Remember as a kid playing around in the yard or playground, cartwheels and handstands were performed over and over until we were dizzy! Such a great skill that many adults stop practising. Handstands in particular, are often dismissed or overlooked in strength training exercises in adult fitness classes.
Aside from being loads of fun, handstands can offer the following gains:
- Building Core Strength
- Developing Upper Body Strength
- Improving Balance
- Strengthening Bones
- Improved Blood Flow and Circulation
When you are upside down in a handstand a range of different muscles are engaged to stabilise you including, abdominal muscles, quadriceps, back muscles, triceps, hip flexors, among others. Having so many muscles engaged and working to stabilise your body rapidly develops your core strength. Solid core strength is the main aim of strength and conditioning, so get hand-standing!
In addition to core strength, upper body strength is getting a workout too. If you can manage handstand push ups, even more gains coming your way!
The more handstands you do, the more you will see your balance improve. As your balance improves, increase your skills by walking on your hands, activating a range of arm and back muscles, working abs, and improving balance.
By practising handstands, you are engaging in a weight bearing activity, which will contribute to the strengthening of your bones. Strengthening bones in your spine, shoulders, arms, and wrists, is a great way to reduce your risk of arthritis and osteoporosis.
What happens when you turn upside down? The blood runs to your head. Getting your blood flow moving and circulating is beneficial to your heart health. As you take the weight from your feet and lower body and direct it into your upper body, you will increase blood flow to your lungs which can also improve effective breathing.
Check out The Handstand: Basics A great reference guide
Handy Getting Started Tips
Use a wall for balance
Use a friend as a spotter to catch your legs/feet for starting to improve stabilisation
Use a wall to begin practising handstand push ups. A cushion/pillow is recommended to avoid injury when getting started.
Practise cartwheels to get used to weight bearing before trying to stabilise handstands
Repeat. Practise is key here, the more you do the better you get, and the more results you gain. Have fun.