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Video:How to Kick Up Into a Handstand Using a Wall

with Dani Zissis

Handstands are a skill every gymnastic must master, but to begin use the kick up handstand method against a wall. Watch this how-to video from About.com to learn how to practice a handstand against a wall by kicking up.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Kick Up Into a Handstand Using a Wall

Hi, my name is Dani Zissis for About.com, and this video is all about how to kick up into a handstand using a wall.

Handstands are a great exercise for practicing balance, and strengthening the body. They're an important skill to learn for progressing in gymnastics and can be beneficial to other athletes as well.

Before being able to do a handstand in the middle of the floor, it's wise to learn and practice against a wall. Make sure the wall and surrounding floor area are safe, clear of clutter, and soft if possible.

Stretch and Strengthen Your Body for a Handstand

Always warm up for handstands by at least rolling your wrists and ankles, stretching your forearms, and stretching your shoulders, by pulling each arm straight across your chest and holding it.

Handstands build strength, but they also require strength. So you can prepare for handstands by doing plank, or other strengthening exercises for your arms, shoulders, and core.

Move into the Handstand with Proper Form

Stand four or five feet from the wall, facing it. Put your arms up into the air, tight to your ears, with your hands facing in, and head forward or neutral. Put one leg out in front of you, with your toes facing forward, keeping your hips square, going into a forward lunge position. Lean forward, make sure you don't let your shoulders sag or your elbows bend, and kick the leg up behind you. You will then be in a "T" or lever position.

Pull Yourself Up Into a Handstand

Bending at the hips, place your hands on the ground near the wall, but with enough space to allow you to get into the position without your head touching the wall. If you're too close or too far from the wall, go back into the lunge, and adjust your starting position. Then start again from the starting position.

Keep your head in neutral position, as you pull yourself up, using your arms, core, hips, and legs. Your ears are to stay glued to your arms. Don't tuck your chin in, and don't stretch it to the floor. You can look at the floor by looking through your eyebrows, moving your eyes, not your head. Let your feet touch the wall, leaning or bending at the knee.

Use the Wall Less as Your Handstand Becomes Stronger

When doing a handstand against the wall, you want to make sure that your hands are not too far from the wall, and not too close. You want them to be a comfortable distance so that you can still achieve a good handstand position. You want to make sure you're pushing up using your shoulders, and keeping your legs and torso nice and tight. You want to make sure that your body is flat against the wall.

Doing a handstand against the wall is a great way to practice your balance and handstand technique, so that when you go to attempt it on the floor it will be more efficient. Try moving your feet away from the wall, straightening out your body and holding for as long as possible, even if it's only for a few seconds. Press your fingers and palms firmly into the ground to maintain your balance. When coming out a handstand against the wall, you can use one leg to push your body down into the lunge position.

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