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Mastering the Art of Handstands: A Comprehensive Guide by BODY ARK

Updated: May 7, 2023


Introduction to how to do a Handstands

Handstands have become increasingly popular in the fitness world, with people from various disciplines, such as calisthenics, yoga, and gymnastics, incorporating them into their routines. As an online personal trainer and calisthenics coach, Andrew Mill from BODY ARK has helped countless clients learn and perfect the handstand. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the challenges, benefits, and techniques of handstands, as well as various variations and equipment to support your handstand journey.

I. The Challenges of Learning a Handstand

Why are handstands difficult? First and foremost, handstands require a combination of strength, balance, and coordination. These elements can be challenging to develop, especially for beginners who may not have the foundational strength required for handstands.

Is handstand a strength or skill? The truth is, it's both. While strength is necessary to hold your body weight upside down, skill is needed to maintain balance and control throughout the movement.

II. The Timeline to Handstand Success

How long will it take to learn a handstand? The time it takes to learn a handstand varies from person to person. Factors such as fitness level, previous experience, and consistency in training can impact the learning process. For some, it may take a month or two, while others may need six months or more.

Can you learn a handstand in 1 month? It's possible, but it depends on your starting point and dedication to practice. With consistent training and proper guidance, some individuals may achieve a handstand within 30 days.

III. Benefits of Handstands

Handstands offer numerous physical and mental benefits, including:

  • Improved core strength

  • Increased upper body strength

  • Enhanced balance and coordination

  • Better body awareness

  • Greater focus and discipline

IV. Handstand Training Techniques

To train for a handstand, consider the following progressions and techniques:

  1. Wall handstand: Begin with your back facing the wall, hands on the ground, and kick up into a handstand with your feet touching the wall for support.

  2. Handstand pushups: Perform these against a wall to build strength in the shoulders and triceps.

  3. Tripod and forearm handstands: These are great alternatives for those who have wrist issues or need to build more strength before attempting a full handstand.

  4. Handstand for beginners: Practice hollow body holds and pike pushups to develop core and shoulder strength before moving on to more advanced progressions.

V. Safety and Risks of Handstands

Can handstands be bad for you? When performed incorrectly or without proper guidance, handstands can lead to injuries such as wrist sprains, neck strains, or falls. To minimize risks:

  • Warm up properly

  • Use a spotter or wall for support

  • Progress gradually and avoid overtraining

VI. Handstand Variations and Challenges

Once you've mastered the basic handstand, you can explore various handstand variations to challenge your skills:

  1. Yoga handstand: Also known as "Adho Mukha Vrksasana," this variation focuses on proper alignment and smooth transitions.

  2. One arm handstand: A more advanced variation that requires exceptional strength and balance.

  3. Contortion handstand: This handstand style incorporates extreme flexibility, often seen in circus acts or dance performances.

  4. Handstand walking: Practice shifting weight from one hand to the other and moving forward or backward.

VII. Equipment and Props for learning Handstands

Using equipment and props can help support your handstand practice:

  1. Handstand bars or parallettes: These can provide added wrist support and elevate your hands for a deeper range of motion.

  2. Wall assisted handstand: Utilize a wall to help build strength and confidence as you work on your balance and alignment.

  3. Handstandfactory: Access training programs and resources specifically tailored for handstand development.

VIII. Handstand Practice and Frequency

How many times a week should I train handstand? For optimal progress, it's generally recommended to practice handstands three to five times a week. This frequency allows for consistent training while still providing ample time for rest and recovery.

Is it okay to do handstands every day? While daily practice can be beneficial for some, it's essential to listen to your body and avoid overtraining. Incorporate rest days and focus on other aspects of your fitness routine to prevent injury and maintain overall balance.

IX. Expert Insights and Resources

There are numerous resources available to help you refine your handstand skills:

  1. Chris Heria handstand tips: As a renowned calisthenics expert, Chris Heria offers valuable insights into handstand technique and progressions.

  2. GMB handstand tutorials: Gold Medal Bodies (GMB) provides detailed handstand tutorials and progressions for various skill levels.

  3. Handstandfactory programs: Explore specialized handstand training programs designed to help you achieve your goals.


Mastering the art of handstands takes time, patience, and dedication. With consistent practice and proper guidance, you'll soon be reaping the benefits of this impressive skill. As an online fitness coach and calisthenics specialist, Andrew Mill from BODY ARK is here to support you on your handstand journey. With bespoke training plans, e-books, and personalized support, you'll have everything you need to achieve your handstand goals.

Click here for an Online Calisthenics Personal Trainer:

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