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  • Handstands!

    It was a really nice day out today. For the first time since last fall, I was able to just go out and play in the yard for a while, and it was awesome.

    One of my goals is to be able to hold handstands indefinitely, and eventually do handstand pushups. I've been slacking off on practicing this, mostly because it's hard to find a place inside my house where an awkward fall wouldn't break something or result in an injury. I didn't have this problem out in the grass.

    I'll admit that most of my handstand attempts resulted in not enough or too much kick-up. But maybe 1 out of 10 times or so I'd hit it just right, and end up holding the handstand for several seconds of upside-down bliss. My back yard looks really cool upside-down. And I was pleased that all my upper-body work seems to have paid off; I didn't get fatigued at all, and only seemed limited by my lack of practice at balancing.

    It was a lot of fun, and a decent workout to boot. My heart was pumping pretty fast after a while (though partially from sheer exhilaration -- hey, I'm easily entertained!), and my shoulders are feeling just slightly sore later in the day.

    I just wanted to share my fun experience, and encourage anyone else who has been thinking about doing handstands to get out there and give it a try. Enjoy!

  • #2
    Find yourself a yoga teacher! Handstand is my pose of the year this year. My goal is to be able to float up to it in the middle of a room and float back down. Keep me posted!
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    • #3
      Check this link out, it's about training to press into a handstand. I can't vouch for how complete it is as I'm still working on it myself, but the progression seems pretty solid. You could probably do it without parallettes too, it would just be more challenging.


      • #4
        I'm on handstands, as well! Lots of fun and reminds me of gymnastics when I was 9...
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        • #5
          Congrats, Big L - keep practicing and enjoy the ride!

          For anyone who may have missed it, I posted a tutorial on freestanding handstands a while back.
          "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by The Big L View Post
            My back yard looks really cool upside-down.
            Try it on acid... DOH!

            Hey I take enjoyment from your joy. I am also loving to be back into hand stands. I did them alot in my MA days..25 years ago. The big thing then was to stay up more than the Master...which was almost impossible. Anyway... try this little addition when you get to stay up.

            Once you are firm, left each hand one at a time into a fist, then once on fists return back to palms. A bout a 3-5 second deal. My MA instructor would do this 10-20 times just to piss us off... until one day I did it with him!
            I will get back there.. but need to firm up the basics first.

            Have fun!
            Living the dream, inside a myth


            • #7
              Best advice to handstands - do it. 10 minutes of practice a day can do a lot!

              I'm somewhat capable of a press to handstand, but it's rare that I stay in the handstand... Also, it's with bent arms - not straight as they should technically be in gymnastics. But then again, I'm not a gymnast :P


              • #8
                i like to press into it from the straddle. i have head stands down no problem, but hand stands have been illusive due to fear. so, yeah.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Littlesigh View Post
                  Try it on acid... DOH!
                  This is going on my list of things to do before I die.

                  ETA: I'll have to write myself reminders all around the house. Psychedelics are...distracting to say the least.


                  • #10
                    My goal this year is to get a handstand down pat. Right now I can't even hold one against the wall for very long--the strength just isn't there. Like Bissen said, practice!


                    • #11
                      Wow, cool...a lot of fellow handstanders here.

                      I had a chance to practice a bit more time this evening. A couple things I noticed:

                      - My Saturday handstand practice is definitely the reason my shoulders were sore during my SimpleFit workout today

                      - I'm getting a little soreness around my collar bones, which is new to me

                      - It feels unnatural to use my right leg as the kicking leg (the one that leaves the ground first). So naturally, I'm practicing it that way until it feels natural.

                      - If I bring the kicking leg straight up to a vertical position immediately (but not too fast), I find that it's much easier to find the sweet spot for balance -- regardless of what I'm doing with the other leg.

                      I'm trying to figure out how often I can practice handstands without injuring myself. It doesn't seem nearly as physically strenuous as, say, my usual pullup/pushup/squat routine. So maybe I can practice just about every day. On the other hand, maybe I should take it easy and slowly ramp up the frequency while my joints and bones are still getting used to the new forces.


                      • #12
                        whats so nice about handstands is that you can fit them in anywhere when no one is looking..... what a fun thing to get away with...
                        my favorite is definitely the handstand pushup- can't wait to do them freestanding!
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                        • #13
                          I practiced handstands a few more times in the last week. Yesterday I found that my balancing time was substantially improved from just a week ago. I rarely (if at all) over-kicked, and around half the time I hit the sweet spot that let me balance for several seconds before coming down.

                          Kicking up with the right leg first still feels awkward and unnatural. I hate that!

                          One thing that cut my session short yesterday was an ever-worsening pain in the upper hamstring/glute area. It happened every time I kicked up and came back down, with whichever leg I used for kicking up and landing. I first felt soreness in this area a day after doing an intense deep-squat workout last week, so I think it's actually squat-related and not so much due to the handstands.


                          • #14
                            I’ve been working at handstands for at least 8 months now and only have had very mild success. I feel like when I get a really good handstand hold (anything past 20 seconds) I’ll feel amazing. My personal best is 12 seconds and I haven’t come close to that again which is VERY FRUSTRATING.

                            I think my biggest problem is not getting my hips over my shoulders like everything I read says I should. I’ve been working on handstand holds with my stomach facing the wall. This was recommended at a few respectable places and it’s making a difference in building strength, but I’m not noticing a lot of improvement in “feeling” or catching the balance.

                            I have issues opening up my shoulders but this seems to be working. I’m also doing kick-up handstands against wall but with my hands really close to the wall and trying to put my lower back against the wall. Once you do this, you will feel a lot more weight on your hands (if you’re really shaky I would advice against doing this or put something soft underneath in case your arms give out) I’m doing this because I feel like it’s the only way for me to put my hips over my shoulders and I try to push upwards. I’m REALLY sore from doing this yesterday, so it’s got to be working in some way.

                            I always end my sessions by just kicking up a few times and hoping for a miracle … haha the handstand is a serious challenge of total body coordination. I’m talking about the straight handstand, the banana shape one is a little easier to achieve and hold. I’m not really after a banana handstand (some yoga poses really exaggerate the bend, but I assume they know what they’re doing, personally I don’t want that type of bend, doesn’t look safe but I could be very wrong) I’d rather have very little bend as I’ve seen many gymnasts do.
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                            • #15
                              I have been working on the handstand for the past year or so. I have been actively doing HSPUs against the wall and almost every night I will pop up into a handstand against the wall. It has definitely been getting easier and easier over time. Now that it is getting warmer outside I practice freestanding handstands when I am playing with my daughter. She is almost 4 and whenever I do a few she wants a chance to do them too. She also does hanging straight leg lifts and assisted pull ups. Nothing like getting them started early.
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