okay, i’m about to share a deep, dark secret with you about handstands. so, brace yourself.
when i ask people what part of their body they think affects their ability to handstand the most, the #1 response i get is arms–or shoulders. and, yes, without arms and shoulders, handstands would be a bitch. pardonnez mon francais.
students who are a bit more astute (or know my personal mantra: “no matter what the question, the answer is core”) will answer core. and, yes, core is the secret to stability and balance.
but THIS ISN’T A BLOG POST ABOUT CORE (believe it or not)…it’s about another pose…one oft overlooked and yet absolutely crucial when learning to kick up into a handstand.
here it is…
you ready for it…
what you talkin’ about willis??? (you have to be of a certain age to catch that reference…and people of a certain age can do this, too!)
let me explain.
when you are learning to kick up into a handstand, you start out in a standing split, reaching the top leg as high as possible. the bottom leg then has to somehow propel said top leg up until your hips are above your shoulders.
now, there are two means of propulsion…there’s the kick and there’s the press. we are working towards the press.
because the press is a more controlled action than a kick.
so, anyway, back to the split…
here’s the thing:
if you have a big split, you can lift your top leg higher in your handstand prep.
if your top leg is higher, it will take less force to get it all the way up there where it needs to be.
if you put less force behind getting up, then you will be moving more slowly into the pose.
if you are moving more slowly, then you have a lot more control.
and if you have more control, you have a lot more balance.
and if you have a lot more balance, by golly, you have yourself a handstand!
so…do your core core core! do your chataurangas and push-ups. do all that good stuff. but if you really want your handstands to come together like butter (not sure if butter comes together, but it always makes for a nice analogy), master those splits. and you can thank me later.