5 Tips On Improving Your Handstand
1) Engage your legs, glutes and core
Not squeezing your legs and thighs together is a common beginner’s mistake. When you’re upside down, make your body as rigid as possible. By squeezing your thighs together, you’ll create more tension through your trunk and core.
Combine this with pointing toes and squeezing your glutes and you’ll generate a tonne of tension.The more tension you create, the sturdier your handstand will be and the less effort you’ll put into maintaining balance.
2) Strengthen up your shoulders, wrists and core
Being upside down places a lot of stress on the shoulders and wrists so obviously if you have weak shoulders or wrists – trying to support your own bodyweight upside down can be quite a challenge. Not only shoulder strength but shoulder endurance (static shoulder strength) is a key factor in holding a nice solid handstand. Core is also a very important factor – if you don’t have the core strength to hold positions, for example hollow holds on the ground – then when you’re trying to hold the same position upside down it can be very challenging.
Exercises for shoulder strength/endurance: Shoulder press, handstand holds against the wall, over head holds/carries 30-45 sec
Exercises for wrist strength: Palm raises/wrist push ups (in push up position – no bending of the arms just pressing through the fingers and lifting the palms up)
Exercises for core: Hollow holds – aim for 30sec-1 min (Keep good form)
3) Hand/finger placement
Your fingers should be spread apart as if you were playing the piano. This creates a wider base and provides a little more stability. Think about your fingers like the toes on your feet.
During a handstand, the points of pressure on the hands will be similar to that of the foot. After all, we’re basically forcing your hands to act like your feet. The pressure should be placed on the tips of the fingers, underneath the first knuckles of the hands, and on the heel of the palms. The second knuckles should be raised and not touching the ground. We now have a wide base with sturdy points of contact.
4) Loosen up your lats/overhead position
Getting a nice strait line in your handstand is nearly impossible when your lats and over head mobility are limited.
Stretches for lats/shoulder: Butcher stretch on the bench, downward dogs, deadhang from the bar.
5) More practice!
Simple – just practice 5 minutes or more a day. It can be very frustrating at the start but stick to it and put the effort in and the results will follow! 🙂
Any questions feel free to ask me in the gym!
We are running a free Handstand Workshop with Mark for Perpetua members on 12th November at 12pm. Book in via zen.