Method Makia

Handstand – The Ultimate Bodyweight Workout

Kids spend hours upon hours hanging upside down with little effort, although adulthood, and the increased body mass that comes along with it, makes performing this once simple trick difficult and daunting. Remaining upside down with your full weight concentrated on your wrists requires exceptional strength, balance and flexibility, proving that handstands are one of the most profitable training techniques around for both mind and body.

Handstand Basic Benefits:

Super core strength – When executing a handstand, practically all your muscle groups work together to keep your body aloft. This effort is concentrated in your core, which means perfect abs for handstand masters.

Upper body workout – Maintaining the position and adding an extra challenge of push ups increases your upper body strength dramatically, working out your arms, shoulders and back muscles to the max.

Reduces stress – The upsurge in blood flow to the head has many benefits, including stimulation of thyroid glands, regulation of pituitary glands and the decrease in the production of the hormone cortisol, which causes stress. So, accomplishing the handstand not only makes you look good, it also makes you feel great.

Incorporating handstands into your workout will certainly improve your general strength and flexibility, particularly if performed regularly. The skill and finesse required needs to be honed daily, if possible, to achieve the best results. Numerous variations of technique are available, with several unique styles implemented across the fields of yoga and gymnastics. The following article showcases five different types of handstands that you can try at home as part of your handstand progressions.


Forearm Headstand


Forearm Headstand
This fun exercise can be developed alongside handstands to help increase your core strength and coordination. As the name suggests, the move involves leveraging your bodyweight on one or both elbows, whilst stretching the length of your frame outwards into a horizontal position.

Regular Handstand


Regular Handstand
Before you can commit to any other variation, you must first nail a regular handstand. Most adults harbour a fear of falling or hurting themselves, which is why it’s always a good idea to start against a wall. Enlisting your workout buddy or family member to help lift your legs is also helpful for those who need that extra bit of assurance. If you already have some strength in your arms, wrists and shoulders, it shouldn’t be too difficult to elevate your body.

Begin by facing away from the wall with your heels against it, in a downward dog position. Ensure your shoulders are above the wrist and lift one leg at a time, placing your foot flat against the wall with knees bent. When your feet are in line with your hips (creating an L shape), extend your legs. From here, you can attempt to lift one leg up straight and hold the pose for as long as you can.

If you feel comfortable with the above exercise, turn around to face the wall. Place your hands around 6 inches away from the wall and again lift your body up into a downward dog position. Practise kicking your legs up until you are ready to launch your body over your head. Don’t be afraid to use some energy here as you will need momentum to reach the wall with your feet. Once you have control over this position, you can try removing one leg at a time, getting a feel for your balance.
Continued practise will garner more confidence and strength, allowing you to eventually execute this type of freestanding handstand without the aid of a wall.


Press Handstand


Press Handstand
Once you have the above technique mastered, you can begin expanding your skills with a press handstand, which requires the utmost balance and control. The difference between the two styles is the slow, measured movement of the press stand in comparison with the energetic lift of the regular method.

You may begin either on your feet or from a sitting position with your legs straddled. Arms should be shoulder width apart. Transfer all the weight of your body to your hands as you lean forward and engage your core, carefully lifting your legs. Once upright, your whole body should be aligned, including your legs, hips and shoulders.
Try to hold your position for as long as possible and make sure to lower your legs with the same level of control as you used to lift them. Conquering the press stand is tough and you should aim to master each individual step before moving onto the next to reduce the risk of injury.


Handstand Push Up


Handstand Push Up
One of the key components to any advanced CrossFit workout, this final move combines all the balance and flexibility of a handstand with all the strength and power of a push up. Begin by conquering one push up whilst using the wall as an aid before increasing repetitions and eventually attempting the technique free standing. Once you have achieved this challenging move, your body will can accomplish almost any other bodyweight exercise.

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