Handstand Progressions—Train at Your Pace
Use handstand progressions to train your handstands successfully. In today’s high-speed world, popular fitness trends are constantly changing and evolving in search for the ultimate test of strength, coordination, and endurance. Keeping up with the latest trends can seem overwhelming, but we’re here to tell you that tackling fun new skills is easier than you think.
Handstands are one of those skills that reigns superior in the fitness world, overtaking our social media feeds and inspiring great feats from adults and athletes across the globe. Not only do handstands require a high degree of body control, conditioning, and physical strength, but they ask us to master those elements while inverting our bodies, upside-down. Throw in the balancing aspect and it becomes obvious why handstands have been king of the fitness world for so long.
Here are a few tips and tricks to help you can tackle this fitness beast!
Start with Handstand Holds
The first step in your handstand journey is learning to hold your handstand. Mastering your handstand hold can seem like a difficult and scary task, but it’s easy if you break it up into bite-sized progressions and steps. Perfecting your handstand will take time and practice, but here are a few pointers to help you get started.
Start on Your Head
Getting comfortable being upside-down is one of the biggest challenges of learning a handstand. It may be necessary to give your body – and your mind – time to adjust to your new, inverted practice. Headstands are a great way to get used to being upside-down while minimizing the risk of injury. They will help your body to adjust to the increased blood flow to your head while simultaneously helping your mind develop new spatial awareness of your body positions. This will help you learn to make small adjustments in order to keep yourself perfectly balanced.
Lean Against the Wall
When it comes to learning handstands, the wall is one of your greatest tools. Doing handstands against a wall is one of the best ways to learn to control your handstands. It will help you to strengthen your muscles (especially your upper traps) and prepare your joints to support the weight of your entire body. Spending time practicing your handstand against a wall will also help you learn to make small adjustments in your balance which will transfer over to your freestanding handstand. As you improve, start trying to gently push your body off of the wall for a few seconds at a time. This will help you learn to rely entirely on your own body for support. After spending plenty of time working your handstands against the wall, it will be time to move away and do them on your own.
Learn Handstand Walks
Once you are able to do a freestanding handstand, you are ready to get the ball rolling with more advanced handstand variations. Learning to walk on your hands is an exciting way to constantly keep yourself engaged in your handstand progress. Just as with any skill, mastering the handstand walk takes time and practice, but here are some variations to help you along the way.
Master your handstand one step at a time with the GB Handstand Courses!
One of the most important parts of learning to walk on your hands successfully is figuring out how to shift your weight from side to side while keeping your body stacked on top of your hands. Walking on your hands will also increase the amount of strain that you are putting on your shoulders, elbows and wrists so it is important to get them prepared. Going back to the wall for handstand wall-runs is a great way to get your joints ready for the increased stress.
As you first start out, begin by trying to pick up one hand and then the other in an even rhythm. Your hands should only come off the floor for a split second. As you improve, start lifting your hands higher off the ground until you are able to tap your shoulders. Remember to keep an even rhythm as you shift your weight back and forth. The more even you are able to keep the beat of your shoulder taps, the easier it will be to walk once you leave the wall.
Once you begin to feel more comfortable on your wall-runs, start aiming to touch the side of your leg on each tap. As you lift your hands higher and higher off the ground, you will be spending more time balancing on a single arm. Slowly increasing the amount of time that you spend on one arm will allow your muscles to learn to support your body while giving your joints time to adjust a little bit at a time.
Turn your Wall-Runs into Balanced Walks
Transitioning from wall-runs to walking on your hands takes time and practice, but starting against the wall will help you to be successful. Begin by shifting your weight back and forth in an even rhythm using the wall to support your body as little as possible. Just as with your handstand holds, nudge your body off of the wall gently while continuing to shift your weight back and forth. After a few rocks, return to the wall. As you become more comfortable, try to travel a little bit further from the wall with each step. Slowly increasing the distance that you travel away from the wall will help you build the strength you need to become a handstand pro.
These tricks are only a small part of the handstand process, but they will be a huge help to your training. Revisiting these variations frequently after you have mastered your handstand will help you to constantly improve your inverted positions.
Show it Off Your Handstand
Now that know how to hold a handstand and how to walk on your hands, it’s time to get creative and show off your skills! The world of handstands is full of possibilities to continuously push your limits and experiment with new variations. After mastering the basics, you will be ready to create your own handstand playground wherever you go. Showing off your handstand is a great way to refine your form and technique as well as help you to keep your muscles and joints in great shape.
Whether it’s a press to handstand, a one arm handstand, or a handstand hold in a new place, you’ll never run out of ideas for new and exciting challenges. Aside from the fun adventures and great vacation photos, handstands will help you to keep your body in tip-top physical shape. Our students come from all walks of life, and all start at different levels of fitness. We love turning everyday adults into athletes with our online courses. To prep your foundational strength and mobility to get your best line, check out the GymnasticBodies Handstand Series.