Handstands

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Jer505

New Member
Mar 2, 2009
14
PA
Hi,

Does anyone have any thoughts on the best ways to develop a good handstand? Perhaps it's just one of those skills that just takes a long time to master, and if that's the case that's fine. Right now I'm just practicing kicking up and trying to stay vertical (which for me right now is only a couple of seconds). I also am working handstands against the wall (stomach against the wall). I lose balance on these when I bring my hands closer than about 3" to the wall. Because of this, I think that maybe my body alignment is incorrect.

Any help you could give would be much appreciated.

thanks,

Jerry
 
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LittleLady

Member
Feb 3, 2009
215
Vermont
Jerry,
Try working handstands against a wall with your back to the wall and feet resting on the wall. Take one foot away from the wall and try to hold that in a balanced position. Switch and take the other foot away from the wall the same way. Once you get better at this, when you take one foot away from the wall, bring the other foot to it and see how long you can hold the handstand. Remember to use your fingers also to maintain balance. You'll need an absolutely tight, straight body with your head NOT sticking out. If you have that, it's amazing what pushing your fingers into the floor will do to maintain or adjust your balance. Also...don't forget to breathe! :)
 
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dannolynn

Guest
i have a hard time breathing when i'm doing handstands! any suggestions for how to fix this??
 

nicci1999

Active Member
Gymnast
Dec 21, 2008
799
NH
I hold my breath, so I don't have to worry about breathing lol. Don't know if there is a fix for that, you're really not SUPPOSED to be upside down. Jerry, handstands are just something that do take a lot of time, try not to force too much in going up, because then you're more likely to lose your balance. Working up in progressions from needle scales up is a good way to get a feel of pushing off with your feet.
 

LittleLady

Member
Feb 3, 2009
215
Vermont
dannolynn,
To breathe better in a handstand, what works for me is keeping my head between my arms. Letting your head stick out will bend your neck and make your windpipe smaller. Another thing that works is to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth and nose. I don't know why this makes it easier to breathe in my handstand. It just does. Give it a try.
 
C

Catya

Guest
I noticed that too, LittleLady. If I stick my head out I'll feel a little choke coming on. But usually, I hold my breathe with my head in a nuetral position. I feel like I'll lose the position if I take a breathe and it turns into a deep one.
 

Jer505

New Member
Mar 2, 2009
14
PA
thanks

Thanks very much to all of you for your help. Excellent suggestions and I hope to post a picture in a few months:))) of me doing a solid handstand!


Jerry
 

kyliesmith1

Member
Jan 2, 2009
155
Myrtle Beach, SC
I think besides pressing all the way through you shoulders (don't let them retract) and keeping your body tight what helps too is knowing how to compensate some with your fingertips if you start to feel yourself going too far forward over your shoulders (as long as you keep the rest of your body tight) or pressing through the heel of your hands and bending your elbows slightly if you start to tilt a little towards the ground
 
M

mightynighty

Guest
Another thing that has helped me is working on shoulder strength (using weights). I had to take some time off from practice, and I used that time for strength drills- and all of a sudden my handstands got much better, and I was able to hold them for much longer.
 

GikiGirl

Member
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Feb 21, 2009
372
Region 6
Country
USA
I agree--the stronger you can get at military (overhead shoulder) press or inverted push-ups, the better your handstand will be.

Another little-known tip is to squeeze your inner thighs all the way down to your feet together, and of course squeeze your abs and butt while you are up there.
 
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BlairBob

Guest
Get on your hands a lot of time. Be cautious about too much time and overstraining your wrists.

You need to do a pelvic tilt. Rotate your hips forward and squeeze your cheeks. Think about sucking your belly button in.

You will be able to breathe in the HS position as you get more used to it. This is common with many beginners working new positions in gymnastics and they squeeze so hard or forget to breathe.

Get in the downward dog position. Do small donkey kicks. If you raise one leg to the ceiling ( needle scale ) practice hopping on the base leg. Do this until you can switch legs in the air. You want to feel weight on your hands.

Start from a lunge on your knees and put your hands down and kick one leg up. Focus on kicking that leg not quite to vertical and coming down. Eventually kick the second leg. You can also work this from a standing lunge.

Spend as much time in your hands as you can. Perhaps 10-20m a day. Break it up if you have to. Use a bunch of handstand progressions. Kicking, donkey kicks, HS on wall each way. Headstands and rolls should be in there as well.
 

Jer505

New Member
Mar 2, 2009
14
PA
reps

Thanks BlairBob,

It looks like there really is no substitute for spending time in a handstand position to get this skill down. I'll need to work on tensing my abs and back harder; I'm very comfortable with handstands against the wall, but my lower back does kinda sags a little bit in the position.

thanks again,

Jerry
 
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