Handstand shapes explained

This tutorial will explain why some handstand shapes are easier than others.

It helps for us to identify the 3 most important angles:

  1. Shoulders
  2. Spine
  3. Hips

There are very simple reasons why some handstand shapes are more comfortable than others. The more flexible you are, the more choice you will have about where to position your body. The tighter you are, the more limited those options will be.

In order to balance, your centre of gravity must be over your hands. If one part of your body is one way, another part of your body must counterbalance it by being in the opposite direction.

Our body will tuck into a ball naturally, but it cannot open out into a back arch with the same ease.

The shoulder angle and back bend are the major limiting factors in the shapes we can achieve.

If our legs tuck to our tummy in handstand, our bum will have to stick out in the opposite direction to counterbalance it, but in order to support that back arch, our shoulders/back will have to arch open, and a lack of flexibility may not allow that to happen. The result is, the tuck is not possible for people who are tight.

If we let one or both legs hang over our head, the opposite will be true, this will be more comfortable for people with tight shoulders because it will counterbalance the closed shoulder angle.

When you begin, it’s easier to let your legs hang over the top. Point your toes so you don’t look like a jackass.

Ben Lowrey