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Igniting Your Reason. What keeps you Motivated?

So I was coaching a small group of three people today working on unilateral body weight strengthening and finishing off with balance skill work focusing on the frogger lead-up stunt. After the session ended an all too familiar question came up from one of the ladies that was training this afternoon.

“How do you keep doing it? How do you keep working out?”

My immediate answer was that its hard, I’m currently having trouble staying as motivated, and I don’t consistently work out.(Although I am probably a bit more active than the average person!)

This wasn’t the most sales invoked answer but it was honest. I tend to try to be honest about these things as it won’t serve any purpose to the person to give them a half-made answer. Especially when I’m supposed to be there to guide them and support them in the right direction.

This next piece is where I got deeper into the question. I said that if you want to work out or train more, its gotta be something more than the workout.

For me, it was always about being able to perform. To be able to utilize the human body in ways that others could only dream of. Whether it was in combat situations or amazing feats.

I then asked her what does she like to do. Things that are active and with body.

She came up with multiple sports and multiple activities. ( She’s a very driven and motivated type. Being in the silicon valley, that’s a given. But it also means that motivation is usually directed to work.)

None of the activities had anything really in common. Some were team sports, while others were individual.

I could have left it there, but I had to dig deeper. I then asked her what made her stay. What was the defining reason that got her to keep going to one of the activites.

Now I’m not going to go into more details so we can fast forward to the reason for this story. ( hint: it involved milestones and progression)

So the reason for this story is that if you really want to make working out a consistent part of your life, you’ve got to find a goal bigger than just working out. ( Remember working out as it is today wasn’t even really a thing until the 1980s.)

Once you’ve found that one thing. Take a look at what things you’ve done the longest. Then find out why.

Finally; and this is probably those most important part.

Make a decision. Pull the trigger. Flip the light switch on.

Because if you don’t do anything, nothing will happen.

To help you with flipping the switch, take a look at this motivational video below!

Finally, since this site is all about hand balancing, check out the  Secrets of the Handstand System!

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon
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Movement Flow to Overcome Plateaus!

Have you ever been stuck on a task that you couldn’t get past? You try to understand or finish the task but seem to meet consistent stops. You go through all the different variations you can try to accomplish the task, and probably all of the different levels of frustration, but still can’t seem to complete your goal.

Truth be told. This happens quite a bit. Especially when you’re learning a new body skill. When this occurs, it just means that we don’t internally have enough information to make a change. So if that’s the case, what can we do to make the change happen.

Simple.

Change your perspective and safely experiment.

The basic idea is that once you start adding new connected stimuli and experiences, you give your mind more to work and play with.

Let’s put it into the framework of skill development. When you’re working on a new skill, a good thing to do is isolate the skill. People tend to do this by breaking it down into separated movements, which is an excellent way to drill the skill. Although, they don’t think of the working on the skill as an isolated training method in itself. When you work on the handstand for example. Your main focus is to get the handstand and in turn that causes you to laser beam all your energy and thoughts into that one move.

But to gain mastery or even just attain a move you also have to test it. Honestly, the best way that I’ve found to test new moves is to place them in combinations or flows. Sometimes the combinations are predetermined to work on specific aspects and other times they are done in a free-flow to really gauge where everything is at.

This is important because it causes you to put your body in situations you would never have thought of while going through the different transition. In a sense, you add more information to utilize in your library with each flow session.

 

I’ll get more into the state of flows later. But, just in case you want a different way to look at it, check out the video below!

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

For another way to play with and test your skilled flow, check out the GMB Vitamin Program

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

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Drifting Cars and Your Hand Positions for the Handstands!

So this post comes a bit later than usual because I’ve been busy doing a small update on the training studio while getting ready for a bigger update. Hint: Colors are awesome!

For today’s post I’m going to be talking about cars and your handstand.

Specifically how your hand positioning can affect how much drive and control you need to balance while you kick up into the handstand.

There are two main hand positions your see. Either with your fingers facing forward or with you fingers externally rotated to the side. Although I have been known to play with my hands turned in as well.

Either way you choose to position your hands will work. But each position has its own set of rules to help you achieve the balance you’re looking for.

Lets take the turned out or externally rotated position. You can liken this position to a force choke in star wars. With the alignment of this position, your kick up becomes smoother and faster. Which means that you need to have good solid control to put on the brakes once you’ve reached the apex and are ready to keep the hold.

In contrast, the fingers forward position is similar to drifting. The muscles and fascia counterbalance each other to create drag and slow down your kick up. This gives you a little more control so that you don’t fall over on your backside. Although you might have a problem with underkicking the handstand or not kicking with enough force to get into position.

 

Test which version works best for you and look at the video below for deeper information and demonstrations on learning how to drift your handstands.

To get a done-for-you blueprint on the handstand check out The Secrets of the Handstand System today!

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

Learn How to Back Flip in 31 Days
Learn How to Back Flip in 31 Days on Amazon
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Autoregulation – A Framework for Building Skill

In a previous post, I covered overcoming hurdles and changing things up. I even discussed an interesting buzzword; autoregulation.

I didn’t want to get too deep into autoregulation at that point because I wanted to keep things simple. Although I think today is a perfect time to discuss what this whole autoregulation thing is about.

Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups
Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups on Amazon
Autoregulation in its base training terms means to adjust the training session to the body’s needs at that point in time. First off let me say that this doesn’t mean to jump into every session without a plan and guns shooting. That is off course from what we are looking for in our own training, although having time to play while you train has its merits.
What we are talking about is having an adjustable framework to work from.
Lets take our wall assisted handstand as an example. To add to this, lets set a simple baseline to follow while your understanding this method. There are many methods to autoregulation including those from our friends at Gold Medal Bodies.
To start off, lets take the ideas of quality, quantity, and time. Say that our chosen training activity, the wall assisted handstand, will be given a time frame of 20 minutes. In that 10 minute time frame, I set a goal(quantity) of a 30 second handstand with a quality of a controlled kick-up lightly touching the wall and straight line. I have an added base point of stopping after not being able to hold a quality 20 second handstand even if its before the 20 minute time frame ends.
So what I’ve done is set up some “soft” parameters that i can play with in order to adjust my body accordingly to the task. This is important when building a skill, because you are learning to utilize your body. We have the added biological mess, that your bodies current state is a result of stimuli received previously.
You can look up more on the subject by doing a quick google search. But if you want to get a tasted of auto-regulated skill training, test out one of the many Gold Medal Bodies training programs.

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

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Do you Roll Forward or Reverse Engineer it?

Rolling on the floor. It seems like a simple task. But many people seem to have a tough time with it. The simplest reason why is because they dive straight into it without the right body feel.

When somebody is  initially taught the roll, they start off in a kneeling position, and the first point of contact tends to be their shoulder. Following the contact with the shoulder the next point of contact tends to be the lower back or rump. This is usually exemplified by a large thump or possible yell.

So why does this occur? The two culprits are body kinesthetic and flexibility. When a person is rolling they need to be able to feel the connection of their back to the floor. On top of that, they need to be flexible enough to round out their back to create the shape necessary to roll.

Where does a person start to gain the tools necessary. They should begin at the point of contact that most of the issues occur. That point would be the mid-back. Build the right body feel and flexibility in that area and the roll will be an easy task.

A great example on building this body feel comes from Ryan Hurst of GMB Fitness.  Below, he demonstrates a set of progressions that you can use to develop the right feel to easily develop your rolling skills.

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

If you found this tutorial useful. Check out the GMB Vitamin Course to gain more skills similar to the roll.

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

 

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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!

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

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.

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

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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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!

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

 

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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

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

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!

 

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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!

 

The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing
The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing on Amazon
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