Here are stories from people like you that have used the information found on this site to further pursue hand balancing and other skills. If you want to see your story added here send it in to [email protected]. The more detailed the better. If it works I will add it to this section.
My name is Edward. I have been following your handbalancing blog and site almost since you started posting- I first saw your link on dragondoor.com in an article on handstands. Then there were kettlebell juggling videos and articles, and bridging. I am a huge fan and follow many of your teachings (I have the kettlebell juggling dvd set).
I was reading an ebook which I had purchased some time ago(not sure where I got it from)- Handbalancing Made Easy by Professor E.M. Orlick. One thing I have been struggling with(as I’m sure most beginners do) is the simple kick up into the handstand. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don’t. But Professor Orlick taught two ways to train for this; kicking up against a wall on a bench, and the two-leg “hop” into handstand. I worked on both of these for just five or six tries each, and when I went to attempt a free handstand, my body just went into place! It was very exciting for me because of the very fast improvement brought on by the two exercises, which acted almost like “primers” for the regular skill.
Another thing I discovered is the value of parallel bars. I used two dumbbells to extend the range of motion on my handstand pushups, and disovered that it forced my elbows to go more parallel by my sides, rather than pointing out. Not only did it work my triceps more, but it felt much more like the groove of a free-standing handstand pushup(which I am still working on). The regular handstand pushup has helped my shoulders get stronger, but the parallel bars have way more carryover to free balancing techniques.
I know you already are aware of these things, but I was so grateful for your advice and encouragement on your website that I wanted to let you know about the things that helped me most. Keep up the good work and promoting handbalancing!
A bit about my growth in hand-balancing postures: I am able to hold Frog-stand for minutes (and I absolutely love the posture), I can get into Head-stand from two different postures and can hold that for up to five
minutes (and delight in that posture as well). However, I CANNOT do Forearm-Stand and I was not able to do Hand-stand until I came across your YouTube video demonstrating how to kick-up!!!
My yoga teacher has had us up against a wall making the dreaded ‘L’ shape and it was really frustrating me. It just did not feel natural.
I woke up this morning determined to find another way when I Googled ‘Handstand’ and your video came up as an option. I was thrilled and began my work right away!!!!!
First day: I can kick up and hold for only about five seconds BUT it feels completely natural to do so this way rather than Half Handstand against the wall.
So I thank you for your website, YouTube videos, blogs, etc. You make everything look so effortless. And really, if you think about it, it is. When I first got into Head-stand I felt the effortlessness of just being present. It felt like it would if I were on my feet. I love being there too. It takes me into me if that does not sound too corny. A place deep inside that holds a lot of grit and mental strength. And it is fun to get strange stares from passers-by while out in the yard upside-down!!
I now look forward to practicing Hand-stand and being able to hold upside-down longer through your guidance and encouragement!!
Dear Mr. Christopher,
I just want to tell you how gratified I am to have discovered your site on the lost art of hand balancing.
I’m fifty-two years old, and when I was growing up I was a chubby, weak kid who hated athletics and was totally out of touch with my body. Since my early twenties, I’ve sought ways to reverse that situation and to become as fit as I am able.
I found my way to your site after doing bodyweight exercises from “Combat Conditioning” and having taken an adult gymnastics class at the YMCA. I was experimenting with handstands against a wall in my apartment and feeling like I was crazy. What was a man my age with no real gymnastics experience (other than that eight-week class) doing performing handstands? But after having spent time on your site, suddenly I now feel totally differently–that handstands are a perfectly legitimate way to get really strong.
One week after having discovering the lost art of hand balancing site, and doing handstands in my apartment, I was waiting for my car to be fixed on a pleasant Saturday morning when I saw a wall and a clean section of grass. I knew what I had to do, though I was really scared. After gathering the courage, I did a handstand against the wall–and banged my head and feet against the concrete. On the fourth attempt I stood for about twenty seconds rather comfortably. When I came down I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment.
I have since learned, after studying your Secrets of Handstands DVD and booklet, that I’m not strong enough to do handstands, so I’m taking the intermediary step of doing frogstands. My progress has been rapid, going from not being able to hold one at all to holding one for about forty seconds. I am finding your logical, scientific approach in teaching most helpful, and I now know of the role of strong hands and fingers in maintaining balance. I have become a frogstand aficionado, doing them throughout the day, and always feeling elated afterward.
I’ll tell you about one surprising benefit of hand balancing. I work at a radio station, and one part of my job is doing voice work. I have a problem with jaw clicking that may stem from TMJ Syndrome. The clicking can loud enough to be heard over the air. I have no conscious control over it, and it’s alleviated only when I’m deeply relaxed. I’ve discovered, however, that when I do a frogstand in the recording room, the jaw clicking either is reduced significantly or eliminated altogether. This comes after having tried every voice relaxing technique I could find without success. Does it work by deep relaxation? Release of “energy”? I don’t know.
Anyway, I just wanted to tell you how happy this middle-aged guy is in having discovered the lost art of hand balancing. I had been using kettlebells for about two years but feeling like I wasn’t really getting stronger. With hand balancing, I have no doubt about getting stronger, as I can see and feel the results demonstrably. And the increase in muscularity is a very pleasant byproduct as well.
Yours in balancing,