EPIC How-To: Handstand Walks
We’re getting ready for EPIC Series San Diego on December 17th, and we’ve thrown in some brand new challenges for the ELITE Course. One of these challenges is the beloved Handstand Walk. Now we know this particular challenge can be a little intimidating or even deterring (we do read your Facebook comments!), but have no fear! We’ve got EPIC Coach Eric Scola of Crossfit DCS here to guide you through some simple training progressions so you can train up for this EPIC feat and rock that ELITE Course! (And show off in front of your friends at your next work function or holiday party).
Scroll down to the bottom to check out Eric’s video tutorial!
Coach Eric’s recommendations for progressions are:
Progression 1: Kick up to a wall
Stand a few feet away from a sturdy wall, then plant your hands a few inches away from the wall and kick your feet up against the wall. Hold for a few seconds, then come back down.
Progression 2: Kick up to a wall, then float feet off the wall
Once you’ve kicked up to the wall, hold the handstand and try to balance with feet just slightly off the wall, using your fingertips and heels of your hands to adjust your balance. The wall is there to support you, so if you lose your balance, just put your feet back on the wall and try again.
Progression 3: Kick up to a wall, then shift weight from arm to arm
Once you’ve kicked up to the wall, tighten your core and shift your weight from one arm to the other, picking the free hand up off the ground slightly. You can do this with your feet against the wall or floating off the wall.
Things to Keep In Mind:
- 1. When in your handstand, keep your shoulders and arms strong; imagine you’re pushing yourself away from the floor.
- 2. You won’t get very far if your core isn’t tight! Pull your abs in and squeeze your glutes!
- 3. There are no rules about leg positions. Some prefer straight legs, while others prefer to bend their knees and “hang” their feet over their head.
- 4. To start walking, tip your legs and hips forward over your head to shift your center of balance forward. Instead of falling, use your arms to “catch” your fall and carry your forwards across the floor.
How to Fall:
Falling is a natural part of learning how to handstand walk. The important thing is to learn how to fall safely to avoid injury. Here are some of Coach Eric’s tips:
1. Falling back where you came from:
If you try to kick up and don’t quite get your hips up over your shoulders or head, simply come right back down one leg at a time and try again.
2. Falling to the side:
If you start to get twisted up or fall to the side, use your opposite arm to push you out of the handstand and step out of the handstand sideways one leg at a time, as if you’re coming out of a cartwheel.
- 3. Falling forward:
- This is probably the scariest one, so be careful! If your forward lean causes you to lose control and actually fall forward, first tuck your chin towards your chest, round your back like a ball, and roll out of it like you would a combat roll or somersault.
Expectations for EPIC Series ELITE Course:
1. You ARE allowed to fall! You do not have to complete the Handstand Walk straight through without coming down.
If you fall, simply kick back up from where your handstand ended and continue.
If you fall forward and roll out of your handstand, you must step back to where your previous handstand ended (not where your roll ended) and start again from that point.
2. You DO have to attempt to get your hips up over your head. This is a competition. You will not be allowed to “wheelbarrow” yourself forward by just kicking your legs halfway up and trying to gain distance with your arms over and over. You must attempt to get vertical with hips over shoulders. If after 3 attempts you are unable to get your hips up over your shoulders, you will be asked to start over.
3. Train, train, train! Everyone in this competition is working hard to get a crack at that EPIC Championship Belt! The only way to become an EPIC Elite Champion is to work hard and train! Use this video and these progressions as a guide for your own training. Practice often. Be EPIC!
(featured photo by Veronika Reinert)