10 ways to build Handstand confidence using the wall

This video tutorial will take you on a journey from beginner to improver.

1. People who are building their handstand confidence from scratch should aim to just get one foot to touch the wall. There is no need to stay upside down, a jump and a touch is all you need to begin with. This is the first step in building confidence.

2. Once you can consistently get a foot or toe to touch the wall, the next step is to bring the 2nd leg up to the wall. The first leg can stay bent as a stabiliser. You are now in a handstand.


Endurance

3. Once you feel comfortable upside down, you can straighten both legs and begin to build your shoulder endurance and body alignment. Aim to stay upside down for 30 seconds. Push as hard as you can so your shoulders are enguaged and stable, squeeze you abs, glutes, and legs. Video yourself on your smartphone, aim to be as straight as possible.


4. Now that you have confidence, strength, alignment, & body-tension, the next step is to begin balancing. Bring one foot away from the wall at a time, keep swapping legs in a slow controlled manner. Legs are straight, toes are point. Use very slow controlled transitions.


5. Eventually you will find yourself balancing with neither feet touching the wall. Try to bring your feet together so that the big toes are touching.

Note: Balance is much easier when there’s a lot of body tension. Push the ground away from you as hard as you can, this engages the shoulders which creates a stable base. Relaxed shoulders are hard to balance. Enguage the legs in the same way. The body should be like a rigid plank and the balance should only be controlled by the fingers.


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6. Now that you’ve practised one way, it’s time to turn round and practise facing the wall. This ensures you don’t get into bad habits of letting your back bend. Walk your feet up the wall and carefully walk your hands to the wall so that your nose touches the wall. Getting your hip bones and nose to the wall helps teach your body straight alignment. Aim for 30 seconds of endurance. This will build strong stable shoulders over time.


7. The next thing to do is practise alternating legs. You’ll need your hands a bit further away from the wall. Make sure you feel confident to twist out safely, or use a crash mat, or work with a friend who can spot you.


8. Once your legs are swapping in a smooth controlled manner, your final challenge is to bring both feet together. This may take weeks, months, or years. The improvements in Shoulder strength and stability do not happen instatly. Be realistic, this is a very difficult skill and gymnasts, acrobats, and yogis, spend years slowly improving their handbalance.


9. Stretch your shoulders open. Kick up to the wall, let your feet touch the wall first before transistioning your bum to the wall. The closer your hands are to the wall the easier this is. Over time you can increase the stretch by having your hands further away.

10. Finally, face the other direction and walk your feet up. This is an inverted downward dog or pike, this will stretch your forward fold whilst also building your Handstand strength. Pulse backwards and forwards, this stretches and also strengthens the shoulders and will contribute to a more stable and controlled handstand.


You can find more info about Ben Lowrey’s handstand classes, workshops and special events here.

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