Performing a handstand is one of those activities that looks like a simple bit of fun, until you actually try to do one that is. In reality, what is seen by many as a kid’s activity is a strenuous physical task that requires an extreme amount of strength, fitness, flexibility, and discipline to complete.
While as children we may have tried to learn how to do a handstand through a process of trial and error, in later life this isn’t such a good idea, as our bones and joints become less supple and more prone to injury as we age. This makes getting the technique right the first time extremely important.
While there are plenty of videos and guides online claiming to be able to help you gain the skill and perform a handstand, most are extremely basic and will only scratch the surface of what is truly involved. In reality, the best option people have is to sign up for a proper handstand course.
One of the best options for such a course is the Reps Hand Balancing Course. Designed by a market leader in the fitness industry, it claims to include everything you need, no matter how little or much prior experience you have.
Is it really as good as it claims to be though? Let’s look at the evidence and then you can decide for yourself.
What Is A Handstand?
A handstand is a calisthenic exercise that requires extreme dedication and physical performance to achieve. To perform a handstand, you will be required to engage almost your entire body, as it works your shoulders, arms, core, and back.
Handstands are well known to work and strengthen your core and improve balance, while offering a range of health and fitness benefits, such as increased circulation and lymph flow. The physical skills and benefits of doing handstands can also be directly transferred to other exercises as well.
What Is The Reps Hand Balancing Course?
The Reps Hand Balancing Course is a step by step guide to helping people learn how to correctly and safely perform a handstand. It is considered to be one of the very best handstand courses by industry insiders and can more than hold its own against the competition.
It includes detailed guides and resources and is capable of taking beginners from their first steps to their first handstand, as well as helping those who can already perform a handstand to advance their skills and use them to perform even more challenging and impressive movements.
Meet The Instructor: Yuri Marmerstein
Yuri Marmerstein is an acrobat and movement teacher based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. One of the world leaders in his field, he wasn’t too interested in physical activity as a child and got into fitness much later than many of the industry’s pros, only finding his passion for movement as an adult.
Perhaps most impressively is the fact that most of his skills are completely self-taught. He has used this to allow him to travel the world and teach his view of learning and performing acrobatic skills and breaking down misconceptions that it is ever too late to learn to do something.
He spends most of his time teaching students how to replicate his skills, while also often performing himself. He has performed across the United States, including on Broadway and the Las Vegas Strip, and he has even used his skills to earn himself both acting and stunt roles in major movies.
What Resources Are Included In The Reps Hand Balancing Course?
Now that you know a little more about the Reps Hand Balancing Course’s instructor and what it is designed to do, it is time to look at the course itself in a little more detail. We will now take a look at the resources that are included, to show you just how it will help you to achieve your goals.
FREE Beginner Handstand Workshop
The free beginner handstand workout included goes into some of the base points that you need to understand before you try to do a handstand, which is very important for complete novices. Being included as a YouTube link also allows you to share it with friends and encourage them to join you.
Balancing The Equation eBook
The Balancing The Equation eBook breaks down the entire process of performing a handstand and goes into great detail on each aspect. This ensures you know each and every detail that is required to achieve a freestanding handstand, even if you are a beginner, starting from the very basics.
Absolute Bodyweight Control: How to Begin Training for the One Arm Handstand
An article Yuri originally wrote for Unconventional Athletes Magazine, Absolute Bodyweight Control discusses some of the most nuanced concepts involved in doing a handstand. Understanding and mastering these is vital for anyone hoping to get to the next level and do a one handed handstand.
Subscription To Online Community Classes
All subscriptions come with an invite to join the online community classes. Each month the group will host two online classes held on zoom, with topics varying from month to month, all of which will be announced beforehand. This adds extra levels of progression and social interaction to the course.
The Different Versions Of The Reps Handstand Course
While advertised as a single course, the Reps Handstand Course is technically two courses. There is the beginner level “Unlocking The Handstand” course, as well as the intermediate level “ Advancing The Handstand” course. These can be purchased individually or as a bundle at a discounted rate.
Whichever option you go for, you will receive lifetime access to all of the resources, which includes more than 4 hours of high definition course material. Both options also include access to online community classes and top quality customer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
For Beginners: UNLOCKING THE HANDSTAND
The Unlocking The Handstand course is designed for beginners and focuses on the basics of doing a handstand. It will cover things such as the correct posture, as well as how to fall, how to avoid wrist pain, and how to prevent injury, to ensure you have a safe, fun, and enjoyable experience.
It also features a collection of warm up routines, as well as the best exercises to do to help you develop the strength required to complete a handstand. This should ensure users of all abilities are able to complete their first ever handstand and have a good time while doing so.
The course includes nothing but high quality content spread across its 30 videos, which are split into 5 parts or “blocks”, as they are described. The course is available for a price of $49.95 when purchased individually or for $89.90 when bought as part of a bundle with the advanced course.
- All but guarantees that even beginners will be able to complete their first handstand
- All of the resources are high quality in terms of both content and presentation
- Priced extremely reasonably, especially when compared to competitors
- Has measures included to keep you safe while you progress
- Designed to be fun, which is especially ideal for beginners
- No nutritional information included to help you develop the required strength
For Pros: ADVANCING THE HANDSTAND
The Advancing The Handstand course is designed to continue your progression beyond the beginner course and add improvements to your handstand, both in terms of optimising your form and balance, as well as helping you to tackle more difficult variations.
It includes sections to help you learn how to do a one armed handstand, handstand walk, press to handstand, stalder press, and handstand push up, among other things. Each of these has great detail on the technique required and the best progression exercises and theory to use to achieve them.
Advancing The Handstand includes 23 videos, which are split into 4 parts or “blocks”. It is best if you can already do a handstand before you begin this course, as it is much more geared to those who want to be more advanced, rather than those hoping to actually learn how to do a handstand itself.
Much like the beginner course,Aadvancing The Handstand retails for $49.95 on its own or for $89.90 when the two are bought together as a bundle.
- Helps you to diversify your skills and learn a range of new moves and exercises
- Comprehensive list of exercises with detailed instructions to help you improve your skills
- Features extremely high value instructions and production value
- Offers an extremely competitive price tag, especially when bought in the bundle
- Very little included that would help those who aren’t already a master of the handstand
Warm Up & Strengthening Exercises To Improve Your Handstand
There are many exercises you can use to improve your strength and range of motion before each handstand training session. While most will focus on the upper body, as this does most of the work in a handstand, others will include factors with secondary benefits, such as hip mobility.
If you have enough time and the required equipment, some people recommend you should look to devote around 15 to 60 minutes to improving your performance in every session, if you are truly dedicated to performing the perfect handstand.
The following list contains a number of the very best warm up and strengthening exercises you can perform, to achieve well rounded development that will maximise your handstand capabilities.
Extended Dead Hang On A Bar
The dead hang is an exercise that is extremely easy to perform but incredibly difficult to master. To perform it, simply grip a pull up bar just outside of shoulder width apart and proceed to let yourself hang, until both your arms and torso are at full extension.
The idea is simply to remain in this position for as long as possible, while staying as still as you can. This will not only improve your grip and hand strength, but it is also a fabulous option for boosting mobility in the shoulders, while strengthening the core and improving the flexibility of the back.
Overhead Squat With A TheraBand
Select a TheraBand of a suitable resistance and wrap it round both wrists, so that you can’t pull your hands any further than shoulder width apart. Now raise your hands straight up over your head with your arms fully extended and try to pull them as far apart as possible, pushing against the resistance.
While keeping maximal tension in the band and your torso completely upright, slowly begin to squat down as low as you can. Pause for a second at the bottom and then stand back up and keep performing reps until you can no longer maintain the tension in the band.
Side Squat/Spiderman Squat/Cossack Squat
The side squat, spiderman squat, and Cossack squat are all slightly different variations of the same exercise and each is great for improving hip mobility. To begin, stand upright with your feet wide apart, at the very least wider than shoulder width.
Start to squat down but, rather than going straight back, lean your core to one side while it is still fully upright. Continue till you have gone as low as you can. At the base of the move, one leg will look as it would at the end of a normal squat, while the other one will be extended out to your side.
The difference between the three variations is whether you keep the foot on the extended leg planted or allow it to roll onto the heel or side. Each option will affect the flexibility and mobility of the hips and adductor muscles to differing degrees.
Pause for a second at the base of the rep then contract your quads to lift you back up and perform one in the opposite direction. Make sure each set contains the same number of reps to both sides.
The Frog Stand
To perform a frog stand, crouch down and place both hands flat on the floor just outside of shoulder width apart, making sure to spread your fingers and get a firm grip on the ground. Now lean forward until you have a 90 degree bend in your elbows, while keeping them tucked in beside your body.
Contract all of the muscles in the arms and lean forward even further, so that much of your body weight is resting on your hands and your knees are touching your triceps. Now, slowly and carefully, lift your feet off of the ground, so that the entire weight of your body is supported by your hands.
The Kick Up
The kick up begins in much the same way as a traditional handstand. Bend over and place both hands on the ground and spread your fingers and plant them to give you a stable base. Now, kick one of your legs backwards and drive it into the air, so it begins to rotate your body.
The aim is to get this leg completely vertical, so that it, your torso, and your arms are all perfectly aligned in a straight line. However, your other leg will be trailing behind, and should finish in a position that is roughly parallel with the ground. This will help to give you greater balance.
Now, you can either lower your feet back onto the floor and repeat on the other leg or, if you are strong or confident enough, you can switch the position of the legs while still in the air, almost as if you were walking.
Plank Style Shoulder & Wrist Warmup
The plank style shoulder and wrist warmup is a process that will be better known to most as a dynamic plank. You begin by getting on the floor on all fours and fully extending your body, so that it is straight and parallel with the ground, while you support your weight on your forearms and toes.
Engage your abs and use them to keep your core tense and aligned for the duration of the exercise. Now put one hand on the floor and extend the arm, pushing yourself upwards. A split second after you begin to rise, place the other hand on the ground and push with that as well.
Continue until you are in the position of a completed push up, then immediately go back to the starting position by going back onto your forearms one arm at a time, making sure to start with the same arm on the way down that you did on the way up.
Alternate the arm you begin with each time you repeat the sequence and try to perform an even number of reps, so that both arms receive an identical amount of work.
Back To The Wall Handstands
Back to the wall handstands are one of the oldest and most used methods of learning how to do a handstand. They are effective as they allow the user to perform the position and strengthen the main supporting muscles, without them being required to balance on their own.
To perform back to the wall handstands, get on your hands and knees while facing a wall. Get your hips over your knees and your shoulders over your hands, then make sure your toes are flexed and your fingers are all outstretched, so that both are planted on the floor and providing support.
Rotate your shoulders outwards and tense both them and your lats, then engage your hips and core. Now quickly drive your legs and hips up in the air, rotating until your body is vertical and your heels hit the wall. You should now be in contact with the wall along almost the whole height of your body.
Hold this position for as long as you safely can, then slowly push your heels off of the wall. This will allow you to rotate in a safe and controlled manner and bring you back to either your feet or knees.
The first stage of a handstand push up is performed in a very similar manner to back to the wall handstands. Begin by getting on your hands and knees while facing a wall and place the upper part of your forehead on the floor.
Put your hands flat on the floor either side of your head and keep your arms tucked in by your sides, keeping a 90 degree bend in your elbows. Use your legs to drive you up and rotate in exactly the same way we did in the back to the wall handstand but keep your head on the floor this time.
Once your whole body is flat against the wall, engage your core to keep you upright. Now, carefully extend both arms to push you upwards, until they are almost fully extended, or as far as your arm strength will allow.
Slowly lower yourself back until your head touches the floor again and continue repeating until you can’t do any more reps. Return to your head one last time before rotating back onto your feet to make sure you are safe, as your arms may now be a little wobbly.
Handstand Wall Scissor
The handstand wall scissor is one of the drills that Reps Hand Balancing Course instructor Yuri Marmerstein uses to help students bridge the gap between performing a handstand against the wall and doing one freestanding.
You must first get in position for a push up while making sure that the soles of your feet are pressed firmly into the base of a wall. Push up until your arms are fully straight and extended, and make sure your hands are firmly planted into the ground, with spread fingers, so you have a solid base.
Now, using one foot at a time, slowly start walking your feet up the wall. You may have to move your hands in a bit as you go but try and keep them as near to the start point as you can. Keep doing this till you are almost totally vertical, with your whole body straight and only a slight angle remaining.
Now slowly lift one foot off of the wall and hold it there for a second or two. As it goes back to the wall, take the other one off in the same way, so that they cross in the middle. This will train your body to support its whole weight, while not leaving you free for long enough for you to overbalance.
The stalder press is an extremely advanced move that is only suitable for people with great levels of flexibility, as well as upper body calisthenic strength. More of a progression than a warmup, it is great for mobilising your joints and muscles and improving your performance in a regular handstand.
To perform a stalder press, sit on the floor with your legs as far apart as you can get them and place your hands firmly on the ground together, just in front of your abs. Slowly begin to lean forwards till your chest is over your hands and rest as much of your weight on them as you can.
Now, try to lift your heels off of the ground and, while keeping your legs as far apart as possible, begin trying to lift them behind you, which should force your body to rotate forwards. If you have the strength and mobility, this will see you end up in the end position of a regular handstand.
If you are unable to complete a full stalder press, go as far into the position as you can manage. This will progressively build strength in each section of the movement and should hopefully allow you to progress slightly further in each and every time you try.
Lots Of Wrist Mobility & General Warming Up
Beyond the specific exercises outlined above, you should also consider mobilising and warming up your body and joints before each session, especially those in the wrists.
This can be done with everything from simple stretches to light resistance exercises and is a fabulous way to make the chance of sustaining an injury as small as possible.
The Top 5 Benefits Of Doing Handstands
While a lot of people will perform a handstand simply to show off or for the fun of doing so, it is actually an activity that can offer a number of health and fitness benefits to the human body.
With that in mind, we will now look at the top 5 benefits of doing handstands, to hopefully make you realise how useful they can be and convince you to give them a try for yourself.
They’ll Make Your Upper Body Super Strong
Doing a handstand requires a significant amount of upper body strength to begin with. While the arms and shoulders will obviously be involved to keep you upright, the chest will also be taking a lot of your weight, while your back and abs will need to remain constantly engaged to keep you stable.
Once you have learned how to do one, it means you can then use a handstand to keep developing these muscles and encouraging them to grow. By holding the position for longer and longer each time, you will create the same microscopic tears in the fibres they would get in a resistance workout.
As these fibres repair, your muscles will become bigger and stronger, while the joints and connective tissues throughout the upper body will be strengthened as well.
They’ll Increase Your Balance
Much of the challenge of a handstand comes from trying to stay upright for as long as possible. This means not only keeping your torso stable but all of your limbs as well. Even if you are strong enough to perform a handstand, if your balance isn’t good enough you won’t be able to stay up for long.
By progressing in handstands and extending your duration in them, the balance improvements you obtain will be able to be transferred to both the other exercises you perform, as well as the activities you complete in your daily life.
They Build Core Strength
Much like the two points above, to perform a successful handstand, you will need to maintain tension in your core throughout to keep you stable and vertical. This extended tension will force the muscles in the core to become stronger, as they will be continuously working.
They Can Boost Your Mood & Brain Functions
One of the less obvious benefits of performing a handstand is that when you hang upside down for extended periods, it causes an influx of oxygen rich blood to flow to your brain. After an initial period of getting used to the unusual sensation, this will eventually help your brain to feel more alive.
With the brain being the biggest consumer of oxygen in the human body, improved blood flow will ensure more oxygen reaches it. This will not only lead to better brain function, but will also stimulate the hair follicles, making them stronger, improving hair growth, and even helping to fight baldness.
They Help With Bone Health, Circulation, And Breathing
Handstands require you to use almost your entire body, meaning they can positively affect all manner of different areas.
The body weight bearing nature of the exercise makes it great for improving bone density. Much like normal resistance exercises, the exertion will help to keep the minerals in the bones strong and dense, while the lack of external resistance lessens the chance of you overloading them.
Remaining in an inverted position for extended periods of time will also improve your circulation. Not only will it supply more blood to certain areas, but it will also train the body to get used to pumping in a different manner, allowing the results to remain in the longer term.
Finally, the focus you have to have on your breathing during a handstand will give you better control over your respiratory system. This improved control means that you should now be able to optimise your breathing when performing other exercises, such as weight training or cardio.
Pros & Cons Of The Reps Hand Balancing Course
Before we conclude our review of the Reps Hand Balancing Course, let’s quickly remind ourselves of all the pros and cons it has to offer. This will ensure everyone goes away knowing just what it is all about, what it can offer, and if it is right for them or not.
- Very affordable, especially when compared to the competition
- Once purchased you have access to the course and all of the resources for life
- The holistic approach to training makes it suitable for a diverse range of people
- Access to a diverse Facebook community provides constant support on your journey
- Includes a wide range of course resources
- All of the course resources boast an extremely high production value
- Produced by an extremely reputable and well regarded company
- Courses are available for people of different ability levels
- Instructed by a highly qualified and experienced fitness professional
- No long-term program or variety means you will only be able to progress so far
- No nutrition support guides to supplement your training and development
The Reps Hand Balancing Course is a great routine and truly one of the best options on the market for people wanting to learn how to do a handstand. Even if you already know how, it has plenty of ways to help you improve your form and progress to more advanced variations and exercises.
So, if you really do want to learn how to do a handstand, you likely wont ever have a better chance than this. Those who really want to push themselves could even consider taking part in something like a 30 day handstand challenge, to see just how much progress they can really make with it.
Steve is a retired professional wrestler with over 10 years of experience in the personal fitness industry. He is a certified personal trainer working with a wide variety of athletes as well as a fitness writer.