When you think of doing handstands you might picture a gymnast doing what appears to be a very difficult move that you may never be able to do. This idea is what keeps most people from doing handstands. Handstands and headstands are great exercises that come with many benefits.
After reading this, if you decide to start doing handstands, start slowly. Instead of going full force and throwing yourself all over your house or yard, find a wall or get a buddy and start with assisted handstands. As you gain more strength and comfort, try doing them unassisted.
Helps To Reduce Stress
In the handstand position, blood is flowing to your brain which has a stimulating yet calming effect. This is particularly true when you are feeling stressed out. Blood is brought to the adrenal glands and helps to slow the production of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. This will help you to relieve short term stress and even minor depression.
Doing a handstand assisted or unassisted takes a lot of strength either way to hold. Typically one will build strength in their shoulders, upper back, core and even in the chest by doing handstands. You can start simply by doing assisted handstands for 3 sets of 10 seconds each. If you can easily do 10 seconds, increase it to 20, 30, 40 and all the way up to one minute.
Improve Spatial Awareness
When you get in handstand position you are looking at the world upside down. If you haven’t done this much before, this can be very disorienting. The more you do it, the more your brain will get used to the new perspective. According to U.K. Fire Service Resources fitness consultant James Holder, the high degree of athleticism necessary to hold your body in an upside down position also helps increase your balance and spatial awareness.
As discussed above, you will build various muscle groups that help to keep your balance in physically demanding situations. You will also develop a relationship between the areas of your body that are needed to keep your balance and how to adjust on the spot to stop from toppling over. This helps to keep you more in tune with the movements of your body.
Stimulates Endocrine System
Performing headstands and handstands can also help stimulate your endocrine system which is responsible for regulating mood, growth, development, tissue function, metabolism, sexual function and other bodily functions. When the body is turned upside down and blood moves to the head, the pituitary gland is stimulated which helps to set a point for healthy body weight. The inversion also brings blood to the thyroid glands to help regulate the production of T3 and T4 (thyroid hormones), which also affects metabolism.
Break Down Barriers
If you clicked on this piece thinking, I will never be able to do a handstand, then this last benefit may be directly for you. If you take the time to develop this move and build the strength to get it done, you might find out that you are capable of a lot more then you sometimes make yourself out to be capable of. This will build confidence for further physical goals as well as build strength and perseverance in other areas of life. To be clear, it’s not so much about building egoic confidence, but helping to break down the barriers and stories that stop you from thinking you can do something.
If you want to learn how to do a handstand properly, click here.
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