Skills Corner: Mastering The Handstand

Progress up to a full handstand with our step-by-step guide.

Holding a handstand has to be one of the most impressive fundamental bodyweight movements. A handstand has everything: skill, balance, agility, and strength. If you’re not quite there yet, check out our simple guide to mastering the handstand.

5 Benefits Of Handstands

Why learn to do handstands? Apart from strength, agility, mobility, confidence, and your physique you mean? Turns out, there are plenty of reasons.

#1 Upper body strength: there’s nothing to rival handstands (and handstand variations) for building strength and ability in the arms, wrists, shoulders, back, and chest.

#2 Core strength: your core will work hard to stabilise you during the handstand, building amazing strength in the abs, hips, hammies, and spine stabilising muscles.

#3 Balance and co-ordination: even if you’re not a calisthenics purist, you should still work on your balance. Being able to control your own weight is a valuable skill that transfers to other forms of training.

#4 Bone health: handstands also boost the health of your skeletal tissue, heart, lungs, and circulation.

#5 They look cool AF!

From Zero To Handstand

Step 1: Wall-Walk Handstand
– facing away from a solid wall, put your hands on the ground, shoulder width apart, fingers spread
– walk your feet up the wall until your body is vertical
– now walk your hands closer to the wall
– hold the wall handstand
– get out of it by reversing the move (walking your feet down the wall)
– you can have someone to spot you if you don’t feel too confident yet

Drills:
– practice walking up and down the wall until you can hold at the top
– hold the wall handstand for a few seconds and repeat 4-8 times

Step 2: Wall-Supported Handstand
– stand facing the wall
– put your hands on the ground shoulder width apart
– spring up into a handstand
– touch your feet lightly to the wall and practice control at this position
– keep your legs together and tight

Drills:
– work up to holding this wall-supported handstand for 30-60 seconds
– then try taking your feet off the wall

Step 3: Freestanding Handstand
– find a clear area of floor with nothing to bump into or knock over
– either spring into a handstand or tuck into it
– slowly gain control and then hold the handstand
– lower back down with control and land lightly

Handstand Tips

Practice! The more you can practice getting into a handstand, balancing, and gaining control of your body, the better you will get. Try to do some handstand drills every day.

Use your gaze. Balancing is not just about your body, it’s also about mastering your mind and concentration. Learn to find a spot to focus your gaze and centre your mind.

When you’re in a handstand, your hands are your feet. So distribute pressure across your palms and fingers just as you do with the soles of your feet. This will help with balance, plus strengthen up your hands and wrists.

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