• Andres

Hands placement for handstands

Updated: Sep 26, 2019

If there is one certainty regarding handstands, is that we will be required to use our hands as the base of support for our body.

But even though we can all agree on that, we can very much disagree with how the hands should be placed on the ground. Should they be in a wider or narrower stance? Should the fingers be pointing outwards or maybe should they be pointing forwards?

The honest truth is that there is no one answer. It depends on what you want to achieve with your handstands, on the peculiarities of your body, and also on your preferences.

Nevertheless, it is possible to describe certain advantages and disadvantages that come from some of these differences, that will provide some clarity over which hand placement to use in different circumstances.

The angle with which the hands are placed, that translates into where the fingers are pointing to, can have a strong connection with wrist stress depending on your wrist extension mobility. In this way, pointing the fingers outwards demands less stress in comparison with having them looking forward. On the flip side, having them pointing towards the sides will prevent us from taking advantage of all the push that they can provide in holding our balance (similar as standing with the feet looking outwards).

In terms of the distance in between the hands, having a shoulder-width or narrower stand will demand a developed shoulder mobility. Most of the people can’t naturally elevate their arms completely overhead without compensating with their spine, so having a wider stand allows the shoulder joint to gain some overhead degrees, but not only it can compromise certain aspects of the shoulder engagement and alignment but also decrease drastically the efficiency of the handstands (similar as holding a tray overhead with the hand on top of the shoulders or more to the side).

Much more things can be considered in this regard, but with these few queues, you can probably already select better which hand placement to use depending on your body and your specific handstand practice.

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


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