Handstands are pretty bad ass… and notoriously difficult. Maybe you want to get a nice, solid handstand because it’s your goal in yoga. Maybe you just want to handstand so you can take a really impressive photo handstanding on a scenic beach somewhere and post it to Instagram. Whatever your reason, here are some handstand drills that will help you on your handstand journey.
Drills for Handstand Practice:
Face away from the wall, place your heels at the base of the wall, and get into a plank. Slowly walk your feet up the wall, walking your hands in as you move up. Try to get as close to the wall as possible, then reverse the movement and walk your hands out from the wall, and your feet back down to the ground. Repeat this drill of walking yourself up and down the wall, from plank to handstand and back.
This is a great beginner handstand because you are holding all of your bodyweight on your arms, but it is much easier to balance in this compact position.
Place your palms flat on the floor and tuck your knees into your armpits. Your thighs should be pressed against your torso, and your shins resting against the back of your arms. Slowly begin to “tip” yourself forward, lifting your feet off the ground and easing your weight onto your hands. Try to reach a stable frog stand.
The L-Stand is a good way to practice getting comfortable with a full inversion, while still using the wall.
Begin in a ‘downward dog’ position with your heels against the wall and your palms flat on the floor. Walk your feet up the wall until your legs are parallel with the ground. Hold this position, or practice picking one leg off the wall at a time and extending it upward.
Handstand tucks will help you find your balance and work your stabilizing muscles, without the help of a wall.
Stand and place your palms flat on the floor, about a foot in front of your toes. Bend your knees and push off the ground, bringing your hips up and your knees in a “tuck” position. Practice these small tuck-up hops, attempt to hold the top of the tuck and balance.
The elbow stand will train your core muscles to hold your legs in an extended position, and build strength in your shoulders.
Begin in an elbow plank, then walk your feet inwards, letting your hips rise up, keeping your legs straight, and letting your weight shift forward. When you can’t walk your feet in any further, lift one leg upwards, and then the other. Practice getting both of your legs up off the ground, and holding elbow stand without wobbling.