Ben Lowrey is a Bristol based Acrobat, Internet Entrepreneur, Handstand Teacher, Talkshow Host & Law of Attraction enthusiast. More info >> about.me/benlowrey

Handstand Classes begin in Bath!

Today we began the first block of handstand classes at Funky Monkey Studio in Bath, United Kingdom.

Funkey Monkey is a Pole dance, Aerial and Yoga studio in Bath.

We began with a thorough warm up particularly focussing on the wrist and shoulder joints which are important for handatands.

First I showed everybody the hollow body shape which is required for a straight handstand. This involves laying on the floor in a straight line but sucking the belly button and abs in, and squeezing the bum and tucking the tail bone under so the curve in the back goes flat. This insures a straight back whilst holding a handstand.

It is important for the shoulders to be able to push straight whilst also having a straight backas described above. If the shoulders do not have the range of motion to fully open then they will borrow from the back to give to the shoulders and an arched back will ensue. Everybody in the groups did well. It’s very typical for people to need to stretch their shoulders further open and so we spent some time on this.

We got into pairs and practised spotting each other whilst the other person kicked up into handstand. The spotted will grab the persons hips or legs whilst also using their knees to gives support to the person’s shoulders. Lack of shoulder strength can mean the person falls forward and so the knees from the spotter assist the person whilst they practise being in a handstand.

If you would like Personal Training with me at Ministry of Fitness Gym in Bristol, or if you would like to attend a flexibility & handstand class in Bristol and Bath the check the links below. Many thanks!

Find out more about me here >> about.me/benlowrey

Class times here >> tiny.cc/CIA

400 reps Planche Conditioning – Bristol 

Today I decided to work on my arm strength and do lots of dips. I was not in the mood for stretching or flexibility work because I’d already done lots of intense stretching the night before and felt I needed a rest.

I was doing 5 sets of 10 reps on each exercise, and in the end did 8 exercises, totalling 400 reps.

I’m teaching handstands at Funky Monkey Pole and Yoga studio so I don’t want to fatigue my arms too much! Also we’re beginning Handstand classes at Pink Kitten dance shool in Bristol in a few weeks.

I did a bodybuilding arm workout after this (different style of training) and am going to a mens pole class later so that will be 3 workouts today!

Flexibility and Strength conditioning – Bristol

Today I felt inclined to work more on flexibility than shoulder strength. I feel that my flexibility is a significant limiting factor for my goals, and I feel my flexibility needs to most work and time and attention.

Most people don’t think of flexibility being a major factor in handstands or pole dancing but it really is. The more flexible you are the less strength you need. The more flexibility you have the easier you’ll get your centre of gravity to where it needs to be. 

Holding a straight handstand requires the shoulders to open to a point that’s beyond most people’s range of motion. Said differently, most people aren’t straight if they put their hands in the air, the back will bend to compensate for the shoulder angle that isn’t fully open. In other words they borrow from the back to give to the shoulders. 

A bent back takes strength and stability away from the handstand. People may hold it but they will tire quicker than somebody who’s back is stacked straight. So yes folks, a straight handstand requires a lot of flexibility. 

Also a similar situation happens at the hips, if the quads and hip flexors at the front are tight, the legs won’t fully straighten, some of the angle will be borrowed from the lower back causing a slight curve in the lower back or a “duck bum” situation. When in the handstand position this manifests as a piked angle at the hips as aposed to straight.

I teach handstands in Bristol and Bath currently at Funky Monkey Studio in Bath, Pink Kitten Dance School in Bristol, Matter wholefoods  in Easton, and Wilder Studio in Stokes Croft. Funky Monkey and Pink Kitten also offer Yoga Classes and Pole Dancing Classes.

Find out more about me here >> about.me/benlowrey

Class times here >> tiny.cc/CIA