Have you considered learning to do a two arm, straight handstand? I know, you imagine a 6 year old in a school playground or gymnastics club. Whilst always a thing for adults (artists such as circus, calisthenics practitioners, cross fitters, yoga inversions and more), its gaining popularity as a great way to keep fit, improve mental health and have lots of fun learning new skills and ways to move your body.
Handstand training offers numerous benefits for both physical and mental well-being. Here are ten benefits of handstand training that may compel you to try it for yourself:
Upper body and core strength: Handstands engage your arms, shoulders, chest, upper back and core muscles, helping to build strength and stability in these areas. Keeping a hollow body shape/full body tension also tones the legs and glutes!
Increased bone density: Weight-bearing exercises like handstands can help improve bone health and increase bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis or injury from falls or accidents.
Enhanced shoulder stability: Handstands require proper shoulder alignment and stability, which can help prevent shoulder injuries and improve overall shoulder strength and mobility. The shoulder is the most mobile/versatile joint in the body. There is no good shoulder surgery today - strengthen and stabilize it please!
Improved posture: Handstands strengthen the muscles responsible for maintaining good posture as well as improve joint mobility - with wrist and shoulder flexion, thoracic spine extension and hip mobility (if doing handstand shapes like Tuck, Straddle and Pike), helping to alleviate common postural issues caused by prolonged sitting or sedentary lifestyles.
Increased body awareness: Handstand training enhances body awareness, coordination, and control. It improves your ability to understand and control your body movements in space.
Boosted circulation: Being inverted in a handstand can improve blood circulation, allowing fresh oxygen and nutrients to reach the upper body and brain more efficiently. Improved blood flow has benefits around preventing ocular degeneration (eyes), maintaining voluminous and shiny hair and skin to name but a few.
Improved focus and concentration: Handstands require mental focus and concentration, which can enhance your cognitive abilities and help you develop better mindfulness. Its a bit like learning music which is well proven to be healthy for our brain.
Stress relief: Handstand training can be a fun and challenging activity that helps reduce stress levels. The upside-down position can also have a calming effect on the mind (think yoga inversions).
Confidence and self-esteem: Achieving and mastering handstands can boost your confidence and self-esteem. Overcoming the challenge of balancing on your hands can make you feel accomplished and empowered. Its quite the feat when you consider all the elements.
Improved balance: Balancing on your hands challenges your proprioception and spatial awareness, enhancing your overall balance and body control. Not least, this helps prevent falling, especially as we age.
Remember to always practice handstands under proper guidance, start with suitable progressions, and gradually build up strength and skill to avoid injuries. Work with us in person or via online remote coaching to master the two-arm straight handstand and experience the benefits for yourself. Check out our regular "Introduction to Handstand" workshops which are suitable for beginners.