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A Gymnastic Skill: The Front Walkover

When you learn how to move, many variations start to become available to you. The transition between your limbs becomes an art form.

Lets take hand balancing at two of its base variations. The handstand itself and cartwheel. These are the two inversions that we all tend to start with. I’d wager that a good amount of us began with the cartwheel before the handstand because it gave us a clear pathway to return to.

A good way to test your movement capability is to run through different planes of motion. A more difficult possibility move from the cartwheel would be the Front Walkover. If you look below you’ll see a composite picture of Diane Robinson performing the move with ease.

 

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

A vintage magazine called Acro-Chat lays down some quick instructions for you. The correct way to do a two arm walkover. Notice the arms are straight all the way through, the legs are extended and split as much as possible, the back is arched tightly with the head and arms trailing as she stands upright.

Now a word of caution, this move does take a large amount of flexibility in both the back and legs. Although its not dangerous, you might end up falling a couple of times in the beginning.

You can also perform a back walkover which is done moving backwards. Just follow the pictures from right to left and you’ll get the idea.

Quick note: These moves are not to be confused with the handspring or back handspring. Though the motion is much the same, except for going off of two legs instead of one, there is another big difference. Your hands will touch the ground before both your feet leave it in a walkover. Handsprings involve leaving the feet to get up in the air before your hands touch down.

If you tested the front walker and see that it might be out of your range, try experimenting with different movement patterns to increase your acumen. If you still need help, try picking up the Gold Medal Bodies Vitamin Program!

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

 

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Awesome Abs Exercises 2 – The Hollow Body Hold

Two key Abdominal Exercises to train your core in order to handle to the handstand. In the last section I discussed an exercise that you probably don’t always attribute with the handstand, the Superman Plank.

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

Today we are going to be going over the inverse of that. This exercise is a staple among gymnastic or athletic movement. Needless to say, the handstand is a definite inclusion into that category.

Lets introduce the Hollow Body Hold.

For the Hollow Body Hold, lie on your back and tighten your abdominals while driving your lower back to the floor.

Extend your arms above your head while keeping your core engaged.

Once you’ve held this position, extend your leg away from your body and lift them away from the floor. Make sure that you point your toes and squeeze your legs together.

For an added touch of alignment, roll your shoulders off of the floor while keeping the body engaged.

There you go guys if you have any questions, don’t be afraid to contact us and one final thing. Don’t forget to pick up The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Abs Exercises now!

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

 

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Awesome Abs Exercises 1 – Superman Plank

Previously I stated that you can’t become an excellent hand balancer without a strong core.

How do you achieve that? Do normal sit-ups and leg raises cut it? To work on a  strong core with a clean and extended line I have two Exercises for you…

The Superman Plank and the Hollow Body Hold. These two exercises get you to engage the core muscles in an extended fashion. One has more focus on the anterior side and the other on the posterior side. So you become sandwiched in a strong locked position.

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

Lets start with the Superman Plank

To get into a superman plank, start in a basic plank position with your hips tucked, your glutes engaged and your back straight.

Be sure to start in the extended arm position. Walk your hands forward until they are at the farthest  position above your head with out breaking form.

Hold this from anywhere between 20 seconds to a minute. If you would like to test yourself, try for even longer!

Give this drill a try and let us know how you do. In the next installment, I’ll be talking about the hollow body hold.

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

P.S. To learn more awesome abdominal exercises, get The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Abs Exercises now!

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The Abdominal Acrobat

I’m going to start this off with a Powerful Statement.

You will NEVER become an excellent hand balancer or acrobat without having incredibly strong abs. The Core is King; or Queen for that matter.

The focus to achieve this on the core is not to get the holy grail six pack (although the side benefit is nice), but to train your body as one unit. Does this sound familiar? It should because that’s exactly what you need do pull off any hand balancing stunt.

The abdominals help to lock you in and keep the hold or stabalized for transitionary movements like the Straddle Press!

Over the next week, I’ll be going over ways to strengthen your core to achieve powerful acrobatic abdominals!

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

P.S. If you can’t wait to build acrobatic adbominals, get The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Abs Exercises now!

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The Straddle Press Up

Lets see if you’ve noticed a theme here.
Over the past week I’ve been talking about a specific treasure of knowledge. The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing.
In the last entry I gave you a technique found in the book that you would be able to test out. Today, I’m giving you another go-to. This installment involves the Straddle Press Up.
If you need an idea of what it looks like, here is a variation from Logan.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon
THE STRADDLE PRESS UP.
Sit along a set of parallel bars, or on chair legs with the chair lying on its back, spread the legs apart as far as they will go. With the knees rigid, and toes pointed; catch hold of the legs of the chair just in front of your legs.
Close up, hold the chest high, and stiffen the arms with elbows straight. Then lift the shoulders as high as possible, and lean forward; taking all the weight on the arms and press up to the handstand. As your legs are rising, point the toes, and gradually bring the legs together.
Just as you are up all the way in the balance, hold this a couple of seconds, then lower down slowly with the body and legs straight. You should feel as though you were going to hold the planche, but instead go slowly all the way down through the planche until the feet are on the floor; or in a sitting position, as you started.

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

P.S. Take a look at the past to develop your hand balancing journey with The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing.

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The Tiger Bend

The Tiger Bend!

On top of being a skill to work towards on its own, the tiger bend is also a good way to work up to a full on handstands. Since you are resting on your entire lower arm and hand you have a bigger base with which to balance.

When you get over the fact that it can be an odd position to try and get into, the benefits of the tiger bend start to shine. All the main points of holding a handstand are still there, like keeping tight, but you may have to arch your back a little more for this one.

Though it is a lateral move to the handstand, its also an advanced move that can increase the control and variety of skills you have in your library. It involves going from the Forearm Stand up into a Handstand. With a little overbalancing and strong triceps you can get there.

Since this is a move that can’t be pulled off quickly, here are two easier ways. Do the negative movement which is dropping from a Handstand into a Forearm Stand. When you go for this don’t just fall into the position but control it as much as possible.

You can also do Tiger Bend Pushups. Get in a normal pushup position except you are resting on your forearms instead of the hands. Without any rocking motion pushup on to your hands to the top position and lower back down.

These moves aren’t performed often but that doesn’t mean they aren’t great.

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

Learn How to Back Flip in 31 Days
Learn How to Back Flip in 31 Days on Amazon

P.S. For the more advanced inverted artist, you can try to duplicate Johnny Weber’s one arm Tiger Bend. Find out how to do it in The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing. The picture above is of Sig Klein from the same book.

 

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The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing

For many people, today is a special day. I’m not going to get too deep into it, but it does involve a heart, candy, and maybe some stuffed animals.

What I am going to get into is a book on hand balancing that can be used as a starting point to learning the handstand correctly as well as a look into the history of hand balancing. This book is called The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing.

The authors of the book, Professor Paulinetti and Robert L. Jones, have a combined experience of 70+ years practicing and teaching hand balancing and gymnastics. In the 1940’s they wrote THE book on this art.

Although we have many guides of information here, this book gives you an inside look at how this skill gained a following in the earlier years. This book is filled with information and insight on hand balancing

Happy Valentines Day and pick up The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing today!

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

 

How to do the One Hand Handstand by Professor Orlick
ow to do the One Hand Handstand on Amazon
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Refining your Handstand Push up

Earlier we talked about the two types of handstand presses. Today, we’ll go a bit more into an often utilized bent arm version. The handstand pushup.

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

Many people begin their hand balancing against a wall. This was the case for me and I know its the same for many others.

On top of that holding a handstand while doing pushups is one of the ultimate bodyweight exercises for your upper body; with or without a wall.

Think of the upper body strength attainable by being able to rep out a freestanding handstand pushup. You can find many admirable people with supreme strength attain this move. These range from the different BAR groups like the Bar Brothers to the movement groups like GMB.

Whichever method you choose, one thing is for certain. Strength and balance are key.

One thing I noticed that tends to throw people off is their hand and arm position.

If you were to kick up against a wall to do pushups what position would you take? Is this the same position you’d take away from the wall?

Play around with the width and angle of you hands and arms and you will find you can change the difficulty of handstand pushups considerably

Discover the newfound strength in your presses with our Ultimate Guide to Handstand Push-ups Bundle.

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

 

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The Division of the Handstand Press

When you finally understand the mechanics of the handstand, it no longer takes that much strength to perform it. But if you want to start building some inverted strength, start progressing to the handstand pushup.

handstand pushup variation

Handstand pushup demonstrated by Logan Christopher of Legendary Strength

 

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

Handstand Presses can be broken down into two main groups. The straight arm and the bent arm press.

The various bent arm presses take a high degree of strength in the shoulders, triceps and also the chest in many cases.

Straight arm press-ups still take strength but in different areas. Also you will need flexible wrists, hamstrings, and the ability to compress your body in half. In fact the more flexibility you have the less strength you will need.

For all these reasons most people will be better at either straight arm or bent arm presses. There are many people who can do the straight arm variety but will fall on their face if they have to bend their arms.

On the other hand most strong people can do many bent armed presses. These take tremendous arm and shoulder strength to pull off successfully as you have to hold your entire bodyweight in mid air for a length of time. But for these people the straight arm presses can be elusive.

In the end true mastery comes from being able to do both. In order to do this you must train for both.

Presses are not easy, especially if you haven’t been training as a gymnast. But it can be done.

If you’ve ever wondered why hand balancers are so strong this is one of the major keys. So start pressing.

If you need some help in getting started with presses, why not check our Ultimate Guide to Handstand Push-ups Bundle.

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

 

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Do you Have Sensitive Hands?

Oddly enough this is an actual question that I’m asking you.

Walking and Jumping On Your HandsWalking and Jumping On Your Hands on Amazon

Our hands are incredible tools. According to a book on hand dynamics, it takes a third of our motor brain to control the hands. And by the fact alone, we are able to manipulate tools and thus build an advanced civilization unlike any other animal.

When you think about it, our hands are very amazing instruments. They have so many dynamic ranges of movement they can achieve, that its mind boggling. They can create art, play musical instruments, hold large weights, massage another person, and much more.

Hand balancing doesn’t just take strength. That’s an obvious thing to anyone who has ever tried a handstand.

In order to balance you need sensitivity. Being able to feel minor movements in your body and weight distribution and correct them by manipulating your fingers and wrists.

Let me leave you with a final thought.

Sometimes you need to concentrate on the big picture. Other times you need to look at the very small details.

The next time you are inverted, give some added thought to the slightest movements in your hands. It might help you out.

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

PS If you want guided path on your hand balance journey, check out our Handstand Mastery Course.

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