“Hello Cobbers….”

Today’s Gallery Theme: On Your Hands


(Look carefully – that actually is two different guys…)

“Hello Cobbers…” – no, he didn’t actually say that. But we had the unexpected surprise of having a guest at the gymnastics center for a few days – an Australian State and former National Champion gymnast, no less.

Everyone of course knows that Australia is ‘upside down’ from most of the rest of the world – hence our picture theme!

And the first thing I wanted to do was to criticise the guy’s handstand shape! I didn’t, though. But it inspired today’s photo collection of the good, the bad and the ugly in handstands. You decide!


The guy is about 20yo. He coached a few sessions in place of the usual coaches – mainly with the more senior groups. He did a lot of things differently from us, but that’s always refreshing. And, obviously, he knows his stuff. And his form on the apparatus was, understandably, excellent. The elements in his floor routine also. Just those handstands…


Good shoulder flexibility… just that he had always a hollow in the small of his back in any straight handstand position. And that is not good. Should be like this:


…and not like these ‘classic’ examples:


That ‘banana-back’ shape was thought to be good at the time – and to the vast majority of people who think that performing any handstand is amazing, who cares? It’s just that in acrobatics (especially amateur competition under FIG rules), the points get deducted very easily when shoulders are not open and backs straight.

This guy needs shoulder work, and his feet should be more stretched.


This is a transient handstand on the high bar, but the shape is perfect:


The same is true of this transit though handstand in the Tsukuhara vault:


A few more:




…and then on one hand only (here’s another guy who likes training naked for the camera):


More ‘conventionally’:


And finally, back on both hands, but horizontal. Enjoy!


Some reading matter on acrobatics, being gay and having fun training (with and without clothes!) and performing, can be found in Loving the Boy, The Power of Love, and here:

Cover 3 Full

(And what, you might well ask, has any of that to do with a cross near Bassenthwaite Lake in the UK’s Lake District? Well, an awful lot, since you ask… but you have to find that our for yourselves. e-books also available)


About tonycavanagh

Born Northampton UK; school Oxford UK and Oak Ridge Tennessee, where I met my wonderful partner Dave, also from UK. Oak Ridge is our main training base for acrobatics and circus stuff, but we also established a base in Wales (UK) to serve us when we are working in Europe. Our 'story', of finding gay love, learning the acrobatics trade and then of how we got shot at during our show (and worse was to follow - just to prove that the risks of being an acrobat are not always the most obvious ones!) are now available in my three books 'Loving the Boy', 'The Power of Love' and 'Against All Odds'. Links available on most blog posts. Actually, waiting for the imminent arrival of the first printed copies was far scarier than anything we do in performance. A fourth book - not about us but exploring the sadness of a gay Native American boy denied his true identity - is currently with an agent for evaluation. watch for 'Let The Future Find Me' in due time. And now to book five... another boy, another quest... seems its always boys...
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.