Fit

Upside down workout: handstand

As a kid I rather walked on my hands than on my feet. I loved doing upside downs and inversions. I drove my parents crazy by kicking over everything in the house and constantly drawing all the attention. But all those footprints on their pretty white walls have not been for nothing. It resulted in having a good balance and a strong upper body with quite large shoulders. Want it? Let’s kick those feet up in the air!

IMG_0076I still love doing some upside down fitness. Handstands are a great way to practice core stability. All the people that have seen my Instagram account  probably noticed some upside down uploads every once in a while. I just have to do handstands every now and then! And I think you should do too! Don’t worry, we’re gonna take it easy!

Wall-stand
First of all, do not use a yoga mat or blanket. It will slip away for sure, way too risky! Just practice on a basic floor or carpet/grass. Pick a wall that is large enough to do a handstand (raise your arms and stand in front of it, does it still fit? Perfect!) and make sure there is nothing behind you like people or obstacles. Face the wall and put your hands (shoulder width) on the floor right in front of the wall. Your booty is up in the air but your hands and feet are down (it looks kind of like the downward dog yoga position). Try to kick one leg up in the air (the other will probably follow) until you feel the wall. There it is, extend your legs until your body is in line with your hands and shoulders and you have a wall-stand! If you can do this in 1 fluent movement try to step a bit further away from the wall and try again.

Basic handstand
This one looks like the wall-stand except without a wall. So there’s no backup for you legs to rest against. You have to squeeze your butt real tight and point your toes upwards. Try to place your fingers a bit apart so your stability increases which makes it easier to correct yourself while moving. In the end your goal should be to keep you legs up in the air without the help of a wall.

Walking handstand
This is another handstand variation. You will need good balance and core stability to do this. Your body will not be in one straight line but your legs will be bend over a bit. Once you are upside down in the handstand position you will have to try and take small steps with your hands moving forward. If you are able to do this without tripping over you can try to take larger steps.

One-hand handstand
IMG_20140707_192747Like the word says: one hand. Yup, that’s possible. You can do it with or without a wall but I suggest you try it with the help of a wall first. You have to find another point of balance where you can lift 1 hand up against the wall, to your waist or in the air. There isn’t an exact instruction to tell you how to do this because every body has it’s own balance and stability. Everyone has a ‘dominant’ side on their body (left or right), which probably is the hand that stays on the ground. It might help to spread your legs while trying it, this will make it easier to keep your balance and correct yourself while lifting one hand.

 

 

 

 

 

Obstacle handstand
FullSizeRenderWhen you have your balance right you can try to lift your handstand another level up. There are many objects that you can use for you handstands. You can try to do them on dumbbells, pushupbars or kettlebells. Please always make sure that you are safe. I do want you to be badass but I don’t want you to be broken.

Handstand pushups
These…are REALLY hard! In Crossfit they are better known as HSPU and ask a lot of practice and strength. It’s doing a push up upside down. So your full bodyweight is on your arms and you’re going to drop yourself down and push back up. You need to be really careful while doing this because there is no way back when you decide you can’t hold yourself anymore halfway there. The only way is DOWN and that hurts! Most people use special mats for this type of exercise that you can place underneath your head just to be safe. If you want to try these it’s not a bad idea to get that mat first.

Some of you might be really scared being upside down or maybe only thinking about it can give you shivers. Don’t worry: your body and brain needs time to get used to this ‘new’ experience so it’s normal that you might be a bit excited or anxious trying it for the first time. However, you miss 100% of the shots you didn’t take so get a wall, lift that pretty booty of yours up in the air and try it. Don’t let the fear of falling keep you away from doing handstands!

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Comments

  1. Kayleigh | Con leche

    I used to do acrobatics and let me tell you, handstand are very effective indeed! And of course very fun!

  2. Anna

    Thanks for the usefull tips! I have tried it a few times, i’m still a bit scared but I will keep trying! Thank you!