How to Become a Handstand Beast

Workout of the Day for Friday April 19, 2013

A. Athlete’s Choice


B. Complete as many rounds as possible in 12 minutes of:
4 Shoulder press, 75/55 pound
8 Sumo deadlift high-pull, 75/55 pound
12 Front squat, 75/55 pound


The following is a repost from: here


Hi, I’m Ryan from Gold Medal Bodies.

Anthony, being the super cool guy he is, asked me to give you guys a nice starting program for hitting handstands. For those of you who don’t know me, I have a thing for being upside down and helping people get strong with various gymnastic type movements.

Anthony and I were talking about training, and when he asked if I could share some tips about handstand work, I was pumped! I love handstands and all the benefits you get from practicing them.

Besides the fact that handstands make a great party trick, they’re a great start towards more difficult inverted and hand balancing maneuvers.

So what’s so great about handstands?

Well, when you do them right, handstands strengthen pretty much every muscle you have. Obviously, your shoulders and arms will get much stronger in overhead activities, and you’ll also notice some great improvements in your core strength. The strength and balance you get from doing handstands transfers over to a lot of other physical activities.

And let’s face it, being able to pop into a handstand wherever you are is pretty damn cool.

Now, I know what some of you are probably thinking.  “I can’t do that! I’ll break my head!” Handstands can be intimidating since there is always the possibility of crashing.

But, I promise, if you follow the progressions that I’m sharing with you today, you’ll get there as safely and as quickly as possible.  There is no reason why you shouldn’t get the handstand, or even make your current handstand better than it already is.

4 Basic Steps to Handstand Mastery

When I teach my clients to do a handstand, I generally take them through the following four stages:

  • Facing the wall
  • Facing away from the wall
  • L-Handstand using a wall
  • Freestanding Handstand work

But before you dive in and start taunting gravity, there are two things that you have to do to get ready for safe and productive handstand work—strengthen your wrists and ingrain the “hollow body” position.

Preparing Your Wrists

First we’ll start with wrist prep. If your wrists are weak, your handstand will be weak.

This is also one of the most common complaints I receive from people that have tried working on handstands and other handbalancing in the past. They just can’t carry weight properly on their hands.

That’s why we really need to focus on strengthening our wrists using the three variations below.

Note: the following exercises begin at 1:22 in the video.

Fingers Forward

The first is with our hands flat and fingers facing forward. Make sure to keep your arms straight. Rock forward and bring your shoulders past your fingers and hold for 3 seconds. Relax, then repeat for a total of 5 reps.

Fingers Backward

Next we’ll take our fingers backwards and sit back, holding for 3 seconds for 5 reps. Don’t let the heels of your hands come up off of the ground.

Palms Up, Fingers Backward

For the final wrist prep, turn your hands over with palms facing up.  Keep your fingers facing your knees and sit back, holding for 3 seconds for a total of 5 reps.  If you have trouble keeping your arms straight, move your hands closer to your knees.

Mastering the Hollow Body

You MUST master the hollow body position if you want a solid handstand.

We’re working on a gymnastic-style handstand with a straight body (it’s a much better technique if you’re doing this for training), and that requires a tight core to keep your upper and lower halves working together when inverted.

The most important point for the hollow body position is keeping your lower back flat on the floor the whole time.

DO NOT progress to the next level in the hold until you can successfully hold it for at least one minute with your lower back fully down on the floor. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you’ve gotten all the juice out of the preceding steps.

Here’s the Hollow Body progressions:

  •  Legs bent
  •  Legs straight
  •  Legs straight and extended
  •  Arms extended

This hollow body position is pretty close to how you want to hold your body in the handstand, so having the strength to maintain this position on the floor can make or break your overall progress.

Note: the hollow body position can be seen at 2:24 in the video.

Be sure to continue working the hollow body until you’re extremely comfortable with it.

Wall Work

We’ll begin our handstand work with our body facing against the wall. Most people start out facing away, but I’ve found that my students can apply the hollow body position better if they face the wall at first.

Note: wall work can be seen at 4:20 in the video.

Handstand Facing The Wall

  • Climb the wall – With your hands shoulder width apart, slowly walk your feet up the wall and walk your hands close to the wall.
  • Hold the Hollow Body Handstand (tight body) – With toes against the wall, focus on holding the hollow body position.
  • Exit the handstand by walking your feet down. Use a mat or pillow in case you crash, etc.

If you are having trouble getting into the handstand holding it, you probably need to work on strengthening your shoulders. So rather than trying to hold the handstand, work on walking up and down the wall for 3 reps for 4 sets.

Once you can comfortably get into the handstand while facing the wall, hold for 5 to 10 seconds x 6 sets. Give yourself a good rest between sets. Once that becomes easy, add 5 seconds to each set for all of the 6 sets.

We are working up to being able to hold 1 set for 60 seconds per set. Once you can perform that, it’s time to move on to the next level.

Handstand Facing Away From The Wall

Facing outward is great because you can start working on popping up into the handstand.

Work on locking out your arms and jumping slowly up in the handstand. Try not to smack your back, butt, or feet against the wall.

Here is the progression:

  1. Jump to handstand
  2. Hollow body with heels on wall
  3. Look down slightly
  4. Slowly exit the handstand.

Once you can hold the hollow body handstand with feet against the wall for up to a minute, it’s time to start pulling your feet away from the wall.

The L-Stand

The L-stand is awesome for gaining a lot of strength in your handstand and working on your form.

This is surprisingly difficult and is why I usually have my clients work on this along with the wall handstand facing out, and even when they get really good at that.

There are two key points for the L-stand:

  1. Focus on getting a 90 degree angle
  2. Push down and don’t let your shoulders collapse

You can work this the same way as your other progressions. 5 to 10 seconds x 6 sets and adding 5 seconds per set as you can. Work up to holding this for 1 minute per set.

The Freestanding Handstand

You have FINALLY arrived!

After hard work on each of the prior levels you are good and ready for the freestanding handstand.

The freestanding handstand can be a bit difficult psychologically because there is no longer a wall to help catch you!  But don’t let that stop you. Focus on what you’ve learned so far and kick on up there. However, if things do go bad, remember that you can simply roll or turn out of it.

The sets and reps are the same as our other progressions. Start off with 5 to 10 seconds for 6 sets. You want to hold a solid free standing handstand for up to a minute.

Some points to remember:

  • Start with hands on floor
  • Tuck up with control
  •  Push away from the ground
  •  Hold with a hollow body position
  •  Exit the handstand – Turn out or roll if you have to bail

Most of all, have fun with it. Handstands are difficult for may people, but if you remember to make it fun, you’re going to keep practicing, and that’s key.

Advanced Handbalancing for Badasses

Once you’ve got your basic handstand nailed, you can step up for more interesting variations and advanced hand balancing moves.

Here are some advanced versions to work on once you get the freestanding handstand:

  • Press handstand
  • Lower to double arm lever
  • Bent arm tuck to press hand

Alright, now get on it!

Don’t let any of this intimidate you, these progressions have worked for everyone I’ve trained and I’ve seen so many crazy grins from people that never thought they could get it.

Give this a go and please let me know how its working out for you. Leave a comment below if you have any questions!

Ryan Hurst, GMB Program Director – Ryan has a passion for movement, playing with his kids and being outdoors. That’s why you’re more likely to find him running, lifting, jumping, balancing, and climbing than anywhere online. Visit his home:


Burgener Warm-up

Workout of the Day for Thursday April 18, 2013

Clean and Jerk

5 rounds for time of:
12 Toes to bar
9 Hang Clean, 155/105
6 Push Jerk, 155/105


From CrossFit Invictus

Why the Burgener Warm Up? 
Written by Cody Burgener

The Burgener Warm-Up is a great way to get your heart pumping and blood flowing, but do you know the reason for the Burgener Warm-Up?

Each movement of the Burgener Warm-Up is designed to help you become a better Olympic weightlifter.  Understanding that, you must realize that you cannot just go through the motions when performing this warm-up.  You should perform these movements perfectly to groove the movement patterns that will set you on your path to becoming an excellent weightlifter.

The five different exercises of the Burgener Warm-Up are: (1) the Down and Up; (2) Elbows High and Outside; (3) Muscle Snatch; (4) Snatch Drops; and (5) Snatch Lands.

Down and Up

The Down and Up is by far the most important exercise in the entire warm-up. This is where you generate all of the power and speed in your lifts. The Down and Up is designed to teach the athlete to create “speed through the middle.”

When performing the Down and Up, make sure you keep your chest vertical when you dip, drive off your heels (not the balls of your feet), and keep your arms relaxed.  You don’t have to force the shrug when performing the Down and Up, if your arms are relaxed and you generate power from the ground up, your shoulders will shrug naturally.

Elbows High and Outside

The next step in the Burgener Warm-Up is Elbows High and Outside. This movement is designed to ensure that you keep the barbell close to your body. It doesn’t matter how high your elbows get, but it is mandatory for your elbows to be higher than your hands. If your hands get higher than your elbows, then the bar is going to swing away from your body. You should be thinking of the movement as painting a line on your shirt with the bar.

When performing Elbows High and Outside, you start by performing a perfectly executed Down and Up, and simply follow it with the elbows. Shoulders lead; the arms follow. Remember, this warm-up movement is one of the only times in which you are allowed to pull the bar up with your arms. When performing the lift, you will actually be achieving this Elbows High and Outside position as you are pulling your body down under the barbell.

Muscle Snatch

The third step in the Burgener Warm-Up is the Muscle Snatch. The Muscle Snatch is designed to help lifters improve their turnover. The turnover starts at the elbows high and outside, followed by rotating your elbows down (with cat-like reflexes), and finishing by punching the barbell overhead. Just like in the Elbows High and Outside, this turnover will be happening as the lifter pulls his or her body down and under the barbell.

Snatch Drops and Snatch Lands

The fourth and fifth exercises are called snatch drops and snatch lands. These drills are designed to work on perfecting footwork. More than 90% of all missed lifts have something to do with footwork, so we have to make sure that we hammer proper footwork in our warm-up.

To practice Snatch Drops and Snatch Lands and perfect your footwork, you will drop down into your receiving positions, starting with a 2” drop, then 4”, 6”, and finally all the way down into the full squat/receiving position. You should always make sure that your feet are landing in your ideal landing/receiving position in all four of those depths.

Now that you know the purpose of each of the movements of the Burgener Warm-Up, be diligent about performing them perfectly every time. The more you focus and know what you are trying to accomplish during the warm-up, the more success you are going to see when you lift.

Workout of the Day for Wednesday April 17, 2013


Complete as many rounds as possible in 18 minutes of:
Run 200 meters
9 Deadlift, 275/175 pounds
Burpee bar muscle-ups*

* Scaling: 6 burpee bar muscle-ups = 6 burpees + 6 pull-ups + 6 push-up/dip



Enlarge image

U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ricardo Barraza, 24, of Shafter, California, assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, based in Fort Lewis, Washington, died on March 18, 2006, in Ar Ramadi Iraq, when he came under small arms fire by enemy forces during combat operations. He is survived by his parents Francisco and Nina, his siblings Amanda, Rachel, Jamie, and Frankie, and his fiancee Maghan K. Harrington and her daughter Kayla.

To Build Muscle Eat More Protein, Fruits & Vegetables … so simple.

Workout of the Day for Tuesday April 16, 2013

Back Squat

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
15 Kettlebell Swings, 24/16 kg
30 Double-Unders

Reposted from: here

by Dr. Dwight Lundell

We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong. So, here it is. I freely admit to being wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.

It Is Not Working!

These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible. The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated.

The long-established dietary recommendations have created epidemics of obesity and diabetes, the consequences of which dwarf any historical plague in terms of mortality, human suffering and dire economic consequences.

Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive statin medications and despite the fact we have reduced the fat content of our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before.

Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year.

Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.

Inflammation is not complicated — it is quite simply your body’s natural defence to a foreign invader such as a bacteria, toxin or virus. The cycle of inflammation is perfect in how it protects your body from these bacterial and viral invaders. However, if we chronically expose the body to injury by toxins or foods the human body was never designed to process,a condition occurs called chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is just as harmful as acute inflammation is beneficial.

What thoughtful person would willfully expose himself repeatedly to foods or other substances that are known to cause injury to the body?  Well,smokers perhaps, but at least they made that choice willfully.

The rest of us have simply followed the recommended mainstream dietthat is low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, not knowing we were causing repeated injury to our blood vessels. This repeated injury creates chronic inflammation leading to heart diseasestroke, diabetes and obesity.

Let me repeat that: The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine.

What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods.

Take a moment to visualize rubbing a stiff brush repeatedly over soft skin until it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding. you kept this up several times a day, every day for five years. If you could tolerate this painful brushing, you would have a bleeding, swollen infected area that became worse with each repeated injury. This is a good way to visualize the inflammatory process that could be going on in your body right now.

Regardless of where the inflammatory process occurs, externally or internally, it is the same. I have peered inside thousands upon thousands of arteries. A diseased artery looks as if someone took a brush and scrubbed repeatedly against its wall. Several times a day, every day, the foods we eat create small injuries compounding into more injuries, causing the body to respond continuously and appropriately with inflammation.

While we savor the tantalizing taste of a sweet roll, our bodies respond alarmingly as if a foreign invader arrived declaring war. Foods loaded with sugars and simple carbohydrates, or processed withomega-6 oils for long shelf life have been the mainstay of the American diet for six decades. These foods have been slowly poisoning everyone.

How does eating a simple sweet roll create a cascade of inflammation to make you sick?

Imagine spilling syrup on your keyboard and you have a visual of what occurs inside the cell. When we consume simple carbohydrates such as sugar, blood sugar rises rapidly. In response, your pancreas secretes insulin whose primary purpose is to drive sugar into each cell where it is stored for energy. If the cell is full and does not need glucose, it is rejected to avoid extra sugar gumming up the works.

When your full cells reject the extra glucose, blood sugar rises producing more insulin and the glucose converts to stored fat.

What does all this have to do with inflammation? Blood sugar is controlled in a very narrow range. Extra sugar molecules attach to a variety of proteins that in turn injure the blood vessel wall. This repeated injury to the blood vessel wall sets off inflammation. When you spike your blood sugar level several times a day, every day, it is exactly like taking sandpaper to the inside of your delicate blood vessels.

While you may not be able to see it, rest assured it is there. I saw it in over 5,000 surgical patients spanning 25 years who all shared one common denominator — inflammation in their arteries.

Let’s get back to the sweet roll. That innocent looking goody not only contains sugars, it is baked in one of many omega-6 oils such as soybean. Chips and fries are soaked in soybean oil; processed foods are manufactured with omega-6 oils for longer shelf life. While omega-6’s are essential -they are part of every cell membrane controlling what goes in and out of the cell – they must be in the correct balance with omega-3’s.

If the balance shifts by consuming excessive omega-6, the cell membrane produces chemicals called cytokines that directly cause inflammation.

Today’s mainstream American diet has produced an extreme imbalance of these two fats. The ratio of imbalance ranges from 15:1 to as high as 30:1 in favor of omega-6. That’s a tremendous amount of cytokines causing inflammation. In today’s food environment, a 3:1 ratio would be optimal and healthy.

To make matters worse, the excess weight you are carrying from eating these foods creates overloaded fat cells that pour out large quantities of pro-inflammatory chemicals that add to the injury caused by having high blood sugar. The process that began with a sweet roll turns into a vicious cycle over time that creates heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and finally, Alzheimer’s disease, as the inflammatory process continues unabated.

There is no escaping the fact that the more we consume prepared and processed foods, the more we trip the inflammation switch little by little each day. The human body cannot process, nor was it designed to consume, foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils.

There is but one answer to quieting inflammation, and that is returning to foods closer to their natural state. To build muscle, eat more protein. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and vegetables. Cut down on or eliminate inflammation- causing omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil and the processed foods that are made from them.

One tablespoon of corn oil contains 7,280 mg of omega-6; soybean contains 6,940 mg. Instead, use olive oil or butter from grass-fed beef.

Animal fatscontain less than 20% omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation than the supposedly healthy oils labelled polyunsaturated. Forget the “science” that has been drummed into your head for decades. The science that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent. The science that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol is also very weak. Since we now know that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, the concern about saturated fat is even more absurd today.

The cholesterol theory led to the no-fat, low-fat recommendations that in turn created the very foods now causing an epidemic of inflammation. Mainstream medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to avoid saturated fat in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats. We now have an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and other silent killers.

What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and not those your mom turned to as grocery store aisles filled with manufactured foods. By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.

Dr. Dwight Lundell is the past Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital , Mesa , AZ. His private practice, Cardiac Care Center was in Mesa, AZ. Recently Dr. Lundell left surgery to focus on the nutritional treatment of heart disease. He is the founder of Healthy Humans Foundation that promotes human health with a focus on helping large corporations promote wellness. He is also the author of The Cure for Heart Disease and The Great Cholesterol Lie.

Read the Full Article along with comments here:

Support CFRV’ers

Workout of the Day for Monday April 15, 2013

Run 400 meters
30 Bench Press, BW/0.75BW
Run 800 meters
20 Bench Press, BW/0.75BW
Run 1,600 meters
10 Bench Press, BW/0.75BW


CrossFit Roseville enjoys a wod at Hidden Falls Park.

We want to promote members’ businesses, so if you want yours promoted let me know. You just never know who may be in need of what you can provide. So write me an email with a little bit of info or a link to your website and we will get it up on our blog.

Need your pool spring cleaned and ready for use? Or do you need monthly service? Talk to Roman

Here is some information from Doc about one of his upcoming courses:


Alpha Safety Training is excited to announce that we will be holding our 1 day Defensive Medicine Course in Sacramento, Ca. on April 21, 2013.

The Defensive Medicine course will teach you to effectively manage life threatening injuries resulting from a traumatic event until professional emergency medical services arrive. Topics of instruction include bleeding control, airway management, shock and brain injuries and other medical issues likely to arise in the aftermath of a life threatening attack or other critical incident. Do you dedicate as much time to training for the treating of wounds as you do to the inflicting of them? The life you save will probably be your own or that of a family member.

Cost for this course is $200.

This course is taught by Jim “Doc” Amentler, a U.S. Navy Corpsman who is the medical chief for a Marine Corps battalion and is also a Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) instructor, a Combat Life Save (CLS) instructor, American Heart Association (AHA) Basic Life Support (BLS) instructor, ASHI Wilderness First Aid instructor and an NEC 9502 Navy instructor.

Outside the Box

** 1 group workout at 9 AM at Hidden Falls Regional Park  7587 Mears Place, Auburn, CA **

Leave your house at 8:30 and you should make it by 9 AM.

The Washington Blvd location will be closed.

Workout of the Day for Saturday April 13, 2013

As an individual, in a team of 2, or in a team of 3:
Run 1,000 meters
30 Kb Swing
30 Clean and Jerk, 135/95 pounds
60 Squats
Run 1,000 meters

There is no water or 7-11 but there is bathrooms. So bring yourself some water or post workout beverage. Some of us will head over to Ikeda’s in Auburn for a post wod burger. For those that want to hike the 1.5 mile +/- easy trail to the ‘Hidden Falls’ overlook, you should bring yourself a significant snack or lunch. The parking lot is secluded and quiet and should be a great place for kids to ride their scooters and bikes.

This is not an organized hike. This is a workout at the base of a sweet .7 mile trail loop.


Supple Leopard Book

**This Saturday, April 13, CrossFit Roseville is heading out doors. There will be 1 group workout at 9 AM (leave your house at 8:30 and you should make it by 9) at Hidden Falls Regional Park in Auburn, CA. The Washington Blvd location will be closed. This will be a typical Saturday morning workout with no special gear required. The only thing changing is the place. All our welcome!**

Workout of the Day for Friday April 12, 2013

“A Day of Testing”

Pick 3 or more of the following: A strength test, bodyweight test, and a work capacity test. Log your results, set a goal, and make a plan to re-test in couple of months.

Max effort 400 meter run
Max effort 800 meter run
Max effort 1 mile run

Max effort 500 meter row
Max effort 1000 meter row
Max effort 2,000 meter row

Max push ups in 1 minute
Max sit ups in a minute (abmat, feet anchored)
Tabata Squats
Max consecutive kipping pull ups
Max consecutive strict pull ups

Max Clean and Jerk
Max Deadlift
Max weight overhead squat
Max weight bench press
Max Snatch

Max height box jump
Max distance broad jump

Max consecutive double unders

Max weight turkish get up

“Annie” or “Helen” or “Fran” or “Cindy” or “Christine”