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Capoeira: Music, Skills, and Martial Arts

I’m going to say that I’ve been excited about Capoeira for a while. It involves alot of my favorite things; music, rhythm, martial arts, acrobatics, and of course hand balancing. Today I’m going to be giving you a primer on the Subject. In all honesty I’ll probably be doing a few posts on Capoeira. The reason being that I’m excited at the fact of introducing it in my own little training studio. I’ve found an instructor with similar goals, so these are exciting times!

Back to the subject. What is Capoeira?

Truthfully there isn’t much written record of Capoeira. But we do know that it was created in Brazil by African Slaves. It’s a Martial Art that was taught in secret by the slaves for self protection and was delivered through traditional music, singing, dancing.

Combining Rhythm, movement, and music; Capoeira is a very engrossing system that will help to build up body skills. Take a look at this video to get a better idea about what it is!

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

Stay Inverted!

-Jonathan Magno

PS If you want a full system on hand balancing, check out the Secrets of the Handstand Bundle!

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A Legendary Expansion

 

If you’ve been a part of this community for a while, you’ll know that it was started by the gentleman above, Logan Christopher. A true renaissance man; he was able to reinvigorate and expand the hand balancing community with a nothing but a keyboard.

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

Over the years, he moved into different facets of fitness and life in general. One of the biggest steps he made was transitioning over Legendary Strength. Hence now I’m becoming the main voice for LAOHB. As we grow and push forward in life, new opportunities arise.

Once such opportunity happened to Logan recently as he was able to purchase his first house. With that good fortune comes many other benefits. One being that there is a Legendary Strength Training Home and second that more videos will be coming your way!

The last benefit is that Logan is offering 50% his Legendary Strength Courses, which you can pick up here!

Take Advantage of this while you can because the sale is only on for 24 more hours and as always… Stay Inverted!

-Jonathan Magno

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Stressing Over a Skill and 3 Ways To Overcoming Obstacles

 

Training is a huge part of my life. Its fun, tests my limits, and is a HUGE stress reliever. But what happens when something key to that chill factor adds to the stress. Living in Silicon Valley, stress is a very common thing. Fear, anxiousness, and doubt are always just around the corner. With the pressures of being around some of the most intelligent people, helping to move the world around, this anxiety and doubt can creep into the oddest places.

Once such occasion happened to me just yesterday. I was training in Tricking. If you don’t know what that is, its all those cool martial arts guys spinning and flipping in the air while throwing kicks. While working on a normal Butterfly kick but with a new entry, my anxiousness started setting in. Its an odd fact, but even I get this way.

I’m human.

With the stress of building a business, personal stuff, and helping clients through their own processes in getting better; the fear, anxiousness, and more started to set in. Luckily with supportive people around me, I was able to push and move forward.

But what do you do if you don’t have that support?

Try these 3 ways to overcome that negativity and keep moving!

Way #1 Move Into The Fear.

It’s all about meeting your fears and facing them head-on. Aim to recognize your fears, acknowledge them and then move through them. Ask yourself what is it that makes you uncomfortable? Have you let yourself get out of shape and are afraid you’ll never get back? Do you have an injury that’s caused you to be afraid of your body? If you can visualize creatively, then you can put your fears in check.  Remember: your body has knack at baselining itself. Your only job is to trust it and listen.

Way #2 Trust Your Intuition.

It is important when overcoming obstacles and learning to break through barriers that you begin to listen to the still small voice of your body. In most cases, we all want the comfort of having someone telling us what we can and cannot do. However, our highest truth is usually deep down. This is not to say that good opinion of others are not important, but ultimately the decision making comes from within.

When facing a challenge or an obstacle look to how you feel. What are your instincts telling you? Often it is simply your instinct that will move you into a new mindset and raise your consciousness. It’s simply about changing your perspective. Although in order to do this you have to find where your restrictions and boundaries are so that you can move past. Once you know what they are, remember “WAY #1” and meet them head-on.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

Way #3 Live Beyond the Boundaries

So what’s the final takeaway from all of this? Staying afraid often keeps us from truly living. Moving forward starts with your attitude. Are you going to keep letting things beat you down and miss whats happening today. Or will you make today the right time to face them.

Life Beyond The Boundaries.

Push past your fears and boundaries and when you’ve settled with that, look for another skill, trick, or plateau to jump.

Stay Inverted!

-Jonathan Magno

PS On a different note, if you want all the tricks of the trade for hand balancing, check out the Secrets of the Handstand Bundle!

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Squeeze those Hips , But don’t Forget #1!

 

Squeeze your hips, clinch your butt, or feet together.

These are probably some of the most frequently used statements given out when trying to learn the handstand. Its also pretty common that enthusiasts who are just learning attempt to squeeze or clinch but still don’t get the desired result of keeping their body elevated and stable.

Where does the problem lie?

It comes in the form of visualization. The directives given for squeezing the hips or clinching the butt are mechanical, even if there is feeling behind them.

i.e. SQUUUUUUEEEEZZZZEEEE those hips!

Although the mechanics are correct, its hard to put together the sensations about what you are supposed to feel when you squeeze or clinch.

So how do we get past this issue?

Its actually pretty simple. You utilize a visualization that is also a mechanical directive.

Now this is something I look for when I teach. There are things that everybody has done which they can relate to a skill task. In regards to squeezing the hips. One things that everybody has done was “hold it in.”

Don’t worry, I’m going to expand on this.

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

Have you every had to go #1(title of the post!) but were far away from your destination by distance or even a long line. What do you do? You turn legs in, maybe jump around a bit and squeeze the heck out of your pelvic floor, adductors, etc. Everybody knows the feeling because everyone needs to use the restroom at some point, and if you don’t, wow. So one of my more commonly used visualizations has changed from squeeze those hips, to pretend you need to pee and have to hold it in. Without a doubt, its simple, directed, and the result speaks for itself.

Why don’t you give it a try and see if you can hold that inversion longer by stopping #1.

Stay Inverted!

-Jonathan Magno

PS If you want all the tricks of the trade for hand balancing, check out the Secrets of the Handstand Bundle!

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The Frogstand or the Crow Pose?

So today, I have another fun video for you that I’m hoping will show a different perspective on your body skill training.

Every person who trains their body has  a different view on similar or lateral skills. They might be in the same codified system or ones that overlap.

An example would be my friend Jonathan and I.

“Two Jons”.

One is hyper and the other is zen.

He’s a practitioner of yoga and martial arts. While I’m a combat enthusiast and movement trainer especial.

Since we follow lateral systems of movement, and the human body can only do so much, certain skills are definitely going to overlap.

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

A prime example would be the frogstand and the crow pose. They are basically the same move. What makes them differ from each other are the experience and accumulated depth of knowledge of the practitioners of different styles.

Which is why we made this video. Just watching, you’ll be able to see how we approach the same move. You’ll be exposed to multiple points of views and in turn have a stronger understanding of how to approach it.

Check out the video here!

Stay Inverted!

-Jonathan Magno

PS If you’re looking for a fully codified system of hand balancing, check out the Secrets of the Handstand Bundle!

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How your fingers enhance your floorwork!

It will probably come as no surprise that out of all the body weight styles of training from bar work, to rings, and even aerial flippy kicky skills; my favorite sets will always revolve around floorwork.

My basis for this is probably another unsurprising fact. You really don’t need any other piece of equipment other than your body using this style of training. To top it off it creates a nice strong foundation for the other body skills. Even if you’re having an issue with a move through either fear or even sloppy form, you can practice a lateral skill progression on the ground to build up that kinesthetic or confidence. I do this all the time.

In relation to your floor work; having strong, flexible, and coordinated fingers is a top priority. This is because in certain maneuvers, you are basically replacing your feet with your hands, which should have a similar level of control.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

Before we move forward, lets build out on this idea by touching on the feet for a second. Specifically we’ll focus on your toes.

I want you to try something without getting too deep into it. But before you do this make sure that you are in a safe area where you won’t hurt yourself.

I want you to lean your shoulders forward as far as you can until your shoulders get past your toes.

Did you notice something? Were your toes gripping for dear life so that you could try and stay upright? Did you also take steps or shift your feet so that you could find your balance again? My guess is yes.

You can go ahead and do the same laterally to the left or right and even backward if you like.

Its the same thing with your fingers and hands while you are doing floor work. Your fingers are like your toes gripping on to the floor to give stability and balance. If your body starts shifting forward, your fingers can grip the ground and act as your breaks. In a similar fashion, your thumb can slow you down if you start falling back to where you started. Your fingers are intergral in maintaining that structure. Especially in the beginning of your handstand journey.

A final way that your fingers can enhance your floor work is by relieving stress on your joints, and pulling the wrists out of full flexion thereby reducing the load on them. I’m all about testing. Try running through your floorwork with your fingertips gripping and see if it changes your stability and balance!

If you get some good results, be sure to let us know!

Stay Inverted!

-Jonathan Magno

PS If you want to become more skilled and develop your floor work, check out GMB Floor 1!

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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.

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.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

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.

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

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

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!

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

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

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

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