If you’re anything like me, you’re obsessed with mastering your handstand and eventually your handstand push-up and walk. But getting there is no easy feat! Here’s a few tips I’ve discovered and are working on myself.
First, make sure you strengthen your wrists and ingrain the “hollow body” position. Here is an excellent Handstand Tutorial on YouTube to help you do so. Once you’ve done these two steps, you can continue on with the handstand conditioning.
Handstand Facing The Wall. Begin in a ‘downward dog’ position with your heels against the wall and your palms flat on the floor. Slowly walk your feet up the wall, walking your hands in as you move up, reaching the plank position. Try to get as close to the wall as possible, then reverse the movement and walk your hands out from the wall, and your feet back down to the ground. Repeat this drill of walking yourself up and down the wall, from plank to handstand and back. Practice these every day. When you’re comfortable, start holding your handstand before walking down. Try and hold it a little longer each day.
The L-Stand. Begin in a ‘downward dog’ position with your heels against the wall and your palms flat on the floor. Keep your hands planted and walk your feet up the wall until your legs are parallel with the ground. Hold this position or practice picking one leg off the wall at a time and extending it upward. Two key points for the L-Stand are focus on getting a 90 degree angle and push down so your shoulders don’t collapse. Again, work on holding this pose a little longer every day.
Handstand Facing Away From The Wall. Now that you’re ready to do a handstand facing away from the wall, you need to get comfortable with ‘popping up’ into it. I like to start in the runner’s starting position and swing that outstretched leg in and on the way out, continue with the momentum up into my handstand. Eventually you will not need the swing. Try not to smack your back, butt or feet against the wall. This will come with practice. Make sure to keep your arms locked. Again, work on holding your handstand before slowly exiting out of it. When you can hold it for roughly a minute, it’s time to start pulling your feet away from the wall.
Freestanding Handstand. After all your work, you’re finally ready for the freestanding handstand. The most difficult part of this handstand might be the psychological part of it. But don’t let that stop you! Start with your hands on the floor, tuck up with control, push away from the ground, hold your hollow body position and then exit. Remember, if it doesn’t go as smoothly as you had hoped for, you can turn out (as if ending a cartwheel) or roll out of it if you have to.
Frog Stand (Crow Pose). Place your palms flat on the floor and tuck your knees into your armpits. Your thighs should be pressed against your torso, and your shins resting against the back of your arms. Slowly begin to “tip” yourself forward, lifting your feet off the ground and easing your weight onto your hands. Try to reach a stable frog stand. Hold the position. You should start with a few seconds or so and build up to a minute.
Handstand Tucks. Stand and place your palms flat on the floor, about a foot in front of your toes. Bend your knees and push off the ground, bringing your hips up and your knees in a “tuck” position. Practice these small tuck-up hops, attempt to hold the top of the tuck and balance.
Elbow Stand. Begin in an elbow plank, then walk your feet inwards, letting your hips rise up, keeping your legs straight, and letting your weight shift forward. When you can’t walk your feet in any further, lift one leg upwards, and then the other. Practice getting both of your legs up off the ground, and holding elbow stand without wobbling.
For Core & Shoulder Strength
Wall Slides. Facing the wall in your handstand position, slide your knees down the wall to your chest. Go back up and repeat. To make it a little more challenging, lean forward as your knees are coming down and send your shoulders back as they go back up.
Leans. In the handstand position, slowly lean your body to one side and then the other. You can keep your legs together or with your legs in the straddle position. You can use the wall when starting out.
Endo Press Roll. Laying on the floor in a hollow body position, straddle your legs. Then tuck your hips and roll your body up so that your feet are next to your hands and roll back down.
Stinkbugs. First grab a high box or use the arm of your couch or chair. Place your hands on the floor, then put your knees (or toes for more challenge) up on the box or chair and move your hands back until your torso is as vertical as possible. Now bring your head down to the floor using arm strength and drive it back up the same way.
Glutes & Core stay TIGHT!
Toes pointed, keeping the legs activated
Elbows locked out
Eyes fixed on ground, in-between hands
Push the ground and stretch your toes way up to the sky
Open your shoulders by bringing them over your wrists
Hollow out – rib cage in as if someone is trying to punch you in the belly