In the last few years of my life, I have been often stopped and questioned about my handstands. People always want to know the quick and easy way to learn how to do handstands, so I will let you in on a secret: there is not one.
Handstands require a great deal of strength and dexterity that has to be built up over time. There are muscles that you use when you walk upon your hands that just are not normally used. For those who are not daunted by the prospect of a lot of hard work ahead of them, here are some tips and tricks to doing handstands.
The first step in learning how to do handstands should be obvious: practice. When you think you have practiced enough, practice some more. For those of you who have never attempted handstands before, it may be best to use a wall or a friend as a spotter for your first few attempts. The first goal you should have is just trying to see how long you can maintain your balance. Whether you want to ultimately start walking on your hands or stay in place, either at this point is fine because you just need to start building the muscles.
In order to balance on your hands, you need to make sure that what you are balancing with is your fingers and not your body. If you use your body to “push” you in the direction you want to walk or balance, you will ultimately over do it. A slight amount of finger pressure is all that is needed to send you in the direction that you desire.
Many people also debate over the correct form for you body while you are doing a handstand and I would say there is none. At the start, having a slightly curved back or legs may be easier and seem more natural. As you progress, a completely straight back or body will be possible as your balance and strength improves. I tend to prefer having a straight back and body just because it looks more impressive and I think that it is easier to maintain now. This may not be possible though if you have not developed you core abdominal muscles yet.
I have also been asked how long it takes to learn how to do handstands. The answer to this question is fraught with qualifications. How long do you plan on practicing each day? What is your ultimate goal and achievement? For myself, I practiced every couple of friends just for fun and in attempt to outdo the other. It took me six months before I could walk around rooms on my hands comfortably and without losing balance.
Whether you are just looking for something to amuse yourself or are seeking the latest extreme sport, hand balancing and handstands offer that option. If you put in the time and effort to learn how to do handstands, you will be rewarded in the end. Good luck!
Note: It is always advisable to check with your doctor before beginning any workout.