The handstand is the most versatile and important skill in gymnastics! It’s used in every event in gymnastics and you can NEVER work on it too much! Try this workout to improve your body position and strength to improve your handstand hold.
Equipment needed for this workout:
- Exercise/yoga ball
- T-shirt or small towel
Lunge-T-Lunge Drill – 10 seconds x 3 sets
Start in a lunge and lift your back leg, while bringing your arms and upper body forward to horizontal. Your body should make the shape of a “T”. Try to hold for 10 seconds while squeezing your leg muscles and pointing your toes, and then return to a lunge. Repeat 3x.
Start in a lunge and lift your back leg, while bringing your arms and upper body forward to horizontal, moving through the “T” position kick up to handstand. Repeat 3x
T-Shirt Shaping Drill – Hold for 45 seconds
Grab a t-shirt that you can roll up and hold between your hands, pulled tight. Stand in a straight body position with your arms straight above your head. Push your arms back, using your shoulders, so that they are behind your ears, or at least next to them. Hold for 45 seconds.
Ribs in and out Drill – 5x
Standing in a straight body stand, press your ribs in, then let them go back out. Repeat this 5x.
Relevé hold for 30 seconds
Stand in a tight body position with your arms by your ears. In a high relevé make sure you push through your first and 2nd toes, pinch your thighs and bottom together, pull your ribs in and push your shoulders down and arms behind your ears. Make sure your chin is up and not in your chest. Hold for 30 seconds.
Open Shoulder Push-up Hold – 45 seconds
Get in an open shoulder push-up hold – push-up position with your slightly extended forward at an angle greater than 90º in a nice hollow position. Maintain this position and hold for 45 seconds.
Open Shoulder Push-up Walks – 3 steps each direction
Get in an open shoulder push-up position and walk to the right 3 steps holding the open shoulder push-up position and then freeze. Walk 3 steps to the left holding the open shoulder push-up position and freeze. Then walk 3 steps forward holding the open shoulder push-up position and freeze. Walk 3 steps backwards holding the open shoulder push-up position and freeze.
Open Shoulder Push-up Hops/Bounces – 3x each direction
Get back in the open shoulder push-up position and hop/bounce 3x to the right, 3x to the left, 3x forwards and 3x backwards.
Spiderman Handstand – Hold for 30 seconds
To do this exercise, pick a wall in your home with nothing around it that would be dangerous if you fell. You want to do this on carpet or a mat. Stand about a foot from the wall with your back to the wall. Put your hands on the ground and one foot on the wall. Slowly, walk your hands closer to the wall as you walk your feet up the wall, until your stomach is touching the wall and you are in a handstand position. Keep your head neutral but look at your hands with your eyes. Hold for 30 seconds. When you are ready to come down you can bring your feet to the side until they touch the floor, or walk your hands back away from the wall while walking your feet down. You want to think about extending up the wall by pushing through your shoulders. You don’t want to just be leaning against the wall.
Plank Hold on the Ball – Hold for 30 seconds
Get in a nice tight body plank position with your shins up on the ball. Your shoulders should be over your hands. Hold this for 30 seconds.
Pike-ups on the Ball – 5x
Get in a plank position with your shins up on the ball and your shoulders over your hands. Try to move the ball by moving your body to as close to vertical as you can with the goal being your bottom is over you shoulders, then move the ball backwards by lowering your hips so you are back in a plank position. Repeat 5x.
Extra Game: The Save Game
The goal for this game is to practice saving your handstand. Kick up to a handstand and when you feel yourself falling either forwards or backwards try to save at least once. If you can save more times keep going! Try to save 3 times each direction in 1 handstand! Practice this for 3 minutes.