Walk Before You Can Run
Written by Bryan Miller
If you walk before you run, then it makes sense to stand up before you can walk, right? If that is the case, then why do people try to walk on their hands before they can hold a freestanding handstand?
Oddly enough, in my experience, walking on your hands, for most people, is easier than holding a freestanding handstand and I believe there is a huge value to be gained by mastering the freestanding handstand first. I am no gymnast, by any means, but from what I’ve seen, the people who are able to hold a freestanding handstand have NO PROBLEM with walking on their hands!
With that being said, after you’re comfortable upside down and against a wall, your focus should first be on the freestanding handstand. Here are some really great drills to help with your freestanding handstand.
Nose-to-Wall Handstand Hold
In this drill, really try to focus on squeezing your butt and bringing your rib cage toward your pelvis (squeeze your abs). Your back should not be overextended while in this position, your elbows should be locked out as hard as possible and the only thing touching the wall should be your toes. Rasmus is doing a great job maintaining a neutral spine through his entire body.
This drill will teach you to find the right positions needed for a freestanding handstand with the assistance of the box. This will teach you how to properly balance and it is the first step to a solid freestanding handstand. You’ll walk up the wall until your forearms are against the box, the box is making it easier to balance. Everything is the same as the nose-to-wall handstand hold but there is a major balance component to this one. Start with ten second intervals and work up to two minute holds – these are very challenging if you do not have a freestanding handstand.
These are just a couple drills that I really enjoy. Find a gymnastics coach in your area and get some one-on-one coaching to take your handstand to the next level. If you put in practice with these drills, the handstand walk will feel like a walk in the park!