Of all the different forms of exercise poses available, some of the toughest ones are those that you have to turn your body upside down such as the handstand. This is because it requires a higher level of strength, stamina, concentration and flexibility. It is not only challenging, but it is also exciting. It is a way to exercise the whole of your body using the arms, shoulders, and back as you take control and explore your limits.
Handstands will work your core and help you to improve your strength, flexibility and balance. It also comes with the benefit of lymph flow as well as increased circulation. Bear in mind that this exercise will reverse the blood flow in your body. Therefore, if you suffer from high blood pressure, spinal issues, brain injuries, you should not attempt doing it. This is also true for any other inverted posture such as a headstand or shoulder stand.
Practicing handstand comes with some benefits. It is good for healing the brain and if it is regularly practiced, it can help to prevent mental disorders. The posture activates the pituitary glands in the brain and also secretes melatonin and serotonin which are two important hormones. This enables the mind to be able to relax. You can check out more on this from this article. Other benefits of this posture include:
- It helps in the purification of the blood due to the reverse in the supply of blood.
- It strengthens the immune system.
- It calms the nervous system.
- It improves balance.
- It improves focus and concentration.
- It strengthens the upper body including the spine and core.
How Do You Do A Handstand?
Because handstands require strength and balance, it is not enough to just start attempting to do it. It is more beneficial to practice strength, flexibility and alignment exercises before attempting to do so. If you rush into doing it, you will eventually get frustrated and quit. Therefore is it essential that you go through the different steps that are needed, taking them one step at a time. After mastering a particular step, you can move on to the next one until finally, you are able to do it all by yourself. Sometimes, these steps may overlap and you do not need to fully master one to continue the other. Want to know how to learn how to do a handstand? Continue reading below.
Step One: Strength
To be able to stay in an inverted position, one of the most vital things that you need is strength. You have to build specific strength. What this does is that it helps you to endure, avoid getting injured and achieve excellent alignment. Doing random exercises is not enough. You have to be deliberate about building strength for inversion and balance. By building the specific strength needed for a handstand, you lay the foundation that will make your learning effective.
Step Two: Flexibility
Flexibility is another necessary attribute when it comes to inverting yourself and doing a handstand. It helps you to achieve a perfect alignment when your legs are up in the air. The inability to open the shoulders is a big limitation for a lot of people who desire to get a straight and solid line. Often, this is a result of a lack of flexibility. Spending time to improve the flexibility of your shoulder as well as your strength will benefit you in the long run.
Step Three: Alignment
To stay inverted, you need to have balance and stay straight and it is through alignment that you can achieve this. Alignment provides you with a base that the other techniques you need will ride on. When you have mastered alignment, you will be better balanced and require less energy to stay inverted. You will also be able to hold it for much longer.
Aside from staying in a handstand, alignment helps you to have advanced skills and be more controlled with your handstand. You will achieve a straight pose and will not need to keep going back to fix your technique.
Step Four: Turning out of Handstands
It is common for beginners and learners of handstands to be fearful. Fear in itself is not bad. It is when it limits you that it becomes bad. Fear prevents most people from getting off the wall. The way to deal with this is to learn how to turn out. When you turn out correctly, you are able to get off the wall in a controlled and safe way. This helps to boost your confidence. You will also have the courage to practice kicking up and holding it. Learning to turn out will aid your progress to more advanced skills like transitions, shapes, etc.
Step Five: Balance
When you finally do a handstand, there is a need to hold it up and stay there. Balance helps you to achieve this. To be able to balance correctly, you need to use your hands, wrist and fingers instead of using your body. This is why building alignment beforehand is good. It makes your balancing easier and requiring less energy. With a good alignment, working on your balance will be easy. You will find some tips for balancing here https://www.yogahouse.ae/single-post/2019/10/09/balancing-for-beginners-tips-to-improve-your-handstand.
Step Six: Consistency
To be consistent means that you hit and hold a good handstand every time you do it. This means that you have to not just practice but also practice consistency. You have to learn to get it right not just occasionally but every time you do it.
Step 7: Endurance
This is the ability to sustain your strength and it impacts how long you are able to stay inverted. Endurance helps to open the door to advanced skills such as taking different shapes and transiting between shapes and the arms. A lack of endurance means you will run out of strength in no time.
Handstands are exciting as well as challenging. They also come with lots of benefits to the body but ensure that you follow the proper steps in your training. Every step is important for your progress. You should avoid skipping them.