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S1 Episode 39: Catch-Up with Mikael Plus Q&A


In this episode of the Handstandcast, Mikael has returned! Emmet and Mikael catch up on what’s been going on in Sweden and how Mikael’s creative process is going, as well as doing a Q&A. Covering how to breathe/brace in a handstand, getting Mikael’s perspective on coaching underbalance and why training handstands after a rest day is so controversial to some and how resting affects some handbalancers.

Want to have your say on the Handstandcast? You can now leave us a voice note here with your Q&A questions for Emmet and Mikael! If you have any specific topics you’d like us to cover, or want to send in questions for our Q&A episodes, please get in touch via our contact form.

S1E39 – Catch-Up with Mikael Plus Q&A

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Transcript of Episode 39: Catch-Up with Mikael Plus Q&A

EL: Hello, and welcome back to the Handstand Cast with me, Emmet Louis.  He is back!  My illustrious co host Mikael Kristiansen is back from his production period.  How is it going?

MK: It’s going pretty well.  It’s a couple of weeks since we finished the two weeks of residency time we had here in Stockholm, which was a hell of a fucking ride I must say, in all ways, shapes and forms.  It was amazing, and a nightmare, but definitely more amazing than nightmare.

EL: Amazemare.

MK: Something like that.

EL: I was filling people in how this is the dark point before the dawn where you start getting the tech in, all the lights and other stuff.  We have nothing, then maybe you realize you might have something.  How do you feel the show is doing?

MK: We really..this production period is where I think things finally started to fall into place.  Basically, last time we were really good friends and the group has a really good dynamic.  When you’re six people trying to create together, it’s hard to make decisions on what material to keep, thematics, all that other stuff.

The last time, in July, we had a good friend of ours named Tom Brand.  He’s part of another circus company called Svalbard.  He gave us a bunch of feedback and pulled it apart quite a lot.  So when we worked in November, it was a lot from what he had said, and trying to create a new cohesion of the show and find both ourselves and individuals more in it.  Finally, to find a way to make it so everyone in the group has – we weren’t necessarily on the same page with the material before, but I think we finally found that now.  That feels really good.

That, and the fact that we got to try a lot of stuff with music.  We had a lights designer in from Denmark who designed all the lights for the show.  That was pretty fucking cool.

EL: Nice.  If I were to say the Handstand Cast had arranged a stealth meeting at your premiere and everyone who listens to it was going to be in the audience, judging you, how would you feel about that?

MK: That’s the thing.  I’m silently hopeful that we will be among the lucky ones, when it comes to circus productions, that will feel reasonably ready when the premiere comes.

Very often the last couple of weeks are very scrambled and people just throw something together to have a premiere.  A lot of the material isn’t ready and is rough.  This is just a road reality of creating.  You will have a time limit, a premiere date, everything isn’t necessarily exactly as you want for the premiere.

Very often, they can’t, either, since you have never met an audience several times in a row with a show.  You haven’t seen the responses, what actually works.  All that stuff, most of the time you adjust over time as you start playing.  I do think we can have a potentially high level of readiness when we move towards premiere.  But we still do need about two more weeks with a show.

Right now it’s not ready to be played, but the general overarching arch of the show and the scenes are decided upon and done.  The smaller energy curvature within each scene, and focal points, detailing movement quality and theatrical expression, specific techniques and timing, choreo…those need to be polished.  It’s not really far.

EL: Those things you said about polishing, you can have them mechanically drilled as much as you want going into a show, which is always very useful.  But until you’ve run the show with an audience, it can’t get polished for a while.

MK: It’s also getting the feeling of playing it, so you can be in the performative state you need to make it work.  That also takes a lot of time and experiencing the material until you can play it in its fullness.

Basically, our show is a combination of a reasonable amount of choreography, loads of group scenes and separated scenes more focused on individuals, and so on.  We also operate a lot with ‘scores,’ a term from music theory.  Basically, a choreographic score is a regulated improv that has a certain rule set.  You’re improvising around a specific concept and you don’t move outside of those set rules within a period of time.  We used this in the show a lot, to also keep it alive for ourselves, so we’re not just repeating the exact same movements every single time.  We need to re-organize around each other and keep our eyes open and be sharp and in the moment.

EL: What you could say is you’ve got handstand jazz going on.

MK: Certainly, both in handstand and outside of it.  Some stuff we do is very tightly regimented and on counts to be able to ensure it gets the visual effects we want.  A lot of the time we’re also looking for visual effects that we want to not look regimented at all.

The thing is a set choreography can certainly work.  If you can build a score with a certain ruleset and make that work, I usually find it more interesting to both do and watch, as it has an organic feel to it.

EL: It’s a nice thing to have on a show.  If a show is too tightly choreographed, people performing the show can have it become mechanical and they zone or space out while doing it.  In group shows, when you want something to be highlighted or not, to try to keep that aliveness is very difficult to do, especially when you’ve done something 10, 15, 1000 times.

Improve is nice because it serves as a slap in the face to the person who has to go, oh shit, either the light is on me or my little trio, and we actually have to feel each other, what’s going on, the music, or the mood in the room or the audience, and zone back in on that, or focus it.

It’s risky as well.  In circus when we perform, we deal with risk very directly.  It sets up the proposal, “I am going to walk across this really thin wire.  I may or may not fall.”  “I’m going to throw all these balls in the air; hopefully I catch them.”  “I’m going to stand on one arm and hopefully it isn’t boring.  This kind of thing.

MK: Speaking of hoping this isn’t boring, that’s certainly a challenge we have had, and what I wanted to challenge from he beginning of this project too was, is it possible to make a show that is hand balancing focused that isn’t boring?  I’ve certainly never seen much of that.

If you try to make it into a gymnastics technical skill display, you will run out of interesting things because you can’t incrementally increase the bar of difficulty forever.  There’s heavy diminishing returns on how long it’s interesting to watch a bunch of one arm handstand positions, or a bunch of tricks.  We want to use the handstands more as…I came up with a metaphor of using the handstands as the canvas for the performance, more than for the painting.

That is the framework.  I don’t do many one arms in the show, nor does anyone else.  Sure there are a bunch of one arms in the show, but there isn’t one individual doing many of them at all.  It’s definitely not going to be a Pokemon of handstands – gotta catch em all and have all different kinds of cool tricks, yeah!  No, not at all.

EL: I want all my money back already, if you’re not going to show every single possible type of handstand done by everyone.  *plays womp womp womp sound*

MK: Oh no, you got one of those?

EL: I told you, I got the sound pad.

MK: Of course you do, you fucker.

EL: I just haven’t loaded any good sounds onto it.  There’s no good sounds that go with handstands, that’s my problem.  People in podcast land know about the Roadcaster, which I have now.  It has sound pads and sound boards, so you can use them for the questions.

Maybe we should get some proper old school circus music, like entrance of the gladiator stuff.

MK: I really need to tell about a couple of events that happened during our residency time.  As I said, most of the time we were under some time pressure, working both recreating choreography, working on individual scenes, the dramaturgy, making sure to fill in material in places we didn’t have to find a cohesive…I don’t like the word story, but a red thread or something that makes it say something.

The musician we had is also an acrobat and dancer himself asked us questions.  He said we should try looking upon each scene of the show as a word, and in a combination, those words become a sentence.  It’s a metaphor I like a lot.  Of course we don’t literally think of a word and put it together into a single sentence.  It’s not like that.  It’s just to have a way to associate about it.

To be able to curate the impressions given to the audience…I would like a show, or anything I do or even watch, it’s interesting when you do see it being associative and evoking things for you, so that you are getting very clear impressions.  But then you can interpret them yourselves, compared to just getting input that can be interpreted as anything.  That’s not as interesting when it’s very clear what you’re supposed to see in every single thing.

We worked a lot around that.  We had all this conceptual work to do.  Our light designer is a fucking great guy from Denmark named Kenneth, who did some really insane lights.  Really good lights are something we understood earlier as really necessary to bring out the best of such a show.

In the middle of the process, of course, Coronavirus and everything.  We got everyone to come to Sweden, decided everyone stays the fuck away from other people.  We go into this black box where we worked, and worked together all day.  Everyone had a place to stay, but we stayed rather secluded otherwise.

Everything was going well.  We were there in the studio and I got a message.  Bam. It was from my flatmate, “Hi I have COVID.”  Fuck.

I just sat there, looking at the text message.  Guys, my flatmate has COVID.  Everyone is like, “Ohhhh no.”

Earlier in the process, one of the girls in the show, Lisa, had been pretty damn sick.  Her smell was gone, etc.  She wasn’t with us the first few days.  She got a COVID test, was negative, and when she had no symptoms she resumed and came to us.

One of the outside guys, Tom, he also had been sick and not feeling great, so was also home a few days at the beginning.  Then we’re all back; everything is great.  Then my flatmate has COVID, and we were just like, shit, what do we do?

For the public testing system here in Sweden, it’s packed and fully booked.  So we booked the test that is pretty expensive, but you get it really quickly.  It was like 150 euro test that we booked and I was supposed to go to the same day, in a few hours.  But then I get called from the place where we had the residencies, Subtopia in Stockholm.  They’re basically a large cooperative of various organizations that run a large complex of buildings.

At the time, they were shooting some movie in another large studio.  Somehow, for that movie, people were being tested every day or other day.  They called me and heard my flatmate had COVID.  “Stay where you are, a nurse is coming up in ten minutes.”  What?  But they sent a nurse up, stabbed me in the nose with the thing, and I was negative.  I did take the other test the day after as well, so I was definitely negative.  So we could continue the work.  That was kind of stressful.

Then suddenly the truck of the light designer was suddenly gone one morning.  Another show had all its stuff in the back of that truck.  It said, “Sinography” on the truck.  So we were like, fuck it’s definitely stolen.  So the entire morning went to calling around.

It ended up that someone towed it because it was too close to the Zebra crossing and they had to pay 750 euros to get the fucking truck back.

EL: Sweden does not fuck around with Zebra crossings.

MK: It was an eventful time, to say the least.  It was really fucking good and hopefully the show will be good.  It was a thing that happened.

EL: I filled people in a bit on last week’s podcast on ‘Mikael’s locked out of his apartment and can’t come join us, because of the ‘Rona.’

MK: Yeah, I had to find a new place to stay for a week.  Then I got really lucky with some friends of mine.  It solved itself pretty well.  I’m still..it’s taken a toll on me.

EL: I was looking at a very broken Mikael when he got on the call.

MK: I also haven’t slept for two days because my brain fucks.  Rage.

EL: I’m really looking forward to it.  We’re having a Handstand Cast fan club meet up.  Do we have a fan club?  Has anyone bothered setting one up online, or do we have to do it ourselves?  I’m not certain how these work.  Do you set up your own fan club or do people do it for you?

I think we should.  I think we deserve our own fan club.

But yes, the fan club is meeting at the premiere.  If you’re ever let out of Sweden again, since their Corona strategy seems to be tanking.

We’re going to do a bit of a Q&A.  I answered some in the last round as well, but I wanted to get your thoughts on it too.  First we have an audio question!

As usual, if you want to ask us questions, please send them to @HandstandFactory on Instagram, or to me or Mikael directly.  If you want to do a voice question or dial in for us, go to Anchor.FM and find a link through our website, http://www.HandstandFactory.com/  You can send us questions there.

We have an audio question.  “Hi Emmet and Mikael.  This is Brian from Oregon.  I have a question and a comment.  I’m working the PUSH program and I have to say the focus on vertical pushing has been the antidote to my climber’s pulling shoulders.  My shoulder discomfort has really disappeared while working on the PUSH program.  So thank you.

My question relates to breathing in the straight body position, or any position where I’m contracting the abdominals.  It’s been hard to find a balance between that slightly restricted breathing that I get while bracing, versus inevitably running out of breath around 30s into a hold.  Any cues, tips or anything else you can offer for me to work on this is greatly appreciated.  Thanks again.”

MK: I have a very clear suggestion.  Stop bracing.  I barely know anyone anymore who braces their abdominals during handstands.

EL: I think it’s a myth we have to destroy that gets reinforced by gymnastics, obviously, because they need the body tension for certain things.  Crossfit as well, and general handstand coaching.

But yeah, the goal of handstand is to be relaxed and be able to breathe relaxed is part of being relaxed.  Being tensed and developing body tension is a good strategy when you’re learning, doing wall holds, trying to find the groove.  But as Mikael says, don’t.

MK: Try to look at your handstand as much as you can as the same as standing on your feet.  There’s never any reason to brace your abs while standing on your feet, while there is a reason to brace your abs if doing a heavy squat.  You could sort of compare that to doing a handstand press.

Just as when doing a squat, if you have a heavy barbell and start bending your knees, the amount of abdominal tension will depend on the amount of weight you have.  It’s not like you need to think particularly extra about what’s going on in your midsection.  Your body is smart and will respond by tensing up there.  That’s the same as will happen in press to handstand, in a sense.  The analogy isn’t perfect, but it still holds up to a degree.

When standing on your feet, you don’t need to do anything with the midsection, in terms of conscious tension, to keep yourself standing.  It should be more or less the same in handstands.

The breathing in handstand is kind of shallow.  You don’t allow your rib cage to expand or contract very much, nor your abdominals.  But think about how you breathe when you sit on the couch.  You don’t really allow your rib cage or abs to expand or relax particularly much either, unless you take a real big breath.  Otherwise, the breath goes normally.  In handstand it should be quite similar to that.

As with anything, if your maximal hold in a handstand is 10s, it’s going to be hard for you to “relax” and feel your breathing.  If you have 10s to handstand, as soon as you get into it, you’re on your last 10s.  If I stay up for as long as I can, I’ll be suffering on my last 10s too.  I probably won’t be breathing very much.  If you can stay up for 30, it might not happen until second 25 or so.  Can you stay for a minute?  It might not even happen at all.  The forearms might give in before your midsection starts even moving much.

EL: I never thought of it like that.  If you can only hold for 10s, it’s by definition your last 10s.  That’s fucking boom, genius.  I need a sound on my sound pad for that one.  Let’s see. *whirring sound*. Nope.  *Ba Da Doom.”  No, wrong one.  Fuck it.

MK: Emmet has bought way too much tech.  Emmet likes to buy all the things.  Now he’s equipped and now we need to listen to his fucking sounds.

EL: We’re going to upgrade it.  If anyone wants to buy me more tech, they can.  I’ve been banned from buying stuff at the moment.

I want to comment on the climbing and handstands.  What I have spotted is climbing and handstands is a really good mix of training.  If you were to do climbing training, handstand training, and the associated flexibility training you’d have a very…agile?  Nimble body something.

You’d just have very good training that is slightly outside the realms of our normal athletics ‘speed, power, everything fast and best as possible.’  Obviously you want to get stronger and other things, but you’re into a zone of mental challenging.  I think the mindset of people who do climbing and bouldering is very compatible with those who do handstands.  There’s a problem here to be solved, a challenge.  You get to upgrade and level up.  Then oh, there is new stuff I can do.  Then new things to solve…It works very well.  As you kind of spotted here, it’s fixed the climbing shoulder.  Why?  You’re always pulling towards the body, or the body towards the wall.  In handstand, we’re always pushing the body away from the floor.  On the basic rules of strength training we have balancing your movement planes, to a certain degree.  That kind of provides the balance to it.

The only risk is tendonitis.  Forearm fuckery, as we call it.  It can creep up quite quickly if doing both climbing and handstands.  If you can avoid it, you are sorted.

There’s a question last week I want your input on.  It kind of stumped me on how you would describe this.  I gave my answer but I want yours.

“I know there is the exercise of toe pulls when dropping into under balance.  What I have difficulties explaining to beginners is how to correct under balance.  In over balance, it’s just pushing the fingers into the ground.  In under balance, I’m not sure how to describe the motion that corrects it.  I can’t remember myself how I did it in the beginning.  Right now it seems too far to explain to beginners.”

To put context in, this is Fernando who can do one arms, presses and all that stuff.  Context.

MK: Under balance is complicated.  If it’s done well you don’t really see it.  I mean, ideally, since you don’t have fingers on the heel side of your hand, you can’t do much in the hand to help yourself, if the weight moves to the heel of the hand.  If the weight moves to the heel of the hand, any movement in the body will ripple through and as the weight moves to the heel of the hand, your centre of mass and hips also start moving there.  At some point you can’t save it anymore, and there is nothing you can do.

What you do can be roughly separated into 3 categories.  It’s the hand balancing way, as I call it, which is basically: as the weight moves to the heel of the palm, keep the shoulder as stacked as it’s always been.  Keep the pressure through the traps and the weight moves to the heel of your palm.  The first couple of things you might see when very little of this happens is a micro pike in the legs, or perhaps even the legs separate slightly.  You can often see that with people that are quite good.  You’ll see one foot come a bit in front of the other foot.

That happens as the hip micro corrects in the other direction to create a ripple to reestablish the balance over the hand.  If this is done to a larger degree, it can lead into a larger pike in the hips, a tuck…a good way to think of it is, if you’ve ever done tuck jump to handstand, do the tuck jump but don’t make it all the way up.  You go to a bit of a high tuck, you didn’t really make it.  The tuck rolls a bit down again but you stop it.  Then you lift it all the way back to handstand.

At the point where the tuck rolls a little bit down again, your shoulders move slightly forwards to a small degree in relation to how much your legs roll back down.  Then you find the control there, push your shoulders under your structure fully, then raise the legs on top.  This procedure is kind of complicated in all its parts, but probably most noticeable in the straddle.

This is the perfect example.  Someone does a legs together one arm and make a mess.  The first thing they do is throw their legs open quickly to reestablish balance.  You’re lowering the centre of mass, which allows you to mitigate that movement towards the heel of the palm, by a drastic drop in the centre of mass, rather than excessive piking, for example.

The other methods you can use are basically planching the shoulders.  On purpose, or by reaction, move the shoulders forward to break the shoulder line and enter a micro planche.  This is kind of common with a lot of people that train gymnastics, since there you lose points if you pike at the hips and so on.  Sure you lose points by moving the shoulders too much too, but I’ve seen this as a preferred method for many gymnasts.

You can also bend your arms very slightly.  This is common for people who are strong with barbells or have a lot of strength when learning handstands.  You see these micro bends in the arms all the time.  These sorts of movements are the body’s response to handling under balance.

Most people I taught and developed under balance with, it’s that you give them drills to develop the strength capacity and understanding of how this moves in under balance.  Slowly but surely you start to see it.  They kick up to handstand.  Their legs are slightly separated and you see these small movements back and forth in the legs from over and under balance.  These are the first kinds of touch and taste of the body to try and control this movement.

Over time it refines until you can use your preferred methods with more efficiency.

EL: That’s kind of how I explained it.  It is a familiarity thing.  Over balance is easy to explain.  Grab the ground.  Squeeze.  Under balance is more like, intuitive.  The way people solve it is different.

As I said last week, when you start hand balance, your battle is with over balance.  Once you learn over balance, you can just do it and forget about thinking about it too much.  Then your battle will always be with under balance.

MK: On one arms it’s never really over balance, once you’re good at it.  I think the problem with understanding under balance is you will see it only in the reactions.  You only see it as the body makes a movement to try to handle it.  Those are the kinds of small ripples where the shoulder moves slightly forwards in this jerky way.  Then the hips may or may not react to make sure you don’t need to planche very far.

When the shoulders make that tiny movement forwards, that’s where you can reestablish the centre of mass over you and find it back more easily.

EL: If we think about the balance point in the hand, it’s always a bit closer to the wrist than the finger tips.  You can make bigger, more dramatic saves, almost, in a straight handstand when you go towards fingertips.  You can open out and really catch it that way because you have that kind of lean.

With under balance, as you say, shoulders go forwards, but it might be 5-6mm.  That will reestablish the centre of mass of the hands.  Obviously you need precision to do that.

MK: Also, the fingers, what did Helgi call it?  You apply torque to the bottom of the inverted pendulum?  I think that is relevant since you actually apply force to the bottom of the entire pendulum.  With under balance, you have to move the structure slightly on top of it because you have nothing to grab the ground with there, even if you try to keep pushing into the floor with the hell.  All you can do is make sure the shoulder is where it needs to be, but the reactions still need to happen further up in the chain to keep over the hand.

EL: Maybe we need to come up with the Underbalancerizer 4000, a stabilizer for the hand to catch under balance for you.

MK: Similar to a shake weight but for handstands.

EL: If someone has a shake weight and can use it in handstand, send me a video.  I’ll hook you up with a healthy discount to a Handstand Factory program.  Throwing that out there.  You have to be using it properly and not just holding it in your legs.  I want to see that thing shake weighting.

MK: I’m for that.

EL: I’ll hook you up with a very healthy discount on any of our programs if you send that in to me.

Anyway, where were we at?

Some people have probably played around with resting the wrist anywhere under the elbow against supports to catch under balance when you’re learning.  It’s very good for some people.  Other people would pay not to do that exercise in their program.

I used to use it a lot, but much less now, because people were like, I’m never doing that again because it’s terrible.

But if you had a kind of stilt that would fall out as you broke the angle and stop you, then you could recorrect, we could put that on Kickstarter and make a fortune.

Not even spring loaded.  It hangs down by your wrist.  When you lean angle in the under balance way, it will swing out and put a brake on.

MK: Years ago I was thinking of creating a glove with fingers on the other side and have some sort of sensor system.  As you squeeze through the hand, it also squeezes through the back hand.  You could control both over and under balance, just by one squeeze.  Ultimate cheater.

EL: I’m down.  Any mechanical engineers who want to get in on a kickstarter, you know where to find us.

Do all the work, we’ll give you a healthy discount.  12%.  Healthy for us, not for you.

I’ve got your favourite question, and I saved this one for you.  Or did I answer it?  Doesn’t matter.  You’re going to answer it and I know you like this question, as I know you’ve done some tough internet sleuthing on this one before.

Why is training immediately after rest days so controversial (a lot of people say worse with handstands), when any other sport or discipline benefits from training right after rest days?

MK: You tell me.  No idea.  At least part of the time after rest days it’s not; seems like with a lot of other people too.  It’s a small sample size but I did a thing on my instagram story once asking people how they would feel after having rest days from handstands.  I think the 3 categories were: feeling good, meaning you were above average; then completely average, like nothing happened; and then it was feeling a little bit off; and the fourth was feeling like being Jabba the Hutt being choked to death by Princess Leia.
I really don’t know.  I think there are many factors that have to do with it.  I know a lot of people who feel better after rest days as well.  But personally I always feel like I have a hard time ‘feeling my body’ after days off of handstand.

One bro science theory I’ve had on it is, since it’s balancing, and particularly one arms are very fast twitch balancing, when you move your legs on one arm, you make countless tiny mistakes per second.  Your rotator cuff muscles need to quickly twitch and fix the stuff to be able to stabilize you.

One thing I was thinking about is if you have lower residue tension in your muscles after rest days, your tonus might be slightly lower?  Then again I don’t really know anything about that actual physiology; it’s just one of the things I’ve thought of.  To me, it’s very noticeable.

Also with others at a rather high level, it does seem to be a thing with people who work with rather advanced one arm stuff, compared to the general two arm game.  The latter is much more linear.  If you have the necessary power output in your forearms and shoulders you can rough out the handstand.  In one arms, it’s much more fiddly.

I’m really not sure what causes this.  I’m very happy if people are able to train just as well after rest days, but to me at least, and my personal experience is it’s definitely harder on those days.

Then again, if you don’t rest, in my experience…i need rest days to have any kind of rising curve in my practice.  If I’m going to improve at something and don’t rest, I stay at more or less the same level and assume my injury risk is more elevated.

When I take days off, maybe there will be more fluctuations on the curve in the short term, but it will actually move upwards in the long term.

EL: Because handstands are so precise, particularly when you get more and more advanced, if your precision is slightly off, you’ll know all about it.  Say for you, with quite big swings on rest days and non rest days, all this.  It’s interesting to watch.  Now I can tell when you’re off when doing basics.  Before when you’d come in after a rest day, you’d still be doing quite high level stuff.

So at first, I was like, I’m dealing with a different specimen here when he’s in the garbage and doing figas on the floor.  But because your precision is so high, if you’re operating at 80% precision, which still means doing pretty advanced one arms, it’s still for you shit.  The car isn’t finding gear properly.

I think there are two strands of balancers, or maybe there isn’t.  One has a narrow focus on infinite precision, very tuned into this sensation.  They are the more reactive balancers, not proactively trying to force the balance.

Then others will force the balance.  You see this on canes more than anything else.  They are fighting for it before the fight has begun.  That can be seen on smaller people as well, particularly on canes.  Grab it, lock everything into place, to a certain degree, and just stay.  Whereas some others will just deal with the chaos as it comes.

MK: Some are more chilling, in terms of not being….allowing more chaos, perhaps, and for it to wobble more.  Some are roughing it out in one certain spot.  I think it has to do a lot with training styles and fields of interest within balancing, as well.

I find that particularly, reacting to movements is hard after days off, to me.  Going to the toughest positions will feel off, and holding and doing the basics usually feel fine.  The things that are farthest out in terms of angles feel much less accessible after days off.  It’s certainly individual, but definitely a factor for many.  I don’t really have an explanation as to why.

Oh yeah, there’s actually one other analogy I have for this, which may or may not have relevance.  That is that since we’re working with balance and strength, and precise set ups.  I was thinking about, let’s say you take an equivalent thing for leg sports, such as some sort of sprinter or squatter.  You walk on your legs every single day, using the balancing organs on your legs, every single day.  You have used them your entire life, so the amount of hours you’ve been on your legs and developing the balance on your legs is ridiculous.

If you would find the equivalent…let’s say I’ve been on my hands 1000 hours, but on my feet for 15 000, or whatever.  If I take one day off from my hands, how many days would that equate to from being off your legs at all?  If you ask a top sprinter to literally not walk for X days before doing a sprint, it would probably-

EL: You just knocked your mic off.

MK: Now I’m back.  Somehow I muted it.  I was thinking, if there could be, in any way, shape or form, a comparison there – we haven’t been on our arms for that many hours.  Both work with a biomechanics structure that is worse to balance on than legs.  We also haven’t spent that many hours on arms, whatsoever.  Hence, removing a day or week from the balancing practice might then feel very off for a short amount of time before getting back into it.  That’s another thought I had about it, but don’t quote me on this.

EL: This is going onto the podcast.  Mikael says if you miss one day walking on your legs and just walk on your hands, you gain infinite handstand skills.

MK: It has been spoken.

EL: Kind of describes the Chinese technique for hand balance training, particularly with kids.  Technique, what is that?  Just do handstands.  Start at age 4, do an hour of handstands against the wall as a warm up, then just do 200 presses to handstand.  Repeat that for 30 years and suddenly you’re a fucking machine.

MK: I wonder how that could happen.

EL: That brings us to the end of the questions.  I am going to let a wrecked Mikael sign off and get some sleep.  It’s good to have you back on the show.  Hope everyone is not sick of me.  Please don’t be.

We have been the Handstand Cast.  If you would like to support our Handstand Cast, buy us a coffee at our Buy Me A Coffee link.  Or, you could buy a program at HandstandFactory.com to find out all the actual practical stuff we teach, rather than rambling.

Other than that, I’m Emmet.  That’s Mikael.  See you next week.


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