You are comfortable with doing handstands at the wall, but have trouble getting into the free space? Or when you kick up without a wall behind you, you feel scared?
I remember when I did my very first attempts of kicking up without a wall. It took me a very long time to kick up all the way to a full handstand in the free space. Eventhough I knew how to cartwheel out, I was simply scared without having the wall behind me. Learning how to manouver my handstand balance using the wall, helped me develop a feeling for balance and get comfortable with relying only on my hands and shoulders while being upside down. And kicking up while still having the wall behind me gave me a feeling of safety and allowed me to go passed my fear of kicking all the way up into a handstand. Afterwards it was easier to transfer what my body had learned into the free space.
The three crucial steps…
…that made the transfer from the wall handstand to the free space easier for me were the following:
- Control Over- and Underbalance at the wall
- Wall Scissor Drill
- Kick ups with the Wall behind me
Using the wall to actually get away from the wall has a very clear reason: The wall makes sure you stay up in your handstand longer, providing you with time to build the neural circuits that you need for handstand balance. Plus it’s a great tool to give you feedback on your position. As long as you don’t “hang” on the wall with all of your bodyweight and make an effort to use it as little as possible and as much as absolutely necessary, it will be your best friend in learning how to do free handstands. Remember what Mikael said in our interview (click here, if you haven’t seen it): “make the seconds on your hands count”. Simply kicking up a hundred times in hopes to hold it some day is very inefficient and your progress will much likely take longer.
So what we do in these three drills is that we break down the movement of kick up to handstand into its pieces. Once you have control in each separate drill, the goal is to integrate all three together into one movement. Give yourself time to understand each drill, gain control and eventually put them together!
While there is a lot more to control than just the aspect of over- and underbalance, scissor leg movements and the kick up, these are keyfactors that have great potential to improve your free handstand balance. Other aspects like controlling your line, or different kinds of entries would go beyond the scope of this episode and will be covered some other time. So stay tuned for more tutorials!
As always, feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions or if you have valuable experience to share. I’ve already said it many times, but I think the internet just offers us the best opportunity to learn from eachother and connect to other likeminded people!
Keep it playful and keep doing what you love :)!