6 Tips for Achieving a Better Handstand

handstand

Handstands are one of those elusive skills that most people dream of being able to do but which very few are actually able to hold. Handstands take a lot of dedication and training to master, but there are also a few key tips that anyone can take heed of to easily improve their chance of pulling off the trick. As a hand balancer, I have had many years of experience in standing on my hands, so I thought I would reveal a few tricks of the trade to assist the struggling hand stander.

Whether you want to show off to your friends, beat your mates in those not-so-friendly handstand competitions or make your Instagram posts more interesting, here are five tips to make nailing your handstand that little bit easier.

1. Use Your Fingers

Most people are unaware of this simple but incredibly helpful tip. It may sound logical but you really need to use your fingers in a handstand. No I don’t just mean simply put weight on them, because you obviously don’t have a choice in the matter – I mean use them to maintain balance. Bend your fingers in your handstand so that knuckles are pointing up. This allows you to distribute the weight out along your whole hand rather than jus on the palm and balancing on the balls of your fingers increases your chances of staying up for longer.

2. Push Up Your Shoulders So That They’re Touching Your Ears

I always tell the gymnasts that I coach that in a handstand you should try and get your feet to touch the roof. The point of this is to make yourself as long as you can, which you can do by ensuring that your shoulders are making contact with your ears. Pushing up in your shoulders enhances balance and give your handstand a much better, tighter shape. In line with this, you also need to ensure that your chest is pushed in not sticking out. To guarantee this, make sure your arms are straight and you’re squeezing your core.

3. Look at Your Fingers

Many people think the head should be in a neutral position looking out. However, your head should be pointed down and you should always look at your fingers when in a handstand!

4. Squeeze Your Bum

Squeezing your gluteus maximus is one of the most important things for a solid handstand. This ensures your legs aren’t piking (concaving) and guarantees your hips are open so that your whole body is nice and straight. You always need to be consciously squeezing your bum as hard as you can for the entire duration of any handstand.

5. Practice With Your Stomach Against the Wall

Practicing handstands against the wall is the easiest way to build the specific muscles required for a freestanding handstand. The best way to practice is with your stomach facing the wall as this encourages better shape. You should place your hands as close to the wall as you can and walk your feet up the wall. Try and hold it without touching the wall and then just tap your feet against the wall as you need.

tuck handstand6. Practice with Bent Legs

It makes sense that the lower your feet are and the tighter your body is, the lower your centre of gravity and the easier it is to stand on your hands. Work your way up to holding a full handstand by starting crouched on the ground and kicking up to a tuck handstand. Hold it with your knees close to your chest and make sure your shoulders are in line with your hands. Most people tend to let their shoulders drop forward and their head stick out. Make sure your shoulders are on your ears and your whole body from your hands to your shoulders, your back, bum and eventually legs are in the one straight line. As you become more comfortable with holding this, then start to go from a tuck handstand, opening it up into a full handstand and tucking back down. Be sure to open your legs up vertically not on an angle.


 

 

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