Why I Don’t Focus on Handstands

October 5, 2017 by VAHVA Fitness

Handstands are impressive and surely offer many great benefits. But are they worth the trouble?

Nowadays handstands are amazingly popular, especially among movement circles and those who are looking for "functional fitness".

It's almost like the handstand is put on a pedestal and everyone who wants to be functional and good at movement should be spending time to master this feat. Here is a new perspective to consider.

The 1. problem with handbalancing is that it is a skill which doesn't actually transfer that well to general performance and other sports (unless you actually need to stand on your hands like in gymnastics).

The 2. problem is that unless you are naturally good at it, it will take a massive chunk of your weekly schedule and energy to master the handstand.

We all have limited time and limited energy for high quality training. Unless you actually are interested in the handstand skill itself, it may not be worth the investment.

Although handstand practice provides many great benefits such as improved shoulder mobility & stability, improved core and hip stability, all of these qualities can be trained in other ways more effectively and with less time investment.

Moreover, the handstand is not even that good for developing these physical attributes because the handstand is often too advanced for most people.

The main thing you get out of handstand practice is the handstand itself and the handstand is not a practical skill and barely transfers to other sports or martial arts out there.

How much do you actually need to stand on your hands? When you consider your daily life and almost all sports out there, you are mostly moving on your feet.

When you take into account your daily everyday life, health, longevity, sports and martial arts in general, you will get the most benefits of handstand training with 10x less time and in a way that translates very well into your everyday life and overall performance.

Athletes want to win and often do it by any means necessary. There is a reason why almost all athletes do not spend any time on handstand training: they can train the body in better ways that will better translate into their sports.

If you want to learn the handstand, there is no problem, but what needs to be understood that handstand is not this ultimate movement that should be part of your training regimen. Handstand is merely a skill among many others.

Handstand tutorial: Handstand Tips for Beginners
Shoulder mobility: 9 Active Tension Exercises for Shoulder Mobility

It all depends on your goals and what you want to achieve. What you should consider is how well do you progress with the handstand - does it come naturally to you? Some people learn the handstand easier and progress way faster than others.

Everyone can learn the handstand with enough practice but it may take years and years of focus which could be spend wiser on things which better improve your health, everyday life and overall performance.

Ultimately, handstand is an impressive skill and it does have many physical benefits, but the reality is that we don't have an infinite amount of time, energy and focus for everything. 

Life is about choices and you can be strong, functional and a great mover without an advanced skill like the handstand (or the planche, front lever etc.) 

If you browse our content, we aren't really focused on advanced skills - we are focused on the meta-strength and meta-mobility that will make you a strong, well-rounded, functional and mobile individual in general.

When that's covered, what happens to be your thing whether it's a skill, a sport or a martial art will come with ease and improved performance.

Train hard, stay safe.


samuli jyrkinen

About the author 

Samuli Jyrkinen

Samuli is the ninja behind the scenes (photography, videography, websites, program platforms and more). He has been training religiously for over a decade and has a firm grasp of physical and mental fitness. You will find our story here.

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