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Master the Press Handstand in 8 Steps

ClubCal owner Crystal Hatch practices a handstand press drill from one of ClubCal's follow-along workout videos. Coach Seth takes her through the movements.

The press handstand is a powerful and impressive movement that requires strength, flexibility, balance, and control. Achieving this skill takes practice, patience, and dedication, but anyone can learn to press into a handstand with the right approach. Here are some tips to help you on your journey to the press handstand.

1. Warm-up and flexibility

Before starting any handstand training, it is essential to warm up properly. This will help to prevent injury and improve your performance. A good warm-up should include a light jog, mobility exercises, wrist stretches, and bodyweight exercises like squats, push-ups, and lunges.

Flexibility is a critical component of the press handstand. The more flexible you are, the easier it will be to control your body in the handstand position. Because we don't like to stretch cold muscles, you can end your training sessions with stretching specifically for the hamstrings, hip flexors, and shoulders, as these are the areas that are most commonly tight in people who are just starting.

2. Build strength

To press into a handstand, you must have adequate upper body strength. This includes strong shoulders, arms, and core. Start by incorporating exercises like wall handstands, planks, push-ups, dips, and pull-ups into your routine. As you progress, you can add weight to these exercises to increase the difficulty.

Your core is also essential for the press handstand. Exercises like hollow-body holds, Russian twists, supine arch holds, and hanging knee tucks can help to strengthen your abs and lower back, making it easier for you to control your body during the press.

3. Practice the handstand

Once you have warmed up and built some strength, it's time to start practicing the handstand. Start by kicking up against a wall, keeping your body straight and your weight evenly distributed between your hands and feet. As you get more comfortable, you can move away from the wall and start practicing freestanding handstands. Form is really important here and so don't rush to find the balance in the middle of the floor if your form is not solid.

To make it easier, you can use a partner to spot you, or you can use a wall to push off from. The goal is to be able to hold a handstand for more extended periods, gradually building up your strength and control.

4. Work on your balance

Balance is crucial for the press handstand. Start walking your feet up the wall (belly-side up) and then scissor your legs so one can find stability and the other can work to balance. This will help you to develop the necessary control and balance to progress to the press handstand.

5. Use progressions

The press handstand is a complex movement that takes time to master. To make it easier, you can use progressions, simplified versions of the movement that gradually build up to the full press.

For example, you can start by practicing handstands against a wall, then move to handstands on parallettes (against the wall), and finally progress to the full press handstand. This gradual approach will help you to build the necessary strength and control to achieve the full press handstand.

6. Focus on form

Good form is crucial in any calisthenics movement, and the press handstand is no exception. Make sure to keep your body straight and your weight evenly distributed between your hands and feet. Keep your abs tight, and your head and neck in line with your spine.

7. Be patient and consistent

The press handstand is a challenging movement that takes time to master. Don't expect to achieve it overnight, and don't get discouraged if it takes you longer than you expect. The key to success is consistency and patience.

Practice regularly, and don't be afraid to take a break if you feel like you're not making progress. Remember that progress takes time, and everyone is on an individual journey when it comes to mastering this incredible calisthenics skill.

8. Have fun!

Handstand training builds strength, mobility, and body awareness, but most of all, it's a fun way to build endurance and get a workout in all while enjoying yourself, your movements, and what your body can do. Have fun and happy training!

Not a ClubCal member yet? Start training today! Get your first week free and pay only $15 monthly after that! Follow-along workouts on your schedule make all the difference. Sign up for your free week here!


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