I. loved. this. book.
“The Little Handbalancing Book” is one of the only modern books on handbalancing, written by professional handbalancer, Nicolo Kehrwald. Nicolo has trained with handbalancers all over the world including Yury Bozyan in Montreal, Claude Victoria in France, and Yanjinbileg and Bud Tumurbaatar in Mongolia, and brought all that expertise into this short but value packed book. Check out his webpage at jackiandnicolo.com to learn more.
This handbalancing book has descriptions of skills from beginner to advanced, detailed training programs for the beginner to advanced handbalancer and some lovely color photos of the skills described.
Who it’s for (in my opinion)
- Handbalancers with a regular practice
- Handbalancers who have a coach most of the time
- OR Handbalancers who do not have a coach most of the time
Who it’s not for (..yet)
- Absolute beginners
- I feel that this would be pretty discouraging for an absolute beginner, since it quickly progresses beyond straight handstand holds. I would spend some time (maybe weeks or months) working on a regular free standing handstand before picking up this book. Perhaps, spend time in a class or private lesson too, if you can.
That being said, I love this as a supplement to my training. I only get to train with a handbalancing coach every so often when there is a workshop near me. The rest of the time I spend practicing on my own. I find it very useful to take videos to notice corrections needed in my form. I also love following other handbalancers through social media, like Instagram or Youtube, to see their form and technique and to get inspiration. This book is great for someone who is guiding their own handbalancing practice, which most of us are at least some of the time, and it seems to be written for that person in mind.
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Beginner to Advanced Training
“The Little Handbalancing Book“* offers beginner to advanced skill descriptions, form cues and progressions. It also has recommends training routines for each level to incorporate in your own personal practice. I felt that I could do all or most of the beginner moves (always room to improve, of course), and there were moves in the intermediate section which were beyond my current ability level. The progressions and writing about the One Arm Handstand (#OAHS) was brilliant. I highly recommend getting the book and reading that section, if that skill is on your dream skill list.
Tips for Coaches
I actually teach beginner hand balancing, so I definitely appreciate that this was included in the book*. Even if you aren’t teaching a class, all handbalancers should know how to spot a hand balancing buddy. It made me very happy to know all the techniques included for coaching beginner skills were in line with things I was already doing. I did learn some beginner progressions I haven’t tried with my students yet. I really enjoyed learning about coaching/spotting some skills I’ve never had the chance to help with before like One Arm Handstands, but may some day soon.
Conditioning and Pre-Hab
The conditioning and pre-hab included was great! I found these were very consistent with exercises I’ve done in handbalancing classes, gymnastics, circus and other sports throughout my life. There are routines included here that can be incorporated into a daily practice. As anyone who has practiced handbalancing consistently can attest to, keeping your wrists and shoulders healthy, stretched and strong is super important.
A shoulder or wrist flare up with pain right before a big performance can be a bad nightmare, and getting a serious injury can put you off your hands for months, if not a year or more. I swear by using an elastic band to strengthen and stretch my shoulders out, just like is mentioned in this book. I prefer ones that have more resistance, like the Gaiam resistance band*. There are others out there that are much thinner which provide less resistance.
Review – 5 Stars
“The Little Handbalancing Book“* was everything I could have hoped for in a hand balancing book. Nothing beats having a live in person coach, but this is a great resource to improve the self training time we all encounter.
The major hilights in what I learned in this book are:
- New “Routines” to try from Beginner to Advanced
- New ways to think about challenging tricks
- New progressions for challenging tricks
- Coaching techniques to help my students/training buddies
- Go to list of Conditioning and Pre-hab to target handstand muscles
So tell me, what handstand skill are you training right now? Free balancing handstand? Press? OAHS? I would love to hear about it!