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How To Do A Press Handstand [Steps And Exercises To Help You Improve]

How to do a press handstand

Press handstands easily beats all other skills in gymnastics, hands down. Ironically, this is not the mindset that I had when I tried to attempt this for the first time, not because the skill is otherworldly sort of difficult.

Instead, I couldn’t do it because I was going about it the right wrong. I thought that if I knew how to perform a handstand, a press handstand would be no different. However, little did I know, each skill set in gymnastics is not only different from the last but also more fun and challenging.

From one gymnast to another, we both know no one could love more demanding situations and exercises more than us. Therefore, if you are someone like me, you’ve come to the right place! 


A step By step guide on how to do a press handstand

I’m going to help you learn how to do a press handstand in the most complicated way that I can put into words. Additionally, we often think we can just get down to doing a skill without doing any prior warm-up or exercises.

For that matter, this approach can be detrimental and make simple skills laborious for you. Therefore, sit back, I am going to take you on a wild ride of…well, everything you need to know regarding a press handstand. 

Step 1:- Put yourself into the initial position

Conventionally, a press handstand is initiated with the gymnast sitting on the floor, nonetheless, you may also begin with the standing position. For this position, you are going to take the shape of a pike. Your hands should be on the ground on your front.

Whereas, if you are opting for the sitting position, you should maintain the posture of a straddle. You are going to want to put the entirety of your body weight on your upper body instead of your legs. 

If you are unaware as to how to get into the initial body position, follow the mentioned sequences;

  • Put your hands on the ground from in between your legs 
  • Spread out your fingers
  • Tilt your shoulders forward and lean in the same direction
  • Slowly raise your legs (this will only be possible if you can successfully shift your weight)

Step 2:- Raise your body off the ground 

This is where you have to put your core muscles to the test. Make use of your stomach strength and lift your legs in the air.

Be mindful that your shoulders are past your hands. It is factors like these that seem trivial to us but make a large (if not all the) impact. 

Tip;  Giving up is not an option. The chances of you being perfect at this step in the very first or even the third try are slim. All you have to do is keep trying till you surpass this minor obstacle.

Consider it a motivating factor that if you get past this step (which you undoubtedly will) you will have gone through the arduous part of this entire exercise. 

Step 3:- Do a graceful handstand and stun the crowd!

You’ve almost made it! This is the last step. If you decided to perform this skill in the first place, I am certain you are well able to do a jaw-dropping handstand. Henceforth, that is all this exercise is asking of you as a finish to it. 

The most significant tip to hold a handstand is to not let your hands shuffle your body weight elsewhere. In that case, you may end up losing your posture and falling for it. 

At last, you may go over the initial step once again to finish with a straddle position once again.

Having said that, in some cases, you would also have the option to simply kick off, similar to how you do at the end of a regular handstand. In this regard, the best option is to reach out and ask your gym trainer. 

Body parts that need to be strengthened to perform a press handstand

As a gymnast, you ought to keep your whole body in shape. If you are in doubt that any of your muscles require work out (even aside from the crucial ones) put them first. I would advise you to have a warm-up session before the exercises you perform to provide strength to your target muscles/body parts. 

Having said that, doing a press handstand requires the most effort of your core/ stomach muscles, upper limbs, hips, and lastly, shoulders.

If we dive further in-depth, I am of the firm opinion that the core and upper thigh muscles have the lion’s share in you being able to do a press handstand.

This is for the reason that they make your initial position possible in the first place (being able to lift your legs off the ground). 

Not too differently, your arms are responsible for carrying your weight on themselves along with the help of your shoulders that define how to align you with your legs and torso. 

Exercises your warm-up routine should consist of when doing a press handstand

  • Push-ups
  • Squats
  • V ups
  • Kettlebell deadlifts (trust me, this will do wonders)
  • Seated dumbbell shoulder press

You may consult your gym trainee for more exercises. However, if you can do the above-mentioned, there will be little to no room left for more practice to perfect your press handstand. 

Drills you can do at home

Let me the first to admit, performing a skill without breaking it down into smaller steps can be hard. You find yourself struggling with trying to understand where you are precisely lacking in the steps. For this reason, drills are nature’s gifts to gymnasts. 

Some of the drills that you can perform for this skill are; 

  • Handstand holds; will aid you in holding your body posture for a long enough while.
  • Press handstand against a wall
  • Inchworm
  • Elevated press
  • Handstand lower to sitting (basically just a press handstand, but in reverse!)

Equipment required to perform press handstand and its drills

If you are learning to practice this handstand at home, you might want to buy the given equipment. However, if you are registered to a local gym, there is no need for you to worry about the tools required. Nevertheless, let’s get down to counting the tools you will be needing. 

To perform the drills, you will need;