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Gymnastic Handstand

The gymnastic handstand or straight handstand is a more difficult move then the natural or curved handstand. For that reason I believe a beginner should work on the curved handstand first and once they become proficient at that then they can move onto the straight handstand.

Working on the straight handstand will take a good bit of dedication as you must learn to maintain a straight body while upside-down, something that certainly doesn’t come natural. As with any move its best to learn it in the easiest possible way first. For that reason we go to the wall.


Gymnastic Handstand

When working on the gymnastic handstand it is better to face the wall with your body rather then have your back to it. This makes it easier to get into the straight body position. You can cartwheel into position or walk your feet up the wall.

Once you are in the handstand get your hands as close to the wall as possible. Stick your head through your arms. This alone will help your back to stop curving. While keeping the arms locked push through with your chest to open up the shoulders. If this is difficult you may need to work on shoulder flexibility.

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

Another key part is the lower body. You want to maintain what is known in gymnastics as a hollow body position. That is you tuck your pelvis in. Think as if you were trying to reach your tail bone to your navel and shorten that distance. You may need to practice this position while not in a handstand if it is unfamiliar to you.

Once you have a good position hold for time against the wall. Work up to 2 minutes for multiple sets. If you can do this you have good endurance not just to hold the handstand but to keep your position while you do it. At that point the gymnastic handstand should feel natural to you.

The next step is to transition to freestanding. Instead of just kicking up out in the open start in the straight handstand against the wall and come off a little bit to find your balance. But that will have to be an article for another time…

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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One Finger Handstand

Is a one finger handstand even possible?

Most would say that no human could possibly do this feat. But then most would agree Shaolin monks are anything but normal people!

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

This video shows a 91 year old monk Hal-tank from the Sil Lum Temple in China perform that feat.

As I’m sure you’ll agree this move goes beyond just finger strength, requiring intense focus of chi.

There are many other monks who have mastered a two finger handstand like this picture shows. Thanks to Gay Ng for sending it to me.

Two Finger Handstand by Shaolin Monk

Two Finger Handstand by Shaolin Monk

(You can also witness this feat from another Shaolin monk in the awesome DVD Shaolin: Wheel of Life available for cheap on Amazon.)

But getting down to a single finger handstand takes many more years of dedicated practice.

Its sure to be an entirely different approach but there’s a full chapter by Bob Jones, famous for his thumbstand, on doing fingertip pushups and handstands in The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing.

You can get started with the basics. Whether you’ll work up to two or one finger handstand like the monks do is up to you.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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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.

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

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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One Arm Muscle Up to One Arm Handstand

This is from circus acrobat Yury Tikhonovich.

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

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

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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.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon
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Injury-Proofing Your Ankles

A subscriber wrote in after the release of the Parkour Tutorial DVD with a warning. Thanks again Adam for bringing it to my attention.

Tricking, Parkour, even gymnastics can be rough on the ankles. Sprains, strains, and broken ankles are unfortunately not that uncommon.

In order to avoid this you want to do two things. First off, you want to make sure you can do moves within your capabilities. Don’t start off jumping off of two story buildings.

Secondly, prepare for the worst. Make your body more resilient. The stretches on this video will help prepare your feet and ankles for landings and all the impact.


Injury-Proofing Your Ankles

And if you take part in running, these same moves will injury-proof you so that no pot-hole is likely to roll your ankle.

Just add a few of these moves to your regular routine and you’ll be better off no matter what you do.

Good Luck and Good Training,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Of course you need to know how to do the moves properly. If you want to get started in Parkour this is the video for you.

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

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


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.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Hand Balancing at an Airport

[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CU1WPB2a6kU]

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon
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Hand Balancing Stands Video

As it stands right now there are over two to one people for making the hand balancing stands.

Firstly, I want to thank everyone who took the time to reply to my last email whether you were for or against the idea.

Besides the results there was lots of confusion. A number of people thought I was talking about parallettes, which is not the case. I own and use a pair of parallettes but this is different from the hand balancing stands.

Obviously, instead of trying to tell you what they are I’m going to show you.

There’s a video of me talking a bit about the stands as well as putting them into use. Then you have the straight up photo.

[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiBkpPwDia0]

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

 

Hand Balancing Stands

So once again if you didn’t already answer, whether you‘d be interested in getting a pair of hand balancing stands similar to these. You can comment below or shoot an email to [email protected].

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Fish Tail Press Up to Handstand

[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAnuz6_3avc]
Fish Tail Press Up to Handstand

Got another video for you. This one is from next month’s Acrobat Accelerator.

A slightly more advanced move, but in the complete video you’ll be taken through the steps to get up to this move.

Here’s what it says in The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing about the Fish Tail Press Up.

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

Lie flat on the back, with the hands and arms close to the sides, with the hands flat on the floor, then by resisting with the hands, you draw the legs up slowly, and rigid, keep the legs going until you are up, resting on your head and shoulders, then change the position of the hands by placing them along side of the head flat on the floor; then let the feet drop about six inches, then drive them up, and push up to a handstand, the legs are kept rigid all the time.

That’s one long run on sentence but it describes the move well.

This move takes strong abs just to get into the plough position and hold it with your legs over your head. I suppose you could call this move the Plough press too. The more you drive with the legs the less you have to push with your arms but you have to do both.

Give it a shot and see how it goes.

On another note the May Sale is moving fast. Many items are sold out but others like the Paulinetti and Jones’ book and the Tumbling Course still have many in stock. https://lostartofhandbalancing.com/maysale.html

If you’ve stalled, wait no longer. The sale will come down late Sunday even if there’s a few items left.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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