How To Perform Your First Handstand

Chris Nayna reveals the keys to nailing your first handstand

Handstands require strength, balance, coordination, and a lot of body awareness. Here are six drills to get you there:

WANT TO PULL off a show-stopping handstand? Right, who doesn’t. Not only is the handstand a head-turning move you can punch out on the beach or while waiting in bus queues, it’s also one that demonstrates upper body muscle strength and superior coordination. In that sense, despite the whimsical carefree nature of the move, it does require dedicated training. Use this six-step progression to work up to a move that allows you to turn the world on its head.

1. Hollow Body Rocks

Start by pointing your toes and reaching up high. Tuck your pelvis and rock back and forth, maintaining the dish shape. This drill helps develop core strength and whole-body tension.

2. Frog Stands

Spread your fingers, create tension in your hands, rest your knees on the back of your elbows, and lean forward. This drill improves balance, wrist strength, and steering.

3. Pike Push-Ups

From the downward dog position, lower your head to the ground and press back up. This drill builds shoulder, chest, and tricep strength.

4. Headstand

Place your elbows on the ground in a V-shape and create a basket with your hands to place your head into. Lift your legs and maintain balance. This drill strengthens your shoulders and helps you get comfortable with the inverted position. Remember to put pressure through your arms, not your head and neck.

5. Wall Walks

From a high plank position, walk up the wall until your wrists, shoulders, hips, and ankles are stacked. Wall walks increase upper body strength and control while familiarising you with the inverted position.

6. Kick-Ups

Start in a lunge, kick up, and aim to reach a vertical stacked position. This drill develops many attributes of the handstand and can be quite challenging. Kicking up into a wall is also a good starting point to avoid over kicking.

Handstands are a tricky yet really fun skill to practice. If you don’t get it the first time, keep practicing these drills and things will start falling into place. 


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