Stunts, Skills, and a 60-Second Game Plan

Why 60 Seconds. I’d like to start off by saying that I’m a big advocate of education, skill development, and finding out what it takes to learn effectively. In my last post I talked about gaming and how it could be a new approach with your handstand development. Lets be honest, our bodies are a biological mass created from responses to a multitude of possible external stimuli. Basically the crap that we do with our bodies can change what makes us – us!

I’m not saying that you can jump into a vat of toxic chemicals and become a superhero/villain. What I am saying is that the things we do, has an effect on how our bodies are put together. Here are a couple of possible examples. If all you do for your core are sit-ups, you might have a weak lower back. Like-wise if you do a lot of upper-body strengthening without flexibility work, you might not be able to maneuver yourself into the alignment necessary to balance out a handstand.

So why 60 seconds. We’re using this as a baseline goal to reach for. A guiding light to pull yourself toward without getting lost in the sea of thoughts, stimulus and information. So where does the 60 Second Game Plan come into play with your handstand?

The Lead-up Stunts. Its a pathway of primary goals that can make the path to the freestanding handstand clearer of obstacles.

To partly break it down, here is an excerpt from our Secrets of the Handstand ebook:

Here are your first goals. Before you even attempt the freestanding handstand I want you to work up to one minute or 60 seconds in each of the main lead-up stunts.
1. Wall Handstand
2. Frogstand
3. Headstand
4. Forearm Stand
5. Elbow Lever
You’ll find that some of these come easier then others. If they do you can work on some of the other variations. For instance if the headstand is easy, but you’re still working towards the other moves, do the yoga headstand and try to get to 60 seconds there. It’s not an absolute requirement that you master every one of these moves. But if you do build up to 60 seconds in each of these moves, then the freestanding handstand will be much, much easier. Everyone wants to skip ahead to that part, but without the foundation it’s just going to be frustrating work. Contrary to that, working on these moves you’ll probably find you can add time just about every day to most if not all of these moves, at least in the beginning.

So, let’s break it down even further. Each of the different Lead-up Stunts become a different mini-quest on your final journey to the handstand. Each time you unlock one of the 60 second skills, a new set of tools become available to you that can really help you understand and perform the handstand. Some of the unlocked tools could be managing the fear, stabilizing with the hands, or even working on the upper thoracic. Now that you have a better idea about how to turn the development of the handstand into a game, I’ll start going over the lead-up stunts in the next set of posts!

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

PS If you can’t wait to take to learn more about these lead-up stunts, be sure to to check out the Handstand Mastery Program!


Comments { 0 }

The Handstand Game and Leveling up your Skills!

Whats going on Hand Balancers!

The handstand is one of those moves that can hit the range of being extremely easy to massively difficult. Honestly it just depends on the person, their starting point, and any deviation from the norm that could add that little bit of guesswork in order to complete the task. Things to look at would be finger strength, thoracic flexibility, and a whole set of other factors that can make or break your handstand.

The reason I’m talking about this is because, learning that handstand can be similar to playing an online roleplaying game or mmorpg. It might be a bit confusing, but hear me out. At LAOHB our Handstand Mastery Program focuses on 5 different skills in order to reach your goal.

These are the skills:

1. Wall Handstand
2. Headstand

Handstand and Headstand

3. Frogstand

Frogstand Press 1
4. Forearm Stand

Tiger Stand
5. Elbow Lever

Elbow Lever

Now these 5 different skills or lead-up stunts aren’t all necessary in order to reach the end goal, but they give you an advantage or specific ability that will work for your specific avatar to achieve the handstand. Each of them have their advantages like the elbow lever being your tank character because of the resounding strength it creates across the entirety of your line or the headstand being your balanced warrior because its the first step to learning how to stack your joints and keep your alignment.  With that said, over the next month or so, we’ll be revisiting these different lead-up stunts to help you attain your goal.

*note. I might not be as geeky during those posts!

Stay Inverted,
Coach Jon

PS If you can’t wait to take to learn more about these lead-up stunts, be sure to to check out the Handstand Mastery Program!


Comments { 0 }

Animal Style: Human

Function Begets Form


The more I see it, the more intrigued I become by it. We as people have had a historical passion for observing animals in nature, and why not? Animals are fascinating, and remind us of a time when we were once animals too.


But wait, are we not? We often observe the movement patterns of a bear or tiger to grasp and understand its strength, but how often do we truly attempt to analyze the movement tendencies of the animal human?


After all, there are many things that the human has incredible capabilities to do that are impeded by our sedentary lifestyles, so analyzing our own movement patterns couldn’t hurt. Sitting in a chair for 8 hours a day only serves to shorten your hip flexors and reduce your mobility in low and full squat stances. Walking with shoes on reduces the activation of your tibialis muscle and restricts the pronation of your step.


The male stigma to walk without swinging your hips so as not to look feminine often weakens the ability to internally rotate their hips. When you swing your arm, the short head of your biceps automatically wants to bring your hand to your shoulder, as if to accommodate the motion of swinging through trees.


There are so many intricacies of human movement that can be explored. Perhaps, in a sense, martial artists and gymnasts explore animal movement as a human, but attuning to the movement patterns of the average person seeking above average functionality, there should be a greater emphasis on understanding the true structure of the human body to unlock the blessings of its movement.


After all, one of the core principles of biology is that function begets form. The structure of a thing is based principally upon its intended function in the biology of the organism. Therefore, why not truly delve into the functions of the human anatomy and train them to form?
Don’t get me wrong. You are not a bear, so your human structure will still benefit in a human way from doing bear crawls, and the benefits forthwith are truly remarkable. Nevertheless, expressing the beauty of the human function in tandem would be a welcome and liberating change of pace. 

Truly take the time to understand the function of your body, explore it, and watch the beauty of its form break free.

Comments { 0 }

Why Do You Want Do A Handstand?


I’m genuinely curious and would love to know, from all of you.

Why do you want to do a handstand? Why do you seek a handstand pushup, planche, or vault? What about seeing a tiger pushup makes you avidly want to do it?


I’m curious because everyone has different reasons for their goals, and hand balancing is a rather particular goal. You will have few reasons throughout your day to day life to walk on your hands, unless your legs spontaneously lost their mobility. Furthermore, it’d be a stretch of the imagination to consider that everyone reading this post seeks an illustrious career doing hand balancing stunts for Cirque du Soleil.


Then why? What reason would the average person have to do a handstand? I can think of a few myself.


For starters: let’s be honest, showing off to your friends or family is a driving motivation for some people to want to achieve a handstand. Which, hey, if your desire for spotlight brings you to movement mastery or motivates someone else toward it, I’ll say that motivation is sufficient.


Then there are the strength seekers. Hand balancing mastery displays a level of physical strength beyond the reach of the day laborer, a level of commitment to a lifestyle in physical culture. Your pressing power, your sense of balance, your grip strength, and even your vitality and health will benefit from hand balancing like few other things will do.


Perhaps someone that you admire and were inspired by gave you the motivation to achieve a handstand. Why then? To pass on the torch of inspiration that you now wield? To simply achieve a physical goal that may have eluded you for a long time? To prove to yourself that you can accomplish what you commit to?


Well, with all that said, I’ll present this question: why did I want to do a handstand? What desire did I have to achieve hand balancing mastery?


I’d like to answer this question with another question: why didn’t I want to train my ability to fly? Why didn’t I see a bird in the sky, then spend every moment of my waking life flapping my arms at incredible speeds to try and take off into the sunset?


The answer, of course, is that humans can’t fly like that. It isn’t possible.


So why did I want to do a handstand? Because it was possible. Further than that, it was NATURAL. I don’t mean in the sense that I perfected the handstand from the moment I tried, but that the ability to do a handstand is naturally within our physiology. We can achieve it if we seek to regain the kind of strength that we possessed as natural hunters, nomads, and movers.


I know that a handstand can be done, and if someone else can do it, why not I? If I can do it, why not you?


What is your reason for wanting to do a handstand?

Comments { 1 }

Swinging for Primal Harmony

Reclaim your origins

Reclaim your origins

I know you feel it.

The blood flowing through your veins, calling, begging your body to return to the glory that was intended for it at birth. You can look at yourself and see the beauty of your own design: hands made not only for intricate processes like tool use and development, but for incredible pinching and crushing strength. Shoulders that can stabilize as well as they mobilize, attached to scapulae with 17 different tendons connected to transfer muscle power very efficiently. Your body was made for the beauty of brachiation, and it’s only fair that you reclaim your birthright.

What Is Brachiation?

Even without knowing much about the character, if I say “Tarzan”, you likely think of a wild man pounding his chest and swinging from vines. Well brachiating is just that: having the ability to swing on vines, branches, and whatever our hands can manage.

Swinging may not be something you recognize as a birthright as you would, say, bipedal movement, but if you think about it, jungle gyms and playgrounds almost always have an element that allows kids to do what they naturally enjoy: swinging. (They aren’t called monkey bars for nothing)

Swinging is critical to overall shoulder health. Gymnasts and traceurs swing often in their training, and you never hear of them suffering from a frozen shoulder joint, yet that problem plagues numerous trainees in the fitness industry. We often try to substitute by doing supplementary exercises to ease into mobility, but there are so few exercises that can encompass the benefits of the whole body dynamic nature of swinging

This is simple enough: find a bar, rope, or some other hanging element that you’re comfortable grabbing, and simply practice swinging back and forth, 20 swings forward and back. Doing this simple thing daily will start to make an incredible change in your mobility and grip strength in as little as a month. As you progress, practice swinging with only one arm, then practice reducing fingers and so on.

Shoulder Dislocates

Okay, this isn’t as painful as it sounds. No, the key to reconnecting with your original movement pattern is not forcefully popping your shoulder out of its socket.

However, the kind of mobility and strength toward both hand balancing and bar workouts that you get from training controlled shoulder dislocates is phenomenal. I’d argue that any and everyone seeking true movement mastery should add this one exercises to their repertoire.

Cue the video instruction, courtesy of our friends at GMB.


This can also be done with a towel. If you have the mobility to bring the towel or broomstick all the way down to your lower back, do so, but don’t rush or force the process. Your body has been programmed by years of immobile practices, so truly recovering your full mobility will be a progressive but worthy process.


In other words: reclaim the primal, primate strength that you deserve, and swing, baby, swing.

Comments { 0 }

Underkicking and Overkicking: The Secret Step to getting your Kick-Up

2 Common Handstand Kick Up Issues (and how to solve them)

Whats going on Hand Balancers!

Wall Handstands and Kick-Up Wall Handstands. Those are the usual starting points for people wanting to get into handbalancing. But what do you do after that. The very first goal usually revolves around getting into a solid freestanding handstand. Although having the safety of the wall can have its share of scares. Some of which could include:

  • Bending in an odd way
  • Losing control and falling
  • Falling on your face
  • Not having enough strength in your arms

There are lots of different tactics in order to get into the kick-up. One is utilizing underkicking or overkicking. In the first scenario, you’re not generating enough force to reach the “sweet spot” of balancing at the top, so you simply fall back to your starting position. When you overkick, you’re moving past the equilibrium point and fall forward. You can turn sideways into a carthwheel to land safely.

So where does this come into play?It helps you find the “sweet spot” while having a baseline of underkicking and overkicking. Take note of the results from each kick up attempt to determine how hard to kick the next time. In general, kick a little harder than you initially think, because it’s harder to stop yourself from underbalancing than it is to slow down your movement as you reach the balancing point. Use your hands and fingertips to press into the ground and control yourself in the handstand position.



We hope that this helped you gain some perspective on your freestanding handstand and how to get into it. If you need any more help, we’re willing to offer a “no strings” consulting session on the handstand. This will only last til the end of the week at 11:59pm on Sept. 17, 2016. You could get a hold of us by emailing us at

Stay Inverted,
Coach Jon


Comments { 0 }

Conor McGregor Movement Training

conor mcgregor nate diaz

Photo courtesy of

Tonight is the long awaited night: the two powerful welterweights Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor will go at it for the second time in a fierce battle to prove the stronger welterweight once and for all at UFC 202.

While Nate Diaz won the last bout and proved himself a much more patient and strategic fighter in their first bout, Conor McGregor seems to have honed his focus and sought more patience in this fight.

What, then, has he sought in his training?

It may make more sense to say whom. Ido Portal is an Israeli movement expert who seeks to find a union between strength, conditioning, and technique. We’ll get to see below the ways that Ido sought to blend the three together for Conor in his next bout, as he helped Mcgregor attain the physical shape to defeat the legendary Jose Aldo in a mere 13 seconds. (He has trained other MMA fighters as well, like Alberto Mina.)

Ido Portal Method

Conor Mcgregor continually hones his striking. Both his fists and feet are fierce weapons in the ring, both thus far unmatched in the 145 weight class. But he has focused on training that truly boosts his mobility in the ring, training with complex and bouncy animal movements and different movement chains that engage the tendons and ligaments, boost proprioception, and aid the utilization of full body power in fight situations.

Here is a video of some of the movement training that McGregor did with Ido Portal as he trained for his last fight. I’d say more people understand how important body movement is for overall health and functionality. Are you one of them? If so, watch this video and try out some of the movements for yourself. I truly believe that you’ll discover patterns and freedom of movement that will get your body singing.

And tonight, may the best man win!

Comments { 0 }

Dynamic Tension Hindu Pushups


Pushups. Something so simple and yet so versatile, so progressive yet so intense, a pushup is one of the ultimate multifaceted tools of hand balancing mastery.

Of this multifaceted tool, this variation is one of my personal favorite pushups: the Hindu pushup.


Also known as a dand, this is a full body workout; with one simple exercise, you can work the shoulders, back, arms, legs, and chest. Not only that, but the mind muscle connection that you gain from honing your technique through the movement will help your body very quickly return to its natural state of absolute strength.

Now, this exercise was used often by Indian wrestlers like the famous Great Gama to develop incredible strength, mobility, and power. Now, add to that the intensity of a dynamic tension workout, flexing the appropriate muscles from the start to the finish of your training, and you’ve got a phenomenal workout.

Dynamic tension has been used to strengthen tendons, muscles, and nerves in so many physical arts through history that it almost seems like adding it to a Hindu pushup was meant to be.

Additionally, if you want to increase the intensity of your workout even more, do a dynamic tension Hindu pushup on your fingertips and engage the power of your grip strength. For the truly adventurous, using a weight vest will take the intensity of the pushup to a whole new level.

Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast

This is an exercise that is not for the faint-hearted. This is an advanced variation pushup, so take it slowly. As I say in the video, slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

That goes not just for your movement speed during the exercise, but also the speed of your progression. There’s no need to rush, and no need to risk injury. Enjoy the training journey, keep it fun, and look forward to the incredible levels of strength that you acquire. Onward, and happy training to you all!

Leave a comment to let me know your thoughts on the variation.

Comments { 0 }

Ask the Tapps! Shortcut for Handstand Mastery

Hey Hand Balancers!

Today we have a special video from our friends the Tapp Brothers. They went ahead and put together a set of tips specifically for you guys here at LAOHB. Go ahead and take a look at the video below!

If you want to learn the 5 components to build your athletic base, check out the Tapp Brothers’ new program Rapid Primal Fitness!

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

Comments { 0 }

Skills Vs Attributes: If you don’t use it, you’ll probably lose it!


Hey Guys! Today Im going to share my thoughts about Skill Vs. Attributes.

What is a skill. Its basically the ability to perform a task. This is the base set of any coordinated movement. Whether it being running, jumping or climbing. Even the squat can be considered a skill. Attributes are the inherent characteristics gained from building a skill. These more often than not take the form of strength, endurance, agility, etc.

So why am I talking about this? Basically for two reasons. The first is because LAOHB is all about building skills. The second is a little bit more internalized. When most of us started on our training journey, we had a vision of who we wanted to be. That vision most often came from our idols and mentors who were capable of doing incredible things. Whether with their minds or with their bodies. We saw the results of their hard work but we didn’t have a pathway to get there. We have people like Usain Bolt who could sprint 100 meters in 9.58 seconds or even Bruce Lee he could impact a person within only an inch of distance. So we imitate and progress forward. As we progress, we build our bodies seemingly stronger and faster, yet we still don’t meet the goal of doing those incredible things and possibly hurt ourselves in the process.

What do we find as the missing link?

The real secret is that we try to build our bodies to enhance what we want to do, yet we don’t stay focused on the main foundation. What does a person need to do to perform the task. Specifically how should a person move in order to perform a task effectively. Rather than running endlesss reps and sets of jump squats and dumbbell pullovers in hopes that it will help your 3 pointer. Why not pay more attention and mindful to how the skill should be performed.

More specifically, figure out how your body should move to perform the specific and give it the ability to adapt to most tasks. Our bodies are dynamic and meant to move. So move! Find ways to test safely test yourselves and get your bodies to adapt. Learn new skills, break them down, and then build your attributes through them.

Here is an example video of me doing just that!


Now going straight into playing like that could take time and might need some guidance. Luckily we have friends in many different areas of movement and fitness. One of our friends, Gold Medal Bodies, has a program that can help you gain that skill. Its called Floor 1 and here are some things it can give you:

  • A systematic practice in 4 movement categories: jumps, single leg balance, hand balance, tumbling
  • 24/7 availability on any device via online course area
  • Accessible day-to-day outlines
Stay Inverted,
Coach Jon


Comments { 0 }