How to kick to a handstand properly – because your handstand will only be as good as your entry!!

How to kick to a handstand properly – because your handstand will only be as good as your entry!!


One phrase i continue to emphasise during my weekly handstand classes & workshops is – “Your handstand will only be as good as your entry!!”. So what does this mean and why would i continue to say this?

Entering the handstand properly is integral to your success and a very important skill to master

When mastering the handstand there are so many things to think about (technique related) and for you to work on (mobility & strength) that’s required to help you build towards the ultimate free standing handstand. On top of that, you then need to control various emotions like remaining calm, patient and being confident with what your body is doing in space and upside down!

This can all be very overwhelming and hence what makes the handstand such an amazing skill to learn because it truly is a journey to understanding and learning what your body is capable of.

Based on the many newbies i’ve taught and continue to teach, most of them are ok once they get into a wall handstand position (so long as we’ve worked on strength and positioning). However, once we begin to enter the handstand from a single leg kick, this very exercise always reveals the inexperience people have with handstands as well as the lack of confidence & body awareness that begins to crack the surface.

Applying the entry to the free standing Handstand (i.e away from the wall)

Although your handstand might be ok against the wall, you simply can not showcase it if you can’t control your entry kick to handstand with good technique.

For example, if your kick is to hard you will overshoot the handstand and fall over. If you bend your legs you will over rotate. If you bend your arms, arch your back and not push tall with your arms, then you will continue to struggle to get set in that handstand position to give yourself an actual chance of playing with it and holding it.

Let’s slow it down , show control and learn to adopt good technique to set you up for future success!!

Checklist approach to help you think about your Kick to Handstand (check out the video for all the tips):

  • Start your handstand like you’d finish (i.e when standing on your feet and about to step kick) . If you start with your arms bent & wider than shoulder width, body loose, chest out and a little lunge (all the wrong things), then you’re simply setting yourself up for failure! Adopt good form from the moment you think of stepping.
  • Learn to lunge!! When it comes to handstands, many people forget how to do a nice long lunge and actually bend the front leg. Instead their lunge stance is very narrow and the front leg straight!
  • The pendulum analogy? As your arms lower to the floor your leg should simultaneously be kicking up towards the handstand so your body remains in a nice straight line as demonstrated in the video.
  • Push through the floor with your hands! Once your hands do touch the floor you need to immediately think of push your feet to the roof so you’re nice and tall. This controls your speed and slows you down so you can get nice and stacked!
  • One leg at a time! There is no rush at all to get both legs up into a handstand hold! Just one at a time! Make sure to split the legs and only bring the other leg together once you feel balanced and controlled once you hit the handstand position after your entry.

Want extra help:

  1. Attend our classes and have our experienced coaches guide you through the process.
  2. Have us come to your gym and run a workshop for anything gymnastics related!
  3. We have a selection of online programs & courses available that cover handstands in more detail. These include:
    – The 6 Week Strict Handstand Push-up Strength Program
    – Flows & Sequences Strength Program
    – 10 Week Beginner Strength program

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