“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 tony

Born Northampton UK
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