Beginner Handstand Challenge: Week 2

12 Minute Athlete

It’s week two of the Beginner Handstand Challenge, and this week we’ve got two new essential handstand skills to share: wrist warm up exercises and chest to wall handstand holds. We’ll also look at how to build confidence falling out of a handstand.

(Missed week 1 of the challenge? Find it here.)

While a freestanding handstand might seem far away right now, if you keep practicing the skills we’re focusing on in the 12 Minute Athlete Beginner Handstand Challenge, you’ll be working your freestanding handstands before you know it.

Follow along with the 12 Minute Athlete community by posting pictures of your progress on our Facebook group, and tag us at @12minuteathlete and #12MAhandstands.

Remember, one lucky challenge participant will win a copy of my NEW book!

Read moreBeginner Handstand Challenge: Week 2

Beginner Handstand Challenge: Week 1

12 Minute Athlete

Welcome to week 1 of the Beginner Handstand Challenge!

We’re kicking off the challenge by focusing on two essential exercises that will help you build the strength, endurance, and positioning you’ll need to be able to eventually hold a freestanding handstand: hollow body holds and half handstand holds.

Why aren’t we starting our handstand challenge with a freestanding handstand? 

When you’re learning a new skill, it’s important to break it down into small, manageable steps.

It can be tempting to start with the end goal, especially when it’s something as cool as a handstand. But this approach can actually get in the way of your progress and lead to discouragement, quitting, and worst of all, injury.

Learning a challenging new skill like handstands will take time and hard work. It’s not going to happen overnight, but working hard on it over the long run is SO worth it.

Learning a new skill like handstands takes time and hard work. It’s not going to happen overnight, but working hard on it over the long term is SO worth it. 

Follow along with the 12 Minute Athlete community by posting pictures of your progress on our Facebook group, and tag us at @12minuteathlete and #12MAHandstands.

Remember, one lucky challenge participant will win a copy of my NEW book

Read moreBeginner Handstand Challenge: Week 1

The 12 Minute Athlete Beginner Handstand Challenge

12 Minute Athlete Beginner Handstand Challenge

The 12 Minute Athlete team is so excited to share our latest community challenge: the 2020 Beginner Handstand Challenge!

We’ve heard from many of you that one of your long-term goals is to crush a freestanding handstand. So we’re dedicating our next month-long community challenge to helping EVERYONE get their handstand practice on.

We’ll break down the steps necessary to work up to a solid handstand, send handstand-themed exercises and tips to help you build up your strength and endurance, and share our favorite ways to add extra challenges to handstand work.

Handstands are one of our favorite skills for so many reasons. Once you get hooked on them, handstands can become part of a lifelong journey.

Let’s get to it!

(Looking for the Week 1 exercises? Click here to visit the Week 1 challenge page.) 

Read moreThe 12 Minute Athlete Beginner Handstand Challenge

Get Grittier: Why Improving Grit is Essential for Lifelong Fitness

We’ve all done it: made a big, far-reaching goal that’s exciting, challenging, and even a little scary.

You start out strong with big aspirations. You may even tell a few friends or family members.

And while the initial push goes well, before long, you start to struggle.

Life starts to get in the way. One missed workout turns into two. The deadline to sign up for that race you were so excited about comes and goes.

Before long, you’re making excuses about why your goal wasn’t realistic in the first place.

You see other people stick with programs, skills, and difficult challenges and eventually accomplish amazing things…

…but you just can’t seem to stick with anything.

Whenever this happens, it’s easy to get disappointed and feel like you can’t accomplish anything. But that’s not the case.

You’re not hopeless. You just need to build some grit.

Read moreGet Grittier: Why Improving Grit is Essential for Lifelong Fitness

How to Get Better at Goal Setting

The health and fitness community loves to talk about setting goals—especially around New Year’s, when so many people make goals for the rest of the year.

But the percentage of people who set goals January 1st then actually go on to achieve those goals is minuscule.

In fact, while the average person sets a number of New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of the year, nearly 80% of people have given up by the end of a 30-day period. And only 8% of people actually follow through on their resolutions and end up achieving their goals.

So what’s going on here? Why can’t people stick to their goals?

It’s not because everyone who sets New Year’s resolutions is automatically unmotivated and not driven to succeed.

It’s because most people don’t actually know how to set goals that stick.

Goal setting is an incredibly powerful way to boost productivity and performance, which is why we talk about it so much here at 12 Minute Athlete. Thankfully, even if goal setting isn’t something you currently consider yourself to be very good at, you can get better at it.

First, you’ll need to understand how to set better goals. From there, you can learn the simple tricks that will help you to stick with them over time, even when it gets tough.

Better goal setting means more goals achieved, period.

Let’s look at how to start improving at goal setting so that you can crush your goals all year round.

Read moreHow to Get Better at Goal Setting

Building an Epic Home Gym: Our Favorite Pieces of Equipment

Home workout equipment is one of the best investments you can make for yourself or any fellow fitness-lovers in your life.

Workout equipment is relatively inexpensive, and will last through years (if not decades) of tough workouts. If you prefer to work out at home rather than go to a gym (or at least want the option), it will help keep your workouts varied and always challenging.

Here are our top home workout equipment recommendations to help you start building a home gym:

Read moreBuilding an Epic Home Gym: Our Favorite Pieces of Equipment

Why I’m Not a Fan of (Most) Group Classes

Does this sound familiar at all?

You sign up for the new “it” class, either by yourself or with a couple of friends.

You’re a few weeks in, and making a TON of progress. You’re feeling more energized, getting leaner, and feeling stronger. The workouts are becoming so much easier than they were when you first started. You’re feeling motivated and it’s awesome.

Fast forward a few weeks, months, or even a year… and everything… stalls.

Your progress slows. The motivational talk that fired you up in the first few weeks now just seems repetitive. Your class instructor is more focused on their killer playlist than giving you individual attention.

Frankly, you’re just a little bored.

You start making excuses to skip class and stop going as often. Eventually you either fall off of your fitness habit altogether, or take up the next “it” class, and start the same cycle all over again.

Read moreWhy I’m Not a Fan of (Most) Group Classes

How to Keep a Beginner’s Mindset

When I first started training handstands nearly six years ago now, I had absolutely zero previous experience with the skill.

I didn’t do gymnastics growing up, and had no reason to believe I would ever be even remotely decent at a difficult skill like hand balancing.

Similarly, when I first started boxing a year and a half ago, I had zero experience other than hitting a punching bag as hard as I could (now I realize, with poor form) and punching a few holes in the wall growing up (sorry, Mom and Dad!).

Both experiences started out as extremely humbling and frustrating. I can’t tell you just how many times that I wanted to quit, to tell myself and others that I wasn’t a “natural” at either skill and move on to something else.

After all, no one but me would really care if I quit.

So why didn’t I?

Because I know that maintaining a beginner’s mindset in at least one area of my life is the best way to continue growing and progressing as an athlete and person in all areas of my life.

Read moreHow to Keep a Beginner’s Mindset

How to Partner Up for Workout Success

How to partner up for workout success

One of the things best things about HIIT workouts is that you don’t need much (if any!) equipment or space to do them.

In fact, HIIT workouts can be done outside, in a small apartment, a hotel room…pretty much anywhere you can fit your body!

And while bodyweight-centered HIIT workouts are one of the most efficient ways of getting a workout done fast, we all know that plateaus happen and sometimes we just want to shake up the regular routine.

A great way to do that is looking to a friend, family member, or partner to join in on your workout!

Read moreHow to Partner Up for Workout Success