The Most Fundamental Skill

Hi All,

So today I’m going to talk just a little bit about handstands. This is one of THE MOST important things in gymnastics to teach correctly, and from the start. Once kids have a basic grasp of handstanding/have enough strength I like to work a lot of pike handstands with their feet on a block (wish I had a picture of this), I find it much easier to correct shapes that way. But because I don’t have videos of my own methods, I’ll share some other peoples.

This first video is of an “assisted” handstand. It’s a great way of helping kids work on feeling where vertical is, and how to hold it. I tend to take it one step further (read: lower), and have kids put their wrists against the low beam. So it gives them something to balance against, but it’s not as much as shown in this video.

This second video isn’t so much about shapes but more something I like to use on beam. A LOT of children are afraid of going totally upside down in their handstands on beam. To help them feel where vertical is and get rid of some of that fear more quickly, I usually make an assignment of handstand forward rolls (note: normally with a beam pad, but not on low beam). Within a few days most kids have their handstands all the way up.

I’m a huge proponent of floor beam. For little ones (and big ones too sometimes) I’m especially a fan of these. They make beam softer and much less intimidating.

What are your favorite handstand drills?

Photo Credit: Magee Family

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