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How To Do a Handstand?

Written by:
Reviewed by: Paul McCoy
How To Do a Handstand?

Handstands are an impressive display of strength, balance, and body control. Not only do they look cool, but they also offer a plethora of physical and mental benefits. Performing a handstand requires practice, patience, and proper technique. However, with the right preparation and guidance, anyone can master this challenging skill. In this article, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of how to do a handstand and explore the benefits that come with it. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a complete beginner, this article is for you. Get ready to defy gravity and take your fitness to new heights.

1. The Benefits of Doing Handstands for Your Health and Fitness

How To Do a Handstand: The Benefits for Your Health and Fitness

Handstands are more than just a fun party trick – they offer a variety of benefits for your health and fitness. So, whether you’re looking to improve your strength, balance, flexibility, or simply challenge yourself in new ways, handstand practice may be just what you need.

1. Build Upper Body Strength

Handstands are a challenging upper body exercise that can help you build strength in your arms, shoulders, back, and core. When you’re in a handstand position, your body weight is distributed evenly over your hands and arms, requiring a lot of muscular effort to keep you stable and supported. Over time, consistent practice can increase your muscle endurance and overall upper body strength.

2. Improve Balance and Spatial Awareness

Handstands require a lot of focus and concentration, making them an excellent way to improve your balance and spatial awareness. In order to stay in the handstand position, you need to constantly adjust and readjust your balance, which can help train your proprioceptive sense (your body’s ability to perceive its own position and movement in space). Over time, this can improve your overall balance in other activities and sports.

3. Boost Confidence and Mental Resilience

Mastering the art of the handstand can take time, effort, and patience – but the rewards can be immense. As you progress in your handstand practice and achieve new goals, you may find that your confidence and mental resilience grow as well. Overcoming a difficult physical challenge can help you feel more capable and confident in other areas of your life as well.

2. Preparing Yourself Physically and Mentally for Handstand Practice

Before jumping right into a handstand practice, it’s important to prepare yourself both physically and mentally. Handstands require a lot of strength, stability, and balance, which means you need to prime your body and mind to perform them safely and effectively. Here are some tips on how to do just that.

Physically Preparing for Handstands

Develop Your Upper Body and Core Strength: To hold a handstand, you need strong shoulders, arms, and core muscles. So, make sure to incorporate exercises that target these muscles, such as push-ups, shoulder presses, planks, and hollow body holds. You can also train with resistance bands or weights to increase your strength.

Improve Your Flexibility: Flexibility is also crucial for handstands since it allows you to achieve the proper alignment and form. Focus on stretching your wrists, shoulders, and hamstrings regularly, as these are the most important areas to work on. Yoga and mobility exercises can also improve your flexibility.

Enhance Your Body Awareness: It’s essential to have a good sense of body awareness as you perform handstands to maintain your balance and form. Practicing bodyweight exercises that involve balancing, such as yoga poses or Pilates moves, can help in improving your body awareness.

Mentally Preparing for Handstands

Visualize Your Success: Mentally preparing for handstands can be just as important as physical preparation. Visualizing yourself successfully holding a handstand can help calm your nerves and improve your confidence. Visualize the process of getting into and out of the handstand, as well.

Stay Focused and Centered: Handstands require a lot of mental concentration and focus, as they can be quite challenging. Make sure to clear your head before starting your practice and concentrate on the process of holding a handstand. This can help prevent distractions and improve your balance and form overall.

By preparing appropriately, you’ll be able to perform a handstand safely, effectively, and with the right kind of focus and mindset. Once you’ve got yourself ready, you can move on to our step-by-step guide to mastering the handstand.

3. Step by Step Guide to Mastering the Handstand: From the Right Alignment to Falling Safely

So you want to learn how to do a handstand? It can be a challenging, yet rewarding skill to master. In this section, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide for learning the correct alignment and falling safely.

1. Finding the Right Alignment

The first step in mastering a handstand is finding the correct alignment. Start by standing with your back against a wall with your hands above your head. Walk your feet up the wall until your body is in a straight line, with your hips and shoulders stacked over your wrists. This is the correct position for a handstand.

Practice holding this position for 30 seconds to a minute, engaging your core and pressing firmly into your hands. This will help you build the strength and endurance necessary for a full handstand.

2. Kicking Up to a Handstand

Once you can hold the correct alignment against a wall, it’s time to start practicing kicking up to a handstand. Start by placing your hands on the ground a few inches away from a wall, and then walking your feet up the wall until you’re in a 90-degree angle.

From here, kick one leg up towards the ceiling, using your core and arms to help lift your body up. Keep your gaze focused on your hands and hold for as long as you can before slowly lowering back down. Repeat with the other leg.

3. Falling Safely

Falling is a part of learning how to do a handstand, so it’s important to know how to do it safely. The best way to fall is to tuck your chin to your chest and roll out of the handstand, using your core and shoulders to control your descent.

Remember to practice on a soft surface, such as a mat or grass, and never attempt a handstand without a spotter until you’re completely confident in your ability.

By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be well on your way to mastering a handstand. Remember to practice consistently and safely and to challenge yourself with new variations and progressions as you improve.

4. Variations and Progressions to Challenge Yourself and Take Your Handstand to the Next Level

Once you have mastered the basic handstand, it’s time to take it up a notch. The following variations and progressions will help you challenge yourself and improve your handstand practice.


  • One-armed Handstand: This variation requires even more strength and stability than the basic handstand. Start by practicing with one hand on a raised surface like a block or step, and gradually work towards lifting that hand off the ground entirely.
  • Handstand Push-up: This move adds a strength element to your handstand practice. Start in a handstand position and slowly lower your head towards the ground, then push back up to complete the movement.
  • Pike Handstand: This variation involves folding at the hips while in a handstand position, bringing your legs towards your chest. This move requires flexibility and control.


  • Extended Hold: Once you can hold a basic handstand for 30 seconds or more, aim to increase the hold time to a minute or longer.
  • One-legged Handstand: To progress towards a one-armed handstand, try lifting one leg off the ground while in a handstand position.
  • Walking Handstand: This adds an element of movement to your handstand practice. Start by taking small steps, gradually increasing the distance you walk in a handstand position.

Remember to always prioritize proper alignment and safety in your handstand practice. Don’t rush into more advanced variations or progressions before you are truly ready. With patience and practice, you can take your handstand practice to new heights.

5. Handstand Practice for Different Fitness Levels: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Tips

Handstands may seem intimidating to some, but they’re an excellent workout for improving balance and upper body strength. Here are some tips for handstands at every fitness level.


If you’re just starting out, practice holding a plank or downward dog against a wall to build up your upper body strength and improve the stability of your shoulders. To do this, stand with your back against the wall, facing away from it, and walk your feet up the wall as you lower yourself into a plank or downward dog position. This will help you get used to the sensation of your body weight being supported by your hands and arms.

Once you have built up enough strength, move to practicing the handstand against the wall. Place your hands shoulder-width apart and kick up one leg at a time until your feet are resting against the wall. Focus on keeping your core engaged and your elbows straight. It’s important to work on finding your balance in this position before moving on to freestanding handstands.


For those who have mastered the handstand against the wall, the next step is to practice freestanding handstands. Start by practicing “hollow body holds”, which involve lying on your back and lifting your arms, legs, and shoulders off the ground while keeping your lower back pressed against the floor. This exercise strengthens your core and lower back, which are key to a good handstand.

When you feel comfortable with hollow body holds, move on to kicking up into a freestanding handstand. Start by kicking up with one leg, and focus on engaging your core and keeping your hands shoulder-width apart. Aim to hold the position for a few seconds before coming down.


For those who are comfortable with freestanding handstands, there are several variations and progressions to challenge yourself and take your handstand to the next level. One option is to work on lowering your legs into a straddle position or a pike position. You can also work on transitioning into a handstand from a crow pose or a headstand.

To further challenge yourself, try working on one-arm handstands or handstand push-ups. These advanced exercises require even more upper body strength and control. Remember to always practice safely and listen to your body’s limits.

By practicing handstands at your appropriate fitness level, you can improve your balance, upper body strength, and overall fitness.

6. Handstand Practice for Different Goals: From Building Strength and Flexibility to Finding Balance and Mindfulness

Handstand is a versatile exercise that can benefit you in multiple ways. Whether you want to build strength, gain flexibility, improve balance, or cultivate mindfulness, handstand practice can help you achieve your goals. Here’s how:

Building Strength: Handstand requires significant upper body strength, especially in the shoulders, arms, and core. Regular handstand practice can help you build strength in these areas, which can translate to improved performance in other exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, and dips. To maximize strength gains, aim to hold your handstand for at least 10-15 seconds at a time, or perform multiple reps with short rests in between.

Improving Flexibility: Handstand also requires good flexibility, particularly in the hamstrings, hips, and wrists. By practicing handstand regularly, you can improve your flexibility in these areas, which can help you achieve a deeper range of motion in other exercises like squats and lunges. To enhance flexibility, incorporate stretches such as forward fold, downward dog, and wrist circles before and after your handstand practice.

Finding Balance and Mindfulness: Handstand can also be a powerful tool for cultivating balance and mindfulness. The act of balancing on your hands requires intense focus and concentration, which can help you stay present and centered. Additionally, the upside-down perspective of handstand can offer a fresh outlook on life, and help you let go of distractions and stress. To enhance your balance and mindfulness, try practicing handstand in a quiet, distraction-free space, and focus on your breath and body sensations while you hold the pose.

No matter what your fitness goals are, handstand practice can offer a fun and challenging way to improve your health and well-being. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can master the handstand and enjoy the benefits it offers.

7. Common Mistakes to Avoid and Troubleshooting Tips for a Perfect Handstand Practice


Handstands are undoubtedly challenging, but that doesn’t mean that they’re too difficult to attempt. The key to mastering the handstand is to practice, practice, and practice some more. Even so, common mistakes can occur and can hinder your progress. Here are some critical mistakes to avoid and tips to help you troubleshoot your handstand practice.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

1. Lack of Proper Alignment: Having proper alignment is essential for a safe and successful handstand practice. Failing to align your wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, and feet correctly can lead to injury. Always ensure that you’re in the correct alignment before attempting a handstand.

2. Lack of Core Control: Your core muscles are essential for maintaining balance during a handstand. Failing to engage your core muscles can result in a loss of balance and a collapse of your handstand. Remember to keep your core muscles tight and engaged throughout the entire handstand practice.

3. Improper Leg Placement: Correct leg placement is crucial for performing a stable handstand. Having your legs too wide apart or too close together can cause you to lose control. Practice placing your legs close together and pointing them upwards to maintain balance.

Troubleshooting Tips

1. Falling Safely: Falling during a handstand is inevitable, and you need to know how to fall safely to avoid injuries. Always practice falling in different directions to learn how to roll out of a handstand.

2. Practice on Soft Surfaces: When starting with handstands, it is best to practice on soft surfaces like a gym mat or grass to avoid injury in case you fall.

3. Get Assistance from A Spotter: A spotter can help you with proper alignment and provide you with support during your handstand practice, especially when trying more challenging handstand variations.

Avoiding these common mistakes and incorporating these troubleshooting tips can improve your handstand practice and help you achieve your goals in health and fitness.

People Also Ask

1. Is it difficult to do a handstand?

Yes, doing a handstand can be difficult, especially if you haven’t developed the required strength and balance. However, with practice and proper technique, anyone can learn to do a handstand.

2. What muscles do handstands work?

Handstands work your shoulder muscles, including the deltoids and rotator cuff, as well as your triceps, biceps, forearms, and core muscles. These muscles help stabilize your body and maintain balance while upside down.

3. Can you learn a handstand in a day?

Learning a handstand in a day is unlikely unless you already have some previous experience or strength. It takes time, patience, and consistent practice to develop the necessary skills and build up the strength and balance required for a successful handstand.

4. How long should you practice handstands each day?

To improve your handstand skills, it is recommended to practice for at least 15-20 minutes each day. However, if you are just starting, it’s best to begin with shorter sessions of 5-10 minutes and gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable.

5. What are some tips for doing a handstand?

Some tips for doing a handstand include using a stable surface for support, practicing proper alignment and technique, engaging your core muscles, and maintaining a strong, steady breath throughout the pose.

Final Words

Handstands can be a fun and challenging way to improve your strength, balance, and overall fitness. While they may seem difficult at first, with practice and dedication, anyone can learn to do a handstand. Remember to take your time, be patient with yourself, and listen to your body’s limitations to avoid injury. Good luck and have fun!

John Alexander

John Alexander

Digital Content Producer/EditorNovice 👶
Living in the vibrant city of Seattle, Washington, I thrive as a Digital Content Producer where the intersection of technology and creativity energizes me every day. With a passion for storytelling and an insatiable curiosity for innovation, I craft content that engages, informs, and inspires. My experience extends beyond content creation; I also excel in the role of editor, meticulously refining digital narratives and overseeing the editorial process to ensure optimal quality and coherence. This dual expertise allows me to not only create compelling content but also to guide and collaborate with fellow creators to elevate their work. Fueled by coffee, indie music, and the endless rain that defines my beloved city, I find the perfect backdrop here in Seattle to produce digital narratives that resonate across global audiences. When I'm not immersed in the digital realm, you can find me exploring Seattle's eclectic neighborhoods or attending local tech and creative events, always seeking new sources of inspiration for my next project.

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