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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.

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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.

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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

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Ask the Tapps! Get Your First Pull Up

 

The Pull Up. Its a staple bodyweight movement that, much like the pushup alludes many. Some People don’t have enough core stability to follow through the motion, while others are stuck at the beginning phase with the scapular activation. Luckily the Tapp Brothers have a 4 stage plan that you can follow to reach your first pull up!

The 4 Stage Plan:

1.Scapula Pulls

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2.Inverted Rows

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3.Isometric/Eccentric Pull Ups

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4.Assisted Pull Ups

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Watch the video below to get a full breakdown of the process!

If you want to learn how to train your body to do more than just the pull ups, the Tapp Brothers have tons of great information to give in their new program Rapid Primal Fitness!

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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Ask the Tapps! 2 Tricks To Increase Muscle Size and Strength

In today’s installment of Ask the Tapps, Jonathan Tapp goes over 2 tricks that you can use to increase your muscle size and strength. Whats excellent about this tutorial is that its geared toward the bodyweight enthusiast.

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The 2 tricks are:

  • Eccentric Contractions – Lengthening of the muscles or negatives
  • Increase Resistance – Engaging the correct muscle fibers and increasing the load on them

Jonathan goes over these tricks in much more detail in the video below!

Download your FREE Eccentric Bodyweight workout here!

The Tapp Brothers have more great information to give in their new program Rapid Primal Fitness!

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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Bodyweight Strong 2.0 – Old School Strength

There are numerous bodyweight training programs that litter the fitness industry, but many of them target calorie burning with no attention to strength development. After all, the hand balancers of the past didn’t seek calorie programs — they sought strength, and they achieved it through bodyweight training.

For a man weighing 240lbs to do a one arm handstand, you need more than just a calorie burning program

For a man weighing 240lbs to do a one arm handstand, you need more than just a calorie burning program

 

After all, physical culture was loaded with men of incredible strength, so why create a program that wouldn’t allow the men of that time to match up to their counterparts? These were men who understood the importance of proper progression, so sought to increase, for instance, the difficulty of their pushups rather than how many they could do. If they could manage 100 pushups, they would elevate themselves or do one arm pushups to increase the difficulty, rather than just shooting for 200.

Furthermore, very few physical culturists emphasized training to failure. “Whoa, hold on, I was always taught for weightlifting to train to failure for the most gains.” Well let me tell you that Sig Klein, one of the most renowed weightlifters and bodyweight trainers in history, as well as Maxick, a master muscle controller with incredible lifting feats, never advocated training to failure.

Sig Klein is the kind of man you'd want to listen to about training

Sig Klein is the kind of man you’d want to listen to about training

When it comes to bodyweight training, you want your nervous system to be fresh and gain energy from workout to workout, rather than have it depleted. Thus, they focused on consistent, daily training, which would overly tax your nervous system if you trained to failure each time. In fact, the more you advance in bodyweight skill, the less you’ll want to train to failure to improve skill and prevent injury. Failing during, for instance, a handstand pushup wouldn’t quite have a Cinderella ending.

One of the main reasons that people have trouble doing a handstand is that they simply haven’t trained it enough. If your goal with a single handstand session is to feel the burn in your shoulders until they’re essentially numb, you’ll have a much more difficult time progressing with a handstand than if you practiced daily with consistent progression.

Body Weight Strong 2.0

Bodyweight training balances you as an athlete, and introduces you at a skill level that anyone can begin with — their own weight. If you can learn to truly master your own weight, your strength can skyrocket. In addition, you may not take your weight set everywhere, but you take your body everywhere, so the training convenience is bar none.

These legendary physical culturists knew the proper way to train bodyweight, and Forest Vance is the kind of man who understands old school bodyweight strength. Luckily for you, he has created a program with a contemporary understanding on classic strength philosophy. Plus, there’s thorough video instruction for you to follow every step of the way.

In basic terms, Body Weight Strong 2.0 can evolve your strength to reach incredible levels just as true bodyweight training should do.

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Irradiate Your Path to Handstand Mastery

If you’ve ever been inside a gym, I’m sure you’ve seen it: the classic gym bro doing bicep curls, perhaps easily at first, but soon devolves into using practically his entire body to curl the weight.

Although personally, when I see a weight, curling it isn't my preference...

Although personally, when I see a weight, curling it isn’t my preference…

 

What you’re actually watching is the law of irradiation, one of the Sherrington laws. What it means, in essence, is that you can contract other muscles in your body to strengthen the one you’re applying force with. If you’d like to experiment with this, try tensing your glutes the next time you shake someone’s hand; you’ll find that your hands can actually apply more force with the handshake.

Let’s review the curling gym bro again. As he continues to do the bicep curls, his biceps get tired and lose their strength of contraction. To compensate, his abs, forearms, lats, glutes, and even feet start contracting in order to provide enough force to lift the weight — it’s an unconscious response.

The problem is that the form of the curl itself begins to look incredibly sloppy as he’s unconsciously recruiting other muscles.

Now, what does this mean for handstand training?

The Law of Irradiation for Handstands


Here’s a great video of Otto Arco doing hand balancing and muscle control (which is key for the LOI)

Well, the handstand is an exercise that largely focuses on the shoulders, triceps, lats, forearms, traps, scapular muscles, and your core. However, fully body tension is really needed to maintain proper handstand form. Part of the reason is that having relaxed muscles can throw off your balance with the exercises, but the other factor is that recruiting other muscle groups like your glutes, neck, calves etc. into the handstand will help the required muscles to contract stronger.

“But you said that contracting extra muscles ruined the curler’s form…” Therein lies the difference, unconscious muscle recruitment vs. conscious muscle recruitment.

See, if that bicep curler had muscle control, and could consciously choose to flex other muscles to compensate, he could do so without affecting his form. That way, he wouldn’t lose the benefit on his biceps, and would also increase the benefit to other muscle groups and his overall muscle control.

The same goes for handstand training. If you’re able to consciously recruit different muscles to develop your overall strength in the handstand, you can help to both maintain your form and develop muscle control. Sig Klein, Otto Arco, and Maxick, who are all legendary hand balancers, knew the importance of muscle control and the law of irradiation in training, and used both to their advantages.

Try it out: develop your muscle control, and boost your progress with the law of irradiation.

Then, if you want to try more advanced moves like the handstand pushup, you’ll be more prepared.

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Ask the Tapps! How Often Should I Train?? 1 Secret For Rapid Strength Gains

I hope that everyone enjoyed the last installment from the Tapp Brothers. Did you guys make a choice on which direction you’re headed towards. Either way, your going to have to zero in on how you’re going to go about that training. In this video The dynamic duo while give you more insight by helping you figure out what the frequency of training should be for you!

Just to let you know. There aren’t going to be any snapshots in this post because, there isn’t much to show visually. But take a second to listen to the knowledge that’s about to be dropped!

Few Key Points to pay attention to!

  • What are you training for?
  • Weekend Warrior vs. Athlete
  • The number 1 secret to getting gains

Watch the video below to increase your training knowledge!

Try out one of the Tapp Brothers Primal Workouts Below:

http://learnmoreparkour.com/download-eccentric-bodyweight-workout-is/

And just in case you loved the information from this video and want to learn how to be in shape and move like the Tapp Brothers, check out their new program Rapid Primal Fitness!

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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We love hearing from you!

Hey Everyone!

Coach Jon here. Every now and then we’ll receive an email about what you have been able to do while utilizing our programs. Needless to say, we love hearing from you and want to know how your progress is going! We might even give a pointer or two. This week we got an email from Matt telling us a bit about his journey!

 

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While I haven’t managed a free standing handstand it has really helped me improve my base skills and build the foundations. Also managed finger tip crow pose and 4 finger no thumb Plank, thumb and two finger plank and 2 finger headstands.

Great stuff especially being free,  I also have hand balancing made easy and have had a lot of fun with that and it’s sped up progress where coming from the wall I managed a 10 second handstand. Also the the headstand stuff is great I’ve always had alot fun doing headstand and it was nice to have a bunch of new variations to learn.

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…While the freestanding handstand is a big goal for me I must admit headstands are where it’s at for me. Well headstands and increasing my digit strength,  feel like I can do holds that would have snapped my fingers previously

handstand pushup variation

If you like what you hear and want to check out one of our programs, why not start out with the Hand Balancing Made Easy eBook that Matt was talking about above! Click here to have a look.

Stay Inverted!

-Coach Jon

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Ask the Tapps! Weights vs Bodyweight

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Hey Everybody!

Last week I told you we’d be getting some great instruction and tips on body movement from the parkour experts, the Tapp Brothers.  Today they are going to break down athleticism and how weightlifting or bodyweight training comes into play toward reaching your athletic goals. They’ve broken down these pieces into the 5 categories below!

Coordination

The ability to control your body to perform a task.

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Strength

The ability to generate force with your muscles.

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Speed

The ability to move rapidly.

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Endurance

Your body’s ability to resist fatigue.

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Flexibility

The ability to reach your full range of motion with body joints.

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Watch the video below to see how these pieces work together to build your athleticism!

If you loved the information from this video and want to learn how to be in shape and move like the Tapp Brothers, check out their new program Rapid Primal Fitness!

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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