• Andres

Creating balance for handstands

Updated: Sep 26, 2019

In previous blog posts, strength/endurance, mobility, balance, and body awareness/engagement were introduced as the four physical capabilities that play the biggest role in Handstands.

While it’s impossible to isolate each of them completely during our practice, in order to understand them and to train them efficiently they will be broken down and explained individually.

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Balance

Or static balance in the context of handstands, it can be defined as the capacity of the body to maintain its center of mass over a fixed base of support. In simpler words, it’s how the body maintains itself standing.

We don’t think too much about it, but while standing in our feet our body is constantly “fighting” to keep our center of mass in control. It feels completely effortless to us because we’ve been “training” that capacity for decades, with the plus that our body has a pretty damn efficient design to stand on the feet.

If you pay close attention to how the feet behave while standing you will notice that if the weight of the body moves towards the front of the feet, the toes get active and push against the floor to hold or bring back the weight to the middle point of the feet. This is how balance works. It’s a constant push and release, swinging back and forth the center of mass of the body to keep it under control.

Now just swap the feet for the hands. And you are probably starting to guess what is the secret element that plays a fundamental role in keeping the balance in handstands: The fingers!

Balance doesn’t magically happen, it needs to be created. And it’s the constant push and release of the fingers that make it happen.

It is true that alignment and body engagement plays a role in our capacity to keep balance, but only because they facilitate the capacity of the fingers and wrists to keep the center of mass under control.

So don’t waste your time endlessly jumping and hoping for the best. Work instead on those fingers pushes!!!

Let me know down in the comments your thoughts on this topic!

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