Quick Tip: Cast Handstands

Hi All,

Today I’m going to share one of my favorite cast handstand drills. This drill helps gymnasts understand the levering action that happens with cast handstands, builds strength, and provides a good environment (ie. on the ground) to fix shapes before putting it on the bar. I think it also helps gymnasts learn that leaning over the bar is required in a way where it doesn’t feel like they are about to fall to their death.


Here are two ways of doing this drills. The first way – this video – a lot easier because the gymnast has her weight on both feet. This is a great place to start. It introduces the lean and the shoulder open in the nice controlled environment and the gymnast can focus on her shapes.

The second version is much harder, and a lot of times you’ll end up with a head out arch up type thing. That’s what we don’t want. I recommend spotting this drill until you believe your gymnasts can hold their shapes throughout the entire thing. If you can’t stand there and spot everyone have them do 2-3 of these with you, and then the rest with two feet. Here it is:


Cast handstands in a nutshell:

1. Make sure the strength is there. Shoulder strength (and core strength) are both necessary – so make sure that those are there.

2. Let them fall! (first video) – The most common reason kids don’t cast handstand is because they are afraid of falling over the bar. Let them fall. Make them fall. DO IT SAFELY – and DO IT LOTS. Put a bunch of 8″ mats or resi mats on the other side and let them have at it. The more confidence they have falling the less issues you’ll have getting them upside down. EXAMPLE

3. Drill – drill – drill the shapes. This is where the drill above comes in really handy. If you’re working straddle handstands – here is one you might find more suitable. Whichever way – make sure they know where their bodies are supposed to be.

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