Newsflash! Strength isn’t the only thing you need in order to nail dear old Handstand! Before I ever attempted Handstand, I used to watch people practice it and marvel at their arm and shoulder strength. Never did I think, “Wow, that person’s hamstrings are really open and their hips are so mobile!” That is, until I tried it. In the video below, Kyle’s awesome Handstand companion Soundschi provides incredible insight into improving mobility.
If you attempt Handstand from any position that eventually leads to one leg being up and one leg being down, you need flexible quads and hamstrings. If you want to do any fancy foot or leg work while in Handstand, you need hip mobility. If you want to transition from Handstand to a yoga posture, you need hip and probably shoulder mobility. So, the lesson is… you need flexibility and mobility on top of strength to play with your Handstand practice!
Soundschi specifically talks about a stretching exercise called pancake and demonstrates how “loading” the muscles that do work while you stretch, can help you lengthen in a more efficient manner. It’s cool to watch her hips mobilize as she stretches. Check it out!
Stay tuned Handstander, as I have plenty more Handstand goodies from Soundschi coming your way! Her light-hearted approach to practice and genuine good nature make her a pleasure to work with, so be sure to keep coming back for more Handstand tips, interviews with the pros, and general practice knowledge.