The benefits of learning how to do a handstand extend beyond becoming the Instagram envy of your friends and followers. There are very real, very tangible benefits of teaching yourself how to do a handstand that can measurably enhance your everyday life--and sure, maybe gain you a few likes along the way.
Why Do a Handstand
Muscles Used to Do a Handstand
Who Shouldn't Do a Handstand
How to Do a Handstand: Step-By-Step
Troubleshooting Common Handstand Mistakes
Before you can learn how to do a handstand, it's useful to know why you should do a handstand. This knowledge will keep you motivated through the inevitable (and literal) ups and downs of practice.
The benefits of handstands abound and include:
Handstands are a total-body move. Doing a handstand requires multiple muscle recruitment and incredible balance. The main muscles used to do a handstand are as follows:
Shoulders:anterior and medial deltoid
Back:serratus anterior, erector spinae, trapezius, latissimus dorsi
Chest:pectoralis major and minor
Core: quadratus lumborum (deep core muscle), transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis, and obliquus externus.
Arms: triceps brachii and coracobrachialis (slender muscle of the shoulder joint).
Lower Body:quadriceps muscles, inner thigh, hamstrings, glutes, calf, & foot--all must be tensed to maintain the handstand.
Handstands are not recommended for everyone. Put learning how to do a handstand on the backburner if you have any of these issues or conditions.
Do NOT do a handstand if you…
You know your body best. Check with your doctor if you think there are any other reasons you may not be suited for handstands.
Step 1: Warm-up first! Stretch your upper body, especially your shoulders & wrists before you do a handstand. Also, be sure to warm up your core and glutes.
Deadlift + Row
Pink Thing Back Fly
Pink Thing External Shoulder Rotation
Step 2:Wall walk. Walk our legs up the wall until you’re totally inverted. Hang out here for as long as you can comfortably. This position will help develop strength in the upper body muscles required to do a handstand and will help create body awareness while inverted.
Step 3: One Leg Balance. Take one leg off the wall & try to balance. Again, stay in step 3 as long as needed to be comfortable with the posture. You may move to step 4 right away, or you may spend a few days moving between steps 2 and 3.
Step 4:Liftoff! Progress to removing the other so you’re completely unsupported.
TENSION TIP: Be sure to keep your body tense in your handstand. This tension will help you maintain the position. Squeeze your glutes and point your toes to generate more tension.
Step 5:Dismount. To safely dismount, ‘pirouette’. Shift your weight to one arm. Drive the leg that’s on the same side as that planted arm into the wall, then lean the opposite leg forward. Gravity will tug you around, allowing you to safely bring your feet to the floor.
Step 6:Remove the Wall! Once you have got your bearings in the unsupported handstand and can move from step 1-5 with no issues, practice kicking up into a handstand without the wall support.
Learn how to do a handstand with BodyRock Trainer Irina!
Remember: learning how to do a handstand could take a month or more, depending on your current fitness level, so don’t be discouraged if you’re not nailing the position in the first few days.
Even if you’re a lifting powerhouse, if you don’t regularly do balancing and flexibility work, your first handstand could be hard won.
Practice for 5 minutes every day for the best results.
Top 5 Handstand Mistakes
FLAT HANDS!Just like it's harder to walk with flat feet, it's hard to do a handstand with flat hands. Try gripping the floor with your hands, so that you can do those micro-adjustments needed to maintain your balance.
TOO FAST, TOO SOON. We've said it once and we'll say it again: be patient. Don't skip the progressions between steps and make sure you thoroughly master each one before moving on.
DON'T WALK ONCE YOU'RE UP!The point of a handstand is to stand, not walk. If you need to walk your hands forward after kick up, then you have not mastered the handstand. (Walking is something you can do once you can handstand still.) If you're walking forward after kick up, then you're likely exerting too much force. Try again until you find the right amount. Once you do, that perfect force will become muscle memory.
Just like riding a bike.
DON'T ARCH YOUR BACK!Arching your back will not only throw off your balance, but it can put a lot of stress (and cause injury) in your low back.
YOU DON’T HAVE TENSION.Remember that tension is key to maintaining your handstand. While your fingers need to take over the role of your feet and be ready to adjust, the rest of your body needs to be taught and tense. Squeeze your butt, engage your core, point your toes.
Check out our #FitFam in action. Nausheen MK is a well-known handstand champ around ourBodyRock Insider Group on Facebook, and she shares her tips with us here. (You can join theInsider Group too. Stay motivated, stay inspired in this positive-vibes ONLY community!)
Ready to try a handstand? You got this! Be sure to tag us @bodyrockofficial in your Instagram posts!
Fast, Express Shipping.
Due to COVID-19, shipping systems the world over are experiencing abnormal delays. While health and wellness companies such as ours are Essential Services, there is simply an enormous demand on postal and delivery services as individuals and hospitals need more supplies than ever before. This is an unprecedented situation, and we are working around the clock to fulfill your orders as quickly as possible. To be clear, we are filling orders in 4-5 days, and we are shipping immediately after that. Once shipped, our shipping partner, UPS, will get your order out to you as quickly as possible. You will receive the tools you need to stay safe and strong at home through this difficult time. Thanks for your support and understanding.
We want you to start your fitness journey with us as quickly as possible, that’s why we send every package to the USA & Canada via expedited or standard shipping with our partners at UPS. Once your order is received and processed, it typically takes 2-4 days to get to you once it leaves our warehouse. That’s our commitment and we stand by it.
We ship within Canada and the United States via UPS with Standard & Expedited shipping (whichever is faster)
For locations outside of the US and Canada, we ship using FedEx International (EUROPE and Other Nations), which is usually in transit for 7-10 business days, depending on location.
We ship all of our physical products with UPS, from our warehouse location in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Delays caused due to custom withholds are not included in these estimated delivery times.
We offer a 30-day return policy, as long as: it is not more than 30 days past the date of delivery; and your item is in its original condition and packaging with the original order number. Refunds will be issued when the equipment is received back to the BodyRock warehouse, minus the original cost of shipping, and the customer is responsible for the costs of return shipping. To request a refund on physical product purchases, please contact us.
We cannot issue refunds on digital goods such as e-books or videos, as these are non-tangible goods that are irrevocable once the order is placed.
All of the BodyRock clothing is made to order and so is final sale. If you have any questions about sizing prior to placing your order, please contact us.