I recently posted the following on our Alpha Posse forums in response to a question about handstands.
We thought you might find it useful, so here you go:
So I do have a question about handstands — I can easily do a freestanding handstand, but I can’t usually hold it more than about 2 seconds. Occasionally up to 6 seconds, but not reliably.
It seems like there ought to be some way that I can use my hands or arms to adjust my balance and stay up, but I can’t figure out how. So, how do you learn to hold for 20+ seconds?
Is it balance or strength or something else…?
The answer to your question is yes.
Does that help? Just kidding.
Balance will always come into play. However, positioning determines just how much “balancing” we’ll have to do.
I’d like for you to go back to the wall and focus on really pushing away from the floor with your arms. This will help to open up the range of motion in your shoulders and get your body better over your hands.
Also, feel free to look slightly down at the ground. This will help with balance. Just don’t over do it.
Be sure to use your fingers and heel of hand to grip the floor and keep you from falling over. Which relates to the next point, and this is hard to explain.
There is a certain point where it comes down to believing that you won’t fall and using your hands to keep you up there no matter what. It is easy to let your yourself come down. But you must fight with everything you have to keep yourself up there. When you do, you’ll learn a little bit more about what your body is doing and what it takes to stay up there.
This is Easy to Say, Yet Very Hard to Do.
If you have someone that can stand there by you and keep your legs from starting to come down that will help in the beginning. However, don’t let them touch you unless your legs start to come down. And even then, they should only do as little as possible.
When I re-learned handstands, I didn’t have anyone to help me. Hell, I still don’t have anyone to help me with new tricks.
However, when it all comes down to it, you just have to keep doing it over and over and over and over. Repetition is key. As long as those reps are done with good form.
It is amazing how many people try something a couple of times and tell me they can’t get it and I just want to shake them and say, “You haven’t done it enough times! Do it until you can get it!”.
But I’m a nice guy, so I don’t shake people.
There is a “zero point” where your body is properly aligned over your hands and it feels like you could hold the handstand forever. When you find that once by utilizing the hands, shoulders, hollow body, and legs, things lock into place.
YOU CAN DO THIS. Just get up there and hold it!!
Got handstand questions?
Leave a comment below, and we’ll get you hooked up.
If you really want to make progress with your hand balancing skills, be sure to grab our Ultimate Guide to Learning Handstands. It’s got over 20 minutes of video instruction, plus a complete PDF training program you can download right away. It’s also 100% gratis. Just click below.