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Bodyweight Handstands, Glutes, Hamstrings

BillSteamshovel

Level 4 Valued Member
Am completely unaware of it when I practice handstands, but can get awfully tight hamstrings and aching glutes that afternoon/evening or even the day after.

Maybe just stretch the legs a lot more after the handstand session ? Anyone got any favorite stretches for handstand days ?

Am not alone on this, Google seems to bring up lots of hits about glutes and hamstrings being sore for novice handstanders.
 

lais817

Level 1 Valued Member
Probably due to the tension required to hold the legs straight? Maybe give the QL straddle and 90/90 from S&S a burl? Can't say I ever really noticed it when I was doing a lot of hand stand practice, but I was also learning swings around the same time, so it might have disappeared into the mix.
 

spc

Level 1 Valued Member
Maybe just stretch the legs a lot more after the handstand session ? Anyone got any favorite stretches for handstand days ?

Stretch before! (and after..)
Always warm up before stretching. Couple of squats at least...
Stretch daily. Not just on handstand days. Try cartwheels and legswings (toe to opposite hand) ect.
Check out those stretches: (all you need imho and a good warm up/ conditioning for handstands, too) (start at the beginning, video has a time signature that seems to just stay.. start at 00:00)

 
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BillSteamshovel

Level 4 Valued Member
Stretch before! (and after..)
Thanks for the advice and video links. Will have a go at stretching before doing the handstands, I usually just do a warmup with some rowing and light kettlebell exercises. Am aware of some debate on the benefits of stretching before an exercise session as opposed to after. Your icon photo looks like a fancy stretch.
 

spc

Level 1 Valued Member
looks like a fancy stretch.
Yoga since 2001. But after a disc prolapse I lost some flexibility, for I paused Yoga for 3-4 years. So this is just basic stuff.. Before I could stick my arm through my legs and touch my other hand. But I leave that now.. ;)
 
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bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
I used to teach handstands. If you post a video of how you practice (preferably from the side) I might be able to see what could be causing your issue.

Without seeing it, my first thought is that you might not be getting your hips enough on top of your shoulders. If your center of mass isn’t positioned well on top of your base of support you might feel the need to pull your legs over harder to compensate (if you follow) and as a consequence end up squeezing them.

Novice handstand practitioners can easily fall into the idea that the body must be tight and rigid in order to balance. It’s actually a lot like standing in your feet; the required tension should be just enough in the right places to keep you up. If you stick with it long enough you’ll likely find that the excess tension will drop off as you figure out how to coordinate your body upside down.
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
An additional thought:

Depending on how new you are to the practice, it could be as simple as the consequence of kicking up to handstand over and over again, which does involve the hamstrings/glutes. If you’re not very new to handstand practice, then I’d still go with my above thoughts.
 
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