Handstands, hand walking, and pressing to a handstand are excellent exercises to developing your athletic potential. Even my Mom remembers doing handstands & cartwheels as a kid, yet today hand balancing seems to have fallen out of favor.
Of course, we think we grow out of doing such movements as we get older. I have a yoga friend who comes to my house, kicks off her shoes and does a handstand against my wall just to get the kinks out after a long day. She is so effortless. I decided I needed to be able to do that. Something about being upside down appeals to me. They say that the handstand is the first step to developing a catlike capacity for landing on your feet. Oh boy, I can’t wait!
Being upside down gives you a whole new perspective to a brand new world. Being upside down is a whole other world for your mind and body to comprehend. We spend roughly two thirds of our life upright and one third in lying down. When upside down most of us lose our breath, orientation, and composure. Having the ability to land effectively on your feet after tripping versus knocking your teeth out can be a result of mastering these movements. I had a near catastrophic fall happen just the other day. I slipped on the top of some wet stairs and I went flying down 4 steps to land gracefully and without injury. I attribute that excellent landing to a bit of luck but mostly to the balance and coordination I have gained by developing my core strength and agility training.
Increased coordination, accuracy, agility, and balance are all developed through the hand walking and hand pressing movements. Full body movements such as hand balancing & presses improve balance and increase shoulder strength, but they also improve proprioception and core strength in ways that other exercises cannot. Proprioception (pronounced/ PRO-pree-o-SEP-shin), from Latin proprius, meaning “one’s own” and perception, is the sense of the relative position of neighboring parts of the body. In other words, when you are up side down you get a whole new view of the world and so does your brain, which thrives on new stimulus.
See more about Our Brains >>
If you just starting out & you are afraid of falling over, start by practicing up against a wall and slowly move up the wall backwards. This is always a good a idea to start with a spotter but in time you’ll get more confident on your own.
Once you are out in the open on a grassy field, practice falling over using a tuck and roll. Most of this skill is about visualizing and having confidence. If you are afraid and think you will fall, then it is more likely that you will. I have found that like any new skill, practicing a little bit every day is what will make the difference.
Check out WikiHow’s How to do a Handstand >>
The number one reason for failure in losing body fat is the lack of clearly defined, written goals.
Here are the steps to achieving your fitness goals:
STEP 1. Set Inspiring, Detailed & Specific Goals
Don’t say things like I want to lose weight and have more energy, that is not clear, detailed or specific. A better way to talk to your sub conscious brain is to say something like: By March 1st, I want to weigh 130lbs, with 18% Body Fat, and be wearing size 8 clothes. My Current waist size is 36 inches, and My GOAL is 28 inches. See the difference? Those are very specific detailed and attainable goals that you can now write down and measure by tracking your progress as you’ll see in Step 2.
Step 2. Set BIG Measurable Goals
Really look at some BIG goal that seems very far from where you are at the present moment. For instance, I said to myself, I haven’t weighed 130 lbs since I was 30, so it’d be a Big Deal for me to have that as my goal today. So, Yes its scarey, BUT I will look and feel totally different and people will SEE me differently, WHEN I have achieved my big scarey goal. This is Way outside my comfort zone of what I’ve thought I could do, but now I’m gonna do it & succeed, cause its time! I can See the Picture of my New Body in My Mind, and I will Visualize it Everyday…!
Then make sure you measure it everyday. Write down your goals somewhere that you can track your progress. So I might say, on my scale I want to weigh 130 lbs, but by measuring with the Body Fat calipers I want to get down to 17% Body Fat.
Step 3. Set Realistic Deadlines
30 lbs lost by May 1st. So 4 months (16 weeks) from now, that’s 8 lbs per month, or 1.9 lbs/week. In terms of body fat, that translates to about a half a percent per week.
Step 4. Daily goals & habits to do every day repeatedly
You develop good habits by setting daily action goals and working on them repeatedly until they become as routine as brushing your teeth or taking a shower. Ninety-nine percent of the actions you take every day are habits. Write out a list of daily goals, to-do’s and habits you want to develop habits like eating small, frequent meals, cutting down on sugar, getting up early, making your meals in advance for each day and so on.
The next time you feel a craving, you’re tempted, discouraged, unmotivated or you feel like skipping a workout, focus on your daily goals, not on the huge amount of work that is ahead of you. Tell yourself, “All I have is today. All I have is this moment, this workout, this meal, the next 30 minutes, the next hour. If I just do what I know I must do now, then I know I’ll reach my ultimate goal eventually.” Concentrate on the task at hand in this moment. As the Zen masters of Japan remind us: “Be here now.” The point of power is always in the present moment.
Step 5. Write out an extensive goal list in the form of affirmations
Always use I AM or I HAVE. Write them in the present tense. I AM 30 lbs leaner. I AM 130 lbs of solid muscle. Always use positive affirmations, never negative. Never say “I’ll never see my abs again”, instead say “I HAVE a flat toned stomach. I AM getting leaner every day. I like the way I look. Whatever it takes, I’ll do it. I like eating healthy foods. I love working out. Training early in the morning is exhilarating.
Step 6. Read your affirmations (your goal list) at least twice a day and always keep your goals “in front of you” and “on your mind.”
Psychologists have proven that repetition is an effective way to penetrate and program the subconscious mind. Fortune 500 companies spend millions of advertising dollars every year based on this fact. Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich and The Law of Success, said, “All thoughts which have been emotionalized and mixed with faith begin immediately to translate themselves into their physical equivalent.”
As you read your affirmations, mentally visualize them as already achieved. Visualization means making mental pictures or images – it’s thinking without words. The brain thinks in pictures. I’ve also put photos up of myself to help me through this visualization, the photos make it very real and I can see them everyday.
Step 7. Share your Goals with Everyone.
Your Friends & Family, your Workout Partners share your goals with everyone so you can feel good about what you’ve achieved and you can stay motivated by calling someone up to help you get to the gym or give you a high five for doing another exhausting workout. You’ll be amazed at how great a little bit of praise can help you through day.
Just to give you some motivation, Here are My GOALS:
1. I AM dramatically Changing my Outer Packaging, by being 17% body fat and 130 lbs, by May 1st.
2. My motivational positive affirmations are: “I HAVE a flat toned stomach. I AM getting leaner every day. I LOVE the way I look & how I FEEL. I’ll DO whatever it takes. I LOVE eating healthy foods. I love working out & training early in the morning is exhilarating and really starts my day off right. I feel healthy & have lots of energy.
3. I AM sharing my written goals, my workouts and my daily experiences with My Team.
4. I AM thinking constantly about My Goals & Being Constantly Mindful of what I AM accomplishing. I AM visualizing and seeing my goals photos everyday.
So, Before you eat your next meal or start your next workout,
THE MOST POWERFUL ACTION you NEED to do right now to achieve your ultimate fitness goals is to WRITE DOWN YOUR FITNESS GOALS, – TO DO IT NOW!