Beginner Handstand Challenge: Week 3

12 Minute Athlete

We’re more than halfway through our Beginner Handstand Challenge!

This week we’re focusing on the next step in the handstand journey: handstand wall scissors.

One of the hardest parts of learning to do a handstand is getting over the fear of falling over and learning to balance in a handstand.

When the wall is there to support you, you can build up your strength and confidence being upside-down.

But when the wall is no longer there…

…it’s SO easy to lose confidence and forget all the skills you’ve gained until now.

You’ve built the strength.

You’ve put in the time.

You CAN take this next step.

Don’t give up now!

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 3

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

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

Workout Highs and Lows: Why They’re Normal and How to Deal With Them

workout highs and lows: why they're normal + how to deal with them

Throughout your fitness journey you’re bound to experience highs and lows. Even the most experienced athletes can attest to this.

“Highs and lows” can look different for everyone, but here are some common situations I hear about from students and clients:

…You experienced rapid progress at the start of your journey, but your gains are slowing down or have come to a standstill. (plateaus)

…You challenged yourself to start a new skills program or fitness plan, and you’re really struggling. (need to scale back)

…You were motivated and on a roll, but now you’re lacking inspiration and skipping workouts. (boredom/lack of interest, or life change)

…You’ve recently been injured and don’t know how to keep up with your goals while working below full capacity.

Do any of these sound familiar?

As you continue to challenge your body and push your limits, you’ll likely run into roadblocks at times. Whether your progress has slowed, your motivation is lacking, or you’re just not seeing the results you expected, rest assured that every athlete experiences challenges like this.

Here are some recommendations for getting past the “lows” and getting back to the “highs” of exercise – progress, health, and happiness!

Read moreWorkout Highs and Lows: Why They’re Normal and How to Deal With Them

How to Bounce Back from Injury

how to bounce back from injury

If you’re active and moving your body, it’s almost a guarantee that at some point you will experience an injury.

Injuries can include everything from a pulled muscle to a broken bone.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing—as you challenge your body and push your limits, you’ll inevitably run into minor injuries from time to time.

Yet when you get injured and can’t work out in the ways you’re used to, it’s easy to get discouraged.

This can lead to falling into unhealthy habits, or giving up exercise entirely.

At its worst, the mindset of “I can’t” starts to creep back in….

  • I can’t EVER do this exercise because of my injury
  • I can’t work out consistently without getting injured
  • I can’t ever get back to where I was pre-injury

It might not feel that way at the time, but these kinds of statements are often much more detrimental than the physical injury itself.

Here’s how to get out of the “I can’t” territory and bounce back from injuries in a healthy, sustainable way:

Read moreHow to Bounce Back from Injury

Why Working Out Isn’t Just For Looks

Like so many people, when I first started my fitness journey, I worked out solely because I wanted to lose weight, get leaner, and feel better in my body.

And while there’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting to feel confident about how you look, in my experience working out for looks alone has several different issues with it:

  • Every time I would miss a workout, “cheat” on my diet, or eat dessert, I felt like a failure.
  • It wasn’t very easy to track my progress, since stepping on the scale alone isn’t a reliable measure of weight loss progress.
  • Working out to “look good” didn’t motivate me in the long-term, so I constantly struggled with consistency.

It wasn’t until I found other intrinsic reasons to work out that had nothing to do with my appearance that I was finally able to develop a lifelong fitness habit and become the become the athlete I had never before believed I could be.

Here are some really good reasons to work out (that have nothing to do with your appearance):

Read moreWhy Working Out Isn’t Just For Looks

How to Become a Workout Person for Life

You might not know this about me, but I wasn’t always a “workout person.”

Although I played soccer and basketball growing up, as soon as I left for college, I stopped doing any movement of pretty much any kind.

I didn’t go to the gym or work out. I didn’t have any fun active hobbies that I did regularly or play any sports. I barely even walked on a daily basis.

Not only did I gain the typical freshman fifteen (or twenty) as a result, I also had low energy, low self-esteem, and felt just super lost and unconfident about my life in general.

It really took finding fitness to get me out of that rut—but it didn’t happen overnight.

It took years of experimenting before I finally considered myself a “fitness person” and built a workout habit that finally stuck.

Here are my top tips to get there much quicker than I did:

Read moreHow to Become a Workout Person for Life