Hand Balancing Badges

Foundational to many intermediate and advanced movements, hand balancing quickly turn into a rabbit hole from which the only exit is mastery.
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Hand Balancing Badges

Post by Vagabond » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:41 pm

Presentation and rules of the Hand Balancing badges
Hand balancing is a challenging but rewarding discipline. But people tend to be impatient with their progress, leading to stalling. This forum offers progressive badges that should help keep you busy for a long time and contribute to show you what kind of a crazy level can be achieved.

In order to pass a level and obtain a badge, you must record it on video and upload it to a video service such as Youtube, Vimeo or Dailymotion. You may choose to upload your video as a private link. In any case, you must post your video and request to pass a level in the Levels and Badges forum. Please specify which level you are trying to acquire so that I or a moderator can evaluate you. The video has to be clear and show your full body when you execute your exercises.

The numbers of repetitions stated in the levels must be done consecutively, and the times for the holds must be done without interruption. Taking a moment or two to breathe or adjust yourself is acceptable, but the position cannot be broken (coming down from a handstand hold before having finished the challenge would obviously result in a failure to pass it).

In order to obtain a badge, you do not need to have obtained easier badges.

Handstand endurance
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Straight up handstand endurance badges are offered for various times. Those times must be help in a straight position, legs together. Occasional leg movement is allowed for blood circulation purposes, but the position is straight with legs together. A certain amount of arching is acceptable, so is having the shoulders closed at an angle, as long as the legs are together and point upwards. A badge is offered for each of the following times:
  • 3 Minutes handstand
  • 5 Minutes handstand
  • 10 Minutes handstand
  • 15 Minutes handstand
  • 20+ Minutes handstand. This is the highest level badge when it comes to two hands endurance, and it comes with a star to indicate mastery.

One arm handstand basics
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One arm handstands are a coveted skill by many people. Those badges should help give you an idea of what your bread and butter should be when learning them:
  • 30 Seconds straight one arm handstand with one finger assistance
  • 60 Seconds straight one arm handstand with one finger assistance
  • 10 Seconds straight one arm handstand
  • 30 Seconds straight one arm handstand

As written, those handstands must be done with the legs together. You should also practice them straddle on your own, but I'm asking to see them legs together because if you can do them that way, you can also do them straddle. So make sure to practice both. At first, you can use more than one finger to assist yourself. But using one light finger for extended periods of time carries over really well to start being able to control it with your support hand and shoulder. I chose to stop it at 30 seconds because past that it becomes more endurance work, but the series continues under the One arm handstand endurance category.

One arm handstand endurance
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One arm handstands endurance can be done two ways: either continuously on one arm, or alternating arms. Some people have done them for fairly extended periods of time. The longest I've seen or heard of on a single arm is around 4-5 minutes, and done in a straddle position. These single arm holds are done with legs together. Moving the legs to save one's balance is allowed as long as one's legs are brought back together right away.
  • 60 Seconds straight one arm handstand
  • 120+ Seconds straight one arm handstand. This badge is deserving of a star, demonstrating master level endurance on a single arm.

Now let's talk about alternating one arm handstand endurance. The best times I've heard of are in the range of 45-60 minutes, done in a straddle position with a little bit of flagging. I won't ask for that much. On that one, I'll let you choose whatever position you want, as long as it's a proper one arm handstand. But I would prefer it to be done legs together if possible, at least for the first levels. Here are the times:
  • 3 Minutes alternating one arm handstand
  • 5 Minutes alternating one arm handstand
  • 10 Minutes alternating one arm handstand
  • 15 Minutes alternating one arm handstand
  • 20+ Minutes alternating one arm handstand. This is an insane handstand endurance feat and deserves a star.

One arm handstand positions
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Good, now you can hold your one arm handstand. Time to learn some positions aside from the standard straight, straddle and tuck (I take it that you've probably worked on them already so they are not a problem.
One of the first positions you should learn is a full one arm handstand, in other words a one arm handstand with legs together and free arm up against the side of your body. In order to get the badge, you must be able to hold the position unbroken on both sides. You do not have to stay in handstand between each side, and they can be filmed separately, but it is optimal if you can do one side, transfer to the other side and do it without coming down.
  • 10 Seconds full one arm handstand
  • 30 Seconds full one arm handstand
  • 60+ Seconds full one arm handstand

Power moves
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Please note that this list of badges is still under construction.