The word Calisthenics comes from the greek words "kalos" and "sthenos" meaning "beauty" and "strength" respectively. It is a popular form of functional bodyweight training, which mainly uses your own body weight for resitance and requires minimal equipment (the sreet workout version of it is known as urban calisthenics). Almost all exercises in calisthenics come from gymnastics starting from basic push-ups and pull-ups to more advanced levers, planches and handstands.
The handstand is one of the fundamental skills and arguably the single most important position in gymnastics and bodyweight training. Having a good handstands position is a prerequisite for many tumbling skills (handsprings, flysprings, cartwheels and many others). Even if you prefer to practice handstands only without any tumbling or tricks you will still improve your strength, flexibility, body control and spatial awareness as well as performance in other exercises.
You’ve seen the handstands in hot locations on Instagram and you’d love to do it. But realistically you don’t want to be face-planting or worse, neck-breaking, right? We’ve got you. Pretty much anyone can achieve a handstand with the right training.
It’s all in the preparation. You won’t spend the whole time in a handstand class standing on your head. There are a surprisingly wide variety of drills, stretches and prep exercises to help you develop your strength, stability, mobility and flexibility. You’ll need to prepare your core, open your shoulders and hip flexors and work on getting straight lines and standing more effortlessly.
Even when you begin hand balancing itself there are so many possibilities – from mastering handstands in straight, straddle and tucked positions to one-handed tricks and setting your movements to music. Pros will work on the one-arm handstand, the crocodile and the Mexican handstand.
Handstands are big right now and it’s easy to see why. The ultimate bodyweight workout, the activity of balancing requires your whole body to work as one. Core strength, upper body strength, wrist mobility, shoulder mobility and overall flexibility come together to make handstands happen.
And it’s a skill that keeps on giving. Handstands will enhance your yoga inversions and skills in gymnastics and other aerial arts. Not to mention taking your holiday pics up a notch…
Go barefoot with standard gymwear but avoid anything baggy. That avoids an unwanted top-over-head scenario when you go upside down.