Plank Variations and Hollow Holds
At first glance, handstands seem to be the product of insane upper body strength. This is true, but the core muscles are just as important! Once you nail your core strength, you’ve actually reached almost half of your handstand goal.
Do lots of planks, hollow body planks, and other plank variations to train your core for the handstand. Crunches and Russian twists will strengthen your core, but the plank variations will mimic the feeling of being up in a handstand.
The hollow hold is also a great way to activate your core muscles. To do a hollow hold, lie down with your back against the floor. Stretch out your arms above your head. Raise your hands and your legs as you pull your belly button to the floor, keeping the lower back in contact with the floor. The objective of this exercise is to keep your lower back pressed to the floor while keeping your arms and your legs just slightly off the floor. Make it your goal to hold this position for 3 minutes to increase your core strength.
Any kind of push-up for that matter – standard push-up, wide-hand push-up, t-push-up, narrow push-up, inclined push-up, bridge/backbend push-up, etc. Push-ups aren’t just for your upper body. It’s also a great way to tighten your core and your glutes. Don’t shy away from doing push-ups.
To intensify your push-ups and further strengthen your upper body and core in preparation for handstands, incorporate l-push-ups into your routine. It’s an inclined push-up, but with your legs parallel to the floor and perpendicular to the torso. When you feel stronger and more confident, gradually inch your feet upwards until you can do handstand push-ups against the wall.
You will need a Swiss ball for this exercise. The pike rolls will not only help you with the positioning of your shoulders and arms during handstand, it will also work your lower abdominal muscles. Assume a plank position with the top of your feet planted on the Swiss ball. Roll the ball towards your hands using your toes. Ensure that your shoulders are on top of your arms, and that the arms are stretched. Your glutes and back should also be directly aligned with your arms. This exercise is a great way to enhance your alignment and awareness during inversions.