Learning How to Handstand

Watching someone perform a handstand always stops me in my tracks of whatever I’m doing. I turn my attention to the person doing a handstand and immediately have a desire to do one. What I didn’t realize is how difficult doing a handstand is. For one, you have to have the upper body and core strength. This is no walk in the park. Having the strength and endurance to have so many muscles work together is tough to get used to. The next part is learning the balance. Once you have the strength part down, the balance part is another difficult task. Most of the time, people learn these two at the same time. But some people prefer to build up the strength before trying to conquer the balance part.

              Watching someone do a handstand always makes me jealous. And that is why I am for the first time going to consistently try and learn how to do a handstand. There’s been many times in the past where I’ve tried it with friends just goofing around. And of course, I come nowhere close to achieving one. But now, I have plenty of time to practice. Also, I’ve been looking for a new hobby to fill in some of the time of my quarantine days, and I have decided that this is it.

              I believe there are many benefits to doing handstands. For one, it is a great exercise. It activates many muscles in harmony including arms, shoulders, and core. It also activates balance and upper body endurance, which is something not a lot of people have. Upper body endurance is often overlooked as most people think of running for endurance, which of course is for legs. But not as many people think about upper body endurance. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one a good example of needing to have proper full body endurance. So, learning how to handstand could potentially also help me in BJJ. In BJJ, there is plenty of grabbing, pulling, and compound movements that require advanced upper body strength and endurance. If all else fails, these handstands could be good training for BJJ.

              My goal is to practice for 30 minutes per weekday, unless it is my pushup day. I do 300 weighted pushups once a week so I don’t see any reason to add on another 30 minutes of a brutal arms and shoulder workout. As a result, that comes out to 4 days a week for 30 minutes a day. I would say that is plenty for me who is just trying to casually learn one. That is a good pace for me. I will start with having my hands on the ground and walking my feet up on a wall until my body is almost straight up in the air. I will hold as long as I can for each repetition. When I feel comfortable, I will start to carefully take my feet off of the wall and try to balance them straight up. However, it is important to build up to this point. One way to build up to this is by taking one foot off the wall for a few seconds, then switch to the other foot. When you switch feet, try to transition your feet in a way where both feet are off the wall. This period of time when both of your feet are off the wall is very helpful to learning how to handstand. After practice, the transition period of time will get longer and longer to the point where you are doing a handstand. This will take up to a month of practice depending on how your strength and balance is.

              The next challenge to tackle is to do a walking handstand. After conquering taking your feet off the wall, try walking on your hands. For this, a much larger area will be required. A grassy park is ideal since if you fall, you’ll have some cushion from the soft ground. But inside on perhaps a track or basketball court is also fine. That is basically my game plan. As I go through this journey I will provide updates on tips and tricks I learn along the way so be sure to check back in on my progress.

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