Friday the 13th: Some Positive Motivation!

It’s officially the first Friday the 13th of the year. To move you all through the day with positivity, we have a motivational video coming from Metin Dabak.

Not only did he manage to perform 50 handstand pushups in five sets, but he claims to have done them in supersets with weighted chin-ups.

Test yourself this weekend and see if you can complete the same challenge!

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

P.S. If you need help with your handstand pushups, check out the Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups to learn how to perform them as soon as possible.

 

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Underwater Handstands and where to spot?

Is doing an underwater handstand a good idea? Read below for that and other questions from readers like you. Remember that if you want your questions answered just email them to me. I can’t personally reply to all of them but I will post them for all to see.

Here’s the first one:

Thank you so much for the good tips. I am just a beginner of the hand stand on land. I already know how to do headstand (“King of Yoga” ). I also do good hand stand and hand walk underwater in the swimming pool at my local LA Fitness. In fact I handwalked the entire length of the pool in one breath few days ago. But I find it much more difficult to do hand stand on land. Shall I keep practicing underwater hand stand and hand walk while trying to learn hand stand on land? Will I pick up “bad habits” while doing the underwater hand balancing?
Best regards, Brian Ko

Now I have never heard this one before. Not having practiced in the water it is hard to say for sure but here are my feelings.

Water is going to give you some resistance for you to push off of. This is why it is easier. When you balance on land you cannot push off the air in this manner. I imagine that you will be balancing with your body rather than your hands for the most part. If you want to be able to do a handstand on land then you should be practicing that.

The other thing is holding the breath. Obviously this must be done if you are underwater, and unless you have great lungs you won’t be able to balance for a long time. However, in hand balancing you do not want to hold your breath. A big key, and also something hard to learn, is to be able to breathe normally when you practice.

My advice is to stick to the land. It is harder but you will get the hang of it. There may be some benefit from practicing underwater but I the time would be better spent on solid ground.

And from our friend Seth:

Hello, I was wondering where is the best place to look while you are in a handstand, I find myself always looking at the ground, but recently I started trying to look forward and keeping neck straight. Which way is correct? Thank you for all your help it is very much appreciated.

Both are correct depending on what you are going for. Most of the time I look at the ground. I find this position easier. Remember that the back tends to follow the head, so if you are looking at your hands then you will naturally arch.

Now if you look forward then your back will straighten out and this will give you the straight handstand look and feel. Once you get use to this position it can be just as easy as the other one.

It all depends on what you are going for but both are correct for hand balancing.

That wraps it up for today.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

PS   Jonathan here! If you need more guidance in 2017 toward your handbalancing goals, try out our Handstand Mastery Program!

 

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Make Haste Slowly, A Late Start to 2017

2017 day 4. If i had my way I would have given you this advice on day 1 of this year inspiring you and guiding you towards your right track. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out that way. Each day of 2017 has involved an odd occurence. Had my phone pick-pocketed from me on the first day, hurt my back on the second, and we move forward. If I had the capacity to turn back time and redo, I would. Unfortunately that isn’t the case.

Much in the same way with your training. If there was a pill that you could take, that would immediately transform you into a world class hand balancer, would you take it?

YES I would! Unfortunately, there is no such pill.

Becoming a great hand balancer requires work and perserverance. Lots and lots of work. Especially if you “start late.”

The problem is that the more you want it and push for it sometimes the farther away it seems.

The worst part of learning any new stunt is the frustration when you just can’t get it right. So you keep on pushing and only get worse it seems.

When you are going after a handstand, and mind you this applies to any trick, as soon as you fall out of balance you may want to kick right back up again. Trying to force the situation will never help.

Whenever this happen take the time to step back. Take a deep breath and think about how you can do better. Don’t over think the process, but analyze your technique and realize if you are doing things correctly.

Now go at it again with optimism.

If you throw yourself into a hand balance you may feel like you can get more work in a shorter amount of time. Maybe you get one in ten to stick and you feel like you are progressing.

The question to ask yourself is do you want to go about this haphazardly or in the correct manner?

I am hoping you answered with the second option. You need to start slowly in order to make progress in the long run.

Going after the handstand with no prior skills is a hard way to do it. Learning the position and hand control with exercises like the Frog stand and Head Stand will give you two steps in the right direction.

Don’t just go after the One Hand Handstand by getting into a normal handstand and raising one hand off of the floor quickly. Practice handstands with a smaller base of support or with one arm elevated up.

Don’t be too anxious to get to your goal or you are putting obstacles in your own way.

If you needed to cover a distance of 30 feet would you try a broad jump or walk each step at a time?

I am as guilty of this problem as any of you. What we need to do is realize how much assistance exercises and lead-up stunts can help, use them, and in the end we will make progress faster.

By breaking your goal into easier steps along the way you will get there with haste.

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

PS   If you need more guidance in 2017 toward your handbalancing goals, try out our Handstand Mastery Program!

 

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Tired from the Holidays? Let the Professor Help!

So which Professor are we talking about?

Professor E.M. Orlick. You’ve probably read the last few post about him and have wondered why his material is so great.

Here is an excerpt from Handbalancing Made Easy, which forms just one of many pieces of the new course coming out soon. This covers many of the benefits of hand balancing no matter your reasons for doing it.

“I honestly believe that handbalancing is one of the finest mind-body activities there is, and that everyone should learn something about this invigorating sport. I am also convinced that our national health, both mental and physical, would improve materially, if all of our people spent a little time each day in the stimulating upside-down position.

FOR THE GYMNAST, the ability to hold a perfect handstand is a must. This stunt, with its numerous variations, is used more often in gymnastics than any other trick known to man. Without it, you cannot become a champion gymnast, or even an accomplished performer.

FOR THE ACROBAT, whether amateur or professional, the handstand is of similar importance, because it can be used in such a great variety of ways and in such a multitude of different acts. The handstand belongs in the repertoire of every good acrobat.

FOR THE BODYBUILDER, and all others interested in building impressive, muscular, he-man physiques, the handstand is a natural. Not only does handbalancing help to build big, powerful muscles, but it also shows off the well-developed body to its best advantage. Furthermore, it proves to the whole world that your muscles are not a lot of useless bulk, because handbalancing requires a find combination of balance, controlled strength, and neuro-muscular coordination.

FOR THE WEIGHTLIFTER, and other strength athletes, the handstand serves a similar purpose, but does even more, for it helps to develop terrific pressing strength. All good handbalancers possess powerful triceps. I have yet to find one who could not press his own body weight over his head. Some can press much more, even though they have never practiced weight-lifting. Most handbalancers practice some weight-lifting to help them with their sport, and likewise, many weight-lifters do some handbalancing to help them improve their lifts.

FOR THE ATHLETE, no matter what his favorite sport may be, handbalancing is a wonderful, exhilarating, strength-building activity. It is particularly good for those sports which require strong fingers, wrists, forearms, upper arms, shoulders, upper back and lower back. However, it exercises all of the muscles of the body to some degree, is a good circulation stimulator, and a fine warm-up exercise.

FOR THE ORDINARY PERSON, who just wants a strong, healthy, useful body, which can serve him efficiently and enable him to enjoy a happy, exciting life, handbalancing is just the thing. Handbalancing brings into play every muscle in your body and has a beneficial effect upon all of your vital organs and systems. It improves circulation, respiration, digestion, elimination, and other important functions. It aids thinking and reasoning by bringing more blood to your brain, and more oxygen to your blood. It is challenging and exciting and has a beneficial effect upon the central nervous system as a whole. There is no better way to get fit and stay fit…mentally and physically… than through handbalancing.

HANDBALANCING is more than a series of stunts, more than a system of exercising, it is a way of life. To be a good handbalancer you need a sound mind in a sound body. You need strength of character, will-power, self-confidence, determination, perseverance, and the will to succeed. You need a mind free from worry, fear, and tension. You need a medically fit body, that is free from disease, injury, or infection. You need good balance, fine coordination and rapid recuperative powers. You need strength, stamina, and endurance; you need vim, vigor and vitality. You need mental and physical fitness of the highest order.”

As you can see Prof. Orlick was a huge believer that anyone and everyone can benefit from doing some hand balancing.

P.S. Why does it seem like all the best teachers of hand balancing seem to be professors or doctors? Maybe I should go get a degree.

If you are still unsure, why not just follow our lead and get your hand balancing skills in order.
We’ll even help you out by giving you a 50% discount til the end of 2016 to 3 of our Hand Balancing Products using the code: NEWTRICKS

 

Hand Balancing Made Easy – Beginner/Intermediate

Walking and Jumping On Your Hands – Intermediate/Advanced

How to do the One Hand Handstand – Advanced

 

Get one or all 3 of the books before 2016 ends.

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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Get a Head Start on 2017 Before 2016 ENDS!?

It’s almost 2017 and its pretty much the closing of a very interesting year. But no matter what environmental factors happen around us, we always have a choice to progress and be successful.

So, let me ask you a question.

What have you decided to in order to progress for 2017?

I’ll give you a second to think about that…

For many of us, the question hasn’t formulated in our heads yet, because we are still in “Holiday Mode.” For the ones that are going to kill it this 2017, the planning has already begun.

If you are still unsure, why not just follow our lead and get your hand balancing skills in order.
We’ll even help you out by giving you a 50% discount til the end of 2016 to 3 of our Hand Balancing Products using the code: NEWTRICKS

Hand Balancing Made Easy – Beginner/Intermediate

Walking and Jumping On Your Hands – Intermediate/Advanced

How to do the One Hand Handstand – Advanced

 

Get one or all 3 of the books before 2016 ends.

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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Why am I still talking about flexibility?

Whats going on fellow handbalancers! This one is a bit of a rant lol.

If you remember from a few posts back I was discussing with you about flexibility. (PS if you don’t remember, just go here.)

Well here I am back at it again. The reason why? Its that I keep seeing the need for it in my daily life as a coach and/or trainer.(whichever you choose)

We are in a time when people are healthier than they have been in the past 5-10 years. We understand that we need to get our bodies strong and fit in order to elongate our lives but also to enjoy more of what if has to offer. All of the marketing and reality shows have probably helped. Although people are still getting stronger and faster, I still see a consistent issue. In fact its the top thing people have been coming to me for lately.

Flexibility. A typical situation is to have a new client call me up or email. The usual verbage is that they were working on their own or with a previous trainer and they hurt themselves. But they don’t know why but want to keep training without being inhibited. (Huge red flag for me) Awareness of your own body is key while your training. There are those cases where their movement patterns are off but that can be discussed at a later time. I do an assessment of their form and alignment and notice a few things. Maybe its overly stressed traps or tight it band causing irritation in the back. We get to work on a few flexibility protocols and in up to a few short weeks they are able to complete their programming without inhibited movements.

So why is this so important? If you have a muscular imbalance or tightness in certain areas of your body, it can cause not so needed stress to other areas as an effect. You can look at how the protocols for tennis elbow have changed in the past 3 -4 years to see what I’m talking about.

So do yourself a favor and get more flexibility! If you need a program, try the GMB Focused Flexibility Program.

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

 

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Forest Vance and his Sneaky Trick to Do More Push Ups – Instantly

We’ve got another guest post from  Certified Progressive Calisthenics Instructor Forest Vance. Last time he discussed a bodyweight apparatus mainstay with the pull up.

Today he’s coming back with a sneaky trick in order to develop your push up.


Sneaky Trick to Do More Push Ups –
Instantly by Forest Vance, creator, Bodyweight Strong

A couple of years ago – after charity event we had held at FVT Boot Camp – we went out to a bar to eat, drink, and celebrate.

Several of us get to talking about how many push ups we think we can do … one thing leads to another, and before you know it, I’m in the middle of a push up contest!

The guy I was going against could do a surprising amount of push ups…I ended up squeaking out a victory, but barely …and the big way I was able to do it was using the technique I am going to share with you in today’s article.

Try this technique today … if you do it right, you’ll be able to do more push ups, instantly!

Sneaky Trick to Do More Push Ups – Instantly

– At the top of your push up, get as tight as you can. Take a deep breath to load up your muscles. Tighten your upper body, legs, core, everything.

– Drop into your push up without letting your breath out. Maintain tension in your abdominals and throughout your entire body. Do NOT exhale or let tension ‘escape’ in any way!

– Exhale as you press through your sticking point in the push up or after you finish the move. This will also help you keep tension throughout.

– Once finished with the push up, pause at the top and take a breath or two. Either lower back down to the ground and repeat, or rest.

This is a technique that can be used to tap into additional strength reserves, and boost your strength and power instantly. You can use this technique not only for push ups, but for other bodyweight moves as well, and also when lifting heavy weights. Give it a try today – I think you’ll be surprised at the results!

Train hard, and talk soon –

Forest Vance Author, Bodyweight Strong


Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

PS – For more tricks like the one outlined in this article, and for a full 12 week bodyweight only training program that will take you from whereEVER you are now, to bodyweight STRONG, click the link below:

Bodyweight Strong.

 

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Can’t Do Pull Ups? Forest Vance Will Show You How to Get There!

We’ve got a special post on  the pull-ups by Forest Vance for you today.

If you have problems, with this pulling motion, take a look at some of the things Forest will show you below!

— The difference between a pull up and a chin up .. and which one is easier
— What “counts” as a legit pull up or chin up rep
— The PROPER way to do a jumping or assisted pull up or chin up
— The PROPER way to do a band-assisted pull up or chin up
— How to work to full, unassisted pull ups / chins ups – and beyond

Have a look at the video below!

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

PS If you liked the information he gave out, have a look at his program Bodyweight Strong.

 

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Stretching, Mobility or Flexibility?

Do you want to stretch, get more mobile, or be more flexible? Whatever you call it, your goal is to increase the range of your muscles and joints in various positions to be able to complete whichever activity you’re training for.

Here’s an example. Say you’re into the martial arts like I am. Maybe you want to complete a cartwheel so that you can build out into something more difficult or impressive like an aerial( no handed cartwheel). An easier example would be in tying your shoes. If you don’t have the range to bend over (hips, hamstrings, lower back) you will probably strain your muscles or have to get creative to complete a simple task.

This brings out a bunch of choices in how to get the job done. Before I give you an obvious choice that we follow, here’s some food for thought from Jarlo at GMB Fitness.

As the argument goes, muscles don’t actually stretch; a fully relaxed muscle is up to 50% longer than a muscle in it’s typical semi-contracted state. Therefore, “stretching” a muscle doesn’t so much elongate its fibers as it simply trains them to hold less unnecessary tonus.

-Jarlo Ilano, GMB Fitness

So now to the obvious choice. I’ve gone through different protocols of mobility and flexibility in my time-frame as a trainer. The best protocol I’ve found is actually in the Focused Flexibility program from GMB. It bases its protocols on customization. The human body is not a static machine, it constantly changes. Focused Flexibility uses a baseline and then it works you through a series of static and dynamic stretches that are a variant of physical therapy protocols.

So if you want to develop your “flexibility, mobility, or increase your stretching range” pick up the GMB Focused Flexibility Program.

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

 

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Building your core to handle your balance skills or get more athletic!

We’ve got something a bit different for you today. As many of you who have attempted to do a freestanding handstand or even a wall handstand know, having a strong core is one of the key factors in keeping yourself inverted or even in safely getting up into a handstand safely. You also need to be dynamic in your mobility and flexibility.

Now, the reason why today is different is because you’ll rarely see me posting a movement drill with weights, although I do them myself. I like to stay focused on the buildup of the skill. But once the skill is built up to a certain point, you need to start testing it in different modalities in order to develop the dynamic nature of the skill. Remember, even though we are doing a “handstand hold”, we are actually dynamically adjusting to all the different changes while in the inverted position.

So, for today’s post we have a simple yet effective QM(quadredal movement) that you can do in order to test your functional movement and build your core to handle those dynamic changes. An added tip is to add a hollow body to movement to really engage your mid-thoracic and lower lumber!

Here is the video.

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

PS If you really liked the drill, its by our good friend Nick Nilsson. You can find other great core exercises in his Best Core Exercises ebook!

 

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