In the world of Physical Culture, a lot of things come and go, some things work, some don’t and others just have a way of taking things to a whole new level and one way to look at is looking at the world upside down. In training of the handstands, this teaches you to look at things from a different perspective and I mean this literally, when you hold a handstand either up against the wall or free-handed, you have to teach your body how to use it from a very different light. Think about it while you read this.
It’s not easy at first to get into a handstand, believe me I know how you feel. At first it seems scary, like waking up in a different place and don’t understand where you’re at. With practice, you learn to shut that off and become comfortable in your new surroundings. Eventually when you hold a handstand, you will find out right away that you can’t be very loose otherwise you’ll fall. Keeping the body tight is essential to your progress. Holding the position isn’t just an exercise, it’s a test of will.
Tighten up the body in a handstand is the foundation for Hand Balancing and when you hold it for a period of time, you’ll find out about the benefit of increased blood flow to your body especially in the brain. Flex your body in every position, point your toes, flex the calves, squeeze the legs together, tighten your torso and press your hands into the ground as if you’re going right through it. What this teaches is to use the body as a complete unit, powerful, strong and tight like a steel rod.
Practicing on the wall is a start and whether or not you aspire to be a gymnast or an acrobat but the most important thing is to keep your body relaxed while in a flexed position. I realize that sounds like an oxymoron but yet you will soon understand the concept that holding the position itself brings great benefits to your body, making it strong and shrinking fat and building muscle while increasing strength in your tendons and ligaments.
I’m giving you this tip not to progress to handstand push-ups which you should eventually progress to but to teach you the value of Internal Power meaning you’re strengthening the body from the inside out. Isometric Handstands bring blood flow into the body meaning stronger organs, increased flow to the muscles and strengthening the very things that help hold the body together meaning bones, tendons and again ligaments. This is what I like to call Isometric Practice, fusing the mind/body connection to build strength in every form of your body both internally and externally.
I realize I have repeated a few things here but a lot of people don’t see how certain things work and a lot of people think that if you want to get stronger, lift weights, ok let’s test this theory, you picked a few barbells and dumbbells and you worked them hard, now test yourself in the handstand and see how strong you still are. I bet you, you won’t last more than a few seconds. Strength does not always mean picking up the most weight or how big your guns are and it certainly doesn’t matter how you look. Strength in different arenas gives the body variety of what it can do, it’s not just meant to pick up a weight, hell even in the old days of Physical Culture men and women didn’t just lift, they wrestled, did gymnastics, were circus performers, entertaining strongmen all these things and yet were strong and many different areas and sometimes lifting weights had nothing to do with it.
It’s all about looking outside the box and using your body in ways that other things can’t transfer over. If you’re interested in Hand Balancing, practice it not just to hold a handstand but hold it and move it with intense will from your mind and your body together, you will see things from a new light you never thought of and find some unknown benefits that they didn’t teach in the course. You’ll know once you experience it, it’s a feeling you can’t get from anything else.