The Better Handstand Checklist
There's a lot to think about when you are learning to handstand, so having a handstand checklist will help.
Nailing your first handstand provides a rush like no other – and rightfully so! Balancing successfully on your hands is the culmination of tons of hard work and practice, so congratulations on starting the journey!
Even if you are just beginning to play with inversions, keep these points in mind while you are practicing. You may not be able to remember every detail – every time – until you get really comfortable in your handstand, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a shot in the meantime! Whether you use this list as a loose guide while you begin, or as a thorough checklist for refining your form, you’re sure to see improved balance and strength in your handstands!
Are my hands shoulder width apart?
Keeping the hands directly under the shoulders ensures proper stacked body alignment and improves balance.
Are my elbows straight?
Handstand can be a restful position and using the proper muscles makes it much easier! Don’t attempt to power your way through it. Getting your elbows straight allows for better balance and a more comfortable handstand.
Are my shoulders stacked over my hands and covering my ears?
Elevation is key to engaging traps, one of the largest back muscles, and creating a strong handstand. To make sure you are achieving this position, shrug your shoulders so they are right over your ears.
This is just one of the many exercises that you'll encounter on your journey to a killer handstand!
Are my hips stacked over my shoulders?
Imagine the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Is it standing? Yes. Is it structurally sound? No. Same goes for your body line. The more stacked your hips and shoulders are, the stronger your handstand will be.
Did I remove the arch from my back?
A common mistake in handstands is arching the back and this happens often when trying to find our line. Make sure to remove the arch by tightening the core, making for a sturdier line!
Lastly, do I need to tighten any part of my body?
Handstands are a group effort, as in, every muscle group should be putting forth the effort. Make sure to engage your glutes, tighten your legs, straighten your knees and point your toes!
Finally getting your handstand on point means endless possibilities for new movements (and it’s a great party trick)! Since there are so many small details that go into building the perfect handstand, it can seem overwhelming at first, but before long all those nuances will come naturally to you.
Next time you find yourself upside down, use this checklist to ensure your hand balancing continues to flourish. If you are ready for more instruction, try a GymnasticBodies Handstand Course to refine your form and keep the new skills coming!