5 Essential Steps For Handstand Mastery

Can I ask you a question?

What do you do after seeing someone standing upside down?

If you’ve never succeeded at doing the same, you probably aren’t doing the right drills. 

 

Let’s be real.

Trying something as difficult as a handstand a few times and moving on to the next exercise.

That’s not going to cut it.

 

This post will show you which 5 essential exercises you can start using to master the handstand.

Follow these recommendations and you’ll stand out.

Upside down. 

Ready?

 

 

Prerequisites

 

 

Before you attempt any type of upside down training you’ll need to have a solid foundation first.

Make sure you start by reading the short guide to start your handstand training.

Especially with a handstand, the difference between a faceplant and balance depends on your foundation.

In addition you want to work on developing strong wrists which are able to support your weight.

This also contributes to that same ‘solid foundation’.

 

Key Takeaway: The stronger your foundation the easier it will be to progress.

Without injuries and without face plants.

Skipping any of these steps or failing at mastering each drill, will make the following progression 10x more difficult.

 

 

1. Cartwheels

 

 

Primary focus: Being able to bail the handstand without any injuries.

 

1. First start with your feet next to each other and your body straight.

2. Take 1 step forward with your left or right foot.

3. Straighten your forward arm and bring it to the floor while kicking up the opposite leg.

4. Land in the same position you started in, but now with the other leg forward.

 

Mastery at 5×15 repetitions, but can be trained indefinitely. 

 

 

2. Chest To The Wall

 

 

Primary focus: Being able to hold the handstand position while strengthening the shoulders, wrists and getting accustomed to the sensations.

 

1. First start by walking up to the walk with your chest facing the wall.

2. Bring your body as close to the wall as you can until you can adopt a fully straight line. Only your toes make contact with the wall.

3. Keep your head between your arms and look down between your hands.

4. Contract your entire body as you would in a plank position: Glutes, abs, calfs and point your toes.

5. Make sure you exit this position before you ‘reach failure’, because getting out also takes energy.

 

Mastery at 5×60 seconds. 

 

 

3. Balancing Against The Wall

 

 

Primary focus: Developing the ability and strength in the hands and fingers to fight against falling over.

 

1. First start by walking up to the walk with your chest facing the wall.

2. Bring your body as close to the wall as you can until you can adopt a fully straight line.

3. Keep your head between your arms and look down between your hands.

4. Contract your entire body as you would in a plank position: Glutes, abs, calfs and point your toes.

5. Slowly lift your toes from the wall and push back with your fingers until you touch the wall again. This can be a very small move, you just need to feel the pressure on your hands.

6. Make sure you exit this position before you ‘reach failure’, because getting out also takes energy.

 

Mastery at 5×15 repetitions. 

 

 

4. Shoulder Taps

 

 

Primary focus: Developing strong shoulders that are able to easily support you in a handstand.

 

1. First start by walking up to the walk with your chest facing the wall.

2. Bring your body as close to the wall as you can until you can adopt a fully straight line.

3. Keep your head between your arms and look down between your hands.

4. Move your weight to one side and lift one arm from the ground tapping the shoulder it belongs to. Keeping your legs slightly apart will make it easier to shift your weight.

5. Make sure you exit this position before you ‘reach failure’, because getting out also takes energy.

 

Mastery at 5×60 repetitions. 

 

 

5. Kick Ups & Handstand

 

 

Primary focus: Overcoming the fear of falling over and developing a complete handstand skillset.

 

1. First start by placing your hands on the floor while keeping your head between your arms.

2. Kick up with one leg while keeping your arms straight and in a handstand position.

3. Bring the other leg in the air and try to find your point of balance. Having a spotter is highly recommended.

4. Change legs, in order to develop a proper kick up on both sides.

5. When you find your balance focus on getting a completely straight line by contracting your body.

6. Hold it for as long as you can.

7. Happy handstand!

 

Mastery at 60 seconds free standing. Kicking up to a balanced position can be practiced an infinite amount of times. 

 

 

Give Every Handstand Attempt Your Best

 

If you think you can tell yourself you cannot do something, think again.

Because once you follow the right steps, realising that you can is one of the most empowering thoughts.

Spend less time on thinking you can’t and more time on believing you CAN.

How?

 

Instead of giving it just one try, give it another and another.

Success is nothing more than just trying one more time.

Work on the drills, develop the skills.

Before you’ll know it, you’ll look at the world from a different perspective. 

It’s more fun upside down.

 

Beast mode ON!

 

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Did you like this post?

Or maybe you have a question.

Either way, leave a quick comment below right now.

PS. These drills have been inspired by Yuri Marmerstein, Steven Low, Coach Sommer & Ido Portal

 

 

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9 thoughts on “5 Essential Steps For Handstand Mastery

  1. Excellent tips! It’s amazing how much control is in the finger tips squeezing the ground. Before falling over, I lift my right arm and slide around on the palm of my left hand (1990 move in break dance language). Still remember the 1990 some twenty years later! Many thanks for the post Rich, keep up the great work!

    1. Hey Jeremy,

      The fingers are the feet in the handstand so it definitely makes a huge difference.

      Haha, some memories never get old ;).

      Keep up the good work and thanks for your comment!

      Beast mode ON!

  2. Great tips, handstands are my weak point so I’ll bookmark this page and your how to handstand page to use in my next workout.

  3. Hey Rich, always totally spot on with your tutorials. Thank you.
    I am about 2 years into hand balancing training. I followed a similar progression to this. But I also practised some basic hand balancing such as crane pose/one leg crane/baby cranes/head stands to get the feeling of holding body weight and to learn the floating feeling. I fully believe that these foundations are important no matter what stage you’re at. Due to laziness I don’t do enough wall supported work, I think shoulder taps are great for getting solid handstand walk steps. Do you have any other tips for handstand walks? My current handstand on a good day is about 15-20 seconds, and I can make a few steps- but I lean forward and moment drives me a bit, which is obviously not the right way to do it.
    Thank you Rich.

    1. Hey Raj,

      Thanks for your message!

      Definitely need to get into that ‘sweet spot’. A big part in handstand training is overcoming the fear, there is one way to do it. By doing it ;).

      Stick to these drills and you will see results. The reason why you don’t have consistency is because you are lacking on the basics. If a baby would try running before walking you’d wonder if something went wrong, yet as adults when we learn new stuff we attempt to run before anything else. Crawl first, you’ll be a better runner in the end because of it.

      Keep up the good work my friend!

      Beast mode ON!

  4. Hey Rich!

    Found this post after looking at the “3 Key Progressions For The Handstand Push Up” post. I’m recently putting a lot of effort on getting my handstand, since I can do some debatable harder moves as the front and back lever, but fail at holding a handstand.
    My question is if I can use the grease the groove technique in order to learn it faster. I used it back in the day to go from 5 pull ups max to 16~18 pull ups max. I never needed to warm up to do one or two pull ups, but I’m afraid I will need to do it every single time during the day when I go into the handstand.
    So I wanna know, do I need to spend 5 to 10 minutes warming up before every handstand attempt during the day, or can I skip it since it’s going to be just a single try?
    I hope I could make myself understandable haha.

    1. Hey Bernardo,

      Good stuff!

      Definitely has it’s place in handstand practice. Doing it definitely requires you to pay some special attention to the wrists, they need to be warmed up to a certain degree.

      It can be a 2 minute warm up, but that’s up to you and to how strong your wrists are ;).

      Keep up the good work!

      Beast mode ON!

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