Peculiar Cues: Mastering the Static Handstand

Next time you watch a baby learning to walk, pay attention to two things: their hips and their toes.

The hips need to be over top of their ankles in order to maintain balance. The toes should also be pressed into the ground in order to solidify that balance.

If you were to translate that over to holding a handstand, your “ankles” become your shoulders while your “toes” become your fingers. Understanding the inverted anatomy will give you insight into if and when someone will fall when being upside down: just watch the hips and fingers.

Are the hips directly over the wrists?

Are the fingers pressed down into the ground?

These two faults (hips not stacked on top of the wrists and the fingers not being used) are the most common faults I see with our athletes who are learning to handstand. Fortunately for every fault, there is a cue that can help prevent it:

First, kick up into a handstand without bending at the hip. Instead of “breaking” your hollow-body position, bend at the knees. This helps you better stack your knees on top of your hips while placing your hips on top of your wrists.

Second, practice creating space in between your calluses and finger pads while upside down. Putting pressure on your fingers will improve your balance.

Here’s a short video giving you a video demonstration of what I’m talking about:


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