The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Fast Fitness - Fixing Your Handstand to Neutral Spine

Last week's Fast Fitness showed a movie of how to step up into an easy handstand and get back down. This week shows a common pitfall - letting your lower spine sag under gravity - and how to fix it and hold neutral spine.

My student Dennis, Olympic medalist in wrestling, demonstrates:

  1. Step your foot up behind you high onto a wall, then the other.
  2. For the first 5 seconds of the movie, Dennis allows the lower spine to overarch (increase the inward curve) under the pull of gravity, a bad posture called hyperlordosis. It is not the normal inward curve, it is an easily changed bad posture.
  3. At second 5 he changes the tilt of the hip and lower spine back to neutral spine. The action is like doing an abdominal crunch to bring the spine and torso just forward enough to be straight.


This technique practices the muscles and positioning for straight standing, making it better than just a handstand. If you want to gain abdominal strength, using neutral spine uses those muscles. An important difference in Fitness Fixer exercises is that they are not only exercises alone. All the techniques I developed are supposed to be used to train muscle function and positioning for when you stand up and walk away.

Use neutral spine, not only for handstands, but all you do. Examples are in Prevent Back Surgery.

Read success stories and send your own.
See if your answers are already here - click Fitness Fixer labels, links, archives, and Index. Subscribe free - "updates via e-mail" upper right. For personal medical questions - Replies to Medical Questions.
Limited Class space for personal feedback. Top students may earn certification through Get more in Dr. Bookspan's Books.

  • 1
Was this article helpful? Yes No

About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.