After someone sees tons of handstand photos and videos on our Instagram or Facebook pages, they often ask us why we love handstands.
We’ll still answer them straight away and rave about how good they are.. but after reading this brief explanation, you’ll at least know a few reasons yourself and perhaps you’ll get the bug as well!
Ben and I had our first experience with handstands (as team Witness The Fitness) at a Real Movement Project workshop called ‘Strength Essentials’.
We had never heard of RMP or Keegan Smith himself but little did we know that it would shape the rest of our training and that of our clients, for ever.
Talk about life changing workshops.
This experience deserves it’s own story so stay tuned for a blog titled ‘WTF is RMP’..
The main reason we love handstands is because it’s fun. There is a reason kids play, there is a reason we party, play music, eat good food.. We love doing things that makes us happy.
As Ben and myself have worked in big name gyms before, we have seen a lot of people spend 60 minutes or so training without cracking a smile – not even once!
I’m not saying you have to smile to be happy or that achieving your health and fitness goals is fun and games 24/7.. But to us that was a pretty good sign that these people weren’t enjoying themselves.
So, if we can do a FUN exercise that’s also extremely powerful, then yeah we’ll do that almost every day.. why wouldn’t you!?
Handstands also teach us an all important lesson.
They teach us that we are never too old, too busy or too ‘incapable’ to do something that is first thought to be impossible. “It always seems impossible until it’s done” – Nelson Mandela
Wether you start with your feet on the ground, a box or a metre up the wall.. everyone starts somewhere and everyone can improve.
As your confidence, strength and coordination gets better (adaptation), you move trough the progressions and make your way towards the majestic free standing handstand.
Experiencing little wins along the way like progressing from box to wall or getting your nose to the wall for the first time, keeps you motivated and they always happen sooner than you think.
But that’s still not the only other reason why we love handstands! As I mentioned earlier – your strength improves, fast.
How many people do you see or know that can hold a body weight barbell above their head?
The very second you are inverted, you are holding your body weight above your head and for most people – hold that position for 30-60 seconds. That is tremendous strength and endurance.
In order to support our body, let alone the weight, we need tremendous core strength as well. So as our ability to hold a handstand improves, so does our upper body and core strength.
After all, don’t you think a handstand is a little more hardCORE than a sit up?
One of our clients, Andrew Burke, has been training with me for a few years.. in the last 6 months we have been doing handstands at least twice a week and never have his shoulders looked so good!
It is the combination of significant weight plus the constant struggle to obtain balance that our muscles (from fingers to toes) can do nothing but adapt to the task at hand.. And when we adapt to something, we improve!
Handstands, in our opinion, are one way to ensure that we are #bettereveryday.
Tristan M. Forbes