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How To Do a Handstand

A handstand is one of the most important skills/shapes in tumbling. Understanding how to enter the handstand and how to old it is very important. The entry to a handstand is very similar to the entry of a front walkover and a round off. When we hold a handstand, our body position should be in a straight line. Most of the skills in tumbling will require you to pass through this straight line. Learning how to enter and hold a handstand with power, control and correct body position will allow us to master the skills that follow faster.

In the video above you will see that we separated a handstand into 4 steps.

Step 1 – Beginning position

In this step we assume the body position that we will try to hold through the whole execution. This is a straight line. We will start with:

  • Straight legs

  • Open hips

  • Belly button pulled in

  • Engaged core

  • Chest in a neutral position

  • Shoulders open

  • Chin pushed forward and up

Step 2 – Falling into a lunge position

In this step we will maintain the same body position and we will let our body fall forward. Once our chest is forward enough, we will step forward with our dominant leg and place our foot directly under our chest. In this position we want to have our ankle, knee, and chest in a straight line. Our weight should be mostly in the front leg and the back leg should be there to help us balance. Looking from the side, we should see no difference in our body position if we are focusing on everything but the dominant leg.

Step 3 – Broken T

In this step, we will lift our back leg and lower our chest. Looking from the side our body remains in the same position. Bottom leg needs to stay bent since this is the leg that will later push us forward. Extending the bottom knee in this step would push our hips up not forward, which would make us place our hands closer to our foot and shorten our handstand.

Step 4 – Handstand

In this step we will first fall forward in the same body position we were in while holding a Broken T. Once our hands hit the ground, we will extend our knee and push the center of our body over our hands. Throughout the push we maintain the straight line we hit at the very beginning. When in a handstand we try to hit a straight line with the following joints:

  • Wrists

  • Elbows

  • Shoulders

  • Ribs

  • Hips

  • Knees

  • Ankles

In tumbling our bodies will hit a handstand in every round off and every handspring. We will also pass through that straight line when we set for every skill coming out of a handspring. This means that inability to understand this body shape will affect all your running and standing passes. For that reason it is crucial to take time and learn this skill correctly.

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