Just for kicks, on December 29, 1949, Sundby walked down all 898 steps of the Washington Monument on his hands. At various points in time, Sundby was the editor in chief of “Acro-Chat,” Acrobat Magazine, Modern Gymnast, and International Gymnast magazine. Here’s Glenn doing a little light reading at his desk.
He was no slouch in ‘normal’ lifts either, accomplishing a straight-arm pullover with 160 pounds, deadlifting 500 pounds for 8 reps and a standing press with a pair of 115-pound dumbbells.
Heidenstam wrote many books on physical training including “Modern Bodybuilding” which can be found in The Iron League.” Above, Heidenstam, a life-long devotee of gymnastica and hand-balancing, easily goes down a flight of steps on his hands — he was 45 years of age at the time.
WHEN YOU BUY A COLLECTION, you never know what you might find…
That was sure the case just recently when a big box of “forgotten lore” yielded a very interesting discovery: it turns out that the great Sig Klein wrote a course on hand-balancing that no one today (including me) had ever heard of before.
As you are probably aware, we are BIG fans of all things hand-balancing, and, of course, we are big fans of Sig Klein, so this training guide was certainly worth its weight in gold to us on many levels.
We immediately made plans to shine it up re-release this course again to the world so that everyone could once again benefit from Sig’s teaching.
First, we had all the text transcribed so that we could lay it out more readily. Second, we carefully re-scanned each image at the highest resolution possible in order to avoid the dreaded moire (checkering) effect… blemishes, specs, age spots and imperfections in the images were digitally edited and/or removed, and finally each scan was, enlarged, cropped, centered and leveled.
Our original plan was to put out this “lost” course as a hard copy, and you know how we like to do it, taking a lot of time, effort and great care in paper selection, layout and all other aspects of the presentation so that you end up with something in your hands that you can be proud to own.
We still intend on doing that at some point, but it recently came to our attention that a lot of people might also like to get an electronic copy. There are, of course, advantages in either case, but the immediate bottom line is that, with most of the layout work done, we could get an electronic copy up and ready to go in a matter of days and make it available immediately.
Now, just to give you an idea of the kind of information that is covered in this course, here’s quick a look:
- The THREE most important reasons to give your lower body a rest and increase the strength of the upper body by turning your training upside-down!
- Why hand-balancing is and can be of the utmost importance for women and how a several groups of women easily show up their male counterparts
- The simplest method for practicing your hand balancing skills — a skill that you should be able to do easily, even if you have never even attempted a handstand before
- The two important factors that you must take into consideration when using the wall for practice
- A simple-as-pie elementary exercise that will help you learn to position your feet correctly
- How to perform the basic movement that will help you bridge the gap into advanced advanced exercises and movements
- The two simple calisthenic exercises that will increase your hand-balancing skills
- The spectacular hand-balancing feat that can be done with a simple chair, which is also a fantastic abdominal strength builder
- Why Sig Klein believes every human being should be able to manage the weight of his body under all conditions
- How hand-balancing builds steady nerves and quiet tempers through strengthening “concentration”
- How to perform the highly impressive “Tiger Bend” and the small detail that finally allowed Sig Klein to conquer it. Also, why brute strength alone may not get the job done.
- A three image sequence on how to perform the push-up-to-hand-stand on low parallel bars and why the low parallel bars are more of a challenge than high parallel bars for this movement
- Details on the handstand bench push-up and its variations. How many times can Sig perform this movement?
- The highly impressive “free” barbell hand-stand, and why Sig Klein says it is “only the b-e-g-i-n-n-i-n-g”
- How to perform the Planche on low parallels
- What Sig Klein feels is the biggest secret of hand-balancing success, and why you won’t get far without knowing it…
But that’s not all! Sig Klein wrote this course roughly seventy five years ago, but the principles which make hand-balancing work are eternal. When I embarked on my own hand-balancing journey, unsurprisingly, I learned from and practiced many of the movements that Sig discusses in his course. Since I went from knowing absolutely nothing about hand-balancing to being able to hold a “pretty good” one, (especially for a former nose-guard) there were a few additional details that I wanted to share along with what can already be found in Sig’s course.
So, in the latter pages of the course, I have put together TEN tips, tips, techniques and pieces of advice that I wished I knew when I got started, or which I learned along the way. Here’s an idea of what I mean:
- The biggest mistakes that I made with my first hand-balancing effortss, why I initially quite and the completely random experience at an amusement park that occurred about a decade later pulled me back in
- The biggest Secret to hand-balancing success – yes, Sig covered it already, but I wanted to list it again just to make absolutely sure that it sinks in.
- How long will it take you to be able to hold a handstand? Everyone progresses at different rates, but I can tell you how long it too me, and the markers that I like to use.
- What to do in case you have a bad workout …and the foolish mistake that *I* made that lead to one of the worst hand-balancing workouts that I ever had, something that I sure never repeated
- How my early hand-balancing workouts will differ from my later ones, and the types of movements I recommend putting your focus toward early on
- How to break up your training into three distinct phases: the “conditioning” phase, the “practice” phase and the “mastery” phase and the specific types of training that should happen in each
- What my early hand-balancing workouts looked like, how long they generally lasted and why that time frame was important
- The simple way that I like to keep track of my exercises to ensure progress is taking place
- “Strait talk” on using the wall for your practice, when it is important and when it is a good idea to stop using it.
- How often to train.. what I learned about frequency, and how often I currently practice
- Why being “never satisfied” is a good thing when it comes to hand-balancing and how to make it work for you
- A discussion on training environment, and how you can avoid the mistake that I made that made my wife very angry
- Mental training for hand-balancing, a lesson from a Jedi master and how to not be your own worst enemy
- The two visualization techniques that I use, and how they help me improve in my sleep!
IMPORTANT: Try-Hand-Balancing by Sig Klein is currently ONLY available in electronic format on the Kindle and available from Amazon.com. The order button below will take you directly to the order page on Amazon.com where it can be purchased. If we go ahead with a PRINTED version we will make an announcement once it is ready.
every single time!
I couldn’t tell you the exact year, but I’m pretty sure I was around 10 years old or so… What I do very clearly remember was that it was on a Saturday afternoon when I found an article on hand balancing in an old magazine. My intentions were admittedly to be able to show off in a more dramatic manner…
I thought that holding a hand stand and being able to walk around on on my hands was just about one of the coolest things ever. I figured that with my new-found knowledge, come Monday morning I was going to impress all my friends at school (if I didn’t decide to run off and join the circus before then, of course!)
I didn’t bother to read the article though, I just jumped right in to trying to duplicate some of the exercises shown in the pictures. I did a lot more falling than balancing… It some how wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. What should come as no great surprise is that it didn’t go very well and my first hand balancing escapade ended in frustration after less than a half-hour.
This was a case of making several classic mistakes: the first was attempting to jump in at a level far above what I was capable of, the second was not having any kind of plan and the third, was completely ignoring the written directions (not that it would have done much good, given the other afore-mentioned issues.)
To these you can also add in my own unrealistic expectations so its pretty easy to understand why things ended up the way they did. Despite my initial lack of success, my fascination with hand balancing skills still remained…
As I mentioned earlier, my initial interest in hand balancing was basically just to show off — and it’s a pretty good way to do so — but if you take a look back through the history of strength training you’ll notice something else about it that stands out. Many of the oldtime strength athletes used hand balancing as a way to build incredible strength and upper body development.
The list of strength athletes who were also great hand balancers reads like a “who’s who” of legends: Sig Klein, John Grimek, Doug Hepburn, Paul Anderson, Jack LaLanne, Bert Assirati, George F. Jowett, Steve Reeves, Otto Arco, Bert Goodrich and Clevio Massimo… just to name a few that come immediately to mind.
(If I can learn to do this, anyone can!)
It took a little while, a few decades, in fact, but eventually my interest in hand balancing came back in a big way. There were several factors which contributed to this: first of all, I got really interested in improving my overhead press, and hand balancing is one of the “lost” methods that the oldtime lifters used to use for doing so.
Second, as the time passed, I got a little more of this “stuff” called wisdom (which tends to accumulate over the years) and I grew up more than a little. One of the most important things that happened was that I no longer expected to become an expert over night…
I had the motivation and I had the wisdom, but what I was lacking was a plan. It an amazing stroke of luck that right around this time, (and thirdly), that Bill Hinbern also came out with a
fantastic training guide which outlined decades of hand balancing
knowledge. With this guide in hand, I was no longer in the dark as
far as how and where to get started. My “getting started” frustration
and anxiety disappeared instantly.
Balancing Success: Hand-Balancing for
Muscular Development by Bill Hinbern
Now, I know that hand balancing might look pretty complicated but once you understand the principles — and know which specific skills that you should be practicing — it’s actually very simple. This is the course that helped me get started. Here’s a look at many of the things that you will learn:
17. The 5 different types of “floor bars” and why you may or may not need to train with them
18. Why “The Tiger Bend” is one of the most effective exercises and how to use it to build strong, powerful arms (a favorite of Sig Klein)
19. Twenty Advanced Hand balancing moves guaranteed to impress anyone
20. Seven different methods for progressing to the one armed hand stand
21. How to perform “The Snap Down” – a spectacular way of finishing off your hand balances
22. Four different variations of “The Planche”
23. Methods for Mastering the Press-Up from Planche to Hand Stand
24. How to walk up and down stairs on your hands
25. “Hopping” on one hand, two hands, and stacking and removing blocks
You wouldn’t have read this far if you didn’t mean business… It took roughly two decades between the time I first got interested in hand balancing to the time I was actually able to accomplish it but I could have condensed that down to only a few weeks if I knew the right place to begin…When I started, I had the desire and the motivation, but I lacked the know-how. Today, the know-how is now right in front of your face. I can only dream of where I might be if I had Bill Hinbern’s course way back in the day. You have a chance to not just get started, but to get started at the best possible place and know exactly what you should be doing. It is like the difference between taking the long, slow, frustrating road which may or may not get you to where you want to go… or, on the other hand, you can take a straight-line “shortcut” right to the top.
Yes, there will be work involved, there’s no way around that, but there sure won’t be any more work than what is necessary… Hey, if I can learn to do this, anyone can, take the plunge and order your copy of Hand-Balancing for Muscular Development right now and maybe one day you will run off and join the circus!