Learning how to handstand

Since July 2018 I started to learn how to handstand. I integrated this practice in my morning routine. It’s very pleasant to see regular progress and it helps me to relax, understand my body as well as the relationship between mind and body. After a handstand session I usually feel more anchored in the ground, relaxed, energised and very sweaty. Which is a good transition to the cold shower.

I never really trained handstand before, although I remember that I could vaguely walk on my hands when I was a teenager. But it’s much harder to stick to one position without moving the hands. I feel I’m making fast progress because I have a strong upper-body thanks to rock-climbing. Still, handstand is not only about strength. Last time I was training outdoor in a park and a little girl joined me to display her skills. It was great to see how well she could control her body and keep the balance without using that much strength.

So far I’m mainly following those two Youtube tutorials:

The main idea of the first video is to start directly by training the handstand, using a wall. It was very helpful and after about a week I was able to start getting by feet out of the wall. Being able to reach a handstand position without a wall took a little bit longer, but starting with a wall definitely helps to understand what muscles are involved and how to be straight using core muscles. I also used this video to build a specific warming routine for handstand (also based on other tips from a rock-climbing Youtuber and friends from the bouldering gym in Stockholm).

The second video is focused on building strength to be able to stand, starting from a frog position. I’m following the 16 steps featured in the video. I started at step 5 and I’m currently somewhere between 8 and 9. Tuck stand is really demanding when it came to strength, but I realised recently that keeping the arms as straight as possible does help. My next objective is to be able to start from a sit position (with legs extended straight forward) to a handstand, with as much control as possible.

  1. 10 push ups
  2. Inov push ups
  3. 90° hold push up
  4. Advanced 90° hold push up (with leg lift)
  5. Frog stand
  6. Frog stand with head
  7. Headstand kick up
  8. Tuck stand <- I'm here!
  9. Frog stand to tuck stand
  10. Hip raise
  11. Find balance drill
  12. Raise up
  13. Cartwheel holds
  14. Moving legs (balance)
  15. Frog stand to raise up
  16. False drops

A list of things I felt and realise since the start, in chronological order:

  • Progress can often been seen on a daily basis
  • The ability to feel the pressure on different parts of my hands (forward, backward)
  • I started to understand that I could use my core muscles to keep my body straight.
  • I don’t need to use as much strength when I manage to stretch my arms and whole body. When my whole body is aligned, everything stays in place nice and steady.
  • Breathing, focusing on the current moment and forget everything around helps to keep the balance. I usually fall when my concentration breaks up.
  • After breaking the 20/30 seconds mark, I started to get more success in getting into position, and I know feel like I can start moving my feet and legs in various positions while keeping the balance.

Here is a video I made to try and understand how to stay straight and get my hips aligned over my head:

And here is my first time breaking the 30 second mark:

Let’s see what news things I can do in the coming weeks!

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