The first few times you try to kick up into a simple handstand hold, it seems daunting, But every journey starts with simple steps. The following techniques and tweaks will have you bounding up those steps on your hands in no time.
Handstand hold: how to do it
1. Climbing the walls
Assume a press-up position with the soles of your feet touching a wall. Lift one leg as high as possible and press it firmly onto the wall while “walking” the opposite hand backwards. Repeat on the other side, gradually bringing your hands closer to the wall, until you have reached a full handstand position. Finish by carefully reversing the movement back downward.
2. Tap into core strength
Nailed it? Build your shoulders further: kick up into a handstand hold, facing away from the wall. Spread your legs to aid balance. Lean your weight on one arm, lifting the other and tapping the opposite shoulder. Place that hand back on the ground, shift your weight across and repeat with the other arm. Aim for 10-15 reps per set.
3. Up and down (and up again)
Pile weight plates, books or anything sturdy around 6in high. Place your hands at either side and kick up into your handstand. Bend at the elbows and slowly lower your head to the plates. Pause and press back up explosively. Once you can do 10 reps, lower the plates and retest. Continue until you reach the ground. Who needs a barbell anyway?
Handstand hold: what not to do
Identify these handstand faux pas to avoid any unnecessary tumbles.
1. The banana man
Places his hands too far away from the wall before he kicks up, leaving his back bending like bamboo before his feet hit the wall, potentially compromising his shoulder joints. Usher him closer to the wall, aiming for a straight line from the wrists to the ankles.
2. The head banger
Drops uncontrollably at terminal velocity from the top of every rep, directly onto his head. We shouldn’t have to explain the danger of this one... Tell him to slow it down, grip the floor and keep tension throughout the rep, lightly grazing the floor before pressing back up.
3. The legless wonder
Kicks up and ignores everything from the hips down (or up, in this case). Handstands may be a shoulder burner, but make no mistake – they’re a full-body endeavour. Tell him to squeeze his glutes and thighs and point his toes skyward. Poise and control ensure stability, and stability means more reps.
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