Health & Fitness

Mastering Handstand

Magazine Desk

1 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Mastering Handstand

It is absolutely a loving sight to behold someone holding his/her body up on his/her own two hands. The best thing about learning handstand is it will give you a moment to turn your perspective upside down and get a great rush of energy. Most of us as children had no fear of going upside down but as adults it can be frightening.

Once you have the tools and proper alignment and feel strong enough in your arms, shoulders, wrists and core, you will not be afraid to give handstand a try. For any handstand exercise, there is going to be a significant amount of stress on the hands, wrists and shoulders. So, it is important you stretch and warm things up. There are several ways we can prepare them for work, but a few rounds of jumping jacks or even just arm circles will get the blood moving and the area ready. For the first two weeks of your handstand journey, you will have to work with some balance drills and some positional drills. Nothing too crazy, and in fact, some of these might seem too easy. Dropping you on your head in the quest for a handstand is not a way to motivate anyone. If you have your heart set on getting upside down, here are some moves to practice. They will help you build strength and stability, so you will be standing on your hands in no time.

Push-up: Most of the people think that exercises like handstands are all about balance. But to hold your body straight upside down, you need major upper-body strength. So, push-up is the best exercise as it will make your arms, shoulders, upper back and core strong. Basic push-ups work great, but you can strengthen other areas of your body by throwing some push-up variations into your weekly routine as well.

Crow stands: Another important step for handstand is crow pose. It is like a little mini-handstand and a great way to get your hands and wrists used to holding up your body weight. This is a great next step since it requires upper-body strength, balance, and core strength.

Headstand and forearm stand: Since the handstand is a pretty advanced inversion, it is good to work on the most stable inversion first, headstand. Try headstand to build your strength and balance. After mastering a headstand, a forearm stand is the next hardest inversion, but not as hard as the handstand. Since you are resting on your forearms, there is more surface area to balance on. Do this move in front of a wall at first to prevent falling, and then move to the middle of the room.


Handstand facing and against the wall: These are great exercises for taking preparation for handstand. For handstand facing the wall, start in an L-stand with the hips over the shoulders and the legs parallel to the floor. Walk your hands in toward the wall until you are in the handstand position with your toes pressing against the wall. In the next step, place you hands six or so inches away from the edge of a wall. Kick your feet up, press the top of your head against the wall, and move your legs away. This will get your body in the correct alignment with your hips and shoulders stacked. Hold this position for as long as you can. When you are ready, start pulling your head away from the wall, balancing in a full handstand.

Handstand split: Although the goal of the handstand in yoga is to be able to hold your body in one straight line, it is really difficult to find that balance at first. Doing a handstand with your legs in a split position is much easier. Do it in front of a wall with your toes leaning for support, and eventually move away when you master the balance.

Handstand: After mastering handstand against the wall, you are ready to move to an open area to work on balancing without any help. Kick up with control into handstand split, and slowly scissor your legs together. Concentrate on holding your gaze at one point on the floor below you, keeping the hips stacked over the shoulders, fingers spread wide. Hold on for as long as you can.