How To Maintain Your Body From Handstand Practice
This article is all about the recovery and maintenance of your body while training for handstands.
When people first get on their hands, they tend to have issues. Also if you are practicing handstands for a while and are addicted, the tendency you get tension in your muscles or fatigue in the wrists, shoulder, and neck area is quite common. The art of rest-day is that you can avoid potential injuries by not completely stopping. And that’s the key for maintain your body healthy for a longer time on your handstand journey. Rest-day doesn’t mean that you don’t do anything at all, you decrease the training volume and pay more attention to flexibility stretches which you usually take less time in your training routine. Even if you are already a very flexible person, stretching for chests, neck, shoulders, forearms, and scapula mobility work to release the muscle tension from the handstand training can help a lot for quick recovery. Take extra time for stretching regularly.
Putting your body weight on your wrists, elbows, and shoulders is a massive load for your joints and they are compressed from the handstand training. Be easy on the volume/load. Hanging often is a very good idea to provide active recovery for shoulders, elbows, wrists, upper back, and all the joints and decompression. This helps also in preventing potential injuries. You don’t need to do it every day or after every session. It is supplemental whenever you feel like it. For me, it works very well and I never had a problem since I practice handstands in daily life. If your shoulders are stiff and tight, and you have a limited overhead range of motion then you need to spend some time passive hanging.
If you would like to practice as often as possible to make progress, you can avoid pain and injuries by maintaining your body well before too late. Any pain means that something is not right or too much what you do or how you do it. We can fix that. Maintenance prevents injuries, and we want to be able to practice for years to come ahead and that is what we all wish.
Tight shoulders prevent us from finding our handstand line. Shoulders need stretches and hanging is a great way to release the tension in the shoulders. I am introducing a short shoulder, neck, and upper-body muscle reset stretch routine (just 5 min - super easy!) on my YouTube channel. If you are interested, click below.
On the other hand, a couple of days of resting makes a huge difference and increase your energy level and your body performance in many ways. If you don’t want to stop completely, then de-loading is an option. As I mentioned earlier above, de-loading means you do a less intense routine, but still, keep yourself on some physical work. You can vary the de-loading period from a day or a couple of days, then go back to the usual routine, or set 1-2 weeks depending on what you besides your handstand training usually do in your life. It’s all up to you. It’s your training, your body. You can decide how to manage it. There is no rule which fits everyone. The purpose of de-loading is that you rest the body parts which is stressed from handstands and do something else instead. It can be a lower body-strengthening workout, core, or cardio exercise of all kinds. It makes your body and mind fresh on a mental level in many ways.
De-loading phase is beneficial, in that you decrease the training volume and pay more attention to your mobility/flexibility instead of putting your weight on your arms. Maybe it’s a good idea to work on hamstring flexibility or shoulder mobility. Just listen to your body. It is not so complicated to judge when to rest. Your body, your temple.
You don’t have to completely stop training, but for Handstand training, it is more beneficial to back off sometimes from the full volume of your training routine. As a recovery week, you give yourself a rest. For example: Decrease the Volume, keep the same workout schedule but eliminate half of the repetition or volume, or add more stretch routines to release the stiffness of your body. Do this for a week, as it is more productive in most cases to continue working on the full range of motion. This type of de-loading will improve shoulder, and wrist health, mobility, and especially from my personal experience awareness of your body control.
Rest Day & Recovery
Recovery is very important to prevent injury or any pain. To reset the engaged body parts in the practice, restorative stretching is helping a lot instead of doing nothing at all for your body to rest. Do more forearm and shoulder release stretches. If you are not flexible, do hamstring stretches as well, anytime it fits in your daily life after a warm shower or before bed.
If you take it easy and listen to your body, you may feel like you are not progressing fast enough. This is infinitely better than injuring yourself. Handstand is a long journey and while it may feel slow, it will feel slower if you are not on your hands at all.
I hope this article gives you some inspiration for your handstand practice.
Being very mindful of the movements and putting extra effort into daily practice is what is going to get you there.
Last but not least.....Hang often!
Please feel free to comment with any questions or feedback below. I am happy to hear from you and will do my best to answer your feedback.
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