If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to do a Handstand properly, this Blog series is the place to be. The Handstand 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 3 Handstand drills that you can do right now using just a floor and a wall.
Now, before I dive into this, let me just address 2 things:
1. Handstand drills come in infinite shapes and sizes, depending where you are at in your journey. The 3 Handstand drills contained in this article are to be done in this order because they have a specific purpose….spoiler alert….you’e going to be working towards Nose & Toes Wall Handstand…
2. The Wall…Where do I start?? It’s the oft-debated question in Handstand training…”Should I be using a wall to practice my Handstand?”
Yes. And simultaneously, No.
Stay tuned for my next article about when to use the wall and when not to…it’s important.
Handstand Drills 1: One-Arm Plank Lean
This particular drill is the perfect warm-up for learning how to shift weight from hand-to-hand in the safest environment possible. Much as its name indicates, this drill starts you in plank position and asks you to lean into one arm, shrug through that shoulder (aka protraction), and then lift to fingertips on the light hand. After a few reps, start to pull the hand all the way off the ground.
I just absolutely love this drill for a whole lot of reasons:
- It gets your brain/body familiar with the idea of shifting weight and really feeling the ground.
- The shrug while on one arm preps you for much bigger movements later
- You begin to learn to isolate individual arms.
The isolation is HUGE when you start Handstanding and maybe find yourself leaning slightly left or right. You want the ability to adjust each part of your body by itself and learn to move more specifically.
Handstand Drills 2: Belly Down Hollow
If you thought Hollow Body itself was challenging, please allow me the pleasure of introducing you to Hollow’s more humbling counterpart…
The idea itself is pretty simple: Make Hollow Body shape while on the ground with you belly facing downward….how hard could it be??
Fear not my friend! This one comes with layers to make it accessible to Handstanders of all levels.
Layer 1: If it’s your first time doing this, really focus on pressing down through your hands and wrapping your armpits down and inward. This will help create lift in your chest and get it off the ground.
Layer 2: Keep all of that engagement and now pull your belly off the ground as well. As usual, move from your middle and pull your belly button up and in.
Layer 3: Aim your tailbone towards your hamstrings to create a slight tuck of your pelvis. At this point, you should be lifting your hips off the ground as well. I know, your entire torso is on fire. I get it.
Now, from here it’s a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book…you can keep your quads on the ground as your base, OR choose to lift to your knees. This one is for more advanced practitioners. And for those of my super human friends reading this, lift both your knees up so that literally the only body parts touching the ground are you hands and your feet. Hold it for 7 to 10 hours…
Handstand Drills 3: Nose & Toes Wall Handstand
*WARNING: PERSONAL OPINION AHEAD!!*
Of all the Handstand drills amongst Gymnastics, Circus, and Yoga, this is the one definitive drill that I can say has changed my Handstand shape the most.
Imagine Handstand at the wall, but NOT kicking into it…So if you’re used to kicking up to the wall, this Nose & Toes drill might feel a little scary at first.
In this particular Handstand exercise, you enter from the opposite angle and walk your chest inward. Once you have your hands under your shoulders for your Handstand shape, hollow out your chest and torso. Eventually you’ll get your Handstand to the point where just your nose and just your toes are touching the wall. If you find your belly is on the wall, you’ve lost Hollow Body and that you may have a sway in your lower back.
Why is this so important?
Well, unlike your standard “kick to the wall” Handstand I’ve seen taught incorrectly in yoga classes the world over, this drill doesn’t allow for any laziness or breakage in your Handstand line. Of the 100’s of Handstand drills that incorporate the wall, this one is the most effective, the best, the bee-knees, the top dog, and any other phrase the kiddos are using these days to essentially say “This sh*t just works.”
In conclusion, do these 3 Handstand drills together and in order to build towards a much more efficient use of the wall in your Handstand training.
If you like these drills, you can find them in Week 4 of my full Handstand training program: 6 WEEKS TO HANDSTAND
You got this.