How to Do a Handstand - A Beginner's Guide - Fitness Tips & Local Info - Fitness Playground

How to Do a Handstand – A Beginner’s Guide

By Surry Hills Trainer Chris Mavros

Handstands are a fun and challenging way to increase your upper body strength and improve your balance. A perfect handstand takes years of practice. But we have to start from somewhere, right? Start your fight against gravity today.

Meet Chris, professional ‘handstander’. He’s broken down the absolute basics into four steps to help you train to do a handstand.


If you haven’t spent much time on your hands and you jump straight into it, it’s probably going to hurt your wrists. Stretch your forearms by putting some weight into your hands and wrists at different angles to prevent injury and warm up.

Try these drills to start, at least a few minutes every day, push to discomfort (so it’s a bit awkward) but not so much it hurts.

Step 2: The frog stand

This is an awesome way to develop some balance and body awareness.

It will also condition your wrists to take your whole body weight with a little less stress than a full handstand. Still take it easy. We suggest a pillow in front of your head if you’re scared about falling forward. Don’t jump into it, lean slowly forward and be patient. Once you’re comfortable, you can start to move around a little and challenge your balance.

You’re aiming to be able to hold this pose for around 30 seconds before you’ll even be close to a free standing handstand.

Step 3: Nose to wall handstand

Get comfortable being upside down. Don’t worry about bringing your feet off, just try to get into a nice straight line. Only your toes should be on the wall, so don’t sag through the shoulders. Lean your body into it, push up tall through your arms and draw your body away from the wall. Work towards longer holds, 30 – 60 seconds is pretty solid.

Step 4: Balancing

When you do a handstand against the wall – DON’T KICK OFF THE WALL! I cannot stress this enough. If you’re balanced, you’ll be balanced, you never need to kick off. Just drift your body and let your toes get lighter and lighter on the wall.

This will help you way more than doing it with your back to wall or just random kick ups because it’s teaching your body the habit of holding and balancing. That’s the progression.

Drop Chris a message on Instagram if you have any questions or want some extra tips.

Make sure to film your handstand practice by tagging @fitnessplaygroundaus and @chrismavrospt.

Final pro tip: Go easy on your wrists and take it slow. Good luck!

Written by Chris Mavros