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Marlon

Hand Balancing Training

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Marlon

I've put together a video of all the hand balancing skills I've been working on over the past 9 months or so at circus school. I'de love to hear any advice and criticism people have to offer :D .

miDiEqAH5vs

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Mikael Kristiansen

Excellent work. I remember your old video from before school(maybe it was your audition video) and you have made TREMENDOUS progress. Your shoulders have very good strength and flexibility, your crocodile work is effortless and your presses look easy. I am especially impressed with your 1 arm work. Positions look very good, and you balance pretty nicely even with legs together. My main advice to you is STRETCH your split!! You already have the most difficult thing, which is the sensation of 1 arm balance, as well as a good line, so if you also get good leg flexibility(mainly split, pike and pancake) I think you can get really far. If I should be picky, I would also try to stay more relaxed in your free arm when you move it up and down. It is not bad at all, but the more you relax the arm muscles, while still keeping the trapezius active and shrugged, the easier it will be for you to do what you want with the arm.

I also see that your canes are placed quite far apart. When they are that far apart you need to lean further to get to the 1 arm position, which is no problem in itself, but it also means that your free arm is straight when you start to lift it. I find it much easier when I am able to bend the elbow so I can release from only the elbow joint, while still keeping the scapula shrugged.

My teacher, an old russian insists on always having 33 cm in between the holes for the canes, but its more about preference I guess.

For further training I would keep doing what you are doing, because it is obviously working for you. However, I have a couple of suggestions. Keep training on both canes blocks and floor, but I am a strong advocate for training 1 arms on the floor. It is harder and can take more time, but it gives you the best control. Usually when I am learning new positions I do them on canes first to get the feeling of the alignment and leg position and then I proceed to learning it on the floor(where doing figa is a pain in the ass..) All your cane work will be a piece of cake once you have your legs together-arm up balance on the floor, so keep working it.

My other suggestion is to start working on 1 arm presses and flag positions. Do you have good control when lowering your legs to your sides? I can see you have strong shoulders and core, so working flags could be very good for you. Touching toes to the floor on each side is a good beginning to develop strength and active flex in the sides. You can also grab onto a bar and lift your legs from the side. Tell me more about how your side balancing is and I can try to help more specifically. The video looked like Circus Space, who is the handstand teacher there?

Again, very very good work, I look forward to see more!

Keep training!

Mikael

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Richard Duelley

Very nice! :mrgreen:

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yuri marmerstein

I like this. Very inspirational

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Marlon

Thanks for the kind words and advice :)

@Handbalancer

- Flexibility is definitely a serious issue I have to deal with, especially my straddle. I'm going to be working heavily on it during the summer and I'm going to Ecole Nationale de Cirque in the fall where I hope Ill be able to make great improvements.

-Thanks for the advice on what to do with the free arm Ill definitely try to make some changes with that.

-I'm surprised by the recommendation on the width of the canes because I had assumed that the ideal width would be the same as ones shoulders is that generally not the case? I used to train on a pair that were much narrower, and while that did make the transition to 1 arm easier, it made presses much more difficult, not just because it was harder to get my hips through, but simply because I'm much stronger when my hands at shoulder width.

-I will definitely be spending more time on the floor now, I hadn't realized up until I made this video how little carryover I had taken from all the cane work I had been doing to the floor.

-I've done almost no work on lowering my legs to my sides, and I'm unable to touch toes to the floor on either side. I'll put up a video in a bit to show you where I'm at.

-I'm not at circus space actually, I've been training at a very small school in Vermont in the United States called the New England Center for Circus Arts. The school is very much focused on aerials and they don't really have a designated handstand coach so I worked with a lot of different people; Bill Forchion mostly, who toured with Saltimbanco as a an acrobat and a character, along with some coaching from Amy Handcock who worked as an aerialist with Sept Doigt in Loft some time ago.

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Marlon

7tUAfY2wTSk

Thats where I'm at with side balancing, after playing with it today I'm fairly certain that I could get quite a bit lower with a little practice, but I'd love to hear any advice you could give on how to progress and what the proper leg position is for the leans. Also, While training today I worked on keeping my free arm more relaxed, and I was stunned by how much much easier it is to find my one arm and to move the free arm, thanks so much for that advice.

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Mikael Kristiansen

That is actually really good! Your straddle also look much better in this clip. Keep working those a lot. I would reccomend a kind of grease the groove approach to those exercises. Do them all the time, with fewer reps throughout the day instead of heavy sets.(that is at least what I do with flags/1 arm presses, and Im having ridiculous progrees) This way you wont need as much recovery if you are training every day.(which you should) When you get really confident with these on 2 arms, you can go to the fingers on the free arm, and still do the same thing. After a while you will feel you have enough power in your sides to basically stay on one arm, by just the push from your obliques, and that is what you are looking for.

There are 2 slightly different alignments you can have down there. The flag and the 1 arm press. The difference is that in a flag, you try to either slightly open the back with a small twist or at least keep it totally sideways, while in a 1 arm press you pike inward. Both positions rely on the same muscle groups, but try both. Keep working and also, push the limits on what you can do. Negative reps are your friends. When you can go easily with 1 leg down, start brining the other one after, either directly to the side, like in a flag, or down piked in a small straddle, together with the other one like in a press.

You wrote you are going to The national circus school in Montreal, did you get into the program? If so, congratulations! That school is very good, im sure you will learn a LOT=). I have a friend from Denmark who just got in with aerial straps.

I will post up a video with my handstand and straps progress from this term soon. Keep up the good work!

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Marlon

Thanks again for the response Handbalancer! I will definitely be adding these into my training. Yes, I did get into ENC's three year degree program (unfortunately i was accepted as a porter and not for hand balancing :( ) and I'll be heading up there this august. I also think I remember seeing a straps artist from Denmark during the auditions, I'm glad to hear he was accepted. I look forward to seeing your progress in the near future :)

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jutajata

I was just about to ask for some guidances in Flag training regarding volume and frequency and this topic just answered them all. Grease the groove approach is on.

Thanks for the information fellas!

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Mikael Kristiansen

Congratulations! Even if you werent taken in for handstand(I guess they are picky when it comes to flexibility) im sure you will have a great time there. And being a base is fun as hell and one of the most rewarding disciplines if you find a flyer that you have good chemistry with. If I had time I would definitely spend more time on basing. You look pretty big, so you have good potential. Also, handstand is very good as a complementary discipline for porting, and you can probably do some on your free time.

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Darius Wright
On 01/06/2010 at 6:59 PM, Mikael Kristiansen said:

Excellent work. I remember your old video from before school(maybe it was your audition video) and you have made TREMENDOUS progress. Your shoulders have very good strength and flexibility, your crocodile work is effortless and your presses look easy. I am especially impressed with your 1 arm work. Positions look very good, and you balance pretty nicely even with legs together. My main advice to you is STRETCH your split!! You already have the most difficult thing, which is the sensation of 1 arm balance, as well as a good line, so if you also get good leg flexibility(mainly split, pike and pancake) I think you can get really far. If I should be picky, I would also try to stay more relaxed in your free arm when you move it up and down. It is not bad at all, but the more you relax the arm muscles, while still keeping the trapezius active and shrugged, the easier it will be for you to do what you want with the arm.

I also see that your canes are placed quite far apart. When they are that far apart you need to lean further to get to the 1 arm position, which is no problem in itself, but it also means that your free arm is straight when you start to lift it. I find it much easier when I am able to bend the elbow so I can release from only the elbow joint, while still keeping the scapula shrugged.

My teacher, an old russian insists on always having 33 cm in between the holes for the canes, but its more about preference I guess.

For further training I would keep doing what you are doing, because it is obviously working for you. However, I have a couple of suggestions. Keep training on both canes blocks and floor, but I am a strong advocate for training 1 arms on the flHey oor. It is harder and can take more time, but it gives you the best control. Usually when I am learning new positions I do them on canes first to get the feeling of the alignment and leg position and then I proceed to learning it on the floor(where doing figa is a pain in the ass..) All your cane work will be a piece of cake once you have your legs together-arm up balance on the floor, so keep working it.

My other suggestion is to start working on 1 arm presses and flag positions. Do you have good control when lowering your legs to your sides? I can see you have strong shoulders and core, so working flags could be very good for you. Touching toes to the floor on each side is a good beginning to develop strength and active flex in the sides. You can also grab onto a bar and lift your legs from the side. Tell me more about how your side balancing is and I can try to help more specifically. The video looked like Circus Space, who is the handstand teacher there?

Again, very very good work, I look forward to see more!

Keep training!

Mikael

13

Hey, my name is Darius I am wanting to get a lot better in Hand balances I currently train in this 3 times a week because I use to do every day with strength training and I felt like that was too much on the body...

everything that has learnt has been self-taught.

so what I am asking for is 3 days a week good and hour long for this art or should I be doing more ??
and what should the training look like? 


 

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Alessandro Mainente

Hi Darius, MIkael's post it is 7 years old, I don not think that you will receive an answer from him.

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