Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Ive always enjoyed handbalancing, for as long as i can remember ive always been traying to kick up to handstands and walk around on my hands, handstands have always been part of training routine usually in the form of a finisher of a static hold or walking a distance on my hands. But within the last few months ive started training handbalancing much more as an art in itself, and my strength gain has been awesome. I now train hanbalancing for at least 30 mins daily, with a multitude of drills. I feel the carryover that handbalancing has to other sports is great, you will develop a much greater sense of balance, incredible shoulder strength and flexibility, total body strength and control, core strength, you will infact strengthen your whole body through the simple act of inverting yourself. And then there is the theraputic bennefit of spinal decompression and so forth. For my sport of parkour the strength qualities gained from handbalancing are extremely useful but i do feel that they would carry over to any sport and besides its just plane fun. You could add handbalancing into your routine as i once did as a finisher or as part of a circuit etc, or training it on its own, one of the best ways to train i feel is to set a timer for around 15- 20 mins and just spend as much of that time as you can inverted, expect your shoulders to burn!! The triceps, deltoid and traps seem to take most of the strain during handstands but the whole body works in unison and every muscle with be training, its like walking on your feet, its not just your quads that are working but instead your entire body. Hanbalancing can be a great supplement to any training routine or it can become to you an art in itself where you want to explore how strong you can become at it, this has happened for me where i now want to work toward advanced handbalancing and gymnastic strength like 1 armed planches and such, i think the strength demonstraded in such moves is second to none! Imagine holding your whole bodyweight horizontaly with one arm, incredible!
Its really up to you how far you wanna take it but training the basic moves of handstands and handstand walking will benefit you greatly in any sport or fitness goals.
The handstand- practice first against a wall for safety and to get proper technique. Place your hands about 6 inches from the base of the wall, put your legs into a sprint start position, kick your feet up so the come to gently rest against the wall- i said gently! you may need to play around with how hard you kick for a bit to stop you underkicking or overkicking. Right so now you are inverted- piont your toes to the ceiling, keep your legs together, glutes tight, back straight and core tight- really tighten your core to get most control. Keep yor shoulders shrugged i.e pushing down into the ground through your hands, spread your fingers out wide and apply pressure through your fingertips, feel what the pressure does to your balance and play with it. Keep your head between your arm and trie to avoid 'looking through' to much as this will round your spine, gaze through your eyebrows to the floor. And thats you in a handstand! keep the focus on total body tension and stay up fpor as long as you can or for time, to get down simply kick back of the wall with your feet and land on your feet, if you are working for 20 mins, shake off some relax for about 30 seconds and then go back up do this for the entire 20 minutes. After you have gained some proficiancy and strength against the wall try a free standing, if you over balance simply tuch your chin into you chest and do a forward roll to save yourself.
Handstand walking- I see this pretty much as the way a baby learnd to walk on there feet, by getting up staggering around, falling and getting up again, until they develop the strenth and balance to walk and stand still, you are simply learning to walk again but only this time on your hands, learning how to contract all of the right muscles to keep you up just like a baby. Babies learning to walk develop strenght and balance in their legs ecxeedingly quickly by this methosd of trial error and persistance, expect the same from walking on your hands. Our legs by our movement of walking are extremely strong, if you spend a fraction of this time walking on your hands you will develop awesome strength, so add some handbalancing and walking to your routine and see how it goes for you, but i dont think you will be dissapointed.
Every time i read something that impresses me about some physical feat i usually find out the person has been , is, or uses training methods of gymnastics, Gymnastics is becoming a burning passion for me but the carryover to my other sports has been the greatest i have ever had.
For a more detailed tutorial on handstands check out this awesome tutorial from beast skills- http://www.beastskills.com/Handstand.htm best one ive ever read.
And for some inspiration and motivation to train with gymnastic movements look at this video, this guy is freaky strong- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLqHOKmD2r8
Ill be going into more gymnastic movements and training methods along with a deeper look at handbalancing in future articles, this is just an introduction to get you started on the awesome never ending, unlimiting road of gymnastic strength training.

Train hard
Live free
David Kelso


Blogger Coop said...

Hi David,
Just came across your site via FitForce Camp.

I've been a personal trainer here in the US for over 12 years, but I feel more fit and am having more fun than ever before doing "brutal"/crossfit style training.

I did a session yesterday of 2 min. handstand hold, 2 min sqaut hold, 10 sec rest..then three more sets reducing the hold times 1:45, 1:30, and one minute.

Brutal work for an old guy (41) like
me. I look forward to reading more of your blog.
Stephen Cooper

6:38 PM  
Blogger David Kelso said...

Thanks Stephen,

The static holds can make for a seriouslty brutal session, i remember when i trained in traditional Kung fu we had to hold a thighs paralell horse stance for five minutes, yalk about mental training!!!!
Awesome work on your workouts dude!

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