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2 The 28-Day Handstand Challenge by Chris Salvato Copyright © 2013 Chris Salvato All rights reserved No pan of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in a form by means, electronic, mechanical, photocopied, recorded, or otherwise without the poor written consent of the publisher. The authors and publisher disclaim any responsibility for any adverse effects or consequences from the misapplication or injudicious use of the information presented in this text.
Swift Archer LLC 500 North Rainbow Boulevard, Suite 300A, Las Vegas, NV 89107, USA The Purpose of This eBook Hi my name is Chris Salvato, co-creator of Eat. Move. Improve and author of The 15-Second Handstand: A Beginner’s Guide. I created this short eBook to give you a set of concrete steps to achieve your first 60-second handstand against the wall. In my experience, 28-days is more than enough time for noticeable and ample progress.
Some people surprise themselves and achieve their first 60-second wall handstand within the first 15 minutes of training, but a lot of people need to spend a whole month (or more) working on that goal.
I can’t promise that you will achieve a 60-second wall handstand at the end of the month (though most people do), but I can promise that if you take the steps in this challenge you will remain consistent and see major progress.
Whether you want to learn to perform a handstand to be strong, skilled or just plain awesome, a solid wall handstand is the first step towards that goal.
This book enables you to take the first steps quickly, build positive training habits, and gets you started on the path to your first freestanding handstand. Have a look at some of the results achieved by people have have
followed this program:
“I’ve made more progress in the last week than I made in the last year.” – Dan R., Engineer and Tutor, 58 years old “But yesterday, oh man. I kicked up, and everything clicked! My feet went to the right placed, my shoulders were engaged, I had control with my cambered technique - I felt like I could hang out there all day!
I got a solid 10 seconds nearly still the whole time, and it was one of the coolest feelings I have ever had.” – Greg V., Teacher I. Get Started. Right Now. 8 Two Step Method 9 28-day Handstand Challenge Log 10
Challenge 2: 60-Sec Wall Handstand 18 II.What’s Next? 23 Get Started. Right Now.
The main tenet in this book is that most people can get to their first 60-second handstand against the wall within 28 days and their first freestanding handstand within 60 days. In fact, you are probably a lot farther along than you think.
You are reading right now because you want to learn handstands, so why wait until you are done with this book to get started? Instead, start right now. There is no reason to delay. It doesn't really matter how old, weak, frail or clumsy you are; start right now. Once you start executing the steps in this program, the details in the rest of the book will be in much better context.
Two Step Method The handstand isn’t really that hard. It seems difficult to you because your brain has been programmed your whole life to stand on your feet and stay upright. As a result, most of the problems with learning the handstand are not with your body. They’re with your brain. The good news is that we can get past that.
Part of the problem is fear, and part of it is a loss of the ability to balance on anything aside from your feet. Surprisingly, holding a handstand doesn’t take that much physical strength. (OK, if you want to hold one for 5 minutes, you are going to need to be pretty conditioned. To get your first impressive 15-second or even 1-minute hold, it really doesn't take so much strength.) Getting your first handstand takes only two things: conquering fear and consistent practice.
Despite popular belief, perfect form is not necessary. There is no need to get bogged down with unnecessary steps just so that you can have
28-day Handstand Challenge Log Commitment and consistency with a training program is the most challenging and most influential component to success. Your success relies
heavily on keeping a small log of your activity. Here is how it works:
1. Create a spreadsheet similar to the one shown in Figure 1 (or download mine)
2. Every day, you do at least 5 minutes of handstand work
3. When you are done for the day, you put an X in that day’s box
10Figure 1: Example 28-day Commitment Log
11 Checking off the boxes in your log, however, isn't just to record your progress. Its a goal - a challenge. Every day, find some time in the day to set a 5-minute timer. Most smart phones have a timer built in or, you can use http://e.ggtimer.com/5minutes. Anyone, no matter the circumstances, can manage 5-minutes of handstand training for the day. If you are too tired to train on some days, you can even sit and meditate about handstands for 5-minutes. You just want to get into the habit of having handstands be an integral part of your life.
To create this level of consistency, you can latch your training to an anchor event. An anchor event is an event that must happen in your daily routine. Something like having breakfast, waking up, or going to bed. For example, you may practice handstands every day before breakfast; maybe every day after getting home from work; maybe every day after dinner; or maybe you work on your handstands as the last thing in the day, just so that you get it done. Put a reminder near something related to the action event like a sticky note on your refrigerator, headboard or bathroom mirror so that you remember to do your workout at the time you planned. Again, don’t worry about working the whole 5 minutes, but just set aside 5 minutes every day. The goal is to make handstand practice a habit. The limiting factor in the handstand is not building strength, but staying consistent.
Evaluate Your Current Ability The 15-Second Handstand (15SH) progression consists of six major milestones. The first two can usually be completed within the first 28 days. All six have taken as little at 40 days, but may take a few months depending on your unique situation. The first two milestones include: 1. 60-Second Inclined Wall Plank 2. 60-Second Wall Handstand
13 Challenge 1: 60-Sec Wall Plank
1. Build pre-requisite arm strength
2. Get used to being inverted This skill is a safe way to start learning your limits on the handstand. First, place your hands on the floor and assume a normal push-up position. Then, walk your legs up the wall so that your feet are just slightly over your head as shown in with a straight body (no saggy hips!). Acceptable positions are shown in Figure 2. This is the position to hold.
Once you can hold this position for 60 seconds, you are able to progress to the 60-Second Wall Handstand.
Daily Routine For This Challenge 5 minutes of wall plank practice every day, aiming for a full 60-second hold. The timer starts when your elbows are locked.
The main goal is to get addicted and over fear, so don’t analyze your form too much. At this stage, the only key point on form is to keep your elbows locked. The timer starts when they are locked, and ends when you break straight elbows. Everything else doesn’t matter as much, so don't worry about any other details just yet. You can look like a complete mess, and your body doesn’t even need to look like a “plank” at this stage, so long as your elbows are locked and hips aren't sagging. In the simplest terms, you are just trying to get your hips over your head. If you have a fitness background, it’s understandable if you blast right through this part of the progression, but it is an important test to perform. If you are a complete newcomer, then this is where most people in your position need to start. Questions and Answers Q: This is too hard! What can I do to work up to this?
If this is too hard, you can work up to the inclined plank using the Downward Dog yoga position. This move is covered in the Appendix.
Q: My head feels like it’s going to explode! How can I avoid this?
A little discomfort of increased pressure is a common sensation for people who are not used to being inverted. If, however, you are experiencing pain then stop the workout immediately - especially if you notice your eyes going bloodshot. You should check with your doctor, 15 as extreme pain is normally a sign of high blood pressure and, in rare cases, can cause blood to pool in the eyes.
For most people (and those cleared by their doctors), your body simply doesn’t know how to cope with being upside down yet, so you need to teach it. To get over this, simply keep practicing and remind yourself to breathe. Bring your feet up as much as you can, and when your head starts to hurt, take the pressure off by lowering your feet a little. This normally goes away within the first 7 days of consistent training, though it can take up to 14 days, but can sometimes take 6 weeks or more.
Q: Holding this position is causing wrist pain. What do I do?
You are suffering from a severe lack of mobility in the wrists. I would recommend getting parallettes or pushup trainers to start, while working on wrist mobility at the same time. An example of acceptable pushup trainers can be found here: http://amzn.to/12AkUWm. This equipment will take the pressure off of your wrists at this early stage. If you don't want to invest in equipment, a later part of the 15SH progression includes the Cambered Hand Technique, which takes a lot of strain off the wrists. You may want to jump ahead in the progression to learn this hand position. For severely limiting pain, you may need to look into wrist mobility techniques and stretches. Focusing on wrist mobility will slow down your progress on the handstand but will contribute to better overall joint health.
Q: Where am I supposed to be looking? What is the right head position?
At this point, just do whatever position is comfortable. The proper head position is between your arms, looking at your hands, but head position isn't critical at the moment.
17 Challenge 2: 60-Sec Wall Handstand
1. Continue building arm strength
2. Get completely inverted
3. Confront fears This is where you progress towards being completely inverted. First, place your hands on the floor and assume a normal push-up position. Then, walk your legs up the wall so that your feet are completely over your head. Figure 3 shows how to achieve this position, with the ultimate goal being a chest to wall handstand. You don’t need to hit this exact form just yet – your hands can be farther away from the wall if that is easier for you. Also, your form doesn't need to be as rigid. Figure 4 shows another version of less desirable (but perfectly acceptable) form for this stage of the progression. The only requirement, and most crucial part of this progression, is making sure that your elbows are locked.
Daily Routine For This Challenge 5 minutes of wall handstand practice per day building up to a 60second wall handstand hold. The 60-second timer starts when your elbows are locked, and the rest of your form doesn't matter.
Finer Points In this position, don’t worry about being perfectly straight, pointing your toes, keeping your legs straight or even being close to the wall when first starting. The goal is to get used to being as close to the wall as possible while being upside down. Most people find this incredibly empowering, even if their hands are nearly a foot from the wall, since it is the first time you are consciously holding a handstand position. It is here that you will feel that the handstand is actually within reach.
Commonly, achieving your first 60-second hold with locked elbows will take 7 to 14 days when starting to work on this position. Don't be discouraged, however, if it takes just a bit longer. The only real metric is that you hold the position a little bit longer each day - even if the difference is under a second.
19 If you have crippling fear about bringing your hands closer to the wall, then don’t do it. Once you can hold a reasonably inverted 60-second hold, with your hands 12 inches from the wall or less (like the one in Figure 4), then you can move onto the Pirouette Bail, which is your weapon against these fears. The next step in the progression (learning the Pirouette Bail technique) will reduce anxiety about bringing your hands closer to the wall, which is important for working towards a freestanding handstand hold.
Questions and Answers Q: I am too scared to get close to the wall. What do I do?