Michael Grogan is a Personal Trainer/Movement Coach in Melbourne CBD & South Yarra, Australia. He uses a combination of Gymnastic Strength, Advanced Mobility and Barbell Strength & Power exercises to achieve increased levels of performance and body composition with his clients. For more information follow him on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michaelgrogan_movement/ facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelGroganMovement and for enquiries contact [email protected]
12 months ago, as a 28 year old with no prior gymnastic experience, I was introduced to the idea of learning how to handstand. I figured it would not be that difficult, maybe 10-15 sessions tops. After a few attempts at a handstand that resembled a flailing otter having a seizure, I realised that the road was long. I had inadvertently begun my own personal journey to learning how to handstand.
This was the first time I had ever understood the concept of a physical journey to learning a new skill. What I was starting to realise was that there are many different stages. In the beginning people would take joy in my struggle as they would see my flailing attempts and poke fun at me by asking questions like “are you trying to join the circus?” or “what’s the point in doing that?” This affected my practice a little, but I knew that I was doing it for my own reasons so I pushed on.
After a while (an eternity) things started to get better as I began practicing more frequently building up to a daily practice. I started to get short holds in a good position, 5 -10secs, which built a wave of enthusiasm and momentum within me and led me to some very strong handstands. Not only did I feel much more confident within myself, those initial detractors had also become rather silent and had little to comment on my progress.
Although my Handstand journey is far from over (I have inconsistent holds and cannot kick into a handstand on every attempt) I now know that the progress I seek is inevitable with daily practice due to the progress I have already achieved. The confidence and awareness of practice I have gained so far has been invaluable and applicable to other areas of my life.
What I want to share with you today is 6 amazing reasons why you, as an adult, should learn how to handstand and how it can impact other areas of your life.
1. Learn to be a beginner at something again
Big gains occur early and quickly when you learn a new skillWhen was the last time you tried something new? Do you remember what it felt like? If you are like most adults you probably hated the experience of not being really good at something right away and gave up after the first attempt.
As adults we tend to stick with what we know and what we think we are good at….what a boring existence right! You only become happy when you are progressing and you are not progressing if you do the same things all the time.
When you first do a handstand I can guarantee you will suck at it, I did. Feel this experience and go through the process of becoming proficient in a new area and witness the confidence that builds inside of you from this. You can then take this confidence into other aspects of your life.
2. Learn discipline and daily practice
Have you ever attempted to acquire a new skill and tried really hard for a short period of time but felt like you made no progress so then gave up? Yep, most of us have!
The only way to improve at something is to apply frequency of practice with consistency of application. In other words you need to do it every day over a consistent period of time!
I spent over 12 months trying to perfect my handstand but if I am being honest the first 9 months were almost a waste of time because I would only practice 1-2 times per week. It was only in the last 3 months where I dedicated at least 10mins a day EVERY DAY where I achieved monumental progress in comparison to the previous 9 months.
It does not mean you have to thrash yourself every single day. Daily discipline will help you achieve progress incrementally and build momentum towards your goal.
3. Correct posture discrepancies
Ok so if you are like most adults at the moment, your day to day job probably does not require much physical activity and you probably spend a lot of time hunched over at a desk. We all know this has adverse affects on our posture, aka desk posture.
If you are going to learn to handstand then you will need to spend a lot of time training mobility on the anterior shoulder in order to be able to balance effectively in a handstand.
This will result in you being able to correct that desk posture by pulling those hunched shoulders back into their correct alignment.
4. Get lean and strong
Ever seen someone perform a perfect handstand? What kind of shape were they in? In order to perform a really good handstand you will need to be proportionally strong in relation to your overall body weight. After all you are placing 100% of your weight through your hands.
Your daily practice will also help you with this as your overall activity levels will increase through your discipline and therefore will result in you getting in great shape while you handstand.
5. Condense your hard work into a physical display
Are you sick of fitness selfies on instagram of people’s biceps or latest shirt off before and after pics? Very over-done and boring!
It’s time to condense all your efforts of strength, body composition and mobility work in the gym through a display of physical prowess in an artistic medium. AKA the world would rather see you handstand!
When you can perform a movement like a perfect handstand it shows that you have mastered your bodyweight strength. You have worked to accomplish something worthwhile that you have dedicated yourself to…pretty cool eh!
6. Influence your family and friends
Once you start to master your own bodyweight strength by smashing out handstands on command, you will then begin to influence your friends and family to follow in your footsteps. You will also be able to pass on what you have learnt in daily practice, discipline and the process of learning something new! This gives you the opportunity to be a positive influence on those close to you.
It’s not just about learning to handstand per se. It’s going through mental and physical changes that come with the consistent and frequent application of learning a complex skill.
When we do not go through these processes often, we start to fear them when they come along. On the contrary, when we go through these processes often we experience consistent waves of positive momentum that transcend into other areas of our lives.
Michael Grogan – Personal Trainer/Movement Coach at Michael Grogan Movement Melbourne CBD & South Yarra, Australia.
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