It may seem crazy or downright impossible, but there are a lot of benefits…
Handstands are an often overlooked form of exercise. Not only are they super impressive, but there are real benefits from performing them on a regular basis. Even if you don’t practice yoga every day or compete for years in gymnastics, you can build up the strength and power it takes to perform the move.
First, let’s discuss the benefits.
- Massive Upper Body Strength Gains: Obviously it takes some pretty serious strength to hold yourself up. Your shoulders, chest and arms will all get a lot stronger and more functional from this practice.
- Core Strength like WHOA: The stabilization it takes to hold yourself up is an amazing core workout. It will slim your waist and even start to pronounce your ab muscles with continued work. Also, say goodbye to lower back pain.
- Improved Balance: Balance is something that we use all day, every day. You may not be totally aware of it but it’s always being used. By improving balance, you’re going to feel better at all times.
- Get Happier: By performing handstands and letting the blood rush to your brain, you’ll be boosting your mood by calming yourself and increasing energy.
- Breathe: Handstands require a lot of attention to breathe. By getting in touch with your breathing, you’ll get better and better at it, therefore making you healthier.
Now, don’t all these sound pretty awesome? If only it were as easy as dropping onto your hands and gaining the benefits immediately. Except nothing that’s truly worth it is easy. Here’s what to do to improve your strength and build the discipline to be able to perform a handstand in just 2 months!
The entire routine is broken down in a fantastic Star Wars analogy on NERDFITNESS.com, but I’ll just give the plot points.
- Daily Practice: Learning to do a handstand is a lot more similar to learning an instrument than it is to strength training at the gym. If you practice just 5-10 minutes a day, you’ll be shocked by the gains you see
- Conquer Your Fear: You’re probably afraid that you can’t do it. You’re probably afraid of falling and hurting yourself. By practicing control of your fear you’ll improve and conquer that fear (yet another benefit!).
- Step 1, 60 second Wall Plank: Start with your feet against the wall on the ground and your arms straightened with hands directly under your shoulders, then hold for 60 seconds. If that’s easy, walk your hands backward toward the wall and your feet up the wall until you aren’t able to hold for 60 seconds and keep practicing until you can.
- Step 2, 60 second Wall Handstand: Once you’ve moved past a plank position and are actually bracing almost all of your weight on your arms, keep your hands 12 inches from the wall and hold for 60 seconds. Repeat until totally comfortable.
- Step 3, Learning Control and Bail: Continue the wall handstand and also practice falling out of the handstand with control. This will eliminate the fear of falling or losing control.
- Step 4, Kickup and Total Control: Practice putting hands 12 inches from the wall and kicking up into the position against the wall. This will teach you how hard you need to push in order to get fully comfortable. Once you know how hard to push, practice holding 12 inches away from the wall. If you need it, the wall is there to brace you.
- Step 5, Practice: You’ve got all of the moves. Now you must step away from the wall and gain the confidence in what you’ve built. Practice kicking up and holding. You’ll be surprised by how easy it is to do a handstand almost anywhere once you’ve eliminated fear and built up your strength!
That’s it! You’ve done it. What an accomplishment in 2017!
article based on info from nerdfitness.com
header image via ashotofadrenaline.net