For many people “handstand” is a superhuman move, which we see many yogis, dancers, gymnasts doing many times, all the time. These individuals can be seen doing unbelievable movements using their hands and legs leaving us in open mouthed wonderment.
What is a Handstand?
The meaning of handstand is pretty clear. It means standing on your hands, which may sound a bit strange initially, but this astonishing act where you can literally turn your world, along with your body, upside down is quite a daily thing for some people all over the world.
Handstand is an effective isometric exercise, which helps in increasing core strength along with improved lymph and blood circulation(1). Performing handstands regularly is also beneficial in improving the health of muscles, bone, brain, lungs and heart.
What are the Benefits of Doing Handstands Daily?
There is no denying that in order to live a successful, healthy and happy life, daily exercise is a must. When exploring into different forms of exercise, we discover the centuries old secret of the handstand. However, many of us are quite wary when it comes to doing a handstand, as the thought of completely inverting your body on your hands is quite scary and if done without correct technique and practice, can be dangerous too.
When starting to do a handstand, even if your hands are pretty strong, always start gradually using the support of the wall or against the wall. By doing this, your strength will gradually increase where you can do the handstand without any support.
By daily practicing of handstands, your mental health and body strength improves. The primary secret to doing a successful handstand is: practice, consistency and a scheduled routine. It is understandable that for many beginners, balancing your entire body on your hands, and that too in an inverted position, is scary; however, the end result is very much worth it. After you have mastered this art of balancing your body on your hands, then it gives you a great sense of balance in your life, physically as well as mentally.
Handstand Benefit #1: Increase in the Feel-Good Chemicals
Doing handstands daily helps in releasing endorphins, which are the feel good chemicals and decreases the production of Cortisol in adrenal glands that is the stress hormone. Doing regular handstand is beneficial for adrenal glands, as this position helps in cleansing them and thus giving us a better mood and relieving anxiety. For more benefits, when doing a handstand, make sure to incorporate breathing exercises also, as this will help in banishing negative feelings such as fear, worry and anxiety.
Handstand Benefit #2: Reduced Stress and Enhanced Immunity
As mentioned before, exercises are vital for good physical and mental health of our body, as any workout helps in releasing endorphins, which are the chemicals that help in refreshing our brain and body. Endorphins are feel-good chemicals that boost our mood and make us happy. As with any other exercise, doing daily handstands boasts of the same benefits, as the position in the handstand helps in increasing the blood flow to the brain thanks to the gravity. Our heart also increases its output due to the muscle requirement. So, this is one of the major benefit of doing handstands daily, that is, there will be reduction in your stress levels, your mind will be protected against depression and handstands also benefit in boosting your immunity too.
Handstand Benefit #3: Superlative Confidence and Upper Body Strength(3)
Doing handstands daily helps in increasing your core strength and also toughens your upper body, that too at the comfort of your home and without any equipment. Most often, we have stronger legs than arms, as we use our legs on a daily basis as the nature intended. So, a change of scene for a few minutes, from walking on our legs to standing on our hands and breathing deeply helps a lot in significantly increasing upper body muscle strength and our confidence too.
Handstand Benefit #4: Improvement in the Overall Health of the Body(3)
When doing a handstand, there are other parts of the body that are suffused with blood; thus increasing the availability of the oxygenated blood to the tissues in our body. Diseases, such as balding and macular degeneration, affecting our scalp and eyes, benefit a lot from doing daily handstands thanks to the increased blood flow to the head region; thus delivering more oxygen and nutrients to hair follicles and eyes; and thus decreasing the likelihood of hair loss and vision deterioration.
Handstand Benefit #5: Be Nimble, Even at Old Age.
As we get older, our bones also get older, suffering from diseases, such as Osteoporosis. However, with daily handstands, our bones get stronger and are protected from the ravages of Osteoporosis. With exercise, including handstand, there is an improvement in the overall bone density and the general health of the person.
Handstand Benefit #6: Better Absorption of Nutrients (1, 2)
Some health issues, such as affecting the gastrointestinal system, also benefit greatly from doing daily handstands, sometimes even before they are apparent(2). When doing a handstand, the bowels are turned upside down and this helps in releasing of the obstructed substances in the intestines and increases the blood flow to areas that are subjected to gravity and pressure. When there is a gush of blood perfusion through our digestive system and the other structures, muscles and glands, then this also increases the absorption of the nutrients. When handstands are done along with abdominal breathing, then the benefits of handstands are doubled. Doing daily handstands also stimulates the lymphatic system and helps cleansing the cells of the body and removing the toxins(1).
Handstand Benefit #7: No Worries Over Any Equipment Or Gym Subscriptions.
So, one of the great things about doing handstands is that you do not need any gym equipment or subscription. You only need your determination, consistency and, of course, your body. Money is a common excuse, which some people make when it comes to exercise, saying that they can’t spend on gym equipment or memberships. However, with handstands, you will find an exciting workout challenge, free of cost!
Handstand Benefit #8: Change Your Scenery
Sedentary life is what we are living today and doing workouts sometimes can feel tedious. Handstands can offer something unique and exciting by way of changing your entire perspective, literally! Doing handstands is actually more challenging than some of the other workouts and it can give you a nice change from being in a seated position the whole day long. Handstands also involve holding your balance and give you a greater sense of accomplishment than from regular workouts.
Steps to Accomplish a Successful Handstand
For Beginners: Handstand Facing the Wall
Keep your face away from the wall and place your palms slightly spaced on the ground. Gradually move your feet up the wall till you are completely upright. Slowly move the palms towards the wall. Try to hold this position for about 5 to 10 seconds and try to do a couple of sets or as much as you can.
If you find the doing the above difficult, then practice by walking up and down the wall till you get strong enough to do the handstand with wall support.
Medium Level: Handstand Keeping Your Face Away From The Wall
Place your palms slightly spaced, facing the wall on the floor. Next, hop into a handstand and try holding for some seconds. With each attempt of doing the handstand, try to do it independently of the wall.
The Expert Level and The Ultimate Goal: The Unsupported Handstand
Try to do handstands without any support in a free space while maintaining tight control and balance. As a precaution, it is better to place mattress or pillow around where you are doing the handstand. You can also ask a friend to stand nearby and observe your position when doing a handstand.
Handstands are very beneficial and you will be doing yourself a huge favor by incorporating this challenging move in your daily routine.