Monday, 6 January 2014

The crow stand

The crow stand (a.k.a. the frog stand) is a classic pose found in yoga. It is usually performed to develop hand balancing skills, and -in gymnastics- and as a building block towards the unsupported handstand and the planche. As well as developing your hand balancing skills, the crow stand will work your core stabilising muscles.

pike push ups and plank.

1. The set up: beginners often find it reassuring to place a pillow directly in front of their face, as the risk of face planting is very real at first.
From a crouching position, place the inside of your knees on your upper arms (the soft part on the inner thigh should be resting on -or just above- your elbows.
2. Rocking: lean forward and shift your weight directly over your forearms until you find a point of balance, then let gravity bring you back down.
 3. Rocking on one leg: lift one leg off the floor, then shift your weight forward until you find the point of balance where your other foot will start to lift off the floor. Then allow yourself to come back down.
4. Once you have gained in confidence, lift both legs off the floor, and bring your center of gravity directly above your forearms.
In this position, you can hand balance by pressing hard into the floor with your fingers or bending your arms slightly to 'fall forward'.
Start with a few seconds. Rest for what remains of a minute, then repeat 5 times. Build up to 5 holds of 15s, with rests of 45s.

5. You should now have the confidence to do the exercise without the cushion.
6. Advanced crow stand: place your knees on your elbows. This increases the difficulty of the exercise by shifting your centre of gravity upwards. In this position, your arms will be much straighter, and you will find yourself higher off the floor.
Again, build up to 5 sets of 15s, with 45s rest.
Once you've achieved that, you can start working towards holds of one minute. Aim for one minute work in total, so for instance, do 3 sets of 20s with 40s rest; or 2 sets of 30s with 30s rest. Keep building this up until your can hold the position for a full minute.

A note on wrist flexibility: if you struggle with the wrist flexibility required to perform the crow stand, try to perform the pictured stretch regularly. Hold 12 seconds for flexibility maintenance, and 20/30 seconds for development. Perform 3 times in succession, at least once a day.


  1. Quite a usefull post! Thank you! Hope you can post re more posiciĆ³n/exercises and how to progress to achieve new goals. BTW, very good program the one you propose in the site, I've been doing it for three weeks now and keep improving!

  2. Now that I am able to do the crow stand, how to implement it into your workout regime?

    1. Try posting your questions through the new reddit group:
      The crow stand will become part of your skill work, and it's the first step in learning a freestanding handstand. You can either do skill work as part of your warm up, or on your off days.