I asked ChatGPT how to learn a handstand

I feel a little bit late to the game, but today I spent some time working with Chat GPT.  I used this AI tool to simplify and bring clarity to some of my writing about retreat deposit and cancellation policies over at Northern Edge. (No, I did not have an AI write our policies … I had it help me trim out some excess info and take my own voice out of it a bit more.  Really neat stuff!)

This evening, I wanted to keep playing around with Chat GPT so I moved to another one of my interests and I asked it to “Please outline the best steps to learning a handstand.”  I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this:

Learning a handstand can be a fun and challenging way to improve your strength, balance, and flexibility. Here are some steps you can follow to learn a handstand:

  1. Warm up: It’s important to warm up before attempting any new physical activity. This can help prevent injury and improve your performance. Start with some light stretching and some easy exercises to get your body moving.
  2. Build strength: A handstand requires a lot of upper body strength, particularly in the shoulders, arms, and core. You can build these muscles by doing exercises like push-ups, planks, and shoulder presses.
  3. Practice balancing: Balancing on your hands is a key part of a handstand. You can practice by standing on one foot or by doing a handstand against a wall. As you get better at balancing, you can gradually move further away from the wall.
  4. Kick up into a handstand: Once you feel confident in your balance, you can try kicking up into a handstand. Start by standing in front of a wall with your hands placed on the ground. Then, kick one leg up while simultaneously lifting the other leg off the ground and pushing off the ground with your hands. Keep your body straight and try to hold the position for a few seconds before coming back down.
  5. Practice regularly: The more you practice, the better you’ll get at handstands. Try to practice a few times a week, gradually increasing the amount of time you hold the handstand position as you get stronger.
Well, damn.  My immediate thought was that it might have ripped someone’s blog post – so I asked if Chat GPT could provide sources for this information:

I apologize, but as an AI language model, I do not have access to external sources of information. The information I provide is based on my programming and the knowledge that I have been trained on, which includes general knowledge about physical fitness and various exercises.

It is always a good idea to consult with a qualified fitness professional or coach before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or injuries. They can provide you with personalized guidance and instruction, as well as ensure that you are using proper form and technique to avoid injury.

Cool, Chat GPT, cool.  I don’t know the ethics of re-sharing the chat’s writing in blog format – and by no means do I want to pass off this info as my own.  If you are interested in learning to handstand, and you live in the Muskoka area, and you want to progress naturally through the chat’s recommended steps 1 through 4 by focusing on number 5 with some coaching, I happen to teach a class that is coming back this January (in-person!) as a 6-class series.  Learn more here.
Until then, I’m going to keep playing with this marvellous AI software.  I’m particularly interested in how it can boost productivity.  Today, it felt like the chat and I were bouncing ideas back and forth about my own writing – and while the end result was 100% my own writing, it felt like I was working with a collaborator so that was pretty cool.

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