Did you know that the handstand is one of the most important skills in gymnastics? It provides the foundation for skills on all of the events! Here are a few drills that can be done at home:
1. Practice the Handstand ShapeLay on the floor on your stomach with your hands pressed up against a wall or couch. Be sure to extend your body as long as you can while pulling your belly button in and flattening your hips to the floor. Squeezing your muscles, hold this shape for 10-30 seconds at a time.
2. Pike Handstand
With your hands on the floor and feet on the couch, lift your hips into the air to create an upside down ‘L’ with your body. Your hands, shoulders and hips should all be stacked on top of each other in alignment. Be sure to grow as tall as you can through your shoulders as you hold this pike handstand shape.
You can make this drill more difficult by lifting one leg into the air and holding it at vertical. Now that leg should be stacked on top of your hips, shoulders and hands.
3. Wall Handstand
Find a space against a wall to walk your feet up until you’ve reached a vertical position on your hands. Position yourself to get your hips flat against the wall, chin touching the wall while your eyes look at your hands and toes slightly off the wall to create the ideal handstand shape.
To make this more challenging, you can walk your hands further away to try and balance on your hands without wall support. Use the wall for assistance as needed.
Every gymnast, no matter the skill level, can benefit from practicing their handstand shapes. The more you practice, the more control you will begin to feel over your body during the handstand!