Ambitious Handstands at Funky Monkey Studio – Bath.

Today we tackled some more difficult handstand shapes in the handstand class at Funky Monkey Studio. We worked on closing one leg at a time in straddle, we also worked on the diamond shape, and we worked on an elegant transition which goes through tuck then diamond before splitting into straddle. 


My handstands were inconsistent today because I had been bodybuilding in the 2 days prior which causes noticeable muscle fatigue & impaired control. It is an interesting point that our energy levels, mood and mental focus greatly effect our handstands because balance is such delicate thing. 
There were several instances of showstopping where people were balancing for a few seconds on their own unsupported by their spotter. We can be positive and pretend it’s easy but the truth is it takes most people years of practise to get a solid handstand. After learning for 2.5 years and only just developing a solid handstand (still inconsistently!) I would agree that it does takes year.

I am keen to keep introducing new moves into my own practise which I can then pass on to people in class.

– pressing up from crow or headstand into handstand.

– straight arm crow up and back down

– walking on hands

– walkover into bridge and kicking back from bridge into handstands 

– handstand into forward roll on hard floor

– one-arm handstand

… are all things I intend to be able to do in the coming months. I do intend to be a performing hand balancer one day and so it’s important to me that I keep progressing. 

 If you would like to attend future classes check out my page

Ben Lowrey


Bristol MoveGB handstand class proving popular!

It could finally be time to begin an additional mid week handstand class in Bristol! The Sunday 2pm slot is proving popular with MoveGB members and I don’t think it will be long until I could justify a 2nd weekly class. Check out this video from last Sunday’s class at Bubalu on Gloucester rd.


There were several beginners in the class today and I’m thinking of giving different exercises to different people depending on their level. It’s hard to predict how people’s bodies will handle handstands until they try. Some people have plenty of strength but limited flexibility, and their body will respond very differently to somebody who has plenty of flexibility but limited strength.

22-11-2015 - MoveGB handstands




I am keen to keep introducing new exercises. We’ve focused primarily on straight handstands but I think working on a variety of different inversions such as arm balances, head stands is a good idea because they contribute to general upside-down body awareness, control, and endurance.

Something I realise more and more is that flexibility is crucial for good control. A person who has a lot of flexibility will be able to press into a handstand with much more elegance because they can move through the required range of motion without jumping.

22-11-2015 - MoveGB handstands 5

I have been working hard to practise new moves so that I’ve got more to teach the people who attend. I’ve been working on forward role from handstand, and I’ve been working on an elegant way of getting from straight handstand to straddle through a tuck and diamond. Also I’ve been working on one-arm and walking but those aren’t ready to show yet.






22-11-2015 - MoveGB handstands 19



22-11-2015 - MoveGB handstands 22

For further details go here.

MoveGB members can search for the Showstopper handstand class on Sunday at 2pm or anybody can drop in for £5. 

Ben Lowrey

2016 Funky Monkey classes set to begin in January

Hi folks. We are half way through the final 6 week block of 2015 funky monkey handstand classes, set to conclude in mid December. The first block of
2016 classes will begin January 2016.

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Use this discount code to get a slight reduction on the next block BL15BJKW.

Funky Monkey Studio is a yoga, Pole dance and aerial fitness school on the lower Bristol road in Bath. There is a packed schedule of classes, you can subscribe to individual blocks or become a member which allows you to attend several classes per week.

In session 3 we worked on balance, stag leg shapes and diamond handstands. Several people in the class were finding balanced when placed in the right position. In almost every case it’s a lack of shoulder flexibility which inhibits people’s progress. If the shoulders do not open straight then shoulder strength from the delta is needed to support the weight of the body, but if the shoulder s will open straight then the weight of the body is stacked nicely on top of the vertical arms and the handstand is easy.

Also good body tension makes the handstand much easier. In almost every case people’s handstand improves when they tense their abs and squeeze their bu, Without this body tension it’s like trying to balance a big wobbly jelly, very difficult.

If the body is tight, the student should be able to press in the fingers and support their own weight in a balanced handstand. Using the wall is great way to practise this if you don’t have a spotter.