats strung together. Falling into a bridge, kicking over, kicking back, then standing up. Not the most graceful one I have ever pulled off. Still need some work especially on the Standing Up part.

Of course this can be done by with a gymnastic or hand bridge. I can do the gymnastic bridge version a little easier. And this one does not take so long to work up to, as far as neck strength is concerned.

Walking and Jumping On Your HandsWalking and Jumping On Your Hands on Amazon
The Wrestler's Bridge

The Wrestler's Bridge

Great for strength and flexibility all up and down the spine and more.

Either way it is a good trick to throw into you hand balancing routine or practice.

Good Luck and Good Bridging,
Logan Christopher

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