Handstand goal At 50
I am female, middle-aged and carrying some extra weight as side effect from my medications. I incorporate some bodyweight exercises to help with strength and muscle tone. I have never been able to do a pull-up, even when thin, but I can now do knee pressups and hold a plank for over 30 seconds. I already had moderate strength from doing various exercises.
I decided to set a goal of doing a handstand in reasonably good form at age 50.
A handstand is a strength and balance exercise using pretty much the whole body, especially legs, shoulders, glutes, core, arms. I have been working on some controlled strength exercises, such as climbing up the wall with feet, facing the wall, into an inclined handstand plank hybrid. I can hold that for around 10 seconds now - definitely more challenging than a plank horizontal to the floor. Also practiced with knees on bed for elevation, hands on floor and trying to stack shoulders over hands and trying to elevate hips. These are to help strengthen my arms and shoulders in preparation for handstand (already have some strength from other exercises). There are plenty of other exercises to try.
Today, I tried doing some kickups, which is required to get up into a handstand. The last time I could kick up into a handstand was when I was a thin teenager. It seemed like not much effort to get up into the air back then, although I was very amateur and couldn't hold a balanced one for long (just a few seconds).
Now, that I am older and have big hips and a big bum, it's very challenging. I managed to get a bit of lift with my kickup attempts but not to get my hips over my shoulders, which is apparently the aim. I filmed myself, so I could check my form (or rather lack of form). I am currently 86kg and it's definitely harder to kick up with the extra weight (I was 57kg at high school and 63kg off meds in adulthood). I was encouraged though to see a middle-aged, self-described 'fat person' learn to do kick up to a wall handstand, so I knew it was achieveable even though challenging.
There are loads of tutorials on YouTube by people who can do handstands. Some give conflicting advice, but most recommend to practice kicking up with hands already on the ground initially, so that it is more controlled and less factors to think about such as correct hand placement. Generally instructors also recommend keeping the legs split for balance, before bringing them together (I'm not at that stage yet).
Another tip is to use a wall behind as a safety net, although I can't kick up that far yet. I found some videos by a handstand expert, who gives lots of tips and exercises to learn to handstand. Unfortunately her videos are restricted so they are unable to be linked but if you look up Natalie Reckert on You Tube, she has detailed instructional videos to learn to handstand.
Safety is important, so take things at your own pace. Different components of the handstand can be broken down into separate parts for practise.
Below is a video with some tips by an acrobat, Sondre Berg.
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Two of my interests are continually improving my fitness and my creative pursuits (including writing, photography, art). I especially enjoy taking photos of birds (with my amateur camera).