Trouble With The Bent Arm Stand? Stop, Drop, and Roll!

Don't worry, you can shake as many sticks at the bent arm stand as you like - if you're into that sort of thing.

Don’t worry, you can shake as many sticks at the bent arm stand as you like – if you’re into that sort of thing.

The bent arm stand is a move we use in all of our programs – Parallettes, Rings, and FloorThat’s more bent arm stands than you can shake a stick at!

So why are we crushing so hard on the bent arm stand? Because it’s a fantastic move for working on mega bent arm strength and hand balancing skills.

…But it’s also really hard.

Which is why Ryan put together the video below to demonstrate an easier way to work on this skill.

Roll Your Way to the Bent Arm Stand

Remember doing somersaults as a kid? Chances are, it’s been a long time since you’ve done one of those. Even if you have done a somersault, also known as a forward roll, more recently, you may be wondering,

What do somersaults have to do with building up my bent arm stand?

It may sound strange, but the forward roll actually provides a good transition to hand balancing training, breaking the skills down into more manageable steps. The video below will explain what I’m talking about (scroll down for a step-by-step explanation):

Key Points

Check out her near-perfect "stall"

Check out her near-perfect “stall”

Here are the key steps to focus on when working on the Forward Roll for Bent Arm Stand:

  1. Squat down and place your hands on the ground in front of you.
  2. Lift your rear end and keep your elbows bent, but tight. Don’t flare your elbows out!
  3. Lean your body forward as far as possible, coming up onto your toes, and stall for a second or two
  4. Tuck your chin under, and allow your body to naturally roll forward, coming back into a deep squat.

As you progress, practice bringing your feet up off the ground when stalling, first one at a time, then both at the same time. Remember, if you ever feel like you are losing your balance, just tuck your chin and roll forward.

Make sure to keep your elbows tight throughout the movement. Work on pushing away from the ground, so you can eventually use this movement to push up into a handstand, and work on other hand balancing exercises.

Have Fun With It!

Give yourself a week or so and implement these strategies into your training, then let us know in the comments below how it worked for you. Or feel free to share any additional tips that enabled you to nail this fun move.

Don’t get frustrated – just have fun with the forward roll and keep practicing.

You’ll get the bent arm stand if you apply these tips and keep working.

Stay Balanced!

If you liked this tip, and want to spend more time working on your hand balancing skills, be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Learning Handstands. It’ll give you everything you need to get started, and best of all, it don’t cost a penny!

 Images via Karva JaviGryphes

Rachel Honeyman

Marketing Assistant - Almost five feet tall, Rachel is responsible for all kinds of writing tasks around GMB HQ and also manages our charity and press relationships. She likes chocolate way too much.

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Trouble With The Bent Arm Stand? Stop, Drop, and Roll! by
  • Ryan Christie

    Great video Ryan as it incorporates a good progression for beginners to be able to get so much stronger in the bent arm stand with the ability to have a safe bail out with the forward roll. The addition of the forward roll is a great primal movement that many people neglect in their programming. Gracias mi amigo!!

    • RyanHurst

      Thanks Ryan! Try this out with your students and let me know how it goes. Cheers!

  • Peter Fabian

    Appreciate being able being able to watch the coaching process– it provides clear examples of what to work on

    • RyanHurst

      Thanks Peter. It was great having Matt around to be able to do that.

  • javier

    Hi Ryan

    Very good article and vdeo. I couldn’ t resit it and I have already tried the front roll.The sensation….just magic, like beeing a kid a agian. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and expirience with us

    • RyanHurst

      Javier, glad you like it! It is a fun move. :)