How to press handstand and why you cannot press handstand

July 28


Why You Cannot Press Handstand?

By Yasuko

July 28, 2022

Press Handstand, Handstand Coach

ANSWER: Because your core muscle and legs are not working together.

The Press to Handstand is an elegant movement in that it requires strength, mobility, and technique/balance. It takes a lot of practice to educate the body to do the press to handstand, but it is accessible. You just need to do the right things to make it happen.
In this article I will cover how to Press Handstand, approaching it from three angles such as pike, tuck, and straddle. All the entries have the same principle and elements to lift your legs in the air without kicking up.

In my previous blog post, I introduced some drills to learn the float. I would like you to pay more attention to how your pelvis is tilted, how you should breathe, and when you should shift your pelvic tilt.  Today’s focus in this blog is introducing my favorite negative press drills and how I learned the press into a handstand.  Trust me, it works so well.

What is "Negative press for handstands"?

Let’s have a look at the press from the other perspective if you cannot lift your feet off the floor. Maybe you will find an a-ha sensation from the other way round. Another way of activating the core muscle from the top. Everything from the top will fall to the ground without support against gravity. If you learn to resist gravity, it is a good indicator that you can press against gravity too.  The best approach to entering the Press Handstand is to work on mobility but also to allow a bit of a forward lean in the shoulders. I saw those who already can do a free-standing handstand for 30-60 seconds struggle for the press to handstand for years. When I learn the handstand, I didn't practice the handstand first, instead practiced a lot of toe-taps and tuck negative to learn the press first. After 3 months of daily practice, I figured out the press. To do this you will need core compression, it’s a bit different from core muscle strength. What is the best way to train your core compression skills for this movement? The answer is “Negative press”.

The main queue for the negative press is core engagement skill in an upside-down position.

Compression drills yield many benefits:

  • Tightness and integration in the legs
  • Allow legs to connect with core muscle
  • Find the most efficient path such as tuck, straddle, and pike to handstand

Guys, keep in mind that seeing progress in the press work is not the same as with strength. There are also many less-than-obvious markers for improvement such as breathing awareness to integrate the core engagement, consistency in hand placement, and, so, even if you feel like you have made no progress, you are improving your skills after every single session. Trust your body, and keep practicing!


Conclusion - How to press handstand

Let’s summarize everything. How to Press to Handstand?

  • Gain awareness in the scapulas and your back, and protract the scapula to compress your body and lengthen your legs.
  • Gain positional awareness in your hips and pelvis by training Tuck ups and Straddle ups. Include Pike negatives, and Pike handstand negatives. If you have no idea what these exercises are and want to learn how to do all of them in a stepwise program that’s already laid out - again - you can check out my press handstand online course for beginners.
  • Build strength using low balancing drills, specifically tuck and straddle hold.
  • Use an elevated surface to enter the Press to Handstand easier. Come down to the starting position of the Press to Handstand with your feet on the ground slowly, another way of negative press for the Press to Handstand.

Please feel free to comment with any questions or feedback on the blog. I am happy to hear from you. Enjoy your handstand journey!

For more drills and routines check here, and experience my "press handstand online program for beginners".


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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