Handstands are addictive… really addictive. In some ways they are the holy grail of party tricks, the trophy move.
For a start, they can not be blagged or faked, there’s no easy version.. the handstand is either happening.. or it’s not.
Just like any accomplishment, handstands are gratifying because they are an outward demonstration of the huge amounts of patience + persistence + dedication + consistency that were required to accomplish them.
“Is it all about core strength?”
No. It’s true that learning to engage the core muscles will help your body be tense which will help the stability of the handstand. But really this amounts to nothing more than squeezing your abs and your bum and pushing really hard through your shoulders.
The whole body needs to be under tension. That means hips, legs, feet, glutes, shoulders, abs, there’s nothing particularly special about the core.
“What’s the secret to being able to handstand?”
In a nutshell: Squeeze everything and push as hard as you can.
The slightly longer answer is:
1) A confident + controlled entry.
3) Body tension
4) Shoulder strength + stability
(If you haven’t seen my free 20 minute handstand tutorial video, anybody who is on my workshop newsletter can view it. acrolibrary.com/workshopnewsletter)
There’s 2 types of people who find handstand easier:
1) Really strong people, and 2) really flexible people.. but the flexible people find it easiest.
Check out these resistance bands which can be used to progress Strength + Flexibility
Handstands can be perfectly inserted into a Pole or Yoga routine.
Pole dancers love to transition on and off of the pole via handstand. It demonstrates another dimension of strength + control + body mastery beyond just being on the pole. A solid handstand can give you an edge over other competitors in a competition, or make you stand out when performing.
Yoga people love handstands because it is a great challenge to incorporate into one’s own practise and is a bench mark of body mastery, strength, control, and balance.
Flexibility is the most common limiting factor… not strength.
If you have enough shoulder mobility to get your arms straight in the air with your arms + spine straight in one continuous line, you will find handstand easier.
If you shoulders do not open that far, it requires a lot of strength to hold your bodyweight without that straight alignment. Some people ARE strong enough to do that (think buff weight lifters, crossfiters) but they fatigue quickly. On the other hand, super flexible people can easily position and align themselves without needing much strength.
On the other hand, people with more strength have more leeway to dip and save the handstand than a weaker person.
If you would like to book a 90 minute handstand workshop for your Pole, Fitness, or Yoga studio, please get in touch.
Bristol, United Kingdom
I hope to see you soon, either in my weekly Bristol classes, or at a Workshop near you.