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Handstands for Beginners

Unless you have a gymnastics background or are comfortable being inverted, handstands probably don’t come naturally. The first inclination for many is to throw their body up without actually knowing what to do. What comes next usually isn’t pretty and ends up on the floor. So we are going to break it down and get you comfortable in the inverted position. Here’s the progression we recommend:

  1. Plank position in the hollow
  2. Feet on top of a 6” box, beginning to pike (hinge at the waist) the lower body
  3. Feet on top of an 18” box, this is where you begin to really pike
  4. Feet on top of a 24” box, full pike position
  5. Feet on top of a 30” box, here you will begin to lift one leg at a time

Remember all of those hollow body holds we make you do? The handstand is one area where you will put that skill to use. Take a look at these other basic positions that are crucial to perfecting the handstand.

  • Push the hands downward to lengthen the arms and almost feel a lengthening of the latissimus dorsi. Think active shoulders.
  • Keep the head in a neutral position (meaning don’t crank the neck looking forward). Fingertips are important to pay attention to while inverted, as that is how you keep your balance, similar to your toes and feet.
  • Remember your lateral breathing and keep your butt from creeping its way back. Squeeze the glutes and all the muscles you use in the strict press here.
  • Keep the hollow position in your core and you will begin to pike as the boxes get higher.

Try to build on each movement and hold for one minute for five to ten repetitions.


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