The Perfect Handstand – Proper Handstand Form

Did you know that handstands aren’t just for kids and gymnasts? There are enormous benefits when performing this inverted move, but the handstand position is vital to ensure injuries do not occur. Specific handstand progressions help perfect the inverted position slowly to ensure proper handstand form.

Our 30-Day Handstand course is an excellent resource for advancement, while our blog about the best handstand course offers handstand practice with the very best.

While you may have read about the freestanding handstand position or taken the Yuri Mamerstein course, we’re here to provide more information about the perfect handstand position. We’ll give many benefits to the upper body, core, and overall strength a handstand brings to your workout routine. Sit back, relax, and think in a straight line.

Benefits of the Handstand Position

What if we told you that a handstand is excellent for overall balance? It’s true. The inverted position requires plenty of core stability which translates to better balance when your feet are on the ground. In addition to better balance, holding the perfect handstand in a straight line also involves strength throughout the body and has many other benefits.

If you want better upper body strength in the shoulders, arms, and back, handstand practice will get you there. It takes intense strength to hold the perfect handstand position and maneuver the body without falling over.

A freestanding handstand increases blood flow to the brain and promotes better circulation throughout the entire body. Better circulation to the brain promotes better moods and more energy and calms the body.

Since this vertical position requires shoulder, upper body, and core strength, you will surely build those muscle groups. From a straddle handstand to a wall handstand to a freestanding handstand, shoulder mobility and upper body strength will reign supreme. Not only that, a handstand position requires the upper body to hold your body weight.

While there are no weights involved, a handstand is a weight-bearing exercise. We all know that weight-bearing activities promote cell growth within bones, building them more substantial.

Muscles Required During A Handstand

A handstand works the entire body and calls it a day. We can, but we should explain further. Your shoulders and upper body work as they hold your body weight and position in a handstand.

Equally, your upper back (traps), lower back (lats), and serratus (lower rib cage) engage to hold the handstand position. Finally, the perfect handstand has a posterior pelvic tilt. This position refers to a contraction of the glutes while engaging the abs to hold a straight line.

Best Handstand Formula

To achieve the perfect handstand, here’s an excellent formula to ensure success.

  1. Your starting position is stacking your shoulders over your wrists with your hips over your shoulders and your feet above your hips. This position gives you the straight line to perfect a freestanding handstand.
  2. The feet and legs contract to create tension. Pretend someone is holding your feet and trying to pull them toward the ceiling. That thought pattern helps you contract your body into a straight line.
  3. Finally, hold still. We know that sounds easier said than done, but it’s imperative to keep still to create a solid handstand. Tighten up your body and use your upper body strength and shoulder mobility to keep as in control and stable as possible.

Handstand Exercises That Work

Chest to Wall Handstand – This handstand is what it sounds like. Doing a handstand while stabilizing yourself with the wall builds confidence and shows you what needs to happen to hold this position. You’ll notice how different muscle groups stabilize you and focus on breathing and contracting your body in a straight line.

Pike Push-Up Position – Pressing your body into a pike position places the load onto your shoulders. It builds strength in the shoulders for putting your feet up the wall into a handstand. The pressure on the shoulders in this position is about 60-70% of your body weight. It’s a good build-up to the shoulders, supporting 100% of the body in a freestanding handstand.

Chest-on-the-Floor Stretch – This stretch is excellent for handstand practice as it mimics the handstand position on the floor. Lying on the floor, chest down, extend your arms above your head and your legs behind you. In one straight line, contract the muscles throughout the body, keeping your feet and knees together. With your body straight, hold this position for thirty seconds to one minute.

Body Placement During Freestanding Handstand

If you are a beginner to handstands, it’s best to look straight down between your hands while you focus on pushing away from the floor. As you continue your handstand journey, moving your head into any position, closing your eyes, or tucking your chin are all viable options. Ensure you are comfortable with your handstand before moving your eyes from the floor or turning your head.

Spreading your fingers apart is another essential element to providing balance and stability during a handstand. Try to stretch your fingers far apart so that you can draw a line between your pinkie and your thumb. Using the muscles in your fingers will help you from falling forward.

Handstand Progressions

Certain handstand progressions allow you to go from feet up the wall to the perfect handstand. Let’s get right to it.

Handstand press – To do a handstand press, start in a downward dog position and slowly walk your feet to your hands. Press up onto your hands, take your legs out to the side, and then press up overhead. Your shoulders should be over the wrists with your hips over your shoulders and feet in line with the hips.

Straddle – Similar to the handstand press, the straddle starts in a downward dog position and walks the feet to the hands. Push into the hands and take the legs to the side in a straddle position. Hold that position and then release.

Scorpion – The scorpion starts as a handstand. Then, you slowly bring your legs towards your head with your legs together. Once you have gone as far as you can, bend your knees. In this position, your feet should nearly touch your head.


What is the proper handstand position?

The proper handstand form is the body in a straight line, with the shoulders over the wrists, hips over the shoulders, and feet over the hips. It’s essential to keep tension throughout the body, primarily through the core and glutes. Keep the legs straight and use shoulder mobility and fingers spread to hold your balance.

How long should you handstand each day?

The time to hold a handstand each day varies from person to person. Some people can hold a handstand for 45 minutes, while others hold one for 15-20 minutes. It’s essential to remember that everyone has a different fitness level, especially when it comes to inverted positions.

How do you do a solid handstand?

It’s vital to keep your glutes tight, including when you kick your legs up to start a handstand. In addition to your glutes, your abs need to be secured. Push your hands into the floor and through the shoulders with your arms glued to your ears. Keep your legs straight with your toes pointed. Keep your eyes on the floor or look behind you.

How long does it take to perfect a handstand?

The amount of time to perfect a handstand varies from person to person too. It could take a few months or multiple years to perform your first handstand away from the wall. Freestanding handstands are challenging to master, but using handstand drills and progressions will have you there in no time.

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Kristen holds a bachelors in English from Louisianna university. With a longstanding passion for fitness, she owns and operate her own gym and is a certified jazzercise instructor.

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