Knowing what to expect from your handstand journey is important. Most of us are not gymnasts or professional hand balancers, so we don’t need to have a perfect handstand whatever that is.
With social media, we often feel discouraged because we are exposed to the best whose job it is to do a certain handstand.
There is no competition or judge for the regular person; You only train for yourself.
This article is for people who want to improve their kick-up consistency, that is, step into a handstand and hold it most of the time. I know from personal experience that wasting energy that is constantly falling and not holding a handstand is frustrating.
It is important that you are comfortable in your hands so that you can perform cool movements, such as walking::
I call this a trip because it is. You can have the best workout one day, nothing goes right the next day.
It doesn’t matter how experienced you are. There will still be bad days. You will be better at reading your body and adapting.
Prepare your wrist
I have found during my personal training career that the majority of people have weak wrists. Don’t be discouraged if you are, but you have to accept where you are. We live in a beautiful society, but it has its drawbacks. One of them is that we never use our wrists.
We don’t hang, crawl, or put pressure on them (typing on the laptop doesn’t count).
Remember the body is efficient. Use it or lose it. This applies to physical, technical and mental abilities.
Teaching large classes, I quickly realized that with 2-3 exercises that put a little pressure on the wrist, the moaning I heard was due not to physical exertion but to wrist pain.
When you start exercising your wrist, it will only take a few weeks for improvements to be seen. How do you strengthen your wrists?
Build habits in your daily life because doing just a day or two a week is not enough, even if it takes an hour.
I love this quote from Bruce Lee::
It takes 5-15 minutes every day to get the best results or to spread them over the day by creating cues or reminders.
For example, take a kit or timer every day before a meal or after a shower to make yourself comfortable by incorporating it into your life.
We spend most of the day developing habits that we have developed. It’s not a habit when it takes too much energy and willpower.
What if you don’t get wrist pain?
Wrist work is still required.
Realize that handstands are not a natural position.
Your ankles are designed to support your full weight and gravity, but our tiny wrists are not.
This is why it is important to strengthen your wrists, fingers and forearms, as well as your elbows and shoulders.
Progress in handstands and weight training will depend on how strong your joints and tendons get, as these small areas must withstand the stress and force that goes through them.
You can find more mobility routines here Prehab / Rehab for:
Before you stand upside down, spend a week or two getting the joints ready.
Getting into handstands against the wall can cause discomfort to your wrists (these get stronger and adapt), but it shouldn’t be painful.
Babies do it every day
There is no such thing as a perfect handstand program, but you will hear athletes / coaches say their path is the best, and I’m not saying my path is the best either.
I share how I taught myself and my clients to balance on their hands. Everyone is different and we all learn differently. That’s what moves the world.
Two components make the difference regardless of the program or training style you use.
The first component is consistency
We hear this word all the time because without it there is no success. It doesn’t matter how great your training session might have been.
Exercising once a week doesn’t help.
You will not build the neural adaptation and spatial awareness to master the handstand.
When babies learn to walk / stand, they do it every day. You have the desire and curiosity to step into the unknown, learn and adapt. That’s the kind of mindset you want to have.
You don’t have to spend hours every day, just make it a habit of standing on your head. During those periods of time when you are bored or doing simple tasks, practice your handstand instead. All it takes is five minutes.
Heck, one set a day will get the job done.
This is in addition to 2-3 workouts (around 1 hour) per week to practice various exercises and weak spots.
The second component is the time in your hands
The second component is the actual time you spend balancing on your hands. If you don’t flip up and hold the handstand, it may be part of your workout, but not for the whole class, please. It teaches you very little.
You need to get the most out of your workout. You actually want to feel what it is like to carry weight on your hands, shift your center of gravity, and how your hands are constantly making small adjustments.
Do exercises on the wall or near the wall and that way you will have support if you fall.
Some people can only hold a handstand in one position. I’m not talking about creating shapes with your legs because their area of influence is bad:
This could be that they never actually spent time in these positions. How can you adjust if you don’t know what position your body is in?
Spend some time in one::
- Banana handstand (arched back)
- For a pike (are your glutes too tight, your hands uneven?)
If you know what not to do, you can correct it.
- When I learned the handstand, I was obsessed with being in a straight line. Otherwise it didn’t count.
- I would stop doing the handstand if I knew I wasn’t straight.
- This resulted in my being unable to navigate or adjust while in my hands.
- My kick-up was bad and I didn’t understand what was going on.
- Then I focused on my hands, shoulders and hips.
I would kick, and whatever position my body was in, I would try to hold it.
Babies will try all sorts of things, spend ten seconds here, then fall, another ten seconds there, and then fall.
It’s similar to a handstand ride. Spend ten seconds standing and another 30 seconds with a drill on the wall. Gather those precious seconds on your hands. If you do them often, you will make progress.
Don’t overcomplicate it, be consistent and spend time with your hands.
Here is a training template that you can edit and customize.
- Select exercises to focus on the areas I’ve described.
- You will do most of the exercises as a superset.
- A superset occurs when you perform a sentence in an exercise (B1) and then immediately switch to another exercise (B2).
You can rest when you have completed the set.
Handstand session template
Training units can be structured in this way or played irregularly.
You can change the exercises you do each month, week, or session after session.
Stretches during the session are good for loosening up muscles and calming breathing. The more relaxed you are, the better your handstands will be.
A handstand program for beginners can be found here Handstand 0-60.
Flexibility and handstands go hand in hand, as you can stack your feet, hips, and shoulders on top of your hands to make the handstand less deflated.
Without shoulder flexibility (+ 180 ° overhead lifting or backend), your wrists and forearms take most of the load. These areas tire quickly under your weight.
It’s much better to let your shoulder carry most of the load, just like your hips are for your lower body.
Without hamstring flexibility, a forward crease, or the pancake stretch, you cannot control your kick-up and you will find it difficult to keep your legs straight in a handstand.
You can train your flexibility together or separately from your handstands.
There is no such thing as a perfect handstand
There is no such thing as a perfect handstand. There is only a desire and curiosity to step into the unknown, learn and adapt.
Spend five minutes a day with your hands exercising 2-3 times a week. Work on exercises to improve your balance, endurance, and consistency.
You can always improve your alignment. Take care of your joints because they determine how far you can go.