learning different shapes

September 29


Learning Different Handstand Shapes Can Speed Up Your Progress in Handstand Skills

By Yasuko

September 29, 2022

Press Handstand, Handstand Coach

Progressively Starting with Tuck Hop, then Straddle/Pike Press and The Seven Shape

You can improve your two-arm handstand ability by working on "the tuck”, developing shoulders overhead flexibility, getting a straight line and building strength in the shoulders, and also a great way to develop the sense of pushing hips over the shoulder.  

Tuck handstand drills build strength in your wrists, and core while integrating legs all at the same time. It also trains shoulder extension and toe point awareness. Working on tuck and tuck press is a great way to improve your handstand skills.

In this article, I'm going to go through a couple of progressions that you can use to get the Tuck.

As anyone who’s performed several tuck jumps in a row will know, they are a hugely demanding exercise. The energy required not only to jump, but to pull the knees into the body, teaches the core compression work and strengthen your core. Both the rectus abdominis and external obliques.  lift the knees towards the chest, as well as land safely. When the core is properly engaged, the force generated from the leg muscles is transmitted to the upper body efficiently through the spine as you lift off the ground. To get the most from your tuck jumps, try doing as many as you can in quick succession. 

The relationship between this movement and the force applied to the shoulders while you are going up and down is a good way to understand the movement of the press handstand. 

You can do Tuck drills from a Handstand by doing negative press. Or jump from the downward-facing dog position. Then the next step is to float without using momentum with both legs at the same time.

There are moments when you arch the lower spine slightly to stabilize the tuck position while pulling your heels up toward your sit bones. The tuck is most easily held in a position where both thighs touch the chest. You will find the center of gravity much easier

To master this, it will take a few weeks of practice. Just keep practicing until you get it.

As the next step, you can use only one block, and when you feel comfortable with one block after a while, then try to enter from the ground.

Just keep working on Tuck Drills and get more awareness in this position. 
This progressive approach will help to improve stability in your shoulders, and to understand the mechanics of the press.

Tuck handstand is done,  you should have gained strong
shoulders for the future skills such as pike press, the seven shape and also for different entries/transitions or hand balancing skills.
Tuck Press

Tuck Press

Straddle Press Handstand

Straddle Press

The next step after you nailed the tuck, accessible skill is

7 Shape Called so because of the obvious resemblance to the number, the 7 is a beautiful handstand position when executed correctly.But where to begin? Answer is simple. Use an assistance, use the edge to hold your balance in this challenging position until you can achieve in a freestanding  position. 
Assisted 7 shape is a great tool to stretch out your shoulders which also build your strengths in shoulder area, upper back, and wrist flexibility at the ame time. You can push, lean and hold much longer than in freestanding position. This assisted drill is a good starting point to get started with 7 shape handstand skill. You can educate your body gradually all the necessary components without any injury or risk.
Before “Sevening”, it helps to be very comfortable tucking. The base on which we layer our 7 onto is the tuck handstand. A fantastic, very useful shape that all handstand lovers should explore and develop.

I strongly focus on for this assisted drills for the very specific mobility, strength and shoulder position gaining shoulder range of motion.Thighs Parallel to the floor, with the shoulder at least a 180 angle and holding for 30 seconds is the first step. Work on achieving an even deeper tuck, It doesn’t quite need to be knee's to chest but the lower the better. Again hitting 30s in a low or “full tuck”  will make the next steps much easier, not to mention be excellent for your handstand practice in general.

From a thighs parallel to the floor tuck slowly extend once leg till its fully straight whilst keep both thighs and knee's together. You will feel the load through your shoulders and upper back increase. This can can be done with your chest facing the wall as demonstrated. The distance will depend on the length of your legs so space it out accordingly (again with at least a 180 shoulder angle)If your pike or forward fold is not developed this is where you will start to come up against difficulty. Working on this will help you achieve much nicer lines and really sell the shape. Working on pike compressions will also aid in locking the position in place. Build up to 20-30s holding your half seven.


Ok time to finish the job and achieve your goal. Because we have properly prepared our body much of the work is done. From your parallel tuck handstand slowly extend both legs as straight as possible while keep the legs together.  Once you achieve 20-30 seconds in this position give yourself a huge pat on the back. You have achieved something awesome and should be proud! If you are comfortable holding your head in a neutral position or even with the head right through, this not only looks cool but helps achieve a more open shoulder position.

When you begin to have some level of consistency in a skill it’s essential you practice making it pretty - refine your craft. You’re not going to wake up one day with all your bad habits suddenly gone. You need to choose, with each training session, each rep, and set to pay attention to the quality of your practice. 

No matter what skill you’re working on, I want you to make a special effort in doing the basics: straightening your legs, pointing your toes, not rushing, and fine balancing work.

I hope you enjoyed this article.  if you do have any questions about today's topic, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section down below. 

Enjoy your practice!


About the author

My name is Yasuko and I'm passionate about handstands, yoga movement and flexibility.  I immersed myself in research a lot to inspire myself & experiment for physical development. This has led to the person I am today.

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