Beginner Handstand Challenge: Week 2

12 Minute Athlete

It’s week two of the Beginner Handstand Challenge, and this week we’ve got two new essential handstand skills to share: wrist warm up exercises and chest to wall handstand holds. We’ll also look at how to build confidence falling out of a handstand.

(Missed week 1 of the challenge? Find it here.)

While a freestanding handstand might seem far away right now, if you keep practicing the skills we’re focusing on in the 12 Minute Athlete Beginner Handstand Challenge, you’ll be working your freestanding handstands before you know it.

Follow along with the 12 Minute Athlete community by posting pictures of your progress on our Facebook group, and tag us at @12minuteathlete and #12MAhandstands.

Remember, one lucky challenge participant will win a copy of my NEW book!

Beginner Handstand Challenge: Wrist Warm Up, Chest to Wall Handstands, + Falling

Take the next step in your handstand journey by adding in wrist warm up exercises, chest to wall holds, and getting comfortable with falling. Check out the video below to see the full breakdown. Aim to work them three to five times a week.

Wrist Warm Up Exercises

These are the wrist warm up exercises I do before every single handstand session, and I highly recommend you do one to two rounds as part of your warm up routine.

10 reps: Palms down, fingers facing away
10 reps: Palms down, fingers facing toward
10 reps: Palms up, fingers facing toward
10 reps: Palms down, fingers sideways

Why do them:

  • Helps to avoid wrist injuries and pain
  • Builds both the wrist strength and flexibility necessary for handstands (as a bonus, helps with other exercises like push ups, pull ups, l-sits, and more)
  • Stronger and more flexible wrists mean you can train handstands more often and you’ll see a greater improvement in your handstands

Key points:

  • Move slowly and gently through each of the exercises
  • Never stretch to the point of pain

Chest to Wall Holds

Why do them:

  • Helps you understand correct handstand line
  • Avoid “banana” handstand
    Builds strength and endurance

Key points:

  • Walk your feet back so that your hands are a few inches from the wall
  • Hands should be shoulder-width apart
  • Engage your core by pulling your ribs in
  • Push the floor away as hard as you can
  • Bring your inner thighs together by lightly squeezing
  • Point your toes!

Falling Out of a Handstand

The more you practice falling early on, the more confidence you’ll be working freestanding handstands down the road!

Key points:

Cartwheeling down (basically lowering one leg toward the ground) is the easiest way to come out of a wall handstand
You can also walk back down (but this takes more strength)


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