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Rock it out: How to do a handstand


Jealous of the insta-gals snapping amazing pics of them pulling off stellar handstands? Yeah, whether they’re dancers or gymnasts or yogis or just plain awesome, there’s one thing we think when we see pics like that: Why can’t I do that?! Well, with our handstand how-to guide and some practice, you totally can.

 

Step one: Tone up

Yeah, we dig lean muscle from fingertips to toes, but for executing a solid handstand, it’s essential that your upper body—including your arms—and your core are particularly strong. Hit the gym and work on a shoulder press. You can also add exercises like planks and push-ups to your daily workout routine. Remember, it’s best to focus on these isolated body parts for only about five minutes a day—don’t go all out one day and skimp the next.

 

How to do a correct simple shoulder press

Hold a dumbbell (or a water bottle, soup can, bag of flour, etc.) in both hands. Shake out your shoulders a bit to relax them, then prep your stance. Your feet should be hip’s-width apart and you should be standing tall, supporting your upper body from your core and breathing deeply and evenly into your stomach, not your rib cage. Hold the dumbbells slightly in front of your body, then press them straight up in the air. Do not lock your elbows. Hold for a few seconds, then bring your arm back down in a slow, controlled manner. To get the form right, you can alternate arms, or you can do both arms at the same time.

 

 

Step two: Get balanced, babe

We know it’s not your favorite thing to do, but yoga is a great way to score balance points. Standing poses in particular will help you find your natural center of balance. Even if your shaky on your own two feet, a li’l yoga training will help, we promise! Take a peek at this workout video packed with standing poses, and try to do it once a day or every other day.

 

 

 

Step three: Go slow

Speaking of yoga, one pose in particular can help prep your upper body for holding up your weight without toppling over. We’re talking about the crow pose. Once you’ve mastered that, sidle up next to a wall, grab a pal to spot you (and help you get all the way up, if necessary), and try, try again! And hey, don’t forget to snap a pic, OK?

 

What move do you want to master? Tell us in the comments!

 

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BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 1/25/2014 12:00:00 AM

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