If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to do a Handstand properly, this Blog series is the place to be. The Handstand tips and drills in these articles will lead you to the strongest Handstand practice you’ve ever had. With that said, let’s get started!
This installment is all about the legs because they offer a lot of Handstand variation in terms of entries.
Scroll for more than 5 seconds on Instagram and you’ll see that Handstand comes in all kinds of flavors. This is a great thing because it means you have options!
For a second, imagine that Handstand can be represented by the number 4. Now, how do you mathematically get to 4? Well to start, all the fundamental math functions can get you there: addition (2 + 2), subtraction (5 – 1), division (8 / 2), multiplication (4 x 1). Easy enough.
Also, you could even get there through more complex steps like square-rooting 16, or cube-rooting 64. Hell, you could go full-nerd on it and bust out some calculus.
Now, is doing a perfect Pike Press harder than a single-leg kick? Yes. Is logarithmic calculus harder than basic addition? Yes.
So if all of these things can get you to the same result, which one is the best?
Whichever one you’ll practice the most.
This ethos is not all that different from the old nutrition adage of “The best diet is the one you’ll stick to”. You may find that you have a lot of success with one entry or leg position, and thus you’ll end up practicing that one more. It totally makes sense.
At the same time, be open to exploring the entires that aren’t the easiest for you. For example, do you have one leg that feels way more natural to kick with? And the other one feels like it’s not even connected to your body? Like it’s someone else’s leg? You’re not alone. We all have that.Stay disciplined and practice both legs equally.
Also, your affinity towards one handstand variation vs another will change over time as your practice evolves. When I first started I was basically married to my left-leg kick. Then I stumbled onto the Crow-Tuck-Press variation, until I realized that I was doing my entire Handstand in my shoulders.
These days, I find more control, ease, and stability with my Straddle entry because I’ve gotten more mobile in my hips. Tomorrow it might be something different. The point here is to always be curious and open to your options.
Speaking of which, let’s take a look at the most common entry into Handstand. Watch the video at the end of this article also to hear me talk through the physics breakdown of this.
Handstand Variation: Single-Leg Kick
This is definitely the most common Handstand variation of all. There is a TON value in the split-leg entry, especially for Handstand beginners. Rather than overload you with tons of cues for this, let’s break it down to the most important items:
- Although you do need to bend your kicking legs to propel upward, straighten it as soon as your foot leaves the ground.
- Move your two straight legs from your heels.
- Get your top leg in place first and let your trailing leg meet it naturally. Avoid the temptation to rush and snap your legs together. This will undoubtedly cause you to tip over.
- Think of your trailing leg as parking a car in a garage. You don’t slam to a halt from 75 mph straight 0 mph. There’s a smooth slow down as your vehicle comes to a rest.
You got this.