Good Form: A half-step handstand

Photo: Half handstand

Lean forward and place your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart, fingers facing forward. (Charles Bush)

If you've always wanted to do a handstand but can't get in the correct position and hold your balance, try practicing half a handstand at the wall. Over time, it will help you develop the necessary strength in your shoulders and core so you can do a full handstand.

Stand about 3 feet away from a flat wall, then turn to face away from the wall. Lean forward and place your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart, fingers facing forward. Slowly shift your weight over your hands and walk your right leg up on the wall.

Next, raise your left foot and walk it up the wall until you have both feet flat on the wall at hip level. Adjust the height of your feet and the position of your arms so your body forms a 90-degree angle. (It may take a few tries to get this right.) Once you're in the right angle, think of pushing the floor away with your hands. This keeps your shoulders moving away from your ears. Pull in and brace with your abdmonial muclses to avoid sagging into your lower back. Hold this position for up to one minute. To come out of the pose, walk your feet down the wall, bend your knees and stand up.

karen@karenvoight.com

Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including "Sleek Essentials."
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