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The Headstand

For those who are apprehensive about going upside-down in a handstand, the headstand is a good skill to get you use to being inverted. It is a fairly simple skill that you should be able to master very shortly.

First, let’s look at the head and hand placement for the skill –

What’s important to note here is that the hands and head are NOT in a straight line. That’s the mistake I see the most often. Instead of a straight line, you’ll want to space your head and hands out so that they make a triangle. Your hands will be a little more than shoulder width apart and far enough away from your head that your arms will be bending at about a 90 degree angle (you’ll see this clear in the pictures to come). Your bodyweight should be evenly distributed between your head and each hand. All this will give you better support and balance in the skill. Put a pillow down on the ground if you’re practicing on a hard surface.

With this head and hand position, put one knee ON TOP of one of your elbows. If your arms are bent correctly, your knee should sit up there like it’s on a shelf.

Bring your second knee up on top of your other elbow. This is a position know as the “tripod”.

You should be very stable in this position – just like a tripod. If you feel like you’re falling (especially to your back) then get down and reposition your head and hands to make a bigger triangle.

�۬Here is a view of the tripod from the side. Notice how my knees rest on my elbows, and that my arms are bent at about 90 degrees.

When you feel comfortable with the tripod, start to lift your legs up.

And hopefully end in a headstand.

From here it’s pretty easy to hold the position. If you have to put more weight on any part of your body while balancing, put it on your hands, as then can push and balance you better than your head can.

Here’s the headstand from the side. Notice that my body is straight. There’s no need or reason to arch, as you have three points of contact with the ground and plenty of balance.

Feel free to practice against a wall if you’re worried about toppling over your head, but you’ll soon be getting into a headstand anywhere.

�۬I hope this helps people feel more comfortable when getting into a handstand. Good luck!

Aug 18, 2010 | Category: The Stands, Tutorial | Comments: 17


17 Responses to “The Headstand”

  1. Dan

    On the handstand, it seems like I cannot put a steady handstand, when I do it, I hold it for like 5-8 seconds, but I am walking on my Hands instead of staying still, my knees seem to curl over and helps me balance, I figured until I get the steady balance thats when I could start on straightening out my legs pointing the toes to the air. Suggestions?


  2. admin

    Wrong post. Straighten your legs from the start and grab into the ground.

  3. Matt

    I seem to have really tight wrists. I have been starting work towards handstands, which right now means headstands with my knees on my elbows. The first thing to give out on me is always my wrists. I have always had pain while doing pushups or similar.

    I believe it is caused by lack of mobility in my wrists. Any suggestions on how to increase mobility, aside from consistently practicing the headstand and/or pushups?


  4. Marc

    Im having problems “kicking” my legs up in the headstand. Thank you for this tutorial as it helped me get into the headstand properly. But as far as it comes to lifting my legs up and out is where I need the most help.

    Thank you.

  5. Can’t get knee onto elbow, it keeps sliding off, any advice?

  6. jim

    i broke my neck trying to do this

  7. Alex

    I can make it until the tripod moment but when I want to start lifting my legs up I just can’t do it. Is it because my back muscles aren’t strong enough? If so, do you know any way I can strengthen them (of course with trying to lift them up again and again but maybe there are some other effective exercise I can do?)?
    Thanks in advance!

    • admin

      Make sure your hips are over your center of support. I see people with their hips way too far back on their hands, and then they are unable to lift things.

  8. nick

    i love the headstand tutorial you posted. However, your end picture with you in headstand I believe is a little off balance if you are truly trying to do a headstand. It looks like you are leaning forward a little too much(on the front of your head instead of the middle/back). Having been breaking for 6 years and doing headspins for 2, I can not stress the importance enough for having most of your weight on your head and as little on your hands as possible. Sorry for the hate, just didn’t want people getting the wrong idea for headstand form.

    • admin

      For headspin form, yes more weight on the head. For headstand form, you want to balance that weight 50/50 between hands and head.

  9. I think this is one of the such a lot important info for me. And i am satisfied studying your article. However wanna observation on some common issues, The web site style is wonderful, the articles is in reality nice : D. Just right process, cheers

  10. scott

    hey after i have my knees on my elbows and come out of this position and take the weight off i feel pain in my right rear delt am i doing something wrong? i feel like i could extend my legs up but im afraid ill injure my shoulder as it feels like theres a lot of stress on it, iv never had any shoulder problems in the past

  11. It’s really a nice and valuable bit of information and facts. We’re fulfilled you shared this convenient data here. Please keep us up to date in this way. We appreciate you sharing.

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