Ever since I was a child I loved doing handstands, and at the age of 30 not much has changed! It’s just a fun movement that literally turns your world upside down and is impossible not to smile while doing!
Handstands might be fun, but they are a challenging skill because they test one’s strength and stability! They are commonly seen as a foundational skill in gymnastics, dance and yoga but shouldn’t be restricted to those individuals, as there are tons health benefits to practicing a handstand!
- Increased upper body strength: When holding a handstand, your weight is being held up by your shoulders and arms.
- Increased core strength: To remain static in a handstand, you must squeeze your abs and trunk, any break in midline stability and you will fall over.
- Increased body awareness/ balance: When upside down you are only on your arms and to remain in the position you must stay balanced over your shoulders by keeping all the muscles in your body tight – if something gets loose and the body doesn’t get tight quickly you will fall over.
- Increased circulation and blood flow: When doing a handstand, your head is below your heart which increases blood flow throughout the body, especially to you head. Increased blood flow to the head will make you feel calmer, happier and reduce stress.
If you haven’t done a handstand in a while or have never done one before, below is a guide to assist you in perfecting or performing your first handstand. You can startwith a headstand and progress towards a freestanding handstand! Not sure of your skill level? Start at the beginning and if you are successful proceed to the next step! When you find a progression that is challenging, continue to practice that movement for a while before progressing to the next step!
Steps to Performing a Headstand
- Form Triangle with head and hands:
- Hands in front of head
- Middle of head on a soft mat
- Push through hands to take weight off head
- Walk feet towards hands and bottom to the sky
- Place knees on elbows one at a time
- Lift one leg up off knee one at a time and straighten into the air, then touch both feet together
- To get down tuck knees into chest and slowly land on feet
Steps to Performing a Handstand
1. Start in a lunge
2. Slowly reach for the ground
3. Kick your back leg
4. Bring feet together
5. To get down, split your feet
6. Land in a Lunge
Handstand Performance Tips
Now if you are new to a handstand, seek out a spotter, err on the side of caution and start small! Safety first, awesome second!