A Beginner’s Guide to Handstands
It demonstrates balance and control over your body, something we happen to put great importance upon here at Nerd Fitness. It’s also one HELL of a party trick, something you can work on without a single piece of equipment, builds functional strength and muscular endurance, and it’s a skill you can work on in just a few minutes every single day.
How do I know this? Because I’m typing this while in a handstand RIGHT NOW. Okay, I can’t do that. But Jim, Master of the NF Fitness Universe can:
I love working with gymnastic rings, because they have such a great tutorial level. Handstands are exactly the same way: it’s a great skill to work on as a beginner, but also is infinitely challenging depending on your skill level.
Plus, in addition to Jim, Luke Skywalker does them. It’s time to stop looking at other people doing cool things and start today saying “hey, I can do that too!”
Why handstands are awesome
Team Nerd Fitness member Jim Bathurst has been training and working on handstands for years. From humble beginnings, he taught himself a standard handstand and eventually worked his way up to one-handed tricks like the photo above.
Now, you won’t be doing this anytime soon, but it doesn’t mean you can’t start today learning how to go inverted.
Fun fact: I can’t say the word inverted without thinking of Top Gun’s line “because we were inverted,” but that’s only because I used to watch that movie with my brother every day from ages 3 to 5.
I’ve fallen in love with handstands for a few reasons:
Like other bodyweight training, there’s no excuse. If you have room to stand up, you have room to practice handstands.
It recruits DOZENS of muscles in your body. From arm strength to wrist mobility to core strength to shoulder mobility and muscular endurance, handstands do it all. When you are trying to balance, it makes your body work as one complete unit.
It scares you – yes, that’s a positive. We grow outside our comfort zone and for many people, just the thought of a handstand is enough to make their palms sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy. Vomi… nevermind. The point is that the handstand is just as much of a mental challenge as it is a physical one. How scared do you think this guy gets on a regular basis?