Handstands used to be so easy. When you were a kid, handstands just didn’t seem like much of a challenge. I remember there was a boy at my school who could walk around on his hands forever. I used to be kinda jealous of that to be honest.
Up until starting calisthenics training last year, I can’t have done a handstand in over 15 years! Turns out I couldn’t do them anymore, so I had to put a bit of time into learning them again.
When I tell people I do handstands these days, they usually laugh, or look at me as if to ask ‘why on earth do you want to do that?’
Well, before starting calisthenics I wasn’t bothered either, to me it just seemed like a gimmicky thing that didn’t really do much for you, Oh how I was wrong . . .
Handstands Are Really Good For You
Handstands happen to be really good for you. A lot of studies have come out in recent years suggesting that there are many benefits to doing handstands regularly. For blood pressure regulation to balance and coordination, handstands are great, and satisfying when you get good at them.
But most people can’t do a handstand.
How To Handstand
There are many ways you could going about learning to handstand, and I am going to share a few exercises with you, different progressions, in the coming weeks.
But for now, let us get the simplest way to handstand out and get you upside down!
- Step into it big. Take a big step forward into your handstand to help stretch your body out before you put your hands on the floor.
- Stretch your arms out in front of you. Don’t just put your hands on the floor, really reach out to open your shoulders and help align your body as you go to push up.
- Kick off with your front foot, bringing your free foot up behind you as you do so. This will help you to get above your hands rather than stopping early and not getting vertical.
- Finally snap your pushing leg up to your back leg, catching your whole body at the vertical position. This is a handstand.
How To Start Learning Handstands
Start learning to handstand by practicing against a wall. Don’t start in the open until you are comfortable getting into the right position. When you can get into it easily off the wall, try it in an open space.
Once you are pushing off the ground, make sure you are using every part of your body to tighten up and stay stiff. Bending your legs will cause you to arch your back and leave you in a dodgy and potentially dangerous position.
A little tip for this is to push your hands into the ground push your shoulders high and point your toes. this will help you maintain the vertical position and help to keep you stable.
Staying stable in a handstand is very difficult, staying still is even harder!
When I first learned to handstand, I learned by walking as soon as I got up. Just moving your hands about will not only help build handstand strength, it will help you learn your balancing point. Ultimately you want to be stationary, but moving your hands about a little will help you build that stability quickly and effectively.
You may find when you first try handstands that you either struggle to get vertical, or you are over throwing it and flying straight round onto your back. Counter this by snapping your legs up and pushing with your whole body as you reach that vertical point.
This will transfer your oscillating momentum into a vertical motion, that transfer of movement between planes will help absorb that force and help stop you from landing on your arse.
Ready To Take It Further?
I have a much more in depth article on handstand training for beginners here: