Do You Want to Learn How to Do a Handstand Walk?

The illustrious handstand walk.

Maybe you’ve been working on it for a while, but you just can’t quite master it. Or maybe you’ve seen someone at the gym walking around on their hands like it’s totally normal and totally easy to walk using your hands instead of your feet, and you thought “I want to do that.” Either way, if walking on your hands is something that you’re working towards, we’ve got four steps for your to build upon to prepare your body for handstand walks.

Look at stick-figure you, walking around the gym on your hands!
Step 1: Mobility

Before you get upside down, make sure you have the mobility to allow for you to obtain a handstand position. Often times people lack the shoulder and/or thoracic spine mobility to get their arms fully overhead and the wrist mobility to keep their arms perpendicular to the ground

In order to check your wrist mobility. With your hand flat on a surface, fingertips pointing forward, and elbow straight, lean your shoulder over towards your fingertips. If your hand can remain flat with your shoulder in line with your fingertips, you should have sufficient wrist mobility for a handstand.

Then, sit cross-legged with you back flat against the wall. Raise your hands forward into the overhead position, trying to get the backs of your hands flat on the wall, while still maintaining full contact of your back with the wall. If you can do this, you’re good to go with shoulder mobility, if not, some targeted overhead mobility could help.

Step 2: Balancing

As children, we learn to stand before we learn to walk, yet this step is often skipped when people try to learn how to do a handstand walk. It’s important to understand where your center of gravity is when you are on your hands, and how to maintain control before beginning to handstand walk.

One way to do this is to kick up to a handstand against a wall, putting your heels on the wall to balance.  Bring one heel slightly off the wall so that it is in straight line directly over you and slowly lift the other heel off the wall, trying to find your balance. Gradually increase the distance from the wall, with the goal of trying to find your balance immediately, rather than reaching one foot from the wall.

Step 3: Weight shift

In order to walk on your hands, you must shift weight from one hand to the other, while maintaining an active shoulder position.

To work on this, perform a wall walk where you start in a push up position with your feet against the wall, keep a tight body and slowly walk your hands in towards the wall as your feet walk up. Try to get your nose as close to the wall as possible to achieve a tight body position with feet together. Lift your right hand off the floor as you shift your weight slightly over to the left. Progress from lifting one hand off to lifting the hand off and tapping the shoulder.

Step 4: Walking

People often kick up to the handstand and begin walking before they’ve even found their balance. You’ve seen it, they’re able to take 2-3 steps, but they never actually achieved a full handstand position before they started walking. That’s why step 2 is so important, you need to find your balance before you start moving your hands.

Keep practicing, remember toddlers try, and try again every single day before they master walking.  It doesn’t happen overnight. The same is true for handstand walking: it’s a skill that takes lots of practice to perfect.

Work through these steps at your own pace, and tag us to show us your progress. If you’re stuck at a step, or your shoulder mobility is keeping you from your peak performance, get in touch with us. You don’t have to troubleshoot mobility issues on your own!

Want to learn more? Check out our latest post on the topic below!

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