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Bryan Wheelock

Should my hands be completely flat in a handstand?

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Bryan Wheelock

Should my hand be completely flat in a handstand?


Currently, my hand tends to cup slightly so that my base index knuckle is not touching the ground.
Does this matter?

 

My fingers are parallel to each other.

Is finger alignment important to a HS as well?

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ADRIANO FLORES CANO

I'm not an expert, but I'll tell you that wrist and fingers are the key elements to re-balance on a HS, and the more you'll be flat on the ground, the more you'll stabilize; more support contact, more stability. The same for the fingers.

 

Your fingers have to be separated each other all that you can, to span more floor. And metacarpos may be off the ground a little bit when you flex your fingers, like gripping the floor, but not so much. 

 

I hope it helps.

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Redwan Haque

I'm no expert either, but I've always been told that the base knuckles of the fingers, in particular, should touch and press into the ground, with the insides of the elbows twisted inward and locked. When those knuckles leave the ground, I find my elbows naturally tend to face more forward, and bend in a bit, which messes up my alignment.

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yuri marmerstein

This one is personal preference.  Lots of people are successful  with different hand positions.  For me, I have to focus more and be a lot more precise on flat hands, so I can do it easily on two arms and on one arm if I really try, but if I am just trying to balance my fingers end up curling. 

I usually teach to keep the palm and fingertips on the ground, lifting up the second joint of the fingers to apply a little pressure to the floor.  I've seen lots of people who prefer flat hands. 

Chinese and russian contortionists curl their fingers an extreme amount, a couple russian handbalancers cup their hand with their fingers together, whatever works. 

 

The important thing is that you can balance with that hand position.

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Joshua Naterman

Very interesting! Daniel shared your tip about the second knuckle with me, and it definitely makes a noticeable difference for me. I like it, thanks! :)

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emos

I've been experimenting with this lately. I think ultimately what Yuri said is right - you can see various different styles.

I think I was wasting a lot of finger pressure, though, by allowing my finger tips to slide across the surface back towards my hands when curling my fingers. Does that make sense? Basically it just does nothing, and loses you leverage for the next correction. What I've been trying to do is get stable (still largely a matter of luck) and then flatten my hands out completely and try to use a "larger" kind of leverage for corrections and not drag my fingers back, instead just pressing the whole length of the fingers into the ground. This works well on soft surfaces where finger tips tend to sink in and are much less effective. If you've tried a handstand on a soft mat or on sand, you'll know what I mean. Even plyo flooring in a gym is so much harder to balance on than solid ground.

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u3er

My personal opinion here...

 

But I think the best hand position is actually a combination of the 2 elements that you mention: flat and bent.  I know, this sounds like an oxymoron...  But what I mean is that you should aim to first make the largest possible base (spread your fingers out as wide as you can) and then second to strongly 'grip' the floor (flex your fingers as though you were trying to rip out a big chunk from it).  Even while 'gripping' the floor your hand can be essentially flat.  The key point though is that it should be an ACTIVE position!  Most people make the mistake of having relaxed hands and so hugely lose out on being able to make effective corrections from the ground.

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yuri marmerstein

My personal opinion here...

 

But I think the best hand position is actually a combination of the 2 elements that you mention: flat and bent.  I know, this sounds like an oxymoron...  But what I mean is that you should aim to first make the largest possible base (spread your fingers out as wide as you can) and then second to strongly 'grip' the floor (flex your fingers as though you were trying to rip out a big chunk from it).  Even while 'gripping' the floor your hand can be essentially flat.  The key point though is that it should be an ACTIVE position!  Most people make the mistake of having relaxed hands and so hugely lose out on being able to make effective corrections from the ground.

 

Absolutely.  One of the main lessons to learn is that if you are not actively balancing in a handstand you are falling out of it. 

 

The amount of pressure you can apply with the fingertips is less with flat hands which is why I consider it a little but more difficult.  You have to make more corrections through the palm which takes more precision

 

One mistake many people tend to make is the tendency to curl the fingers in rather than pressing down.  This causes the fingertips to slide which will change the balance a little, especially on a slick surface.  When pressing with the fingertips the hand shouldn't really move. 

Also finger flexibility can be a determining factor to how you place your hands.  On the floor I balance completely different on my left hand than on my right due to a couple injuries I have sustained to my middle and ring finger on that hand. 

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