How to train handstands
Updated: Sep 26, 2019
While the “jump and hope for the best” strategy might sound like a good idea to start learning handstands, it is definitely one of the worst ways to do it. By far.
But then… How should we train handstands?
Mobility, balance, strength/endurance, and body awareness/engagement are the physical capabilities that were introduced in the previous blog post as the most important in Handstands.
Imagine them as being the links of a chain. The strength or weakness of each individual link will affect the overall quality of the chain, being the weakest link of them the one that represents the total strength of the chain.
You might be the most mobile, body aware and strong individual ever, but without a sense of balance no handstand hold will ever happen.
Understanding how each of these physical capabilities work and connect, as well as our current level of development, will help to choose the exercises that should be filling our handstand practice.
Doing handstands is something unnatural to the body. Our physiology doesn’t have a good design for it. Which is the reason why a big part of the handstand training, especially at the beginning, revolves around doing exercises that prepare our bodies FOR the handstand without actually involving doing handstands.
Shoulder mobility, upper back engagement, wrist strength, scapula awareness and control, fingers recruitment and activation, the capacity of the body to hold our organs upside down, nervous system engagement and reaction, are just some of the many things that without prior training our bodies are completely not ready for in order to successfully hold a handstand for some seconds.
Choosing carefully exercises that approach these pillars in a more isolated way, will efficiently build up the weakest links. Only then a shift towards filling most of our practice time with actual handstands would make sense.
Stay tuned to dive into each of the physical capabilities in future blog posts, and leave a comment with your thoughts on this topic!