The hand stand is a great skill for kids to learn. Due to the difficulty of doing a hand stand, children will experience a confidence boost after they master it. Learning the hand stand will also help them to strengthen their upper body and core muscles as well as give them something to show off to their friends.
When teaching your child the handstand, it is important to first make sure that your child has the strength to do a handstand and that they are comfortable when learning it. Always spot for your child when they are attempting the handstand so that you can cushion them if they fall. Safety should always be the first priority.
The Starting Position
First, ask your child to get down on their hands and knees. Ensure that their wrists are positioned directly below their shoulders and their knees are positioned directly below their hips. Your child should be looking at the floor before performing the hand stand. If they have trouble focusing, it may be helpful to place a toy or picture between their hands to give them something to keep their eyes on. To spot your child, get down on one knee beside their head and place your hand under their shoulder. It is common for kids’ elbows to buckle when they first attempt a handstand so putting your hand in this position will help to support your child. It will also make it easier for you to catch your child if they happen to fall. Make sure to cushion their head and neck if they fall, to prevent any injury.
Attempting the Handstand
To move into a handstand, ask your child to move one knee towards their chest and stretch out the other leg. Spot your child by putting one hand under their extended leg. Have them push off the ground quickly by using their bent leg and lifting the extended leg. Their bent leg should meet their extended leg in the air. Ask your child to try to keep both legs straight and up together. If they can’t, just have them focus on doing the push off and bringing their legs together first. They can work on keeping their legs straight after they have mastered the push off. Remember to always provide your child with proper support while they are learning. Not only will this prevent injuries, it will also make your child feel safer. This will cause them to attempt the hand stand more confidently which will help them to learn it faster.
Getting the Posture Right
After your child is able to hold a full hand stand, you can start to correct their posture. Make sure that they tuck their tummies in towards their backbone while in the handstand. Spot for your child after they have lifted into a handstand by providing them with support at their waist. When your child has mastered the full handstand, you can increase the difficulty by introducing various poses, such as the “pike” or the “straddle”.
Your child will have more fun and be more motivated to learn the handstand if you are learning it alongside them. Just be sure to have two other people to spot for the both of you for safety. To make it even safer, put a safety mat in front of your child’s head when they attempt the handstand to cushion them if they fall.