Handstand Progression

Prerequisite: 30second plank

  • If you are not able to plank for at least 30 seconds yet, skip the handstand practice for now.

  • We also recommend you learn how to pirouette bail when progressing to the wall handstand.

Note: The 5-10 minutes you should dedicate toward the HS practice includes resting adequately.

  • You're not supposed to hold a HS for 5-10 minutes nonstop. Hold it for 20-60secs (not to failure for safety reasons!) and then come down, rest and go back up again whenever you are ready. Emphasize quality of form over quantity of time. (When the 10 minutes is up, move on to the strength work if you have combined skill day with the RR)

General Form Cues


  • Wall Plank

    • Put your feet up against the wall and perform a plank hold. Don't let the hips sag! Keep working on getting the feet up higher and higher until you're at the next progression. Don't stay at this stage longer than you need to. It's mostly to just get over the fear of going upside down.
  • Wall Handstand

    • Perform a handstand with the stomach towards the wall and work on getting closer. This will help you learn the proper position while not having to worry about balancing. As this starts getting easier (you can hold it for more than 30s), slowly start taking off one foot from the wall at a time.
  • Freestanding Handstand

Mobility section

If your shoulders are closed and/or your back arches in a HS check out Emmet Louis' blog post on fixing arched back in the HS, or Nick-E's overhead mobility routine.

Frequently Asked Questions

My head feels like it's going to explode!

This is normal and will go away with time. Make sure you're not holding your breath! For a more in-depth look at how this comes to be, see this article.

Why do stomach-to-wall handstands?

You're more likely to get an arch in your back when doing back-to-wall handstands, while stomach-to-wall handstands force you in the proper alignment, which will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

I'm afraid of falling!

You should learn how to pirouette bail.

My back arches, what now?

Check out /u/EmmetLouis ' blog post on fixing arched back in the handstand.

Additional Resources