I was never a really big gymnastics oriented person growing up- my motto was, "All speed/strength, and no finesse." I had to take a gymnastics class in college and just did horribly with all the movements we went through in class. Tumbling? Handstands? Trampoline? Forget about it! I did alright with push-ups and marginally on dips and pull ups. I did just enough to pass the class. I played collegiate rugby and the emphasis was speed and strength- all that was the initial draw for me to CrossFit. After I tapered off from rugby, I started looking at the other elements (general physical skills) I was not as good at i.e. coordination, balance, and flexibility.

Gymnastic movements hit on numerous physical skills: strength, coordination, balance, accuracy, flexibility, and agility. The six skills I listed neuromuscular based, as in, they require practice in order to improve them.  I've started playing around more with gymnastic movements and was met with much frustration, but continual effort and practice eventually led to improvements and success. The handstand develops balance and accuracy in particular and is the focus of today's skill work.

There are several progressions to work on your handstand: piking off the box, wall walks, handstand holds on the wall, partner assisted handstands, and free handstands. Eventually, one may get to doing handstand walks.

To set up a solid handstand, the following should be expressed:

Arms are locked out
Hollow bracing – your midline is stabilized by contracting your core and bringing your rib cage towards your hip
Fingers are spread wide
Legs are kept together tightly
Toes are pointed
Head is neutral head (between arms) to keep your hollow position. Avoid overarching your head or spine. 

Be patient and persistent in your practice; it may be frustrating, but the rewards will be great.


12 mins of handstand practice (partner free standing/against wall/free standing)

20 min AMRAP
5 Pull ups
10 Push ups
15 Air Squats