Monday, 02 May 2011 23:17

Handbalancing Book Illustrations

Equilibrifit is adding a new page devoted to creating an online book with illustrations.  Once logged in you will be able to view the full size illustration with accompanying kinesiological directions.  Learn the most crucial details for breathing, shoulder and hand positioning, and core concepts. Take a sneak peak at these fantastic illustrations drawn by Morgaine Faye.

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Equilibrifit Handbalancing for Fitness and Performance: The BOOK!

Millions of performers and athletic enthusiasts practice disciplines that require handbalancing; meanwhile, there is no single source of information or direct instruction for performing the variety of movements that stem from the fundamental and often overlooked handstand.  Equilibrifit fills this void and is the new voice for the development of handbalancing skills by teaching the art of handbalancing with a practical methodology and expert instruction, offering accessible, step-by-step instructions for beginning enthusiasts and advanced athletes.  The first website and book of its kind, Equilibrifit fulfills the worldwide demand for instructional handbalancing content, providing a fun exercise regime that can be practiced almost anywhere, and promoting the education and awareness of the inverted body.

Who Uses The Handstand?

Almost everyone attempts a handstand at some point in their life.  For most, it feels foreign, unstable, and very difficult.  To the average person, performing a handstand is considered a trick, or to those who are familiar with yoga, one of the more difficult poses to master.  Pry deeper into the physical arts and the name "Cirque De Soleil" comes to mind, with thoughts of stunning acrobatics and superhuman strength.  But handbalancing isn't for acrobats alone, and the strength needed is entirely attainable by anyone determined to achieve it.

The handstand is in fact a fundamental tool for a growing number of physical disciplines, each of which has their own training methods and interpretations of the movement.  For example, a yoga instructor pays specific attention to postural alignment and core detail, while a gymnast focuses more on repetition, trial and error, and long periods of static strength holds--the handstand being the foundational move behind most gymnastics tumbling.

Hip-hop dancers, break dancers (bboys), and Capoeira artists use very loose handstand forms due to the raw nature of their dances.  The increasingly popular improvisational street movement called Parkour relies heavily on movements and core strength founded in handbalancing.  Aspiring to perfect their technique, these young enthusiasts spend countless hours in gyms, studios, and on the streets working only with what they have seen the pros do, with no access to a proper instructor or instructional literature.

In the traditional world of dance, professional ballet and contemporary dancers require impeccable handstand form as they train many of the core and postural supportive muscles that are necessary for inversion.

The final athlete to which the handstand is of the utmost importance is the acrobat.  There are so many varieties of acrobatics stemming from handbalancing; contortion, aerial (silks, trapeze, hoop, rope, straps), tumbling, and a variety of circus acrobatics like stilts, high wire, and so on.  Each of these uses handbalancing both in their practice and as a method of conditioning for performance.  Aside from professional touring acts like "Cirque De Soleil", there are hundreds of small acrobatic and circus-oriented performing companies popping up all over the U.S. and abroad, creating bustling creative centers for aspiring performers.

Each of these disciplines requires a different level of commitment to the handstand.  Some need it to perfect their routine, some to create unique choreography, and others to condition for more advanced handbalances and upper-body strength.  Overall, the handstand provides creativity, balance, flow, core strength, and upper-body awareness for millions of physical artists and athletes.

Filling The Gap

At the core of the many interpretations and uses of the handstand in these disciplines is the fundamental need for methodical handbalancing.  With such and enormous demand for one movement, one wonders why there is little to no biomechanical or kinesiological subject matter available.

With streaming video sites like YouTube.com, enthusiasts can watch a whole world of inspiring talent. On these sites exists a strong vocal demand for instruction, specifically how to achieve handbalancing movements.  Most of the artists in these videos cannot speak English, and those who do, for the most part, give no descriptive explanation of what they do, how they do it, or where to learn it.  This has created a huge gap between aspiring and professional performers.  Equilibrifit bridges this gap--not only as the leading source for independent enthusiasts, but also as an excellent tool for teachers to ensure their students develop proper technique.

Inside The Book

Equilibrifit has no fear in giving full credit to all the disciplines that currently employ handbalancing, as it borrows kinesiological concepts from all of them.  In this way, Equilibrifit uses the most efficient concepts from the libraries of health and exercise to add to its own new vocabulary of movement, and to ensure the safest, most effective technique.

Equilibrifit is the only book that contains accurate kinesiological instructions on how to condition for and perform key handbalancing movements, such as:

Hollowback: a backbend with the legs suspended in the air

Flag: a one- or two-handed handstand with the legs in different arrangements to the side of the body (lateral flexion)

Planche: supported only by the arms with the body completely horizontal to the ground

One handed handstand

These extreme-looking movements are watched by audiences in awe, and yet they are the vocabulary of the handstand.  They are the next level beyond what yoga has offered us and what millions of aspiring creative athletes already strive to achieve.

Equilibrifit website includes video instruction for over 80 such movements, ranging from preparation and stretching to a beginner's first handstand to performance-level handbalancing for professional equilibrists.  Many key movements will eventually become full-color illustrations that are both kinesiological and comprehensible.  Key areas of movement on the body are labeled and explained in specific but accessible steps anyone can follow.  These functional exercises and movements will help readers visualize, practice, and safely progress to their desired level of handbalancing.

Equilibrifit Stands Alone

The fitness world has yet to evolve enough to incorporate the subtleties and crucial kinesiological detail that is necessary to perfect posture, form, and flexibility.  It is important to use holistic movements like the handstand that incorporate the entire body and force athletes to reassess their kinesthetic awareness.  The handstand is such a fundamental move, and yet completely underestimated.  Equilibrifit is the next level of evolution in the fitness world by taking into account whole new concepts, such as breathing and tension, that are typically not mentioned or are just beginning to be explored, but are in fact crucial for advancement.  In addition, Equilibrifit focuses on posture, flexibility and form to benefit fitness enthusiasts whose bodies are initially too tight to reach their goals.

In itself, Equilibrifit provides the ultimate workout with its extreme demand for upper-body and core strength.  Core and body-weight conditioning are gaining incredible popularity over weights and machines.  Increasingly popular fitness programs and studios focus on core and functional exercises, and utilize the handstand for advanced body-weight training.  In the holistic fitness world, yoga and Pilates also incorporate handstands and similar body-weight strength exercises.

Equilibrifit opens the doors to a world of potential in fitness, dance, gymnastics, and acrobatics by revealing the handstand vocabulary as an entirely new discipline--handbalancing.

 

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