The Question: I really love handstands but I got a really weak wrist. Is there anything I can do to help and how do I start to get into handstands? Giulia
Hey there, Giulia! You definitely asked the right person (I love, love, love handstands, and I love teaching them!). I’m glad you asked specifically about wrists, because people don’t typically stretch/warm them up before going upside down. Here’s my favorite wrist strengthener: Get into a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Make sure your shoulders are directly over your wrists and your hips are directly over your knees. Have your hands spread flat out and wide on the floor with your middle finger pointing straight forward, towards 12 o’clock. Now, trying your hardest to stay still in the rest of your body (and having the tops of your feet stay on the floor), begin to lift up just the heels of your hands about a quarter inch – some say just enough to squish a teeny gummy bear under there. Keep in mind that this is a really tiny movement, and the tinier the movement, the more you’ll feel it in your wrists. Keep the rest of your hands glued down to the floor. Once you’ve done this three times, holding each lift for about a second or two, you’ll do it a fourth time, this time leaning your shoulders over your wrists a few inches as the heel of the hand is lifted. Hold this for about five seconds, then slowly lower the hands down, move your hips towards your heels, and go on to tented fingertips to stretch out your wrists. Once you’re done with that, you’ll take two more rounds, one with your left middle finger pointing towards ten o’clock and your right towards two o’clock, and then vice versa (left middle finger towards two o’clock, right towards ten). Remember that as you do each round, you keep your correct and solid alignment, and really focus on breathing into your wrists. You should feel a pretty intense sensation in this area, which, over time, will decrease with strength!
Exercise Number Two Is Also A Great One
Stay in table top, and bending your elbows out left and right, bring the tops of your hands down to the floor with your palms facing up. From here, make super super tight fists. Keeping your fists tight and the tops of your hands on the floor, begin to straighten your arms. Now, your arms might not straighten very much, but that will change with time! This is a great way to get more stretch and flexibility into the little tricky bits of the wrists. Do these everyday, at least until you feel strong enough in your wrists to try going upside down! And let me know how it goes! **These wrist stretches and strenghteners come from my great teacher, Ame Wren. Thank you Ame!
Title image credit: Kaitlin Daddona