The 1 min handstand
Updated: Sep 26, 2019
Many people seem to have this specific time frame as a goal in their handstand journey. And they should!
Holding a handstand for this long is a clear proof of proficiency over the handstand basics. It means that you’re strong enough to hold your bodyweight, to correct and control your “constant falling state”, to have the mental state to look between your hands and being focused… all of it for a whole minute!
But precisely because all of that is necessary, depending on your current level you will need to approach the endurance work in different ways.
If you are starting your handstand journey, with almost complete certainty you are not strong enough in the muscles that hold your body up-side-down, your nervous system and shoulder, forearm and hands muscles are not able to do the corrections needed to keep you there, and probably your mental focus is not sharp yet.
At this level, I’d recommend choosing exercises to develop the very specific type of strength needed for handstands, exercises to wake up the mechanisms to create balance in the upper body… and I’m not even going to go into alignment, mobility, and awareness for the sake of staying in the topic. If you’re at this point, endurance should not be your focus.
But it should be implemented once a base in all of the above is achieved, first against the wall and later on freestanding. Why is that? Because if you’re not able to hold your body for long against the wall without balancing it, much less you’re going to be able to hold it freestanding.
Nevertheless, whether you’re using the wall or not the approach I recommend is to start including some long-ish holds at the end of your warm-up, and finishing the session with some almost-max holds. That is If your PR is 50-ish sec. Start the training with some 20/30 sec holds, and then do some 40/45 sec holds at the end of your training.
Saving up that energy at the beginning will allow you to have a training. And saving up that energy at the end will allow you to be able to train the next day.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Any other handstand thing you'd like to read about? Just write it down in the comments!