Getting Comfortable Going Upside-Down
If you are like many adults who are new to Gymnastic Strength Training, then there is a high likelihood that you have not been upside-down (either hanging or in a handstand) for quite some time, possibly verging on decades. If this is the case, then you need to pay extra special attention to getting comfortable going upside-down so that you can focus on training rather than just merely surviving. Here are some tips to help you gain comfort being upside-down.
When many athletes begin the GB Handstand Series, they are sometimes surprised to see that it begins with headstands. As Coach Christopher Sommer often says, "If you cannot balance with 3 points of contact with the ground, then how are you going to balance with only 2?" Your handstand journey will require you to spend a lot of time upside-down, and if this is not something that you are used to, then you need to start with headstands.
The GB Handstand Courses will help you grow comfortable upside down safely and effectively.
To begin learning how to do a headstand, be sure that you have a comfortable surface on which to balance so that you can minimize the amount of discomfort to your head and neck. Make a triangle on the floor with your head and two hands, and bend your elbows so that you create a stable "shelf" for your knees. Slowly begin to shift your weight from your feet onto your knees, and only progress as you feel totally comfortable being upside-down. Remember to breathe and relax your face as well!
Use the Wall
The wall is another simple and indispensable tool for learning to do a handstand and getting more comfortable being upside-down. Besides the obvious benefit that the wall holds you in an upright, vertical position, you can also use the wall to scale a handstand to whatever level of inversion you are ready for. Whether it is a lack of strength, mobility, balance, or proprioception (awareness of your body's location in space), the wall will allow you to gradually develop your abilities so that you can eventually hold a solid, aligned, freestanding handstand.
To begin using the wall for handstand practice, start in a plank position with your feet on the floor right next to the wall. Keeping your arms straight and core tight, walk your feet up the wall only as high as you are comfortable (this may only be 45 degrees or so when you are just starting out). At this stage in your handstand development, it is better to maintain a good body shape at a lower angle rather than getting closer to the wall but with sloppy form. Over time, as your strength and mobility improve, then you can step your way closer so that you are eventually holding a vertical handstand, with your wrists just inches from the wall.
If these tips inspire you to get upside-down and begin learning how to do a handstand, then be sure to check out the GB Handstand Series. In it, Coach Christopher Sommer has compiled dozens of exercises specifically designed to improve your strength, mobility, and balance so that you can work your way towards freestanding handstands and more. It is quite simply the most comprehensive online course for those seeking to improve the quality of their handstands.
- If you have not been upside-down for quite some time, then take it slow and gradually gain comfort being inverted before attempting to kick up or jump into a handstand.
- To start learning how to balance while upside-down, practice headstands and build the necessary strength and body awareness to be inverted.
- When you are ready, the wall is your best friend for getting better at handstands, as it allows you to gradually increase the angle towards being upside-down.
Enjoy the freedom, confidence, and many fitness benefits that come from turning upside down and working on your GymnasticBodies Handstand Training!