People who build up their arm strength have more options available to them when it comes to balancing a handstand.Â
Arm strength will give you the ability to dip forward and save a handstand if you loose balance.
Also you’ll be able to press your bodyweight from Crow or Headstand up into Handstand, and also lower down from Handstand with control and precision.
It’s important to remember that difficult moves are not the result of luck or genetics, they are the result of practise. People who can do difficult moves just patiently practise until they can do them.
Core strength gets the credit for way too much. This move in particular is reliant upon arm strength, specifically Triceps, Pecs, Front Delts, and the Erector Spinae which lifts the legs.
Mis-identifying your limiting factors will cause you to do planks and crunches when you should be doing dips and will result in wasted time and sub-optimal progress.
Core strength is the obsession of beginners and armchair experts who don’t train, and becomes less of a fixation as you learn to move.
- Get to a plank position. Dip forward to a half-press-up so your elbows are bent. Bring one knee to one elbow. This has the effect of shifting your bodyweight forward and putting more weight into your arms. It also makes your shoulders and core resist the torque as your weight shifts from side to side. Repeat this for 10 reps.
- Rock to crow. Crouch in the ground and prepare yourself for crow by letting your knees touch your elbows. . Keep your elbows inwards so your knee can connect directly with the top of your elbow or triceps. Bent arms make a table top which your knees and bodyweight rest on. The rocking motion is a gentle way to practise entering the smoothly and landing in balance.
- Once the rocking is consistent, try the same thing with a small jump. That means your feet leave the ground before your knees make contact with your elbows and so there is a moment of air time. This will condition your arms to resist your bodyweight. It’s important to manage your expectations and remember this is difficult. It could take years!
- Next Skiing crow. Balance in a crow and take one knee off on it’s elbow and bring it to the centre line so that it’s hovering. Again this will force your arms and shoulders to resist the twist and shift in weight and force them to become stronger.
- Press Pulses. Start in crow, press as hard as you can and get your knees off your arms. If it’s not happening try rocking into the crow and using the momentum to help get the lift. This is tough and I usually only do 3-5 reps. 10 reps is too much even for me at this stage.
- Negatives. Lower from tucked Handstand down to crow. Negative moments are a great way to get stronger, that’s when your muscles resist your weight as it lowers down as apposed to contracting. For example if you start at the top of a chin up and lower down, then you will eventually be able to pull yourself up.
- If you practise the first 6 exercises it will be inevitable that you are eventually able to press your weight from crow to handstand, or from headstand to handstand.