Archive | Mobility RSS feed for this section

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!

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

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

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

Comments { 0 }

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.

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

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!

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

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

Comments { 0 }

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.

 

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

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

Comments { 0 }

A Superhero Solution to a Tiring Exercise

The Burpee!

There. I’ve said it.

Love it or hate it. The burpee is a mainstay in most fitness routines. I’ve even used it in my programming, although sparingly. Don’t get me wrong, the burpee is a solid exercise covering many different muscles groups while including strength, balance work, and power development. Although I normally see people use it as an ending metabolic finisher or something to throw in and get their clients tired. Honestly, it actually pains me to watch people run through technique without activating the correct muscles.

There’s a lot going on in that seemingly simplistic exercise, but that’s for another day and another breakdown.

Today I’m going to talk about doing something different with your burpee. Giving it a little bit more mobility, while also working on your motor control and endurance.

I usually breakdown the normal burpee into 3 different pieces. No different here.

This Superhero burpee includes a forward crawl, lateral jump, and even a cartwheel!

Take a look below to see how you can turn your burpee more superheroic: Spider-Man Style!

If you liked the video and want to develop your body’s endurance and conditioning, check out The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Conditioning!

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon
Comments { 0 }

An Easy Fix to a Pressing Predicament

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

Today we are going to jump back towards simpler times with a supposedly simple exercise.

The Pushup.

Although it is a seemingly easy exercise, it can cause trouble for some people.

Whether it be sinking of the hips or lack, lack of core engagement, or any of the other number of possible problems.

Don’t worry though.

There are many methods to fix your pushup, and I’ve found a simple way to get you to feel the right movement while using a simple prop.

Take a look at the video below to see the simple tip to a better pushup!

If you liked the handstand pushup in the beginning of the video and want to develop them yourself, check out The Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups!

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

Comments { 0 }

The Monkey Stall and your first freestanding handstand!

First off you’re probably wondering what a monkey is. Well its a foundational movement pattern from the folks at GMB or Gold Medal Bodies.

If you’ve been following LAOHB, you know two things.

  1. I like to joke around.
  2. I’m a big fan of their style of training.

So lets get back to the subject at handy. The monkey and your first freestanding handstand.

Usually when a person attempts their first handstand they place their hands on the ground and drive their legs up with the hope that they stay inverted. This can be scary for most people and can be a bit difficult to control when you are starting out. The reason being that you’re utilizing your strong posterior muscle groups to drive and then change to stabilize with hopes that you don’t fall on your back or on your face.

By a mix of training clients, personal training, and utilizing the GMB Method; I think I might have found an easier way to get up into the handstand without so much fear.

This is where the monkey comes in.

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

While the monkey is a locomotive pattern, its focus is on lateral movement. So while you are moving laterally, you can use your stronger muscle groups to focus on stabilizing. Its a simple answer to a scary question.

To illustrate I have another funny video below. I hope you like it and gain something new to play with!

To learn more about the monkey and the GMB Method, check out the GMB Elements Program

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

Comments { 0 }

3 Mistakes You Might be Doing with your Bodyweight Squat

I’m going to start off by saying that there are many sources out in the world that will teach you correct form with your squats. Even we have a book called The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Bodyweight Squats and Pistols.

I’m going to take a different tact today and give you 3 mistakes you might be doing with your bodyweight squat.

Mistake #1 Rounding or Arching your Back

When I end up working with clients and have them do a squat , which is one of the key go-to bodyweight exercises that i give my clients with multitudes of variations, I will usually see one of these two things happen. A person will either be stuck in flexion of the back and become overly arching or have posterior tilt, although without engaging some of the other stabilizers like the abdominals or lats. Rarely do I see somebody with strong technique on the first go. A good test is to see where you land by having a profile view of yourself near a mirror completing the squat.

Mistake #2 Knee Position

I’m going to give you two knee placements that could be hurting your squat. The first is to have your knee extend past your toes. This can cause an excess load on your joints and is usually when I have somebody tell me their knee strains while they squat and asks for variations. The second knee position to look out for is when they collapse or pull towards each other. When this happens, you’ll tend to feel more load on your ankles or a bit of over-stabilization on your lower back.

Mistake #3 Foot Placement

Foot placement is important as well because you are working from a closed kinetic chain. Basically your foot is stationary and practically glued to the floor and everything else that is connected in proximity; knees, ankles, and hips have to move around your foot as a base point. If your foot is in an imbalanced position, it can thoroughly effect your squat as your other muscles have to compensate for that imbalance.

There you go! 3 possible mistakes with your squat. One final note. The human body was created with a buffer for variance. As long as you stay within a safety range of movement, you’ll be fine. Also don’t forget to listen to your body. If something hurts; remember there is a difference between pain and the burning sensation from working a muscle, analyze your body mechanics and see if you might be doing one of the 3 mistakes above.

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

If you want to learn more or even master your bodyweight squat, get The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Bodyweight Squats and Pistols.

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

Comments { 0 }

Lateral Thinking to Break Plateaus

Plateaus are an inevitable. Whenever we make a decision to move in a certain direction or train in a certain manner, we are bound to hit a roadblock. The real question then presents itself.

What do you do when you hit a plateau?

Although the obstacle might some daunting, there are a couple of ways around this.

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

The first thing that you can do is simply to just keep moving forward. Quite often if you just take a small breath and continue to push, you’ll be able to see the new level present itself. It’s kind of a an easy answer, but there are definitely times when pure simplicity just works.

The other option is a bit more refined. It involves lateral thinking. Which basically revolves around taking a step back, throwing a wrench in the system, and allowing your body to gain some feedback so you can continue to grow.

You can achieve this by utilizing different approaches to your training.

You can change when you train, how long you train, and of course how you train.

Then how you train can be broken into further groups ready for change. The skills you are working on. The sets, rep, or time on the exercises. Focusing on similar but different exercises and more.

If you training is feeling stale (not to be confused with boredom, but that’s another problem all together) you should implement one or more of these changes.

Even if your training is going good, a change for the better can supercharge your gains.

Which training method you choose exactly and what to do is going to depend on you and your goals. And in every case what you should do will be different.

You may be the kind of person who loves to figure out your own program. Or you may want someone to hand you a template for you to work from. The choice is once again yours. Another thing to add to this before I close for today is to gain inspiration from unlikely sources. I’ll delve into this more in my next installment.

But before I forget, if you are looking for a template on building the skills of your own body, take advantage of our ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Bodyweight Squats and Pistols.

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

Comments { 0 }

Loading the hips and the Squat!

Loading the hips and the bodyweight squat. In order to achieve this you’re going to need flexibility, strength and coordination. But in all honesty, why should that even matter to you? You’ve probably read tons of info online about how to do a squat, yet it doesn’t hold much significance unless you understand the benefits that go along with it.

If you remember from my last post, we discussed bodyweight exercise and its enhanced role inhelpying you develop your “skill” in utilizing your own body. Not that you can’t do the same with weights, but how easy is it to focus on correct muscle activation when you’re running through a movement while under a “heavy” load. Also, it increases the possible chance of strain or injuring depending on what you’re doing.

Which brings us back to the bodyweight squat. Understanding how to perform it will help you understand the sequence of muscles you should be using and in what order.

Here’s a few examples to fuel your thought processes:

How far do you pull your hips down? What direction should your knees be pointing?(i.e. knee valgus) When do your abdominals come into play?  These are all things you should have locked in before you work the squat.

Now this brings us to our next question. Why does all this matter? Wouldn’t you be able to complete the reps and sets and sets your trainer gave you and be done with it so that you can get that beach body you’ve always wanted? Yes you can  but you would be missing out on two different pieces. The first is that understanding which muscle to load as the primary, secondary, etc. will give you the opportunity to increase your performance and do more. The second is to avoid possible injuries in the future. You can look up things like exhaustive-adaptive response if you’re wondering what I’m hinting at.

Now I’ll give you a real world example of how understanding the squat can affect your movement. Say you’re going for a run. Utilizing your hips and glutes are more important to this movement pattern than you may think. If you can’t engage your hips and glutes while running, you lose out on some strong stabilizers and shock absorbers. They help to lift you away from the ground, thereby reducing shock and once engaged can take stress away from the knees, shins, and ankles. Which tend to be common injuries for people who take on running.

So, I’m going to close off with this as just being a quick intro to the squat. I’m going to be delving more into the squat in future entries, but if you want more than just a primer, pick up The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Bodyweight Squats and Pistols.

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon
Comments { 0 }

Why Do We Train Bodyweight?

 

This is an interesting question that I’m sure you have asked yourself in the past at one point or another. I know that I have with myself; although luckily only once or twice.

Here is a little food for thought.

As individuals who engage in fitness activities, we could easily gain results with our bodies from just running and hitting the weights. Look good in the mirror, impress those that we care to impress, and be done with it.

But if you’re like me, there’s something alluring about bodyweight training. It’s not just the ability to be stronger or faster but in the internalized fact that you have the skill to go along with it. Skill is simply the ability to do something well; no rocket science necessary in that thought process.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

In terms of bodyweight training, that skill revolves around learning to gain the correct motor control in your body whether you’re going for strength, power, or speed(quickness included). A couple of my favorite examples would be the hollow body hold and the squat thrust. Although these seem like normal “tough” exercises, they teach you different aspects of stabilization and coordination that could help you in other types of physical endeavors.

Starting soon I’ll begin delving into other types of baseline bodyweight skill development outside of the acrobatic world of the handbalancing.

Stay Inverted!
-Jonathan Magno

Comments { 0 }