Old School Hand Balancing

Little John Seidel is one of the best old-school hand balancers. In the video below you can see 24 year-old John jumping on one hand, performing various handstand presses, balancing on a stick and much more, before ending the show with an amazing one hand spin at the Cirque d’Hiver in Paris. They certainly don’t make them like that anymore.

John is truly an incredible athlete who is still doing handstands today at the age of 76! Don’t believe me? Check out the picture below from his Facebook page.

Click here to master your handstand, step by step!

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Hand Balancing Warm-up

Whether you lift weights or train only using your body weight, preparing for a workout is a must to avoid injuries. The same goes for hand balancing, which requires thorough warm-up.

Using various warm-up workouts with wrist extensions/flexions shown in the video above, your fingers, wrists, elbows and shoulders will be sufficiently warmed-up to start your hand balancing routine. Get your copy of The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing and start your hand balancing journey today.

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Tumbling and Balancing in 1950’s

Here are three awesome videos from the 1950’s. They were all uploaded by Russ Hany, so make sure to check out his channel here as he has more videos from that era.

The first one is from 1950 with people performing a couple of basic tumbling moves like backward, forward and side rolls. There are also two guys walking on their hands.

The next video from 1952 features pretty impressive acrobalance duo/trio.

And here’s another one with some very cool moves, like the tiger bend, handsprings, rolls, somersaults and much more. From 1953.

Not everyone wants to learn how to perform all these moves. But you should at least have basic tumbling skills and be able to role, perform backwards somersault and cartwheel. Click here and learn the basics!

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Crazy Power Tumbling by Aaron Cook

Aaron Cook is one of the best power gymnasts in the USA. He won the 2012 American Jr Champion in Power Tumbling and this is a compilation of his amazing skills, featuring incredible feats like the quad backflip, speedy back and front handsprings, standing double backflips and much more. Some of the tracks shown in the video contain springy fiberglass rods, resulting in some crazy bounce. Enjoy the show!

Don’t forget to check out the special Tumbling and Acrobatics Starter Package to learn how to perform these awesome moves.

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How to Perform a Front Flip

To get started with a front flip,  you should find  yourself a soft surface like sand, grass or just use an old mattress to prevent injuries while practicing the front flip. According to Ronnie Shalvis, three main steps for achieving the front flip are momentum, blocking and set.

If you’re just starting out you’ll have to use momentum to help you with the front flip. Doing it while standing still is very cool, but it’s harder so you should not attempt it before you learn how to do it with momentum. As you get some speed by running, you’re going to go into a block. The block is basically the point where you jump with both feet of the ground and bounce upward. Note that you’re not supposed to jump low in the block, but merely bend your knees and jump upward.

The third stage of the front flip (while you’re in the air) is called the set, which is essential for getting to the proper height. Most people who are just starting out with the front flip believe they should lean forward and jump in that position, which almost guarantees bad landing. Instead, you need to keep your body upright, with chest up and throw your arms in the air as you jump. So, during the set you’ll go up and back to the tuck before opening and landing safely.

Make sure to watch the entire video to fully understand how to perform the front flip and also pick up additional tips from Ronnie.

Interested in more complete tutorials for flips, tumbling and more? Check this out.

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10 Minute Handstand – Guest Post by Yuval Ayalon

The 10 minutes handstand thing – DONE!

“Just do it man” (Sascha Bachman)
I guess that’s all I really needed to hear…

A few months ago I took upon myself to finally tackle this 10 min endurance challenge….

I was introduced to the “high numbers” through Andrey Moraru who reached an impressive 26min long hold back in this school days in Ukraine. I then met the legendary Denis Tolstov (through Andrey) who held a hand stand for 1 hour long!!! back in the “Good old” Kiev circus school days. The up and coming circus artist Sacha Bachman recently completed 45 min on his hands before graduating from the Montreal national circus school. There are of course countless and nameless Chinese kids who do this stuff before breakfast but lets not go there…

OK back to my personal challenge.
As you recall, my approach was to break those 10 minutes into 3-4 segments and slowly decrease the resting time in between. For the last couple of months I have been doing these sessions 2-3 times per week in the end of practice and have been slowly been increasing the length of my holds and also decreasing the resting periods in between. My Endurance sessions looked and progressed as follows:

4 x 2:30 (60 sec rest in between sets)
4 x 2:30 (30 sec rest)
3 x 3:20 (60 sec rest)
3 x 3:30 (40 sec rest)
5:00 (1 min rest) + 2 x 2:30 (30 sec rest)
6:00 (1 min rest) + 2 x 2:00 (30 sec rest)

*I also added long holds against the wall inspired by John Sapinosso and the Ido portal team, and reached a 20 min wall assisted hold which was a great addition to my preparation.

So this is where I was last week before a random chat with Sascha Bachman, who basically told me to forget a little about the progressions…, “Just go for it” and approach it more as a psychological /mental challenge rather than a physical one.

Today happened to be a nice day so I went outside to practice. I was a little short on time, so I decided to go for some technique work and then an endurance session… Although I had the 10 min on the back of my mind, I still didn’t really decide to go for it… 6 minutes into it I started to think, why not…, one minute at a time, one arm handstand at a time… And there I was, at the 10 minutes mark with some fatigue but not something to write home about…

So what’s next? Time will tell…

You can find Yuval Ayalon on Facebook and Youtube.

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How to Perform a Wall Spin

The wall spin is a great flip to start with if you are just getting into parkour and tumbling. Even though it is a basic parkour movement, most people can’t figure out how to perform it on their own.

Here’s a great tutorial by Ryan Ford on how to do it. After you’ve found an appropriate wall with something soft beneath it (like grass, a mat, etc. ), you’ll want to hit it at the right angle – 45 degrees works the best. As you’re running towards the wall, you need to jump off with both feet about 4 ft (or arms length) away from the wall. Make sure to keep your top hand pointing towards the movement, while keeping your other hand pointing towards the ground.

At this point you’ll want to lean forward and once you’re in that upside down position, move your top hand out of the way to avoid falling down. At the same time, keep your bottom hand on the wall and basically use it as a pivot point. The momentum will take care of the rest if you applied enough force in your jump and you should be landing safely on your feet.

At some point all of us wanted to learn how to do backflips, handsprings, aerials, somersaults and other tumbling movements. Why not learn all these awesome movements now? Check out Tumbling and Acrobatics Starter Package and start moving your body in amazing ways.

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Advanced Frogstand for Planche Progression

Learning how to do a frogstand is a must for anyone who wants to master the handstand. If you can’t hold a basic frogstand for at least a minute or so, you have no business trying to perform a free standing handstand.

Mike Fitch from Global Bodyweight Training shows a couple of great frogstand variations for building your way up to the planche.

In advanced frogstand, you’re putting the knees on the inside of your fully extended elbows, whereas in the regular frogstand the knees are resting on the outside of bent elbows – making the exercise much easier. This frogstand variation will help you strengthen the entire body, but it’s particularly good for improving wrist flexibility and balance.

After you get in a starting advanced frogstand position, flex your elbows slowly and lean forward to lock yourself in a more stable position. From there you’ll begin with alternating hip extensions while shifting the weight from one leg to another to stay in balance. Keep your abs tight at all times. Make sure to watch the entire video for detailed explanation of this advanced frogstand variation.

If you want more detailed instructions from Mike Fitch, check out his Hand Balancing for the Bodyweight Athlete DVD here.



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Elbow Extension in Relation to Handstands

Here is a great video on elbow extension in relation to hand balancing by Yuri Marmerstein. If you can’t lock out your elbow while in a handstand, this video will give you everything you need to fix this somewhat rare issue. This may not be a big problem in the beginning of your hand balancing training, but once you progress and try to achieve something like the one hand handstand, it might prove to be a bigger issue than you thought initially.

Some people simply have a psychological barrier which prevents them from fully extending their elbows in a handstand. On the other hand, some literally cannot straighten their arms fully, whether due to tension in biceps or some other physical factor. Yuri Marmerstein shows two different workouts you can do at your home to work on this issue gradually in order to fix it permanently.

Also make sure to check out The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing by Professor Paulinetti and Robert Jones, which is a great resource for anyone who’s into hand balancing.


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Impressive Hand Walking

Walking on hands is a fairly tough exercises which requires tons of balance and core strength to perform as shown in the video below.

Before you try to walk on your hands I highly recommend you to learn how to do a handstand first. Once you are able to stand on your hands for at least ten seconds, you can safely proceed to learning how to walk on your hands. Prof. Orlick’s Walking and Jumping on the Hands is one of the best resources available on that subject, so make sure to check it out.

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