If you’ve ever taken a yoga class you’ve most likely looked on with envy as those rockstar pupils, seem to rise effortlessly up into the handstand pose. While you’re down on the mat sweating it out and trying to find your ujjayi breath, the cool kids have got their feet in the air and a smile on their face. Luckily, with a little bit of practice and determination, you can learn to do a freestanding handstand and teach those show-offs a thing or two!
The Beginners Guide to Nailing the Perfect Handstand
1. The Basics
When it comes to mastering this athletic move there are four different stages that you’ll have to work through:
- Facing the wall
- Facing away from the wall
- The L-Stand
- Freestanding handstand
2. Gaining Strength
Before you can just start popping up into the air and defying gravity, you’ll need to do some work on strengthening your wrists and teach yourself the hollow body position. Weak wrists equal a weak handstand so prepare your wrists to hold up your weight safely with a few simple warm-up exercise moves.
3. Hollow Body
If you don’t want to fall flat on your face and embarrass yourself royally when attempting to get off the ground, you need to master the hollow body position. A tight core will help keep your upper body and lower body working together when inverted. Practice on keeping your lower back flat on the floor before attempting further progressions. Once you feel completely comfortable with hollow body, you can begin wall work.
4. Wall Work
Most people can get the perfect inverted pose down by facing the wall and springing up. With practice, you should be able to climb the wall and attempt holding a hollow body against the wall as well. Once you can comfortably get into the right position, hold it for 5 to 10 seconds and repeat for six sets. After you’ve spent sufficient time with your nose against the wall, turn around and face the room! Work slowly on jumping into the right position and try not to smack your booty, back or feet against the wall. Once you’ve gotten to where you can hold the pose for a minute, it’s time to advance.
Climb the wall to gain strength in your arms and wrists with this advanced move before moving on to a full handstand. Work up to 1 minute holds before attempting the final step in the progression.
You’re finally there! Follow these steps to stick that pose:
- Place hands on floor
- Tuck up with control
- Push body away from ground
- Hold your hollow body position
- Exit the pose (roll out or turn out if you need to bail)
With a lot of practice and patience, you can nail a handstand like a badass! Just remember to have fun, be safe and bail out if you need to.