If you’ve ever looked at my Instagram you’ll know how obsessed I am with trying to perfect my handstand.
Seriously, I’ve wanted to be able to do a handstand since I was about five-years-old, but I was too afraid to even try until a few years ago.
While my friends back in school used to kick up against the wall in the playground, I would bring in my skipping rope or French elastic (do you remember how totally awesome that was by the way!?) because I was too scared to even TRY a handstand.
I’ve always been able to cartwheel – that feels easy for me. But actually kicking up into a handstand filled me with fear. If you think I’m joking, check out my very first handstand video on Instagram…
Trust me, it’s worth watching. It’s a solid minute of me freaking out while trying to kick up against a wall. And the unedited version was a massive 10 minutes and 23 seconds!!
That was filmed back in March 2017 when I first decided it was time to start pushing past my fear so I could actually attempt handstands.
If I’m honest, getting past the fear took longer than I thought it would. But once I started trying to kick up against the wall every day the fear faded significantly. I’m a stubbornly determined git, so that probably helped too!
For a few years I was just kind of teaching myself. Foolish really as I didn’t know anything about handstands. Then earlier this year I joined a local training space called Sequoia Movement so I could try their hand balance class…and I’ve progressed more in the past six months than I did in two years kicking up by myself.
And all because I’ve had face-to-face coaching from handstand experts, including a professional who travelled the world as a hand balance act in the circus!
I combine training at Sequoia Movement with home conditioning drills so I continue to see progress…and so my fear doesn’t slip back in. But my home workout equipment has always been pretty limited.
So when MiraFit recently asked if I’d like to try some of their home gym equipment for my handstand training I couldn’t believe my luck!
And as I know I’m not the only person with a goal of mastering a handstand, I asked Sarah from Sequoia Movement if she would write a home conditioning workout for me to share with you to help build handstand strength.
Most of us get a little more free time over Christmas than we would usually have. And a lot of gyms, etc are closed for a week or two. So right now seems like the perfect time to start a home conditioning workout to get closer to mastering a handstand!
I filmed this workout at Sequoia Movement because the lighting is better than at home, but everything in it can be done at home with just a little bit of equipment.
Each of the exercises has modifications to make the movements suitable for different levels, so I’ve put the notes on each video so you don’t have to read too much on here (as I know you’re desperate to just get on with trying some handstand training).
So let’s get started…
Pulse raiser and Mobility
This section has a few different exercises, but each one is specifically designed to minimise the risk of injury. Handstand training puts a lot of strain on the wrists and shoulders, so a thorough warm-up is vital.
I never realised how important core strength is for handstands, but that’s a big part of it. So these drills will definitely help get you closer to holding a strong handstand.
- Dead bugs – 15 seconds each side
- Hollow body hold (see modifications if needed) – hold 30 seconds
- Superman – pulse x 10
Repeat 3 times
Handstand strength workout circuits
There are two circuits for the actual workout – each one is designed to be repeated for about 10 minutes. But if you’re a complete beginner just try once (or maybe twice) through the whole thing. Listen to your body…and your wrists. If you’re completely new to this then your wrists will probably tell you to quit long before the rest of your body does.
Over time your wrists will get used to it though and you’ll be able to train handstands much more often. Then you might eventually become as obsessed as I am!
Beginner circuit 1 – approx. 10 minutes
- Wall walk – 1 walk with a 15-20 second hold at the top
- Pike push ups – 6 reps
- Slider in and outs – 12 reps
- Bunny hops – 10 reps
Beginner circuit 2 – approx. 10 minutes
- Crow hold – 30 second hold
- Prone shoulder pulses – 30 seconds
- Shoulder taps with feet on sliders – 12 reps
- V-snaps – 6 reps
I’ve found adding these kinds of exercises to my usual kick up practice has majorly improved my strength and confidence for handstands. So try it and let me know what you think!
Mirafit and Sequoia Movement aren’t a partnership and I’m in no way sponsored by Sequoia Movement (just to clarify) – Sarah came up with this workout and filmed the videos for me out of pure kindness. She’s a star!
By the way, all of the equipment used in these workouts can be found on the MiraFit website:
I’m so excited to spend the Christmas break continuing my handstand training at home!
Yes, I am a big kid. And yes, I do spend a lot of my spare time playing. I hope you’ll do the same because life is more fun when you’re upside down!