Have you been working to achieve your handstand for quite a while now but it’s just not working?
The handstand. The father of all inversions and the most intimidating of them all. It’s never easy to stand on your hands as they have not evolved for that purpose and, after all, most of us spend our lives on our feet. Over the months that you’ve spent kicking up against a wall, it is most likely that you’ve already developed the strength and shoulder mobility needed to hold a freestanding handstand. But whenever you attempt it, you fail. Isn’t it frustrating? You have all you need to perform a handstand, so why can’t you just stick it?
The mystery is on the technique. You probably have been doing it all wrong and that bad habit has been stored in your muscle memory. Here are few essential things to keep in mind in order to hold a freestanding handstand:
Pencil on butt. Imagine there’s a pencil between your glutes and you have to hold it there. Never allow it to slip. To do so, you have to squeeze your glutes and tighten your legs together. This will cause stiffness to your lower body and legs. Pointing your toes will add more tension, making your body as stiff as possible. The more rigid your body is, the lesser effort your body will need to balance since it is moving as a single stiff system.
Push the ground. Never forget your shoulders’ vital role in a handstand. It should be fully engaged to create a strong foundation. Shoulders can be locked and participate actively by simply pushing the ground away. It will activate the scapula promoting more stability in the shoulder girdle making balancing on your hands easier.
Be a pianist. No, you don’t need to take piano lessons and learn how to play it. Spread your fingers as if you’ll play the piano. It will create a larger surface area for balancing making your foundations stronger and more stable. Place your weight on the knuckles where your hands and fingers are connected. This will allow your fingers to push you back if you feel you’re falling forward and will the heels of your palms to push back to balance point if you feel you’ll fall back onto your feet.
Concentration is the rhythm. Focus is one main key: to live in the moment, being aware of what’s happening in the body, the techniques that it must perform and finding a spot on the ground where you can fix your gaze. Focusing your vision between your thumbs can help you when it comes to balancing since our sense of balance is directly connected to sight. Always remember to breathe.
Practice! You may know all of these techniques but your handstand won’t come if you don’t put the effort in to familiarize your body with it. Keep practicing on a daily basis but not to point of exhaustion. Remember to be patient. Fully trust the journey.
Nothing great comes overnight. The practice becomes precious knowing you’ve put your heart and soul in it. Do not bring your ego to practice. It will poison your thoughts and will leave you frustrated. Mastering your handstand is hard but never impossible. Tune in to your inner strength and consciously progress. One day your handstand will surely come!