Handstands are an underrated exercise. Whether you are an avid gymnast, a retired gymnast or you’ve never even stepped foot inside a gymnastics gym – handstands are helpful for a few reasons.
If you don’t attempt one, you’ll never know if you can be successful or not. Whether you can manage freestanding handstands or need the assistance of a wall, we think there are five top reasons you should do a handstand daily.
1. Handstands make your upper body strong.
In order to stay upside down for any length of time, you’ll need a lot of shoulder, arm, and upper back strength. In fact, it’s not uncommon for beginners to start shaking after just a few seconds of holding a handstand.
To build up strength, start by holding a handstand against a wall for three sets of 5-10 seconds. Work up to holding them for a minute or two at a time. Practice often, and watch as your upper body strength skyrockets.
2. Handstands increase your balance.
If you’ve ever tried a handstand, you know that besides strength, you’ll also need to have balancing skills in order to be able to hold yourself up. Freestanding handstands require you to be able to have full control over your muscles and constantly make small adjustments to avoid falling.
Practicing freestanding handstands or doing handstands against a wall and trying to take your feet off the wall for as long as possible will help increase your balance. The type of balance needed is unique and requires lots of core strength and practice.
3. Handstands can boost your mood.
Handstands make you strong and help improve your balancing abilities. They can also make you feel happier with an increase in blood flow to your brain. This can have an energizing and calming effect, especially in moments of high stress.
Another way handstands can help your mood is by reducing the production of the stress hormone, cortisol, which can not only de-stress you in the short-term but could also help relieve minor depression and anxiety.
4. Handstands build core strength.
There’s no need to spend hours focusing just on your abs – you can have fun doing handstands and build core strength.
Since staying upside down forces you to stabilize your muscles, you’re constantly working your abs, as well as other key muscle groups such as your hip flexors, hamstrings, inner thigh muscles, obliques, and lower back while in a handstand. Training handstands every day will get you a well-balanced, super-strong core.
5. Handstands help with bone health, circulation, and breathing.
Since handstands are technically a weight-bearing exercise, they can strengthen your bones making you less prone to osteoporosis. Handstands are also beneficial for your spine and help aid bone health in your shoulders, arms, and wrists.
Not only that, the upside-down nature of a handstand can increase circulation to your upper body while relieving pressure on your feet and legs and stretching your diaphragm at the same time. This can increase blood flow to your lungs.
While handstands are often seen as a difficult skill to master, they have many benefits in addition to just being a fun trick.