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head in wall problem

Mila Lee

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Hi everyone

I am working on handstand and I have a problem when kicking up to the wall. I have failed in finding this specific issue in any forum so I am asking here. 


What happens is that each time I kick up, my head goes forward and presses into the wall, and then my feet go all the way up. I have tried moving away from the wall a little but my head still wants to find the wall for support and its like this unsormountable fear that if I kick up, even with the wall there to catch my legs, I will collapse onto my head. I cant seem to get the hang of the motion without my head or upper shoulders pressing into the wall. I end up kicking up only a little if Im far away from the wall, it feels like I wont be able to support the weight on my arms alone. 

I can press to headstand, both tripod & hands behind head locked. 

Is this a strength issue? Shoulders/lats/scapulae? Or just arms? I cant do full pull ups yet, but working on them, almost there, can do 10 cleans with 1 band...then again I know others who can do handstand but cannot pull up. 

Is it a core strength problem? Shoulder flexibility problem? Or is it purely a psychological fear thing? 

How can I get over this barrier and stop my head from shifting forward into the wall? 

One person (a coach, believe it or not) said it was because I was too tall, my legs way too long so my upper body cannot handle it. Im not that tall...Im 5'9/1.76, taller than average for a female maybe but Im not abnormally tall  ... 


Thanks in advance :) 



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Alessandro Mainente

HI Mila, welcome to GB. I think that your problem it is only one: bad habit.

Now you have the tendency to always search for the wall, nothing more than the wrong habit. this problem it is due to the wrong progression on building up the handstand, one of the most important parts it is the head position that usually needs to see your thumb with the peripheral vision but not more. this will lead to minimal neck extension. the actual habit probably it is a consequence of bad technique. For a beginner, the Handstand must be approached chest to wall (and not back to wall), not only the specific line work but also the beginning process of the free handstand.

My suggestion is stepping back and work from the beginning by using Handstand One course and build new good habits.

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Jason Pierce

Hi Mila,

I would agree 100% with Alessandro on this topic. Approaching this with HS1 and chest to the wall will train all your concerns with proper form. Your current technique with the back to the wall will not develop the necessary alignment. I see people in the gym all the time with the worst form kicking backwards to the wall, elbows flared, back hyper extended, feet loose etc.

If you are already comfortable in the tripod and forearm hold as stated, then you will find yourself moving through early parts of the program quickly. However, as mentioned stepping back would be your best bet in learning this skill with HS1.


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