How to do a handstand in five easy steps, by Carmen Bosmans

A handstand is one of the most basic movements in gymnastics, and gymnasts always make one look effortless. But when you give one a go for the first time, it's a whole different story. So how do we get to that perfect handstand without collapsing and face planting in the ground? It all starts with static positions. If you've ever watched Gymnastics at the Olympic Games then you'll notice that all the Chinese gymnasts move exactly the same because they all started from the same basis. The first years they only ever practiced static positions before they even try a high-skilled movement. That's why we implement these holds so often in our gymnastics classes. Step One - Static Positions Start by practicing these movements: - Hollow hold: Lying on your back, feet and shoulders of the ground, squeezing your butt, pushing your lower back into the ground and with your arms next to your ears. 5d72893ed69b91c79784615dbe35abf3 Once you've completed this, we can go to more advanced positions, including: - Handstand position wall drill - Push up drills - Inch worm walk - Inch worm walk with box Step Two 3bed6c18df9856b9e59ff5d0cee756b5 Get comfortable being upside down. The best way to do that is to kick up to a wall and bring your body in that hollow position like you practiced before. If you can't kick up then first try a wall climb, where you start down on the floor in a push up position feet against the wall. Take the biggest step you can take with one leg and then bring your other leg up. Push out from the shoulders and take small steps until you're all the way up. Step Three Moving in your inverted position. Drills: step3 - Shrugs from the shoulders: Activate your shoulders by pushing them out and bringing them to your ears, and shifting your weight to the supportive shoulder - Box walk: Place your feet in the center of a box with your hands on the floor so you'll be in a inverted position. Start moving around the box by shifting your weight and moving your hands step-by-step - Wall shuffle: Walk lateral against the wall by shifting your weight to the supportive shoulder, so you can move the opposite arm. Do both sides left and right and variate between back to wall and chest to wall walks - Shoulder taps on a box: Start the same way as the box walk, but shift your weight so far to one side that you can lift the opposite arm and touch the same shoulder - Shoulder taps against the wall: Make sure you practice both ways. Chest facing and back to wall - One armed handstand holds against wall: Spread your legs wide open so it's easier to shift your weight and keep your balance Step Four Time to start walking on our hands! Try these drills: step4 - Wall pull: Go into a handstand with your chest facing the wall. Press your fingers in the ground and think of squeezing the ground with your fingers. While you do that, your feet will come off the wall and you'll adopt a freestanding position, before falling back to the wall - Next, try to take a few steps forward away from the wall. The good thing here is that you can bring your toes back to the wall and walk back Step Five step5 Freestanding handstand walk with a partner: Mark a distance you want to walk on your hands. Start with 1 - 2m and make sure your partner is standing behind you so he can spot you. Always keep good form and don't forget to breathe!   By: Carmen Bosmans, InnerFight Performance Coach