At Gravity, we encourage people to learn and practice handstand. There is certainly an element in all of our calisthenics classes where we incorporate handstand practice and variation. Handstand training is exciting and full of achievement milestones. It does require discipline and consistency to master this movement so you might need some motivation before investing time into it. Below, we’ve articulated 10 reasons why you could integrate handstands in your current training.
1. No equipment needed. Your body is your gym. Handstand practice will provide a good workout without the need for any equipment.
2. Handstands build strength. This practice develops the body harmoniously. It strengthens the shoulders, arms and wrists, grip, back and core and expands the chest fully.
3. Practicing handstands could boost your mood/reduce stress or anxiety. The research is clear; the increased blood flow to your brain can help your mood by reducing the production of the stress hormone, cortisol, which can not only de-stress you in the short-term but could also help relieve minor depression and anxiety.
4. Handstands are a weight bearing exercise that strengthens your bones from wrist, shoulder, arms, and spine, making you less prone to osteoporosis.
5. Being upside down increases the circulation to your upper body and lungs and helps with breathing while stretching the diaphragm. By sending extra oxygen and nutrient rich blood to the head, hair follicles and the eyes benefit. This helps retain a luscious head of hair and prevent macular degeneration and other eye issues.
6. Everything in your body is interconnected – central nervous system, skeletal system, muscular system, energy system etc. Handstands require constant communication, neuromuscular efficiency, and amazing proprioception to maintain form and balance.
7. Handstands will enable total body tension and that will be transferable to other training you will do. They train your body to be one unit and increase activation and stabilization of all muscles, core, spine and shoulder girdle.
8. Handstands can also stimulate the endocrine and lymphatic systems. Your endocrine system is responsible for regulating mood, growth, development, tissue function, metabolism, sexual functions and other bodily functions. When the body is turned upside down and blood moves to the head, the pituitary gland is stimulated which helps to set a point for healthy body weight. The inversion also brings blood to the thyroid glands to help regulate the production of T3 and T4 (thyroid hormones), which also affects metabolism. The lymphatic system removes waste produced from your blood. Flipping on your head directly stimulates this system.
9. They bring you into present moment/enable greater focus. If you don’t pay attention, you fall. You have to clear your mind, let go of mental chatter and pay attention to what is happening, because there is a lot happening!
10. Handstands can make you a better person. Seriously, practicing handstand can help you move through mental barriers and release fear. Handstands build confidence, perseverance and faith. When brought into your life, these qualities will better equip you to face challenges/obstacles.
Want to try handstand training, register for our 8 week program here.