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    Articles | Handstand in lockdown

    Learning to Handstand in Lockdown

    By David (Jacko) Jackson

    My name is Bianca Hartney (@biancarbsabdfitness) I’m a student at the School of Calisthenics and I’ve got my heart set on finally learning to handstand in lockdown with the help of the handstand programme inside the Virtual Classroom.

    Like many of you, I’ve had time on my hands during lockdown, literally no excuses now, to work towards a goal or more like a dream I’ve always had of being able to do a handstand but just not done anything about it. Until now.

    Not long ago, telling people you were practicing calisthenics and learning handstands would have conjured images of Jane Fonda in leggings and squats to music. Now, calisthenics is more popular than ever.

    Who wouldn’t want to learn to handstand during lockdown?!

    My fascination with bodyweight mastery came about in the late 90’s as a kid in New Zealand. All of my friends went to gymnastics classes and were constantly tumbling and hand-standing. Unfortunately, my beloved parents didn’t consider gymnastics a priority, academia was more important. Now however as a 29 year old woman, I can pursue what I like. Seeing other adults accomplish incredible physical feats in calisthenics is hugely inspiring to me. Others with no gymnastics background at all no less. So here I go, as a total beginner pursuing my hand standing, strength gaining dreams!

    Below is how I found using the School of Calisthenics handstand program and the progress it has helped me make.

    The START and FALL from grace


    I’m relatively used to throwing myself into a handstand position but I have no strength to hold it at the moment. I’m kind of nailing a clumsy cartwheel at best. The strength work is a total challenge. The new handstand programme for online members in the Virtual Classroom is very comprehensive and the strength elements that is outlined has certainly been an eye opener for me.

    At first I was keen to skip through all of the reading and watching and ready to start the doing! It’s worth slowing down to learn, the practice is better with a little knowledge – that knowledge is allowing me to apply myself better during the training session and also helps me to, as the coaches say…

    Trust the process

    The first session definitely highlighted a lot of weaknesses. But it was good to get an understanding of where I am and feel that in following the handstand programme I have a process that I can trust and the tools to be able to help me redefine my impossible. It might take some time, but I’m in this for the long haul and looking forward to celebrating some little wins.

    Progress over perfection

    Over the weeks as my training has been progressing it has certainly thrown up some challenges. As with learning all new things, the demons were in the stalls ready to taunt me. I didn’t anticipate the mental challenge that would be such a key element of learning the handstand. It’s physically challenging, yes, but sometimes it feels the frustrations and mental challenge is the hardest. I’m sure their ugly heads will appear again but for now I’m batting them off with healthy salads and positive ACTION towards those lofty ambitions of mine. 


    I’m starting to believe!

    I realise as time goes on in my handstand journey it’s becoming all about MINDSET. I learnt hard that nothing can happen without the right mindset. MINDSET FIRST is my mantra moving forward!
    What do I need to do to get into the right mindset? The answer was deep inner work, daily meditation, daily forest walks and making that deeper connection with myself, my body and its surroundings, allowing me to be more mindful and present with my handstand training . This is an element of training I’ve found with calisthenics that I’ve not experienced with other forms of  training – it’s why I love calisthenics and bodyweight training.
    Finally, I’m starting to understand how necessary a strong foundation is. Everyone (including myself) is so busy admiring the sky scraper. The height, the shiny glass and the engineering that we forget to think of the foundations necessary for such a huge sky scraper. Foundations is the aim of the game going forward for me. I have been kicking up and falling over for years. Literally years, no luck of holding a handstand. It’s time to work from the ground up, below the ground even!
    I’m feeling positive about the progress I’ve made with my handstand, starting to become less reliant on the wall. I know I have a lot of foundations to build. But the handstand is coming I can feel it… Watch this space.

    Bianca Hartney (guest blog @biancarbsabdfitness)


    Get 50% off a membership 

    Our handstand training programme is available as part of our memberships. Now you can get 50% off your first-month membership and get access to the new handstand training programme plus a whole lot more!

    That’s less than £5 for our standard monthly membership. Check it out with no risk as you get 7-days FREE when you sign up and there is no minimum contract when you pay monthly.


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