Handstands are one of trickiest of inversions, but it also happens to be the most fun in my opinion. There’s something so exhilarating about defying gravity on your hands.
If you’re getting some progress with your handstands, it’s time to look into the finer details. This way you’ll find more balance, and get more upside down play time.
So here you go. Some alignment tips starting from the ground up:
FINGERS – have your index finger facing forward, and spread the rest of the fingers wide. Just make sure that you don’t spread them too wide that you’re not able to grip down on the tips of your fingers, which is muy importante!
To give you a picture of what you want your fingertips to look like, think spider legs. You’re going to want your knuckles to pop out a bit, and your fingers nails to get white from clawing down on the ground.
Using your fingers will help you distribute your weight once you’re upside down so that you minimize wobbling, and find balance.
PALMS – have your palms flat, shoulder-width apart. Feel as if you are pushing the floor away and lifting the energy up towards your feet.
EYES – keep your gaze in between your hands.
ARMS – you want these nice and straight. Engage your forearms and draw them in towards each other. If you have a tendency to bend them use a strap to keep them in place.
SHOULDERS – draw the shoulders away from the ears, shoulder blades down the back. You want your neck to be as long as possible.
RIBS- cinch the ribs in to neutralize the spine, and avoid dumping into the lower back.
GLUTES – keep those babies tight!
THIGHS- roll the thighs in slightly and squeeze them together. You can train with a block in between your legs to keep them glued in.
TOES – you want to lift and lengthen the energy from your hands all the way to your spine and out through your toes. Keep your toes engaged whether you choose to point or ‘floint.’
The trick to getting the handstand is to find balance with the stack – feet over hips, over shoulders, over wrists.
The stacking comes from engagement of your whole body. If there’s a bend, or something floppy in any area the energy will leak out. Whatever’s up will come down. Fast.
The straight handstand can be enhanced through the simultaneous action of pressing down on the hands and lifting up towards the feet, keeping the energy in the right direction.
Think: Root to rise.
Have fun with the whole process.
If you haven’t gotten my 3-part video series of nailing your handstand without a wall – what are you waiting for? Enter your email at the top of this site so that I can get that to your inbox ASAP. It will guide you through creative ways to strengthen key areas of your body you’ll be needing to get inverted.
As always I love hearing from you so let me know where you are in your practice. What’s worked for you, and what are you working on?