Two Tips to Walking Upside Down

By: Trent Soares

As a coach when I hear handstand walk, I think of shoulder stability. In our introduction session for all new members we cover the safety precautions of bracing sequence and torque. In basic physics: torque is the twisting force that tends to cause rotation to create stability. Which is why as a coach, we enforce knees out on the air squat and elbows in on the push-up.

The reason we say “elbows in” on the push-up is to create internal rotation in the shoulder capsule. This wind-up creates a nice stable shoulder ready for compact movements. So the next time you try out handstand walks, try to enforce this rule of torque. The way we can see this is in hand positioning. As you plant your hands make sure that your thumbs are parallel to your body facing forward. This will also send your fingers out laterally to the side. Think of the air-squat, the same kind of cheat would be pointing your toes slightly out.

Next I think of forearm and fingertip strength. Our local chiropractor Chris McBroom mentioned this to me and it really stuck “use your finger tips like they are toes”. As I dug my fingertips into the ground “like they were toes” I noticed a drastic change in control. Think of regular walking. You don’t walk on with your body weight pressure on the balls of your feet. You use your toes to guide the way.

So overall point those thumbs forward, create some stability in those shoulders, and dig those fingers into the ground the next time you decide to walk on your hands. Let me know if you end up getting a PR distance.