About half way through the show, Sergey Toropov, the Equilibrist better known as a Hand Balancer, came on. This was the first time I had ever seen a professional hand balancer do an act. Sure I had seen many performers do hand balances but never before a strict hand balancing display with my own eyes.
As with many professionals the hand balancing did not take place on the ground but on top of stands.
He pressed up and went into a full body arch and a myriad of other positions. Notice how when you do this much arch you must bring your body through you hands in order to counter-balance your legs.
Sergey then lowered down and came to his feet. In any act your muscles will surely get tired and a brief pause is often all you need to be ready for the next stunt.
The next one was quite amazing. He did a straight arm press-up while holding one of the stands in the other hand.
From there he went into several different one handed handstand positions. You have the straight body style and spread legs. When first learning this stunt you may want to experience with the different styles to find which one works best for you. Currently my best efforts are with a crossed leg position.
The one where you hold your entire body rigid is the most difficult of them all.
If you have the flexibility you can reach out and grab your toes. Moving from one position to another takes a great degree of skill as you must make up for the slightest changes in body position and weight distribution.
The next stunt was to hop from hand to hand. Now this is an astonishing feat. In order to catch yourself and hold your body aloft you must have a degree of strength and control beyond what most people will ever develop.
What hand balancing routine is complete without at least some head balancing? This move takes some manipulation of your neck muscles to balance but most of the work is done by moving your body in order to stay upright.
At the end of the show when the performers came out for applause, Sergey came bounding out hopping along on one hand. You can tell from the picture that the leg action is what raises you off of the ground and allows you to get some air. Of course this still take a very fine balance and a locked-out arm to keep you from tumbling down.