- Ben Lowrey teaches handstand classes in Bristol, United Kingdom.
- Be sure to watch the free 20 minute handstand tutorial on AcroLibrary.com
- Be sure to also check out the Podcast
1. Confident and Controlled Entry.
- Start simple. put your hands on the floor, shoulder width apart, about 10 inches from a wall. Practise a small hop so that one foot just touches the wall. Practice this 5 times on each foot. This will build your confidence so your mind learns where the wall is.
- If you feel confident, put your hands in the same position and kick up into a full handstand against the wall so both feet touch the wall and your body is straight. Keep doing this repeatedly until your feet touch the wall more gently with more control.
- If you feel confident to move away from the wall, practise with a leg staying straight and the other leg kicking up into a stag position so the foot touches knee of the straight leg.
2. Body tension.
- Balancing a wobbly body is difficult. Keep the body tense and engaged so that the balancing is done by the fingers not the rest of the body.
- Practise by laying on the floor and squeezing your bum, abs, legs, pointed toes, and hands above your head as if you’re in a handstand. Practising body tension on the floor will help you engage it when in a handstands.
- Alignment makes the handstand easier because the bodyweight gets supported by the skeleton rather than muscle effort. We would like the body (arms, spine and legs) to be in a straight line. If the shoulders don’t go straight then the back will bend to compensate and muscle effort will therefor be needed which is tiring!
- Stretch your shoulders every day to encourage a straight line between your arms and back.
- Squeezing your tail bone under will also encourage the back to go straight.
- If you’re unsure, ask a friend to spot you, or film yourself doing a handstand to see if you’re straight.
Check out these Resistance Bands which can be used to progress your Strength + Flexibility.
4. Shoulder Strength & Stability.
- Even if you have control, alignment, and bodytension, your shoulders need to be strong enough to maintain your body weight whilst in a handstand.
- Kick up against the wall (hands about 10 inches from wall) and hold a straight handstand for 10 seconds. Build this up to 30 seconds and 60 seconds over a period of weeks.
- Do press ups and downward dog shoulder presses to increase the shoulder and tricep strength.
- With everything else in place, the final component is to practise balancing.
- Kick up against a wall and press in your fingers so your feet are pulled away from the wall. Do this repeatedly to build the strength in your forearms.
- If you do this repeatedly you will find balance & control begin to improve and you will start to hold a handstand for several seconds at a time without your feet touching the wall.
- Everybody has different limiting factors. Some people have great flexibility but not enough strength. Those people will benefit from strengthening their shoulders. Some people have plenty of strength but not enough flexibility. Those people will benefit from more stretching.
- This is why Crossfit people and Yoga people would require different coaching when learning handstands.
- Enjoy your practise and be playful. The most important thing is that you find enjoyment.
- Be patient. Handstand are difficult.
- Everybody starts somewhere. Don’t compare yourself to what others can do. Some people may learn more quickly, but they may have been doing gymnastics or yoga or strength training for years.
Be sure to watch the free 20 minute handstand tutorial on AcroLibrary.com
If you live in Bristol United Kingdom you can attend Ben Lowrey’s handstand classes here.
Be sure to also check out the Podcast