You might have seen people on social media do handstands or even one-arm handstands, or maybe your friends can do it, and you find it very impressive, and maybe you want to know how to do a handstand. Learning the handstand is not only a cool trick; you also get some insane shoulder strength from it. Learning the handstand will also have some mental benefits.
I have been doing calisthenics for a while now, and I have managed to learn the handstand and handstand push-ups, and I can promise you it is worth it. So, in this article, I will teach you how to learn the handstand in 5 simple steps.
Here is what I will be covering in this article:
- Step 1: Learn how to fall
- Step 2: Get used to being upside down
- Step 3: Build shoulder strength
- Step 4: Learn how to kick
- Step 5: Attempts
- Why and how you should warm up
- Benefits of learning the handstand
Step 1: Learn How to Fall
The first step is very important! Before you can start learning the handstand, you have to learn how to fall; otherwise, you are going to injure yourself, and you will not be able to exercise for weeks or even months.
The way you want to fall is by spinning into the fall; never block the fall by putting your hand forward. Here is a video on how the fall should look:
Step 2: Get Used to Being Upside Down
Before you can actually learn how to do a handstand, you need to get used to being upside down. And the way to do this is simply by being upside down.
You can do things like:
Handstand holds against the wall
These will make you feel like you are upside down so that you can get used to it, because when you actually do the handstand, you are going to be upside down a lot.
Step 3: Build Shoulder Strength
To do a handstand requires a lot of shoulder strength, and without it, you are really going to struggle. So, you have to build up shoulder strength in order to learn how to do a handstand, and that is what this step is for. I will show you a couple of great exercises you can do to build shoulder strength.
Exercises to build shoulder strength:
- Begin in a push-up position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Walk your feet toward your hands, raising your hips and forming a V shape with your body.
- Bend your elbows, lower your head toward the ground, and then push back up.
- Repeat the push-up motion while maintaining the V shape.
Handstand Holds Against the Wall:
- Stand facing a wall with about a forearm’s distance between you and the wall.
- Place your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
- Kick one leg up, followed by the other, so you are balanced upside down against the wall.
- Focus on maintaining a straight line from your wrists to your heels and hold this position for as long as you can.
- Find parallel bars or sturdy raised surfaces (e.g., parallel bars or the edge of a bench).
- Grip the bars with your palms facing downward and your arms fully extended.
- Lower your body by bending your elbows until your shoulders are slightly below your elbows.
- Push yourself back up to the starting position. This is one repetition.
Handstand Push-Ups Against the Wall:
- Begin in a handstand position against the wall, as described earlier.
- Slowly lower your head toward the ground by bending your elbows.
- Keep your body straight, and your head should gently touch the ground.
- Push back up to the handstand position.
- Begin in a push-up position with your hands on the floor, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Walk your feet toward your hands while keeping your legs and arms straight, raising your hips into the air.
- Continue walking your feet closer to your hands until your body forms a V shape.
- Hold this V-shaped position with your core engaged and your weight evenly distributed between your hands and feet for the desired duration.
Step 4: Learn How to Kick
If you don’t know how to properly kick, you are not going to be able to do a handstand, because the way you get up into the handstand is by kicking into it.
Here is how to kick up into the handstand:
- Start in a sprinter position
- Engage your core
- Look in between your hands
- Kick up, not too hard, not too soft
Step 5: Attempts
Attempts are something a lot of calisthenics athletes use to learn skills like the front lever, handstand, or planche. An attempt is exactly what it sounds like; it is when you attempt to do the skill.
So, for handstands, attempts would be to kick up into a handstand and try to hold it. You should start doing attempts after you have built enough shoulder strength and have gone through all the other steps.
You can do about 15 attempts per training session. And if you stick to it, you should be able to do it in no time.
Why and How You Should Warm Up
When doing a handstand, you are putting a lot of pressure on your wrists and shoulders, so it is very important to warm up properly.
Here are some warmup exercises you can do:
Benefits of Learning the Handstand
Learning to do a handstand comes with a lot of benefits. Here are some of those benefits:
- Builds Insane Shoulder Strength: Maintaining a handstand position significantly strengthens your shoulder muscles, improving their stability and endurance.
- Impress Friends: Mastering the handstand is not only personally rewarding but also impressive to friends and peers. It’s a unique skill that sets you apart.
- Teaches You Balance: The handstand is the epitome of balance. It hones your proprioception and helps you understand your body’s position in space.
- Works Multiple Muscle Groups: Handstands are compound exercises that engage various muscle groups, including your arms, shoulders, core, and back. They provide a full-body workout.
- Builds Core Strength: To maintain the handstand position, your core muscles work overtime, enhancing your core strength and stability.
- Teaches Patience and Perseverance: Handstands can be challenging. It requires patience and perseverance. Overcoming obstacles in your handstand journey can impart valuable life skills.