I’ve always enjoyed hand-balancing, for as long as i can remember I’ve always been trying to kick up to handstands and walk around on my hands.
Handstands have always been part of training routine usually in the form of a finisher of a static hold or walking a distance on my hands.
But I started training hand-balancing much more as an art in itself a few years ago, and my strength gain has been awesome.
I feel the carryover that hand-balancing has to other sports is great, you will develop a much greater sense of balance, incredible shoulder strength and flexibility, total body strength and control, core strength, you will in fact strengthen your whole body through the simple act of inverting yourself.
And then there is the therapeutic benefit of spinal decompression and so forth.
For my sport of parkour the strength qualities gained from hand-balancing are extremely useful but I do feel that they would carry over to any sport and besides its just plane fun.
You could add hand-balancing into your routine as I once did as a finisher or as part of a circuit etc, or training it on its own, one of the best ways to train I feel is to set a timer for around 15- 20 mins and just spend as much of that time as you can inverted, expect your shoulders to burn!!
The triceps, deltoid and traps seem to take most of the strain during handstands but the whole body works in unison and every muscle with be training, its like walking on your feet, its not just your quads that are working but instead your entire body.
Hand-balancing can be a great supplement to any training routine or it can become to you an art in itself where you want to explore how strong you can become at it, this has happened for me where i now want to work toward advanced hand-balancing and gymnastic strength like one-armed planches and such, i think the strength demonstrated in such moves is second to none!
Imagine holding your whole bodyweight horizontally with one arm, incredible!
It’s really up to you how far you wanna take it but training the basic moves of handstands and handstand walking will benefit you greatly in any sport or fitness goals.
practice first against a wall for safety and to get proper technique. Place your hands about 6 inches from the base of the wall, put your legs into a sprint start position, kick your feet up so the come to gently rest against the wall- i said gently! you may need to play around with how hard you kick for a bit to stop you underkicking or overkicking.
Right so now you are inverted- point your toes to the ceiling, keep your legs together, glutes tight, back straight and core tight- really tighten your core to get most control.
Keep your shoulders shrugged i.e pushing down into the ground through your hands, spread your fingers out wide and apply pressure through your fingertips, feel what the pressure does to your balance and play with it. Keep your head between your arm and try to avoid ‘looking through’ to much as this will round your spine, gaze through your eyebrows to the floor.
And that’s you in a handstand!
Keep the focus on total body tension and stay up for as long as you can or for time, to get down simply kick back of the wall with your feet and land on your feet, if you are working for 20 mins, shake off some relax for about 30 seconds and then go back up do this for the entire 20 minutes.
After you have gained some proficiency and strength against the wall try a free standing, if you over balance simply tuch your chin into you chest and do a forward roll to save yourself.
I see this pretty much as the way a baby learned to walk on there feet, by getting up staggering around, falling and getting up again, until they develop the strength and balance to walk and stand still, you are simply learning to walk again but only this time on your hands, learning how to contract all of the right muscles to keep you up just like a baby. Babies learning to walk develop strength and balance in their legs exceedingly quickly by this method of trial error and persistance, expect the same from walking on your hands.
Our legs by our movement of walking are extremely strong, if you spend a fraction of this time walking on your hands you will develop awesome strength, so add some hand-balancing and walking to your routine and see how it goes for you, but i don’t think you will be disappointed.
Every time I read something that impresses me about some physical feat i usually find out the person has been , is, or uses training methods of gymnastics.
Gymnastics is a passion for me but the carryover to my other sports has been the greatest i have ever had.