Remember how we used to flip around and walk on our hands when we were kids?
Yea, now a lot more adults are wanting to learn how to do handstands and here are the few common problems I see my students encounter upon starting.
1. Fear of being upside down.
This is completely understandable. Being upside down is such a different feeling for those who have never a handstand before. The lack of trust of in their physical strength and most often, fear of falling causes my students to panic and hyperventilate.
Solution: Start with a supported headstand and having the students get used to being upside down and hips above their head.
2. The head rush.
When my students are new to being upside down, they often experience a head rush, dizziness or sometimes even a headache. With consistency in their practice, this would naturally subside and they'd build tolerance.
Solution: I always have them communicate clearly with me during training. Once they do tell me that they feel a little whoozy, I get them sit on their heels and place their forehead on the ground or lay belly first on the ground with hands under their forehead as a cushion for a few minutes until they regulate.
3. Sore fingers and wrists.
Painful wrists and fingers are also a common one since we do live life with "head up top" and "feet down bottom".
If you truly think about it, you're loading your fully extended wrist with your entire body weight which can be a shock to them.
Solution: I ensure my students warm their wrists up properly before staring any form of handstand training- this includes strength and mobility drills. I also make them aware that the wrist is like every other body part and needs time to get stronger and more mobile. Slow progressions and loading is the way to go.
4. Lack of strength.
You could be lifting at gym or doing pole and aerials 5 times a week but some of my new students still struggle with strength when going upside down. I'm not saying that all the working out has done nothing (of course it helps) but like any new movement, the body may need some time to build the endurance and strength.
Solutions: I lead my class through a series of strength drills targeting their stabilizer muscles and load them progressively.
Handstands aren't scary. They might be painful and very frustrating to start with but once you get used to it and conquer those initial challenges, I promise you it'll be a lot funner.