If you’re new to the world of handstands, you’ve probably come across various online tutorials and videos. Many claim to be “Beginner Handstand Tutorials,” but they often assume you’ve already mastered certain fundamentals. For instance, some tutorials jump straight into the wall-assisted handstand, which isn’t necessarily the starting point. Before attempting the handstand, itself, you need to build comfort being upside down, overcome the fear of falling, develop the necessary strength, and enhance your body awareness concerning your spine, pelvis, legs, and overall stability. These are the foundational prerequisites for embarking on your handstand journey.
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Everybody can learn to do a handstand; it might just take more time for some people
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Remember, the handstand isn’t where your journey begins; it’s about acquainting yourself with the wall, learning to headstand, and mastering the art of falling safely. In this comprehensive beginner’s guide to handstands, we’ll delve into these fundamental aspects, bringing you closer to achieving a handstand from scratch. Let’s get started!
Handstand Mastery: 3 Essential Steps for Beginners
Step 1: Mastering the Art of Falling from a Handstand – The Easy Way
The initial step in learning to handstand is becoming adept at falling. By repeatedly exposing yourself to falls, you’ll become more at ease with being upside down and less fearful of falling. Falling is a skill that should be honed. I recommend using the “Wheel Out” technique, derived from the cartwheel. Imagine it as the final phase of a cartwheel, where you keep one hand planted on the ground, lift the other, and turn your body while letting your foot fall to the ground.
To practice the Wheel Out, start from the ground and gradually move up the wall until you’re comfortable executing it from a full wall-assisted handstand.
Learning to fall safely from a handstand is pivotal to conquering the fear associated with it. To develop this skill progressively, you can start by entering a slight incline handstand position and gently kicking your leg forward to destabilize yourself. As you become more proficient, attempt to walk your hand forward one step while wheeling out, adding more control to your Wheel Out.
Using soft surfaces around you during wheel-out practice can be beneficial. However, avoid placing your hands directly on soft surfaces while working on a wall-assisted handstand to prevent wrist discomfort.
Falling is a fundamental aspect of learning the handstand. In the initial stages, limit your ascent up the wall and gradually progress.
Once you feel confident, try kicking up into a brief handstand and using the Wheel Out to descend safely. Balancing the handstand itself becomes the focus at a later stage, so ensure you’re comfortable with the Wheel Out beforehand.
Practicing cartwheels can complement your Wheel Out training. If you’d like a tutorial on cartwheels, please let us know by leaving a comment on this blog or our YouTube video. We value your feedback and will consider your request.
Step 2: Building Handstand Strength – Achieving the Required Fitness Level
To perform a handstand, you need the strength to support your body weight on your hands. To build this requisite strength, I recommend a straightforward drill that you can practice whenever you have the opportunity.
Begin in a push-up position, gradually walk your hands toward the wall, and your feet up the wall, then reverse the movement. This constitutes one repetition. The goal is to reach a full handstand position, but don’t rush; it may take several weeks or months to achieve this level of strength.
To perform this drill, initiate a push-up position, then progressively walk up the wall with your feet. Move your hands and feet in unison, ascending as far up the wall as you’re comfortable with. After reaching your limit, reverse the movement by walking your feet down the wall. This completes one repetition. Initially, taking a single step up and down may suffice, but always aim to challenge yourself by ascending further.
Repeat this exercise until your muscles fatigue, and you feel unable to continue. When fatigue sets in, walk your feet down the wall and take a break. Rest, stretch, then repeat for two to four sets. Training this drill two to three times a week should suffice to progressively build the strength required for a handstand.
Wall walks are the most straightforward and effective way to develop handstand strength. Gradually increase the distance you walk up the wall with each training session.
During each session, maximize your repetitions and aim to ascend as far up the wall as possible. This drill not only enhances your strength but also boosts your awareness while in the upside-down position.
Before moving on to the third step of mastering the handstand, consider your commitment to this endeavor. If you’re dedicated to achieving a handstand and are ready to put in the work, our app offers fully designed programs, suitable for beginners to experts. These programs span five weeks, with each day’s workout planned for you, including specific exercises, sets, reps, video descriptions, and form cues, leaving no room for guesswork. If you’re serious about learning the handstand, trying one of these programs is a wise choice.
Step 3: Mastering the Headstand – Developing Body Awareness
The third crucial step in your handstand journey is developing body awareness. You can practice this while working on your handstand strength and falling skills, as outlined above. Developing body awareness means becoming adept at controlling your body while upside down. An excellent way to achieve this is by practicing the headstand.
Training the headstand plays a vital role in enhancing positional awareness, which will significantly benefit your handstand performance down the line.
Practicing the headstand will improve various aspects of your handstand, such as stabilizing your body while inverted, becoming more aware of your spine, understanding the placement of your hips, and learning to control your legs’ movements while upside down.
If you’ve never attempted a headstand, start by practicing near a wall. Create a stable triangular base between your hands and head. Begin with your head close to the wall, tuck your knees, and gradually bring them up to your chest until your feet start lifting off the ground. As you continue, aim to get your hips positioned over your head.
Avoid rushing the process of getting your legs up. Keep your movements deliberate and unhurried. When you can comfortably tuck your knees into your chest, allowing your toes to lift slightly off the ground, you’re ready for the next phase.
The initial step in performing a headstand involves a toe-assisted tuck headstand.
In the subsequent phase, after tucking your knees, lift your feet and tuck them toward your glutes. From here, attempt to extend your hips, creating a 90-degree angle between your body and thighs. Continue extending your hips so that your heels are nearly directly above your hips. Finally, fully extend your knees and hips to achieve a complete headstand.
These are the basic steps for mastering the headstand. Begin with step one and practice until you feel comfortable, which may take more than a day, possibly even weeks. Then progress to step two and so forth until you’ve mastered the headstand.
Practicing near a wall eliminates the fear of falling, allowing you to focus on perfecting your headstand. Consider placing a yoga mat or padding under your head to minimize discomfort from direct contact with the ground.
As your comfort with the headstand grows, experiment with different leg positions while in the headstand position. You can work on the straddle, tucked, or pike headstand, as well as the full headstand. Explore movements such as tuck-ups, transitioning in and out of the straddle position from a full headstand, and even attempting splits with your legs while upside down. Experiment with hip placement and observe its impact on your body alignment. Recording videos of your practice can be beneficial in connecting your sensations in various positions to their visual representation.
Tuck-ups are effective for training stability while upside down.
I recommend incorporating the headstand into your training routine, even if you already possess the strength for the handstand. The headstand allows for easier experimentation with different leg positions and body positioning, facilitating a smoother transfer of positional awareness to the handstand.
Once you’ve become comfortable with the headstand, you can explore different shapes and variations.
If you’ve found this guide helpful and would like more structured guidance, our app offers three comprehensive handstand programs, ranging from beginner to expert levels, each spanning five weeks. Each program includes complete workout sessions with specific exercises, sets, reps, video descriptions, and form cues, leaving no room for uncertainty. If you’re truly committed to mastering the handstand, beginning one of these programs is an excellent choice.
In summary, here’s a quick overview of the content covered in this beginner handstand tutorial:
Step 1: Mastering the Art of Falling
Falling from a handstand is a skill that should be practiced. The “Wheel Out” technique helps you safely exit a handstand. Gradually progress from lower heights to build confidence and reduce fear.
Step 2: Building Handstand Strength
To perform a handstand, you need to develop the required strength. Wall walks, where you gradually walk your hands and feet up the wall, are an effective way to build handstand-specific strength. Consistent practice is essential.
Step 3: Mastering the Headstand
Practicing the headstand enhances body awareness, benefiting your handstand skills. Start near a wall, gradually progress through different headstand stages, and experiment with leg positions to develop control and awareness.