Handstand push ups are one of my favorite bodyweight exercises.

Got a guest post for you today from my friend Logan Christopher on 8 great reasons WHY they are so awesome – and why you should be doing them!

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8 Reasons to do Handstand Pushups
by Logan Christopher, author, the Ultimate Guide to Handstand Push Ups

Handstand pushup benefits are many. Some might even call it one of the greatest exercises ever invented. On that note here are eight reasons you should do them …

1 – Handstand pushups strengthen the triceps, shoulders and chest

The triceps are the muscles on the backs of the upper arms. They are used in extending the arm at the elbow. The shoulders or deltoid muscles are used in raising the arm overhead. The chest or pectoral muscles primarily bring the arms forward. Depending on how much arch is used in your handstand pushups, you can use these muscles more or less.

With different variations of these exercises you’ll emphasize or downplay these muscles to different degrees. But these aren’t the only muscles in use …

2 – Strengthens many stabilizer muscles

In order to keep your body overhead you need more than just the prime movers to be firing. For example, the lats, the big muscles on the back, will be used to stabilize your body in air. In fact, a number of people have reported their pullup numbers going up just from doing handstand pushups.

Part of the reason for this is covered in the next point …

3 – Requires coordination and balance

The handstand pushup requires more coordination and balance than handling a similar weight in the military press for instance. While this isn’t to say that a barbell doesn’t take any coordination or balance, any handstand position simply takes more. Just remember the first time you kicked up into a handstand against a wall. Chances are you weren’t quite sure where your body was in space. And this is doing a handstand against the wall, not even in the open.

So while the balance isn’t a huge part of this move, it is in there. There are many people that can push a barbell equal to their weight overhead but don’t have the coordination necessary to do handstand pushups.

4 – Can be handled very progressively

Unfortunately, many people believe that the handstand pushup is just one exercise with not much variation in it. This is far from the truth. Did you know that just changing the position of your arms can dramatically change the difficulty of this exercise? The same is true with your head position too.

There are also other methods like doing partials that can make this exercise suitable for just about every level. For a whole lot more on progressing with handstand pushups click here:

Ultimate Guide to Handstand Push Ups

5 – Can be an effective muscle builder

Handstand pushups are a good exercise to build muscle. When done for higher reps, you can certainly add size to your shoulders and arms especially. They may not equal a barbell in gaining mass for one simple reason. As you’re adding muscle you’re gaining weight, and that is going to make this exercise harder, as opposed to any weight lifting exercise.

6 – Handstands provides the benefits of inversion

Inversions are known to provide a number of benefits by themselves. This can be something simple like a headstand but handstand pushups certainly count. These benefits include reversing the flow of gravity, which can add in circulation, even clearing mental cobwebs as oxygen supply increases to the brain.

7 – Wrist strength and flexibility

The typical handstand position requires the hands to be bent back 90 degrees. This serves to build both strength and flexibility throughout the wrist. Fingertip strength increases because of how you’ll grip the ground during the pushup too.

Of course, many people lack the wrist flexibility to safely do this exercise without pain. This covers great ways to sidestep this issue as well as build up your flexibility:

Ultimate Guide to Handstand Push Ups

8 – Handstand pushups are an impressive skill few people can do

This may be the most important benefit of handstand pushups. When you can do these effortlessly you are in a class above most people. This skill can be made much harder in a number of ways too, which will make it even more impressive, like doing full range handstand pushups, one arm handstand pushups, or doing them freestanding.

If you’re looking to impress your friends, family or a member of the opposite sex it’s worth a shot to improve your handstand pushups. ;)

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Great stuff Logan!

Thanks for sharing with FVT readers.

If you want all these benefits and more, make sure to check out the Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups here. There’s a special discount on this page only:

Ultimate Guide to Handstand Push Ups

I’m off to go practice my handstand push ups!

- Forest Vance
Certified Progressive Calisthenics Instructor
Master of Science, Human Movement
ForestVance.com

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Got another video for you today from Dr. Evan Osar.

In this one, he looks at an exercise for rotator cuff strengthening using stabilization and centration.

This is a great exercise for people with rotator cuff pain, injury or shoulder impingement.

Check it out:

If you find value in today’s video, I highly recommend Dr. Evan Osar’s course.

It’s on sale at a discounted price this week:

=> The Integrative Corrective Exercise Approach

By using the Integrative Corrective Exercise Approach, you will have a simple, principle-based system that allows you to correct movement problems, while maintaining your own training philosophy.

You’ll discover:

– The fundamental approach to creating optimal posture and movement so that you can train more often and with more intensity to get the results you want

– How to assess the core, shoulder, and hip complexes to understand what NOT to do with these areas – so that you can save time and frustration

– The 3 principles of the Integrative Movement System that will allow you to develop optimal posture and movement and train pain free

– Proven strategies that will help you develop a rock-solid corrective exercise protocol and speed up results

– A progressive approach to identify and truly correct posture and movement issues to allow you to spend more time doing the things you enjoy

Learn more and order now at the link below:

=> Dr. Evan Osar’s Integrative Corrective Exercise Approach

Thanks -

- Forest Vance
Master of Science, Human Movement
Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist
ForestVance.com

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Corrective exercise isn’t a tremendously exciting or sexy topic -

But for the vast majority people, it’s a part of your training program that must NOT be neglected.

Dr. Evan Osar discusses corrective strategies to use when performing a deadlift in today’s video.

He covers various techniques to combat hip pain and tightness, low back pain and neck pain when performing this exercise.

Check it out:

And if you find value in today’s video, I highly recommend Dr. Evan Osar’s course:

=> The Integrative Corrective Exercise Approach

By using the Integrative Corrective Exercise Approach, you will have a simple, principle-based system that allows you to correct movement problems, while maintaining your own training philosophy.

You’ll discover:

– The fundamental approach to creating optimal posture and movement so that you can train more often and with more intensity to get the results you want

– How to assess the core, shoulder, and hip complexes to understand what NOT to do with these areas - so that you can save time and frustration

– The 3 principles of the Integrative Movement System that will allow you to develop optimal posture and movement and train pain free

– Proven strategies that will help you develop a rock-solid corrective exercise protocol and speed up results

– A progressive approach to identify and truly correct posture and movement issues to allow you to spend more time doing the things you enjoy

Learn more at the link below:

=> Dr. Evan Osar’s Integrative Corrective Exercise Approach

And will be back with more corrective exercise – related content later this week! -

- Forest Vance
Master of Science, Human Movement
Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist
ForestVance.com

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“No Excuses” 20 Minute Bodyweight Workout

by admin on August 22, 2016

Don’t have time to work out?

No access to equipment, machines, or the right gym?

You don’t get a pass :)

When I first started FVT Boot Camp – about 8 years ago – I didn’t have the financial resources to open a facility, or even rent space out of a gym.

So we made do with what we had, and took our campers to the park.

I also had VERY little as far as training equipment to work with – so we relied almost exclusively on bodyweight exercises.

And, due to the schedules of the clients I was training at the time … and because we were *technically* not supposed to be running a boot camp in the park without a permit :) – I had to keep the workouts to about 20 to 30 minutes in length.

ALL of this – and we still had people getting AWESOME results with our program!

In fact, several of the success stories on our website are from clients that were working with me during these times.

We weren’t making excuses. We were just getting it DONE – with workouts like this one:

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No Excuses 20 Minute “Marine Body” Bodyweight-Only Workout

Sequence 1

– 1 1/2 split squat (go all the way down, half way back up, back down, then all the way up – that’s one rep!) – 8 per leg
– 12 push-ups

Perform exercises back-to-back without rest; rest 30 seconds and repeat sequence total of three times.

Sequence 2

– 5 pull-ups OR 12 inverted rows
– 12 squat jumps

Perform exercises back-to-back without rest; rest 30 seconds and repeat sequence total of three times.

Conditioning finisher

– 20 body weight squat – 20 reps
– 30 second “HardStyle” plank
– bw SLDL – 8 reps per leg
– 30 secs high knees

Perform exercises back-to-back without rest; rest 30 seconds and repeat sequence total of three times.

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Moral of the story is – you CAN make it happen!

It’s not about the equipment you have access to, or the time you have available to train.

It’s about consistency … and dedication … and the mindset that you’re going to DO WHAT IT TAKES.

Rock on -

- Forest Vance
Certified Progressive Calisthenics Instructor
Master of Science, Human Movement
ForestVance.com

PS - Get 60 more bodyweight workouts like the one I shared with you today – in follow-along video format – at the link below:

=> Official protocol for the US Marines gets you strong and ripped in just 15 minutes – using just your bodyweight

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Research tells us that regular aerobic exercise is *just okay* for weight loss.

The experts agree – if your #1 goal is fat loss – short, high-intensity exercise sessions are far better!

That’s why an 8 minute workout like the one below can be BETTER than 60 minutes of cardio:

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Turbine of the Day (TOD) # 16
from Jason Klein’s Marine Body program

– do first exercise in pairing for 45 seconds
– rest for 15 seconds
– do second exercise in pairing for 45 seconds
– rest for 15 seconds
– move on to next pairing and repeat until full sequence is finished (full workout takes a total of 8 mins!)

A1) Superman + Push Up

B1) Inward Int. Push Up

A2) Prone Iso Ab

B2) Heel Push

A3) Mt. Ab Climber

B3) Close Grip Push Up

A4) Wall Slide

B4) Plank

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Whew!

That one’s short – but INTENSE.

And it also requires ZERO equipment – which means you can do it ANYWHERE.

No excuses!

If you liked it … you can get dozens more of these 8 minute fat burners at the link below:

=> The Marine Body – workouts used by US Marines (but designed for all fitness levels)

Have a great one! -

Forest Vance
ForestVance.com

PS - Research study backing the opening statements of today’s article is linked up below:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2991639/

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It is without a doubt “vacation season” for a lot of folks -

Every day for the last month or so, we have been getting requests for short, effective, minimal equipment workouts that can be done anywhere.

Well, today’s workout is AWESOME – ’cause you can just bring your jump rope, find a bench and a couple of dip bars, and knock it out in 10-15 mins flat.

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Bodyweight / Jump Rope Strength Circuit

5 rounds for time of …

– 5 box / bench pistols (per leg)
– 10 dips
– 15 double unders

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Keep training hard! -

- Forest Vance
Certified Personal Trainer
Master of Science, Human Movement
ForestVance.com

PS - Got more bodyweight workouts coming for you – and a sale going on one of my all time FAVORITE bodyweight-based training plans – later this week. Stay tuned!

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There is this program I recently got a chance to review, called Lean Bells -

It’s a solid resource, and wanted to pass the word about it along your way.

If you are a beginner or intermediate kettlebell trainee … and you are looking to lose fat with short and effective workouts you can do anywhere … it’s for you.

You’ll get a complete training plan, with 36 new KB workouts like this one:

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“555 Reps to Hell” Lean Bells workout

(warm up)

– Jumping Jacks x 30 secs

– Cross Body Mountain Climbers x 30 secs

– Plank Jacks x 30 secs

(main workout)

Must complete all reps listed below before moving on to next exercise … BUT, sets can be broken as needed.

Example - 100 reps total KB swings – 1 set of 20, rest approx 20 secs … 2 sets of 15, resting approx 15 secs between sets … 5 sets of 10, resting approx 20 secs betweens sets … done.

– KB 2-Arm Swings x 100

– KB Goblet Squats x 90

– KB Lunges x 80 (Hold the KB in the rack position)

– KB Cleans x 70 (35/arm)

– KB Slingshots x 60

– KB Alternate Swings x 50

– KB Renegade Rows x 40 (20/arm)

– KB Snatches x 30 (15/arm)

– KB Thrusters x 20 (10/arm)

– KB Turkish Get Ups x10 (5/arm)

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The course also includes video walk – thrus, a fully illustrated exercise library, a 7 day quick start guide, and MUCH more -

And it’s on sale right now for just 15 bux.

If you’re looking for a new KB program for fat loss, and/or some new, interesting, inspiring KB workout ideas, you should check this one out.

=> Lean Bells (on sale now)

And let me know how you like it!

- Forest Vance
Certified Kettlebell Instructor
ForestVance.com

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You gotta give it to Facebook – they got it figured out.

The “See Your Memories” thing they do where a post from one, two, three or more years ago pops up in your feed, is brilliant for so many reasons.

If you really think about it, they likely saw trends of things happening like the “Throwback Thursday” pics people were posting, and figured out a way to kind of automate the process, and just make it easier to do … which ultimately increases increases engagement, and the time you spend on Facebook! …

So smart.

Anyway, the pic below popped up in a friend’s feed a couple of days ago, they shared it on my timeline, and I wanted to share it with you:

It was after what I think was one of the harder KB Challenge Workouts I have done.

My wife got a SUPER fast time, I actually thought she accidentally skipped a round … so we did it together a few days later at our studio … I was pushing HARD to get a faster time than her … we BOTH ended up smoked for the record, and if I recall correctly I beat her by 10 or 20 seconds … but she ended up taking a pic of me right after the workout, and posting it on Facebook :)

Check out the actual workout below, and try it yourself – it’s a simple one – but BRUTAL, if you truly push the pace, and get it done as fast as you can:

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14 Min KB Challenge Workout

(regulation weight = 16k for women / 24k for men)

7 kettlebell goblet squats
14 kettlebell swings
7 burpees
14 push ups

Complete 7 rounds as fast as possible.

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The fastest times people did this one in were right around 10 minutes … folks took up to 20 … with average times being right in that 14-15 minute range.

Give it a try if you want, and see where you stand.

And have a great day!

- Forest Vance
Certified Kettlebell Instructor

PS - The Lean ‘Bells program I shared with you the other day has dozens more workouts like this one if you enjoy it - you can get access to the workouts and the full program HERE.

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We’ve been talking about Obstacle Course / Mud Run Training for the last few days.

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A CRITICAL part of doing well in these events is being able to do things like jump over walls, swing from monkey bars, and climb ropes …

And in addition to actually practicing the activities listed above, doing a variety of different types of pull ups – and getting good at them! – is HUGE in getting you in top shape for race day.

Now I know that pull ups are something a lot of folks struggle with.

So I’ve put together a 30 day plan to help you get better at them.

This is important – you must follow it EXACTLY as outlined. It may seem simple … but if you don’t follow it to a “T”, it won’t work.

It is NOT just “doing lots of pull ups”, as some have commented on skimming it, and not actually doing it :)

It is a specific schedule that you must follow for best results.

All that being said – check it out:

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More Pull Ups in 30 Days – Your Complete Plan

1 – On day one, do one all-out set with perfect form, and see how many pull ups you can do.

It’s very important to do this and establish a baseline number for yourself, so we can test at the end and see how you’ve improved.

2 – For 30 days, “practice” your pull ups frequently (3-5 times per week, do a couple sets of chin ups or pull ups).

You can do these any time – at the beginning of your current workout routine, between sets of other exercises, at the end … if you have a pull up bar set up at your house, you can even just hop up and crank em out at any point during the day.

3 – Do NOT go to failure! Always leave a rep or two “in the tank”.

This is important. A lot of folks, in an effort to do more pull ups, get to the point where they are going to failure at EVERY session and are always trying to beat their personal best. DO NOT do this. We are training the nervous system with this method, and part of the idea is to train your body NOT to fail and to do reps with perfect form. IF you go to failure, this method will not work.

4- Mix it up from day to day.

Some days do standard pull ups. Some days use band assistance / a slight jump assist w your feet on a box / etc and go to higher reps. If you are strong enough, some days do weighted pull ups and work in a lower rep range. Mix up your grip – pull up, chin up, parallel grip, etc.

A good idea would be to keep a log of exactly what you did on each day, so that you can make sure to switch it up each time you do your pull ups and keep things balanced out.

5- At day 27 or 28, REST and STOP doing pull ups completely for two or three days.

6- Re-test at day 30 and see how many more pull ups you can do in one all-out set!

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Whether you have an Obstacle Course Race or Mud Run coming up … or you just want to get better at doing pull ups … this is a solid plan to follow for the next 30 days.

Would love to hear how it goes for you if you try it!

If you DO have an OCR or Mud Run event you’re prepping for, be sure to also check out Mud Run Domination:

=> Mud Run Domination 6 Week Training Plan (on sale this week)

And have a great one -

- Forest Vance
Certified Personal Trainer
Master of Science, Human Movement
ForestVance.com

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Mud Run Domination Workout

by admin on August 4, 2016

long obstacle race 460

Got a Mud Run Domination – style workout for you today.

It’s great to help you get conditioned for an upcoming race – incorporating short bursts of running with pull ups, lunges, jumps, crawls, and carries – or just shred body fat and get fit.

Let’s get right into it -

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1 – Dynamic warm up:

2 – “Road Work”:

– regular / towel / travelling pull up ladder w partner – 1/2/3 OR 2/4/6 x2
– run .25 mi
– partner swing lunges – 3×10 each leg
– run .25 mi
– box jumps with partner – 3×12
– run .25 mi

3 – Finisher (3 rounds):

– waiter / rack / suitcase carry w KB – 30-60 secs per side
– bear / army crawls – approx 30 yards
– sprints – approx 100 yards

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Enjoy that Mud Run Domination workout.

For the full 6 week training plan, click here.

And have a great day!

- Forest Vance
Certified Personal Trainer
Master of Science, Human Movement
ForestVance.com

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