Fearless February: CONQUER

Portrait of a teenage girl doing handstand at the beach

When you prepare for something properly, you walk into the actual doing feeling more ready, and most importantly, more confident. Confidence and preparation are keys to success!

I’ve been doing a ton of research on handstand prep and wanted to share with you some of the awesome resources that I’ve found, and also share my own strategy moving into FEARLESS FEBRUARY. I am so excited to really tackle this head-on and I hope you are too! That little tiny pit of “I can’t” that is in your stomach is going to get pulled out and stomped on. Not all at once– it will take time, and bravery, and consistency, and it might be a stubborn little bugger– but it is well within your power.

Handstanding is a SKILL. That means that in order to improve, you MUST spend time practicing. So, here we go:

WRISTS!

I’ve already started working wrist work into my daily routine. Just a few minutes, a few times a day at my desk at work (whenever I remember), or in my warmup and cooldown when I teach. I’ve been using the following information as a basis:

This is a link I shared on Facebook a week ago, and it has a lot of great info on the wrist itself without being super technical:

http://chrissalvato.com/2013/11/handstand-wrist-pain/

This is a video from a yoga instructor I follow on Instagram- Fitqueenirene. Here are her suggestions on wrist conditioning and flexibility:

Incorporating the information above, and also what I’ve found in general on the internets, I’ve also been doing a lot of plank work: bearing weight on my wrists and moving my weight forward and back by pointing my toes and then flexing my heels; moving my weight in circles over my wrists, and generally getting used to the feeling of stretching my wrists and holding my body weight on them at the same time. We can’t expect to hold all our weight on our hands and wrists without strengthening them and taking baby steps.

CORE!

If you feel like your core could use some work, check out this info on how to hold a hollow body position. Hollow body is critical to stacking and engaging properly in a handstand (as opposed to just trying to “balance”). Unless you are using all of your body, you can’t hope to correct or stand in one for very long.

ALL THE GOOD STUFFS

And now, I want to share with you the holy grails of my handstand research!

This article is awesome because it talks about the fear factor, and how to get yourself more mentally comfortable with the handstand. In particular, he introduced to me the idea of having an exit strategy that you actively practice! If you have a way to get safely out of a handstand, then it reduces the fear of kicking too far over, not committing, and not going for it. This article also has a link to the author’s 28-day handstand challenge information, which has detailed prep steps! Check that out here.

And if you are a more pictoral learner, take a look at this site. He has a lot of info about correct body positioning and stacking, as well as another bailout move to learn.

THE PLAN

If you are on my Instagram (aerialamy) or Facebook, you’ve seen that I’ve started (last week) working on forearm stands. In just a few days of working on it for a few minutes a day, I have already seen a huge improvement: I can kick up almost without needing a wall. I can hold it for a few seconds at a time. I feel more confident in my shoulders and arms to hold me up. I even feel SORE in my shoulders, which is all good things! While I am working on these, I am also tackling the wrist flexibility and strengthening. The goal is to sync up the ability to forearm stand more comfortably, with a point when I feel strong and confident in my wrists, and see what kind of magic I can create!

I have also been looking up as much info as I can, taking all the advice in that I can, and signing up for any and all inversions classes and workshops I can. Any new perspective helps, and will add to my arsenal of info and prep that will help me to feel more confident.

I am looking forward to February! It is only a few days away and I am excited to see where this really goes and share with you any and all progress or learning that occurs as a result. Thank you all who have supported and chimed in on Fearless February!! Here we go! :)