bad handstand 2Walking or holding a broken handstand is like showing up to an event where everyone is wearing $5,000+ watches and you are wearing a $250 Fossil trying to pretend like the quality matches everyone around you. Sure, people who have no idea might think it looks impressive (like a broken handstand), but people in the know will laugh at you. The guy that shows up with no watch and says “I’m saving up to invest in one” will get much more respect.  Think of these first three steps as part of your investment.  Don’t be the guy with the Fossil! So, if you look like the picture to the left, here are my three rules and three steps you need to follow.

Rule 1: Get off the damn wall!!!

Rule 2: Get on the floor.

Rule 3: Learn to hollow out or “round” your lower back.

You’re probably asking “shoot, is there no quick trick on how to straighten out my handstand?”  The answer is a simple NO.  Follow these steps and eventually, over time, after a lot of hard work, you will EARN it.

Step 1: Bent Hollow Hold & Rocks

Complete: Bent Hollow Holds (3 x 60 sec.)

Complete: Bent Hollow Rocks (3 x 60 reps)

Step 2: Straddle Hollow Hold & Rocks

Complete: Straddle Hollow Holds (3 x 60 sec.)

Complete: Straddle Hollow Rocks (3 x 60 reps)

Step 3: Hollow Hold & Hollow Rocks

Hollow Hold: 3 x 60 Seconds

Hollow Rocks: 3 x 60 Reps

Why hollow holds and rocks? They teach you to engage and ‘round’ your lower erectors in a pronated position where your lumbar spine naturally curves. It’s usually NOT an issue of muscle strength but more of muscle control. If you don’t master the hollow holds and rocks, then performing perfect handstands will be nearly impossible. Broken handstands? Sure. Excellent handstands? Probably not.

A key point to take away from these holds is that they are always useful.  This means you should still practice them even once you’ve achieved a perfect handstand. You don’t have to practice all of them, just the full hollow holds and rocks. Master the bent hollow holds then move onto the bent hollow rocks. DO NOT move on until you have truly mastered the sets.

Disclaimer: I have nothing against Fossil watches.  I actually wear inexpensive watches.  I just don’t pretend like they are really nice.

– Joshua Jarmin
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