• Andres

So… What are handstands? How do they work?

Updated: Sep 26, 2019

Most of the “normal people” don’t have a clear image of what is “to do handstands”, which makes them very confused when they find someone that not only practice exclusively handstands, but that also does it for hours and hours every week.

So… What are handstands? How do they work?

In order to answer this question in a way that makes sense, it is first necessary to understand the skill itself so it makes sense what is needed to practice in order to improve in it.

At its core, handstanding is just standing on our hands in a controlled manner. In a more technical way, we can say that is maintaining our center of mass over our base of support in an inverted position.

And how does this happen? Well, the principle is very simple: In order to keep our center of mass over our base of support (hands), our body needs to constantly push against gravity, while simultaneously counterbalance the weight distribution of all the body parts. Ideally in this process, the body would place the center of mass as close as possible to an imaginary line that raises perpendicularly to the ground, originating from the center of the base of support delineated by our hands.

… and what the hell does this all mean? It means that we need to constantly push against the floor to hold our weight, while at the same time controlling where our body is located. So if we place some weight over to the right side of our hands, we’ll need to react placing some weight over to the left side, and the same forward and backward, and in every possible opposite set of directions, having the hands as a reference for the “center”.

In doing so, the following physical capabilities play an important role: Balance, strength and endurance, mobility, and body awareness and engagement.

How to approach these physical capabilities will be next week's theme, providing some insight into the handstand training.

Don’t hesitate in leaving your thoughts on the comments below!


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