Coach Jesper – Perform Like An Athlete

How to progress in your handstand

Tommy was on his way to the park and saw a new man at the training spot. As Tommy arrived, he said, “Good morning,” but the man didn’t seem to react as he had AirPods in his ears.


Tommy sat on the wooden boxes for a minute as he prepared for his workout. He saw the new man kick into a handstand and hold it for what seemed like minutes.


The man came out of the handstand and noticed Tommy watching him. The man said hello to Tommy, who then asked, “How did you learn to do a handstand?”


The man answered Tommy, explaining that he had broken it into small steps to progress to the handstand.


“I don’t think I’ll be able to figure out how to do a handstand,” replied Tommy.


The man said, “My name is Mikael.”


“I’m Tommy,” answered Tommy.


Mikael told Tommy that he could show him how to do it and work his way up to a handstand.


“Oh, you don’t have to,” said Tommy.


“Don’t be shy, it takes 5 minutes to show you,” said Mikael.


“Okay, let’s do it,” replied Tommy.


“First, you want to warm up your arms, elbows, and wrists so you don’t get injured. The most important part of the handstand is the balance. Aim for a 30-second hold at each stage I’m about to show you. The first step is to get into a frog position, then move into a full tuck headstand, progressing to a single-leg tuck, and finally to a full headstand.”


Mikael instructed Tommy, “Put your hands on the ground and place your elbows on your knees to hold yourself. Try to lean forward so your feet come off the ground.”


Tommy began to fall forward but didn’t lift his feet off the ground.


“Let’s try again,” said Mikael.


Tommy tried again, and Mikael helped him lift his feet off the ground. Tommy managed to hold the position with Mikael’s help for 30 seconds. When Tommy came down, he said his wrists hurt a bit and it was quite difficult.


Mikael told Tommy that he should keep doing wrist exercises to strengthen them and train his shoulders to get stronger for holding the position.


“Thank you for the help,” said Tommy.


Tommy came back the next day and began to warm up, starting to practice the frog hold. He got into the position and leaned slowly forward. Tommy could feel his feet come off the ground but quickly came down again.


On the second try, Tommy got more comfortable in the frog position and held it for 10 seconds. His wrists began to hurt, so Tommy decided to stop and took a small break to let his wrists recover.


Tommy felt motivated and believed he could learn to do the handstand. He continued working with pike push-ups to strengthen his shoulders and improve in the frog hold.


Two months later, Tommy could finally hold the frog position for 30 seconds without feeling pain in his wrists. This brought him to the next progression, the tucked headstand.


His first attempt at the tucked headstand made him fall over and land straight on his back. Tommy got up and tried again but quickly felt pain in his head, so he came out of the headstand.


The next day, he met Mikael and asked, “How do you avoid the head pain when doing the headstand?”


“That’s simple,” said Mikael. “You can’t avoid it, so you need a soft, firm pad for your head. It’s the only way. Sorry, I forgot to mention it.”


“It’s okay. You’ve helped me a lot. Let me try again,” said Tommy.


Tommy put his shirt on the ground and did the headstand. He got excited that it didn’t hurt and managed to hold it for 15 seconds.

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