A solid freestanding handstand is by no means an easy feat however, and it will require many hours of practice before you can hold the position for any length of time.
This progression will suggests some steps towards building a strong handstand.
There are many different methodologies to train this skill however, and this is only one of many.
Prerequisites: Wall handstand push ups
First of all, let me start with an apology: I have very poor lats and shoulder flexibility, and this prevents me from demonstarting the technique with optimal form...
If you look at the picture above, you can see that my back is arched. This was once considered proper form in gymnastics and hand balancing, as it was thought to be more graceful than a straight handstand.
|photo courtesy of www.ehm.cz|
My lack of form is in part due -as I mentioned- to terrible shoulder flexibility, but also because (like many newcomers to the handstand), I learnt this skill by practicing with my back against a wall, which encourages some curvature of the spine when holding the position.
This is a habit which, once acquired, is very difficult to correct, and my aim in this article is to help you avoid this pitfall.
Before we proceed with handstands proper, let's have a look at a few exercises which will help with good practice.
You should be able to hold the position for 1 min before you start working on your handstands. See here for the crow stand progression.
You should be able to hold this position for 1 min before you start working on your handstands.
Start with your head on the ground and your legs in a straddle, lift your legs up whilst keeping them apart, then bring them together once you reach vertical. Then reverse the motion to lower your legs under control.
Handstand against a wall. Starting on the ground with your feet towards the wall, walk your feet up the wall, as well as your hands towards the wall. Try to come as close as possible to the wall, and aim to adopt the 'hollow body' position.
Shrug your shoulders so your head would be as far as possible from the ground, and point your toes up.
Try to generate as much tension as possible by engaging your core and straightening your body.
Build up to one minute in this position before proceeding to the next step.
Build up to one minute in this position.
If things go wrong and you cannot find a point of balance at first, simply roll forward, or pirouette out.
Aim to do 5 min of handstand work consistently every day: the key to this skill is to practice regularly until the balance becomes natural.
You will encounter frustrations, but they are all part of the process... Enjoy your journey!