Taking small steps towards the ultimate goal is the fastest way to progress in any new skill. Unfortunately, handstands are almost never taught according to this dictum. Especially with a physical feat as unusual as standing or walking on your hands, every student and most teachers want the outcome, the end result of balancing upside down, very quickly. It is human nature to see a goal and attempt to accomplish that outcome now. But in the case of handstands, this impedes our progress.
Consider how infants learn to walk. They take innumerable incremental steps, while maintaining a sweet curiosity that keeps them from becoming overwhelmed. We’ll explore the value of curiosity later (it is an important skill), but for now know that if you fail repeatedly and then get frustrated, this actually keeps you from quickly achieving your ultimate goal. Instead we’re going to look at all of the incremental steps that make up learning handstands, just like an infant learns to scoot, crawl, and cruise before walking freely on her own. Have patience, and follow the steps. I promise that if you do, you’ll learn your fearless handstands very quickly!
As part of my new book “How To Do A Handstand: Learn To Balance a Fearless Handstand in 20 Days or Less” I have created 36 short videos, which teach all of the incremental steps necessary to learn handstands.
You can watch the complete Handstand playlist here:
Some of my favorite videos include, how to make a game of moving around on all fours. Everyone takes handstands seriously, instead of ‘playing’ and enjoying being upside down. Kids learn by having fun. We can, too:
Handstands are often practiced up against a wall. There are (at least) two different ways of using a wall to practice – facing away from the wall…
And facing towards the wall, which is more representative of how it feels to do a handstand without the wall for support.
Facing towards the wall in a handstand is more complicated maneuver. It is possible to carthwheel into this variety of handstand…
Or, perhaps easier, is to walk the body up the wall.
Posture is also essential to learning a safe and fearless handstand. Fortunately, handstand posture is very similar to standing posture, and includes 2 primary elements.
The pelvis, and what I call the “bottom-back” maneuver:
And the fingers, which is how to make subtle adjustments in handstands:
If you like these incremental steps to learning handstands, check out my new book at http://www.fearlesshandstands.com