The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Using a Handstand for More Than an Exercise - Real Life

A reader wrote about the handstand against wall in the post Fast Fitness - Easy Handstand for Balance, Upper Body Strength -The Movie. GingerB said,

"My Yoga teachers uses that, but you hold you legs at a right degree angle to the floor. It forces your back to be straight. Seems to me it sets you up for more shoulder action. I don't think I'll ever be able to do a handstand without the wall."

The handstand against the wall can be done with legs straight or bent as Ginger describes, or a variety of other stretches. However bending the legs at right angle, or any angle, does not "force" a straight back. Rounded back can still occur. Many people with tight hamstrings wind up rounding the back doing this stretch as Ginger describes because the back is the only place they can get the stretch from and they do not know how to transfer the stretch to the hamstrings. The shoulders also can be in any posture or level of "action" from good to bad depending on how much you know about posture and allow to happen.

The photo at right shows five of my students demonstrating the easy wall handstand in both positions. First at right in the foreground is Diana who hold straight good neutral spine. Next, also in good neutral spine is 67 year old Leslie who starred in the post Are You Stronger Than A 67 Year Old Lady? Click the post to do your pushups with her every day. Third in the middle, Johanna demonstrates right angle (photo taken just before reaching parallel to floor). This can be a fun stretch for hamstrings without loading the lower back.

Most important, use a straight handstand position in neutral spine to train straight body position against resistance, then transfer that knowledge to daily life. If you use the right-angle pose alone you do not learn that.

All my exercises are developed to be more than exercise alone. Instead of just "doing a move" or "holding a pose" use them to train how to move out of bad positioning into healthy position for everything you do.

The post Fast Fitness - Fixing Your Handstand to Neutral Spine shows a short movie of letting spine sag in the handstand and how to fix it so that you can train what to do when you are walking around, running, lifting weights, and just enjoying life. Instead of "doing" exercise, restore real life.

For doing handstands without the wall, it’s just real life balance and stretch training - a post soon will cover how.

Photo by Jolie
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About the Author


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