Tag Archives | Strength

Incredible Duo Hand Balancing Move

This is a new move to me as I’ve never seen something quite like it before. Not only is Gana capable of supporting the weight of her partner while in a bridge, but she even did so without her arms for a couple of seconds.

An outstanding combination of flexibility and strength.

One of the best video courses to improve your flexibility comes from Gold Medal Bodies. Check it out here.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon
Comments { 0 }

Impressive Moves by Simon Ata

Breakdancers, especially professional one have to be in an absolutely stunning form to be able to perform flawlessly and stay injury-free. For this they rely on incredible strength,  speed, precision and endurance.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

We already had one video from Simon “Simonster” Ata from Australia, but this one includes a couple of break-dance moves as well. Get ready for planche pushups (and what a great form too!), backflips, handstand presses and much more.

Grab your Tumbling and Acrobatics Starter Package today and with some practice you’ll be able to impress others while moving your body in amazing ways too!

Comments { 0 }

Awesome Moves on Bars

It’s amazing how creative you can be with training on low bars.

Sven and Alex showed a variety of workouts in this video, including a good lead-up drill for those trying to achieve their first pull-up (at 0:17), push-ups on a bar (0:34), assisted pistols followed by pistols on a bar (2:20) and many other exercises, most of which require great strength, balance skills and endurance.

They say they only do regular and weighted Calisthenics, without weightlifting.

If you are just starting with bodyweight training, you might want to check out my Beginner’s Handstand System and gain some strength before moving to advanced bodyweight training workouts. 

 

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon
Comments { 0 }

Free Soloing 2,500 feet

There is the regular rock climbing…And then there is free solo climbing. It’s a form of free climbing without any sort of gear, where the climber relies only on his strength, skill and chalk.

Alex Honnold became known around the world for an extraordinary feat when he solo-climbed 2,500 feet El Portrero Chico, Mexico in just about three hours. This is the best footage of the climb I’ve been able to find and it’s a sweaty hands material, for sure.

An octocopter system controlled by two persons was used to film the climb itself, which allowed the crew to capture some amazing footage. On the other hand, imagine this thing (in a picture below) flying near you while climbing without ropes!

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

Comments { 0 }

Straddle Press Handstand Drill #5

I’ve been working on various drills lately in order to achieve the straddle press to handstand and one of them is drill #5 explained in this video.

I start with the straddle position against the ground, which shares similarities with a regular straddle press, without being upside down. I put my back against a pillar to prevent leaning back in order to increase dynamic flexibility, which is the main goal of this drill. From there, just put your fingertips on the ground between thighs and lift your legs above the ground.

You may get some cramps in this position initially, but this move will help you increase that strength-dynamic flexibility which is the main thing you’ll need to perform the press handstand.

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

As you gradually increase your strength and flexibility, eventually you’ll be able to lift your legs with your hands between your feet and then soon you’ll be able to achieve that press handstand. You can do this drill for reps or time, whichever suits you the best. The results will be the same.

Comments { 0 }

Human Flag on a Human

The human flag is usually performed on a pole or some sturdy structure and it’s a tough move even for those in great shape. But when you try to do it with a partner instead of a pole, it adds whole another level of difficulty. Or two.

In this video Al Kavadlo and his brother Danny gave it a try. Al went for Danny’s ankle and forearm for support and he actually managed to hold it for several seconds in this position. It certainly requires an immense amount of strength, coordination and balance to perform such a feat.

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

In case you are still trying to achieve a regular Human Flag, check out this great course by Thomas Tapp.

Comments { 0 }

10 Progressive Bent Arm Handstand Presses

Bent arm handstand presses, of the various sorts we’ll cover below, are an awesome show of strength and skill.

The hard part about that is that they require lots of strength and lots of skill to do. That’s probably part of the allure, but it is also what makes them unattainable for most, unless they spend the dedicated practice required.

The difficult part of the skill equation is that you must balance the whole time while doing these. They’re a far cry from doing handstand pushups against the wall. I would recommend to anyone that really wants to get great at these, to spend your time building a solid free handstand first. I would say until you can hold a handstand consistently for at least 20 seconds that you should build your strength another way, as you focus on that skill. (On that note, my Secrets of the Handstand System will help you get there.)

The difficult part of the strength equation is that they have you handle your entire bodyweight with your upper body strength. If you’re a hundred pound gymnast this may not be a big problem. For the rest of us it is.

I remember working on the frogstand press early in my hand balancing career. Not only was the balance hard but each rep was like a max effort press. This makes it hard to work on the “skill” of the movement when it takes everything you’ve got to do it. And it limits the total reps you can do for practice, whether you make them or not.

All bodyweight exercises need to be progressive. That’s one of the hard parts about these. There is no clear progression. You can’t just unload your bodyweight unfortunately. So what I’ve set out to do in this article is give you ten progressively harder presses to work with.

Note: These are all BENT ARM presses. Straight arm presses are an entirely different animal, requiring more flexibility as well as a different kind of strength to do.

We start with the easiest one. Of course to do this you need to have a minimum of strength and balance. We talked about the balance part. As for strength I would recommend being able to do at least 5 handstand pushups against the wall before starting here.

The order of this list is open for some debate. Due to leverages and other factors some people may find that certain skills are easier than others. But I’ve worked with this awhile to find that it works well for me and others I‘ve trained.

1. Frogstand Press

The frogstand is known by a few different names like the crow in yoga. it’s a basic hand balancing skill that can help you on working towards the handstand. So on that note, its great that its also, the starting place for the bent arm presses. From a frogstand, with the knees on the outsides/backs of the elbows, tip forward more and press up into the handstand.

2. Straddle Press

Usually the straddle press is done with the arms locked out, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be used in a bent arm variation. Spread your legs fairly wide with the hands placed on the ground. Bend the elbows, taking your full weight onto the hands. Bring the legs around and up as you push up into a handstand.

3. Headstand Pushup

Start in a tripod headstand position with your legs straight overhead. From here press up with the hands until you come to a handstand. To make the press a little easier put the hands a little wider than shoulder width.

Headstand

The starting position for this press.

4. Pike Press

Similar to the straddle press, the only difference in this movement is that you’re legs are kept straight and together. This decreases your leverage, forcing you to counterbalance out further and makes it harder to do.

Bent Arm Pike Press

Just after the start when the legs raise off the ground.

5. Handstand Pushup

Kick up into a handstand with the hands shoulder width apart. Lower down touching your nose to the ground and press back up. This can be done with a straight or a curved back, they just change the angle of the press slightly.

6. Tuck Press

Start sitting on your knees (seiza position) on the ground. Press your arms into the ground lifting your body off. Tilt forward, bending the arms then press all the way up to a handstand. This move forces you into a lower starting place and is thus harder to do.

The starting position of the tuck pressup.

The starting position of the tuck pressup.

7. Belly Roll Pressup

There is some skill involved in this movement. You need to learn how to use your momentum and make a good transition as you do it. This is best to do on a padded surface. Start on your knees with the hips straight. Roll forward, arching the back. Your hands will come touch the ground above your hips. Use the momentum to help you press up into the handstand.

One of the steps in the belly roll to handstand.

8. Tiger Bend

Start in a forearm stand, that is balanced across the length of your forearms and hands. This requires a curved back position. Shift your weight forward so that you can come onto the hands in the bottom of a freestanding handstand pushup position. Press up. This requires a more narrow stance of the hands and thus requires significantly more strength.

9. Elbow Lever Press

Start in an elbow lever position with the body held horizontal over the ground your weight resting fully on the elbows. Raise the legs up as you start to press with the hands. The hands will need to rotate on the ground to move towards a regular position as you press up.

Elbow Lever

From here press up to a handstand, rotating your hands along the way.

10. Prone Press

Start laying on the ground stomach down. Place your hands by your hips. Lift your whole body and press up to a handstand in much the same way as the lever press. Since you’re starting lower and must support your entire weight, without the elbow support, this one is quite a bit tougher.

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

This list was made to exist without any tools, like stacked objects or handles. With those added in, you could build out the list a lot further. Also there can be more intermediate steps like playing with hand width more to make each move more or less difficult.

Also note I have not yet personally achieved steps 9 and 10. As I work more towards these I may find some better intermediary steps.

Comments { 1 }

Straight Arm Press

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

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

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

Comments { 3 }

One Arm Handstand Series Part 2

This is the second in the series on progress towards the one arm handstand series.

In the Secrets of the Handstand Quick Start Video I show four lead-up stunts that work the skills necessary to do a handstand.

The one arm handstand has lead-up stunts too.

One Arm Handstand Against WallAs was discussed previously in part 1, the most important lead-up stunt is to build a stable and consistent handstand that you can hold with ease. Only once you are at this point should you begin work towards that one arm version.

Just like for the regular handstand, a handstand against the wall can be used. In using it to lead-up to the one arm handstand, you’ll obviously do it on one arm.

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

This can help to build your strength. Plus you’ll be able to work on your position, to make sure you get exactly as you want. This is excellent as I find in my practice that as I fatigue it becomes harder to stay in the locked out position. Much easier to work on building this up without focusing on balancing, by using the wall. With a stronger position you will be able to practice longer and more.

When you do that one arm handstand against the wall you should do it in the same form as you’ll be working on the balance. If your legs are spread, do it legs spread. If you’re working on the one hander with legs together, do that against the wall. Try to minimize your lean as much as possible as you strive for the best position.

Being able to hold the one arm handstand against the wall for 45 seconds to a minute is a good goal to shoot for. This is one important step in the journey towards success.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Want more help for the one arm handstand? Be sure to check out How to do the One Hand Handstand by Professor Orlick.

Comments { 2 }

One Arm Handstand Shrug

When talking to Jim Bathurst the other night we we’re discussing the one arm handstand. Several points came up but I want to focus on one of them right now. And this actually applies to any hand balancing you do.

That point is shrugging up your shoulders.

When you go into a handstand you want to reach your shoulders towards your ears. Do not let gravity depress your shoulders. Why? This makes it so that your body is fully locked out. This improves your position as well as your endurance.

Shrugged Shoulders

Shrugged vs. Not Shrugged

This is even more essential in the one arm handstand. But here’s the thing. Some people may not even have the strength in the shoulder girdle and scapula to do it properly.

As is many times the case in hand balancing it’s a good idea to go back to the wall for this one. Doing the one arm handstand against the wall, where you don’t need to worry so much about balance, you can focus on getting the shoulder shrugged.

In The Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups there’s an exercise called the Handstand Shrug. This is just to repeat this shrugging motion over an over for reps. While I didn’t think about it at the time, you could do this exact same exercise on just one arm. (I just tried it against and found it to be quite fun.)

This will strengthen the area, giving you the strength to really begin to progress toward the one arm handstand.

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

Comments { 0 }