Tag Archives | Ups

Great Rings Routine

People that have never used the gymnastic rings may know they are difficult but it takes a try on them to truly grasp the strength it takes to do an impressive routine.

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I came upon this video awhile back. It shows gymnast Andreas Aguilar at the 1991 World Professional Gymnastics Championships. Its most likely just an exhibition, rather then competing, due to the moves he performs.

Of particular note I want you to pay attention to the muscle up in the L-sit position. That may very well be one of the smoothest muscle ups ever. A far cry from the kipping action most athletes use.

There’s quite a few iron crosses and you’ll want to pay attention to the very unique dismount.

Good Luck and Good Ring Training,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Rings can build awesome strength and you can buy a set of gymnastic rings here.

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Will Wall Handstands Help Balance? How Often to Train HSPU's?

I have some cool things in the work for this month. One of them is nearing completion. More on that subject later.

In the meantime let’s tackle a few more questions that have been sent in.

First off from Carol.

“If I keep practicing kicking up to a handstand against the wall, and holding it as long as I can with a tight body, will I eventually be able to do the handstand without the wall?”

The handstand against the wall is an important lead-up stunt I advise beginners to do when starting out with the handstand. It is great to work up to holding for at least one minute while maintaining a good position.

However, although you can learn how to keep your body tight and up in space you will not learn how to balance from this position. This requires a few other moves as well as practicing at the freestanding handstand itself.

And next from Ashley.

“Hi there. I consider myself to be a quite a physical culturist. I have made handstands a staple exercise in my upperbody workouts. I am currently working towards handstand push ups with my hands elevated to get full range of motion. How often would you recommend to train handstands to get to the desired standard?”

First off congratulations. Handstand pushups are often no more then a dream to most people, especially when you start going after the full range of motion.

I just happened to be working on a few myself today. In all honesty, depending on how you train with them you could do them everyday or just twice a week. And either way you can make progress.

If you just do a few sets each day and none of them are an all-out effort, you could do them every day.

But in most cases I would advise two or three times a week. Train them hard and eventually you’ll be able to do many full range reps. The important thing to look at is if you are moving forward. If your are then your training is good and you should continue.

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

If you’ve been training handstand pushups whether just starting out or doing them with ease I’d love to hear about your training. Send in questions, concerns, workouts or specific exercises you’ve come up with. Just hit the reply button up above.

That’ll wrap it up for today.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. About that first thing I mentioned. If you’re following me on facebook or twitter there was a big hint just put up there in the form of a question. If you aren’t already become my friend on facebook or follow me on twitter by clicking the links.

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Straight Arm Pressing Tips

Having safely returned from my trip its time to get back into regular emails to help you go further in your hand balancing and acrobatics. I received a number of excellent questions while I was gone so I figured I’d start there.

“How should your hands look when there on the ground for a handstand?”
Genoman

While it can change up depending on which hand balancing move you’re doing, for the normal handstand you want your hands flat on the ground with the fingers spread as far apart as possible. The middle or index finger should be pointing directly forward.

“I’ve been doing hand balancing for a while now. I’ve developed quite a strong upper body. I do hand-stand push-ups with ease.  I kick up successfully more times than not and can hold the balance for a considerable amount of time.  That is why I’m so perplexed as to why I cannot even come close to doing any of the stiff armed lever up exercises.  In doing exercise #2 in “The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing”, The best I can do is on push-up bars, hold myself with my knees still under me, but when I try and lever up, I barely budged, literally about an inch or so.  If I were to do this with bent arms, I do it with ease, same with all lever ups like with split or even straight legs.  What makes stiff arm so difficult?  What are the muscles being stressed most in a stiff arm lever up and how can one train them to get to do it?  I feel I’m not even close to getting anywhere with them.  Again, I’m extremely strong in the upper body.  Is it possible I’m doing something wrong, or possibly I have neglected to train a certain muscle or muscle group?”

Thanks,
Francis Ford

Straight arm presses are a different beast then bent arm presses. While you are having problems of this sort there are many people that can do straight arm moves but would fall flat in a bent arm press because they lack the strength.

Because of different body leverages the straight arm press may take you some time to get to, where others can do it almost immediately.

The straight arm press, in its various forms, requires strength in different areas as well as flexibility. You have to be able to get your center of mass over your hands. This requires your shoulders to go far out in front.

One method you may want to try is to do a bent arm press except try to bend your arms a little less, and gradually work up to a straight arm press. From the handstand you can do negatives lowering yourself down on straight arms.

Also having someone else to spot you can be a big help. They stand in front of you, your shoulders coming to meet their legs for support, and they assist you by raising your hips as much as you need to do the move.

And lastly I recommend you re-read Chapter 8 on pressing in the book for even more info. Most important is to just keep at it. If you find it difficult, it’ll be that much more satisfying when you finally make it.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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

P.S. If you haven’t got your copy of The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing you can grab it here.

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Sig Klein Tribute


Video of Sig Klein

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

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.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Sig Klein on Handstand Presses

Klein trained in a very precise, scientific fashion. He reminded Jim of an Old World

Of all his exercises, Klein’s Handstand press-ups were the most remarkable. Jim had never seen anything like it.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

Klein performed the exercise on an old piano bench. He began placing his hands in the center of the bench. From there, he leaned forward and effortlessly kicked up into a free-standing, unsupported handstand. Klein had begun his career as a hand-balancer and stage performer, and he had no difficulty in maintaining the handstand position for as long as he wanted.

Once in the handstand position, Klein bent his arms and slowly lowered his body until his upper chest touched the edge of the piano bench. He then reversed the movement slowly and effortlessly, pushed himself back to the handstand position. He performed 15 reps with ease.

“What’s your best in that?” asked Jack.

Klein wiped the sweat from his forehead.

“Nineteen,” he replied.

“That’s a lot of press-ups!”

“I believe it’s more than anyone else has ever done in that style. I’ve often wondered how many reps Maxick or some other old timers could perform.”

“You’re awfully good at them, Sig.”

“Thanks, Jack. It’s like anything else – it’s just a matter of practice. Press-ups are one of my favorite exercises, an I include them in almost all of my workouts. They’re one of the very best for pressing power.”

—–

This is an excerpt from Brooks Kubik’s new book Legacy of Iron, which I just finished this morning. If you want to learn how many of the old-timers trained this book is for you. While most of it is concerned with weightlifting and competitions surrounding the York Barbell Club, you get a mix of all the various means of physical culture.

Back in that day hand balancing went right along with lifting iron. Even Bob Jones makes an appearance earlier in the book as one of the contest’s judges along with a few other famous hand balancers.

If you want to read more go check out the new book, Legacy of Iron at www.BrooksKubik.com and prepare to get transported back in time.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Just a few issues left of December’s Acrobat Accelerator where I cover free-standing handstand pushups in depth. If you want one you have to order before the new year comes in. Get it along with one of several other hand balancing courses.

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Making Handstand Presses Easier

Here’s a short clip from November’s Acrobat Accelerator. In the full issue I cover much on bent arm presses like the straddle press and frogstand press.


Making Handstand Presses Easier

This clip shows you how you can make the straddle press easier by adding momentum with a little hop. This same concept can be used in other moves too. Because of the momentum the press will not take as much strength.

There’s still a few issues left. If you want to grab this issue to learn more about these presses, plus hanging leg raises and nip-ups, you can get it free along with the Secrets of the Handstand Quickstart Guide.

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

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Joe Nordquest

Joe Nordquest was a classic strongman back in the early part of last century. He was the brother of ‘The Young Sandow’ Alfred Nordquest.

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Joe Nordquest Hand Balancer

Here are some of his hand balancing exploits. From Klein’s Bell in November of 1931:

Joe Nordquest performed a one hand stand and with the free hand lifted a 100 pound dumb bell off the floor and held the balance. He also has on numerous occasions done 28-30 hand stand press ups in succession on the floor.

From David Willoughby’s The Super Athletes:

He later put on some weight moving up from 168 pounds to 190. Even at this size he was capable of jumping off a 30 inch table onto the floor while staying in a handstand.

Joe Nordquest Shoulder Bridge

Here he is pictured pressing 388 in the shoulder bridge. This was before the bench press ever came to be. You think his success and strength in hand balancing helped him get to this level?

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Underbalancing, Learning By Yourself, and Ab Training

Going to answer more questions today.

Before I begin let me once again advise that when you send in your questions to to give details and don’t just ask a broad question like ‘how do I do a handstand?’

Before you ask anything look around the site, especially the articles section to see if your answer can be found there. And please make your questions readable. I can’t answer if I don’t know what you’re talking about

“when i am doin my handstand i will kick up but i am havin trouble stayin balanced. how to i keep balanced if i keep falling forward so i am facing the same way as i was before i kicked up”
Alicia

It sounds like you are underbalancing Alicia. You need to keep the balance on your hands more towards the front and your body toward overbalancing. I explain why in depth in this article on scientific hand balancing.

“how do you learn how to do a handstand by yourself”
Felicity

Without any help the journey is going to be hard. So you should read the articles on the site or get instructions on how to do it. This will get you started – How to do a Handstand Article – and this will take your further – Secrets of the Handstand Quickstart Guide.

Anyway you do it though it’ll take a lot of practice. Be persistent.

One last question.

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

“I know that having toned abs helps you with balancing when doing a handstand, and since crunches don’t really work, I wanted to know if you have any exercises that I can do, that work very well. Exercises that don’t require an exercise ball, or anything like that.”
Kristina

Toned abs don’t help with a handstand, strong abs do. There are tons of possibilities. Here’s a few basic exercises that require no equipment at all.

V-ups (or any kind of sit-up)
Arms Extended Plank or Pushups
Holding an L-sit
Leg Raises and Thrusts

The important thing is to work your abs with not just high rep exercises. Do difficult ones where you can’t do more than 5 reps or a 5 second hold.

My favorite course on building strong abdominals like a gymnast is called just that, Gymnastic Abs, put out by my friend Ed. It’s a series of progressions from real basic exercises to difficult ones used by gymnasts. And you know what they can do.

If you want strong abs click here.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Handstand, Tumbling and Athleticism

Wanted to start off today’s message with a powerful comment from a subscriber.

Logan,

Your website is absolutely fantastic and it has helped me learn a whole new approach to physical-culture training. Over the last few months, I have incorporated handstand push-ups and some elementary handstand training into my weightlifting routine, and the results have been nothing short of incredible.

A while back you received a comment from somebody who was upset that you are putting acrobatic videos on the Internet for all to view. He was apparently concerned that some people may develop bad form or bad training habits without direct supervision from a qualified trainer. While I’m sure this gentleman meant well, I must say that I have benefited enormously from watching the videos you have posted. I suspect that many other people have too.

Viewing your videos and reading your articles helped me to refine my views of what is possible with physical culture training. Before I made a visit to your site, I paid virtually no attention to the athletic side of physical training, and I new very little about the many benefits which can be derived from doing handstands and related movements. I have no desire to become a professional gymnast or acrobat, but I find that the type of training which you promote on your site improves my athleticism and strength tremendously.

Thanks for running a great and innovative site.

Rob Drucker

Thank you, Rob. Comments like these really make my day. It brings a smile to my face to read about the success of people like you.

Handstands have been proven over and over to strengthen the body. If you have to start against the wall, you’ll still get many of the benefits. The truth is going from handstands against the wall to free standing is the transition many people make, myself included.

As far as athleticism though, that is just the beginning. Can you imagine where you’ll be at if you add just a few of the following into the mix?

Forward Rolls, Backward Rolls, Diving, Head and Hand Balancing, Hand Balancing, Forearm Balancing, Cartwheels, Roundoffs, Head and Hand Springs, Hand Springs, Backward Hand Springs, Back Bends, Upstarts (Kips), Somersaults (Flips), Combination Rolls, Combination Hand Springs, Combination Hand Springs and Somersaults, Combination Hand Springs and Rolls, Combination Balancing and Rolls, Miscellaneous Combinations, and Novelties.

Those are the 21 chapters found in the soon to be released Tumbling Illustrated. As of writing this it’ll be available in 4 days, 23 hours, 57 minutes, 34 seconds. To find the updated time go to https://lostartofhandbalancing.com/tumbling.html

I wish it was ready now, especially since a few people have inquired about buying it already. But I’m still waiting on the printers for the main book. Plus I want to be able to ship it out the day you order it.

You don’t have to be a professional gymnast or acrobat to get the benefits of this training. (If you are though, more power to you.) Even if you work on just a few of the 248 different moves you’ll learn how to control your body to a extraordinary degree.

Tomorrow I’m going to reveal a few details on the companion workbook to Tumbling Illustrated and how you can use this workbook will increase your skills even faster.

Good Luck and Good Tumbling,
Logan Christopher

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

P.S. I’ll try to get another video up showing some acrobatic conditioning in action before the launch. Maybe even a sneak peak of the workbook.

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Handstand Press

Another thing I’ve devoted more of my time to recently is the handstand press. While a normal handstand does not take very much strength many of the presses do.

Handstand presses can be broken down into two main groups. Those done with straight arms and those down with bent arms.

The various bent arm presses take a high degree of strength in the shoulders, triceps and also the chest in many cases.

Straight arm press-ups still take strength but in different areas. Also you will need flexible wrists, hamstrings, and the ability to compress your body in half. In fact the more flexibility you have the less strength you will need.

For all these reasons most people will be better at either straight arm or bent arm presses. There are many people who can do the straight arm variety but will fall on their face if they have to bend their arms.

On the other hand most stronger people can do many bent armed presses. These take tremendous arm and shoulder strength to pull off successfully as you have to hold your entire bodyweight in mid air for a length of time. But for these people the straight arm presses can be elusive.

In the end you want to be able to do both. In order to do this you must train for both.

That’s why there’s chapters on the pressing in all the main books like Hand Balancing Made Easy and The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing.

Presses are not easy, especially if you’re not of the average gymnast size. But it can be done.

If you’ve ever wondered why hand balancers are so strong this is one of the major keys. So start pressing.

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

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. There are so many ways you can press up into a handstand. Have you mastered them all? Start where you can and work from there.

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