Simple Things To Help Your Handstand

A solid handstand will help your across the board for so many movement disciplines.  Tumbling, Aerial, Bboying, Capoeira, Parkour, and of course just plain ole fitness.  Every one wants to be able to do a handstand and while there are countless amounts of exercises to help you I want to give you my TOP SIX that I think are the bread and butter of the handstand (so hope your not gluten and dairy intolerant)

Hand Stand Free

  1. The Hands, Elbows and Shoulders

Just like the roots of a Tree your fingers need to spread out.  The farther apart the fingers are you create a bigger balancing surface for your base.

You also want to try and grip the floor with your finger tips so your second digit from the tips pops up leaving the pads under the knuckles and finger tips glued to the floor.

The elbows will benefit from total lockout, squeeze the triceps tight to keep the elbows locked out, this will also make the shoulder easier to use for stabilization.

Shrug through the shoulders it will connect your arms to the rest of you and give you more endurance as well as activate the muscles to keep you upside down longer.

2. The Hollow Position

What the hell is hollow position?  It is an extreme version of an abdominal crunch.

  1. lay on your back with your knees tucked into your chest, feet off the ground, and head and shoulders off the ground.
  2. Extend your arms so they are reaching parallel to the floor while still staying lifted at the shoulders.
  3. While maintaining the arms reached out keep the lower back on the floor sucking the stomach in towards the spine and slowly extend your legs straight out so that are parallel to the floor as well.
  4. At full extension (if you can reach it) your elbows should be locked out, stomach to spine, squeeze your butt, lock out the knees, legs squeezing together, and feet pointed.

This may take some time to develop the strength and cor control to maintain.  Do not give up on it try to hold the legs out as far as you can while maintaining the lower back to the floor and glutes squeezing, if your lower back comes off the floor it can cause lower back issues. Build up to it and keep working on it.

3. Reach Through The Handstand

Don’t just hold the hollow shape, extend through it.  Make yourself reach through the toes and legs and feel the extra lift and support it provides.  You can practice this against a wall to get used to the feeling of reaching and stretching taller or growing.  You can also practice in the hollow shape laying on your back and reaching through your toes and arms.


When you stand on your hands at first you need to establish where your center is.  I have a test for you.  Stand in front of a full body mirror, or in front of a camera and hit record. Close your eyes and spin by walking in place doing a 360 turn in one direction and then the other.  Keeping the eyes closed visualize where all your connective joints are from your ankles, knees, hips, spine, shoulders, neck, elbows and then wrists. Now while still having your eyes closed extend your arms over your head and reach up as far as you can attempting to stack everything in a straight line from wrists over head all the way down to the toes.  This is what you are aiming for with your hand stand, a straight line balancing the hips over the hands first and then attempting to line up everything with them.

  1. Find the Line standing up
  2. Get the hips over the hands in place you can manage
  3. Reline the rest of the body when you feel comfortable

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5. Building the Endurance To Hold A Handstand

Some people have a fear of being upside down or get disoriented and dizzy when inverted.  Everyone I have worked on with this issue has eventually got over it…Handstand Pun.

Any way in the video below I show how you can slowly build up to being inverted without immediately going for the handstand right away.  Any time, ANY TIME, I have taken the slow and safe route with helping someone or myself build a new skill I have seen great results, jumping to the whole skill only works some of the time, usually is lost quickly, can result in unnecessary injury, and builds mental blocks.  When I take the long route I always get positive results. I am not perfect and I am well aware of it, but I learn from it…mostly.

6. How to fail a Handstand

One of the many reasons to have a bridge, cartwheel, and forward roll before moving on to training hand balance is because all of those skills help you recover from falling on your back.  I urge you to train as safe as possible especially if you are in a hard environment which most of you are.  The Cartwheel Bail is in my opinion the safest way to come out of a falling handstand, but sometimes you are limited with space and the other two would be more beneficial for you, or maybe you have great bridge flexibility and that works better for you.

A while back I made some other handstands videos that had a lot of great content in them, if you have the time take a look, it might have some things that will help you.


Thank you for taking the time to read please feel free to contact me on facebook if you have any questions.

Francesco Caban




7 Replies to “Simple Things To Help Your Handstand”

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