Learning press handstand - it's different than you expect

August 18


Learning Press Handstand Faster

By Yasuko

August 18, 2022

Press Handstand, Handstand Coach

Learning Press Handstand Faster

The ability to progress consistently is the focus of any sport and any training program. We each have our strengths and weaknesses depending on our genetics, limb lengths, training background, sleep quality, nutritional factors, stress levels, and so on. Each body is different and individual efforts to achieve the same goal. Let's accept that for now. Therefore It is more beneficial to focus on weaknesses and bring deficient skills and strength progressions up to the level of your more advanced abilities.

This article is all about understanding how to align your body for the press. The main cue and focus here are educating our body "Drawing the hips over the shoulders with repetitions"

Below I show you timelessly effective drills, how inflexible handstand practitioners can experience what is going on at the physical level and the sensation of “drawing the hips over the shoulders. 

There are 3 basic handstand entries which are:

  1. Pike L-Shape - Pull yourself up tall with both legs 
  2. Straddle - Spreading the legs apart
  3. Tuck up - Tuck both legs towards the body

Those 3 entries can be also done with hop/jump instead from tippy toes and getting off the feet from the ground without momentum. Gaining flexibility takes a long time, therefore I encourage you to practice these 3 entries progressively. 

Training your body for “press” and “handstand” are different things we need to go through. If your goal is to press handstand alone and you do not care about wrist, hamstring, and shoulder flexibility or scapula mobility you still have your weaknesses. These will allow you to facilitate optimal progress. Again, work on your weakness. 

Progressive Drills  

for Press Alignment Understanding 

Hop to Tuck

This one is to understand the hip and shoulder alignment. Wrist, shoulder, back, hip, and toe in the same line. 

Straddle Hop Progressive

To execute a straddle press handstand, it will help to first get comfortable holding handstands in both a vertical and piked position. From there, you can work on developing the strength needed to lift your feet off the floor, and pull yourself up tall, straight, and strong.

Pike Handstand / L-Shape / Seven

Pike handstands are tougher than straddle handstands for many people due to the extreme weight shift, so if you can do a strict pike handstand, you should have all the tools you need to press up from a straddle or tuck up. Aim from deeply bent knees, not half-bend, and raise your hips upward, not forward.

In the pike position draw your thigh bone into your hip sockets, pull your hips over and past your shoulders slightly, and keep the shoulders open. 

Straddle Up to Full Handstand

Pull the legs out sideward, do not allow them to drop forward. Move slowly and deliberately, no jerking or rushing

Bring your legs together over your head to complete the handstand. As you straighten your legs, your hips will naturally move into alignment with your shoulders. At this point, you can stop leaning forward and concentrate on fine-tuning your balance through your hands. Maintain this "stacked" position. Push out the chests with straight arms.

While pushing away your body from the ground, make your body and legs tight to touch the toes on top.This one is to understand the handstand alignment. Slide your rib cage in and forward, head not too much lifted, eyes focus on between both wrists. 

As your straddle press handstands improve, you can start performing multiple "reps," going from straddle to handstand and back again without ever setting your full weight back down. Gain positional awareness in your hips and pelvis by training repeatedly. 

Remember: practice makes perfect. The straddle handstand is a technical skill, so be patient with yourself and try not to get discouraged if you don’t nail it on your first few attempts. Just keep practicing until you get it. Have fun and enjoy your practice! 

Click To Watch My Video Below:

Closing Words:

It is the only way to make the press entry effortlessly with the flexibility to bring your hips as high as possible and your legs as close to your body as possible at the starting position for the weight shift, bringing the hips over the shoulders. Therefore my  message for you is:

Stop Wondering Why You Can’t Press Handstand! 

Get More Flexibility

You can do it, have faith. All you need to do is daily practice and move always with awareness, don't waste your time and energy.

Please feel free to comment with any questions or feedback on the blog. I am happy to to share your thoughts! That's all abot this blog.

Thank you guys so much for reading this article so far and I would very much appreciate any comments below what kind of contents you would like to know in the future.  


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}