While we are all practicing social distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID 19, we will be offering an array of handstand and flexibility 4 week series to keep you on track to reach your goals. We understand that this situation has made it so that some people are financially struggling, while others are still able to continue working as usual. Therefore we are offering these classes on a sliding scale to accommodate as many situations as possible.
For all classes you will be given instructions on how to track your progress as well as a homework sheet. With your registration you are also granted free access to the Homework Club where you can train with the instructor (who will also be training) where you can ask any questions you may have during your training. It’s a way to stay accountable as well as having live feedback while you’re doing your homework.
All Levels Flexibility
Our all levels flexibility class is our most popular class. This class focuses on a full body increase of range of motion. As stated in the title of this class, it is for ALL LEVELS. This means if flexibility training is a completely foreign concept to you and you want to learn how to improve your range of motion to have a better quality of life this class is for you. If you are a professional dancer who has a good understanding of flexibility training but wants structure and guidance to do the work (because let’s face it, this work is hard to do on your own) this class is for you too.
It’s a 90 min class and we start each class with a 40 min warm up stretch. The sequence of movements is the same each week but the hope is that thru new ways of looking at things you will understand concepts, ideas, and techniques better each time you go through the sequence. We then do a quick over splits sequence, followed by shoulder stretches, bridges, and finishing with stretches that we are focusing on for that series.
Understanding Breathing and Relaxing
This is the most important concept that needs to be learned for training flexibility safely and with good technique. I always give a lot of focus to this concept in every class. An other reason why I keep the warm up sequence consistent is so that you can work on learning how to breathe and relax properly. It’s much easier to breathe and relax in a position that is familiar than one that is new. It is very common to be thinking about your breathe when you know that you are meant to be focusing on it, but as soon as you change to a new position you completely forget. It is a difficult thing to keep front of mind, but you can get better with practice.
Progressions and Regressions [click here for the free e-book]
There are many ways to make a stretch easier or more challenging. One thing to always remember is if you feel a stretch you’re doing a stretch. You might not feel it in the same place as the instructor or your friend in the other zoom window. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re doing it “wrong”. You could be, but more likely is that you are tighter in a different part of your body which means you can only access the stretch to a specific place in your body. As that place loosens up, you’ll find that the same stretch will stretch something new. I have written an entire e-book for this topic with some exercises for you to try. Just click on the link and fill out your name and email and you will receive and email with a collection of free ebooks.
This class is for more advanced students who have, or are close to having, all three splits and can do bridge on the floor with straight arms and are able to kick to a handstand against the wall. This is a 2 hour class geared towards taking your flexibility to the next level. The first hour and fifteen minutes is an advanced version of the all levels class that focuses on getting a good warm up, over splits, shoulders warm up, and bridges. The last 45 min will be working towards focused flexibility goals such as:
Mexican style handstands and elbow stands
This style of handstand is a lot of active flexibility in the shoulders as well as the ability to isolate the lower back and hip flexors to achieve the desired depth. There are a large variety of shapes that can be trained in this style and some are easier than others. In this series we cover a number of shapes in both handstand and elbow stand in order to get some wins and understanding in the easier shapes and a clear pathway on how to achieve the more difficult variations.
Front and back walkovers
There are four elements required to be able to do all variations of walkovers. You need to be able to go from standing to a bridge, and then reverse it coming back to standing from your bridge. You then need to be able to fall into a bridge from a handstand, and again reverse it and kick back over through your handstand back to standing. Once you master these 4 elements then you will be able to do all variations of walkovers that you would like to do.
Contortion style handstands and elbow stands
This is taking the classic “banana back” and giving it purpose. With a greater range of motion you get a beautiful contortion handstand, but if you don’t have the range you will simply doing a banana back but on purpose with the correct intension so that you’re working towards something bigger. Just like the Mexican style handstands there are a variety of shapes that you can do and some are easier than others. There are also ways that you can work on gaining your range of motion in the shape that you are pursuing.
Front, back, and side scales
Active leg flexibility is a very sought after skill in dance, circus, gymnastics (both rhythmic and artistic), and martial arts just to name a few. We work on gaining active, dynamic, assisted, and ballistic flexibility and stability in both leg focused and legs with back and shoulders variations of scales. This is a very big topic to cover so it is broken into legs only and legs + back + shoulders.
Expert Level Flexibility
*chest stands and more expert level skills I only teach to one on one clients [click here to find out more about one on one programs]
The beginner foundation classes are geared towards anyone who is still working towards being able to consistently balance their handstand away from the wall. If you’ve never done a handstand before but are now compelled to learn, then this is the perfect place to start. It will make sure that you develop good habits from the beginning. If you’ve been working on your handstand for a while and are getting frustrated that you’re stuck at the wall, then this will start to give you the path towards having a confident handstand away from the wall. Once you achieve your 10 second handstand consistently then you will be ready to check out the intermediate courses.
Patterning [click here for the free ebook]
In my opinion, patterning is the most important skill to be able to achieve a great handstand. I always start here with every new skill that is being taught in handstands. It doesn’t matter what level. If you can understand and program the pattern of the skill you are trying to learn in a manner that doesn’t require you to be balancing on your hands then you will achieve that skill much faster and maintain the programming in your brain and body. I have written an entire e-book for this topic with some exercises for you to try. Just click on the link and fill out your name and email and you will receive and email with a collection of free ebooks.
Finding the balance point can be scary. If you stay on the side where you never get up then you will never do a handstand. Learning to fall and going to the other side of balance is really scary if you’re learning how to do a handstand as an adult. For online classes my number one priority is safety and everyone has a different set up where they’re training. With that in mind, in these classes we will work on finding that balance point in the safest way possible, making sure that any falling happens in a safe and controlled manner.
How to get away from the wall
There are many exercises that you can do away from the wall to gain confidence. There are two things that need to happen in order to get your handstand away from the wall. The first is overcoming your fear of falling. That means you need to know how to fall properly and safely and it needs to be instinctual so that you don’t have to think about it when you need to execute. The second is confidence. Building up the foundation so that when you’re in a handstand it’s no longer just a happy accident, but you can do it on purpose.
Troubleshooting your line
Once you’re able to balance away from the wall, the next step in your handstand journey will be learning how to get a straight line. Part of this training is learning where everything is supposed to be, the tension required in the correct direction, and then how to fix it when something isn’t in the correct place. We will be workshopping all of the pieces of the line in different ways so that you can understand it from different perspectives.
How to get into your handstand
There are so many different ways to get into a handstand. In this course we cover the basic entrances to be able to get into your handstand. From walking your feet up the wall to get into a wall handstand, to kicking up, and finally jumping up via tuck and straddle.
Endurance [click here for the free ebook]
Endurance is always going to be the gate keeper for progressing to the next level. Your body will always understand the technique and have the strength to do each part of a handstand but without endurance you will be stuck. It’s not the funnest part of handstand training but it is the most valuable. If you can increase your endurance then you will be able to do the technique required for a longer amount of time before failing eccentrically. I have written an entire e-book for this topic with some exercises for you to try. Just click on the link and fill out your name and email and you will receive and email with a collection of free ebooks.
To qualify for the intermediate classes you must be able to consistently hold a 10 second handstand away from the wall. You also have to be experienced and comfortable with falling out of your handstand. We will be doing exercises that require you to be able to do a handstand away from the wall. We will work on entrances, exits, and movement in the handstand separately. This means that there will be focus brought to the specific part of the handstand that we are working on. If we try to do everything at once then all parts will suffer. That said, it is encouraged to play with putting pieces together during your own training outside of class.
Every time you learn a new shape in handstands you’re learning a brand new skill. Each shape requires a different counter balance or direction of tension. It’s also very easy to learn a shape that will plateau at that shape. If you learn what is required of each shape to benefit you for more advanced skills you can work with a better intension from the beginning. We will cover all of the basics including; tuck, straddle, pike, L-shape, front split, and double steg.
Transitions are moving from shape A to shape B. Once your body knows where the start position and end position is, you then have to learn the pathway to get from one to the other in the most efficient way possible so that you don’t mess with the rest of your handstand. It’s much easier to learn the correct path than it is to constantly having to fix your shape once you make it to shape B, or C, or D, etc. We will work on patterning and executing transitions between all of the basic shapes covered in the shapes course.
Press to handstand
This is the most popular intermediate skill that people want to achieve. Once you can consistently jump into your handstand you want to learn how to press. In some ways a press to handstand makes the actual handstand easier to balance. You’re actually placing yourself in your handstand like stacking blocks from the floor up to the sky. When you jump you also have to fight against momentum if it takes you in the wrong direction, or if you don’t maintain the connections in your body to arrive at the perfect shape. It requires a lot of core strength and if you thought you had to push a lot before, you’re in for a surprise when you start training your press. Just remember that anytime you’re learning a next level handstand from where you are, it’s going to require more push.
In order to move up from intermediate to advanced you need to be able to hold a 30 second handstand away from the wall. The exercises we do require more control in your handstand and you will need to be up there for a while to work on the exercises. The intermediate classes will prepare you to be able to do the advanced classes.
Intro to One Arm Handstands
This course is perfect for anyone that’s in their first year of their journey to a one arm handstand. It covers all the basics and foundations that you will need to be able to train your one arm handstand. If everyone in the class has handstand blocks then we cover exercises with blocks to better understand the one arm handstand. If not everyone has blocks then we do variations that can be done both with and without blocks. You will learn how to spot yourself with the wall, a chair, and (only if available to you) stall bars or a pole.
Stalder press to handstand
Once you can do your press to handstand from your feet, this is the next progression. You need to learn how to get from sitting to the start position that you’re familiar with. You also need to gain more endurance and more push strength. I know that’s what I say about every progression but that’s because it’s true. You need to learn how to press with your hands elevated higher than your feet. One of the best drills for training this is to do the movement eccentrically. That said, if you do it with the wrong intentions then you’re not going to get there very fast. Always make sure that even if you can’t perform a drill with perfect technique, that you at least know what perfect technique would look like if you’re doing it right and train with the intension that you’re doing that.
Flags and side presses
This is my absolute favourite thing to both train and teach. Flags are a bit of a body puzzle when you’re first learning them. They require flexibility that is really only trained when you’re training flags. It doesn’t really transfer information from anything else that you would be training. A side press is the first step towards a one arm press. It also passes through a flag. This is why I love to pair them together. There are progressions that you can do with two arms so don’t worry, you don’t need to have a one arm handstand to start learning how to flag.
*for help on handstands beyond what is offered in the advanced classes you will need to book one on one training with specific goals in mind [click here for more information]