"Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th." - Julie Andrews
I chose Julie Andrews quote because the road to my handstand was about 6-8 months long. It was a progression. I had to learn brand new skills and practice them over and over again. It wasn't pretty but I never gave up. In my case, it took months and months of failing before I hit my sweet spot. I never practiced an actual freestanding handstand until I had mastered all the foundation skills. I'd been preparing for this shot for months and I'd just like to brag a little and report that the pictures above are of me! When I first started seeing my workout buddies do handstands, I looked at them in awe with my jaw practically hitting the floor. I saw them and thought to myself that I could never do that. But thankfully I had an amazing instructor that taught me that this is a progression of a set of skills that build up to that free standing handstand. Once I understood that it would be a process . . . I was all in! Now here I am a year later doing handstand left and right.
Below are the 5 movements I practiced diligently every week/several times a week that eventually led me to my ultimate goal - Handstand Happiness!
Knowing how to hollow your body in this rock is a key component to holding a proper handstand. Double click this link gymnasticswod.com/content/hollow-rock. It's a video tutorial to a proper hollow rock. My picture below doesn't exactly do it justice. Learning how to use your core to keep your back flat is an important skill.
Check out this short vid on wall walking.
#1 - you are learning about the momentum you need to kick up. If you take a look at the picture below you can see he is not kicking all of the way up to the handstand. He's kicking up half way and then coming down.
#2 - you are learning how to land softly. Kicking up half way allows you to keep one of your legs low so that you can make a soft landing. You want to avoid plopping down on the ground in a thump. Be gentle, take the kick up slow at first and land softly on your feet. Reduce the risk of injury.
You need nice strong shoulders for handstands. Push ups using your own body weight works great. Just check out the picture below and make sure you are using the correct push up form. It matters.
Last but not least, it's what I call the frogger headstand. Holding this pose for any period of time is a true test in balance. You don't even have to try to bring your feet straight up into a head stand to feel the force of your body moving you in every which way. It will take the strength of your whole body to hold this position.
When you get to the final stage of practicing the actual handstand, remember these things.
It needs to be as straight as possible