How to do a Handstand
Learning how to do a handstand is really an easy and straightforward activity. Unlike tricks, vaults, or complex Parkour movements, there is no technique that you need to get right. Doing a handstand requires a bit of coordination and exercise.
First, practice the lifting movement that you make all the time. Muscle memory retains this exercise technique and, after a while and a lot of practice, you’ll know how much force to use.
As an additional exercise, I suggest you get on your hands next to the wall with your belly or back facing the wall to acquaint yourself with the movement. This exercise will get you accustomed to the upside down feeling and will help your balance.
Push-ups help you work your triceps and it helps a lot to strengthen your joints and tendons in the elbow. This way, they become more resistant to the tension and effort that is put on the arms, tendons, joints, and so on.
To make learning how to do a handstand more interesting, push off the wall to get away from it and stay balanced without help. Do not get angry if you fall right from the start. It takes practice to teach the body what to do.
Besides push-ups, I recommend that you do dips and pull-ups. Dips strengthen the arms, chest, and back in a certain way different from push-ups, and pull-ups strengthen your back and help balance the strength in the arms.
You’ll see that, after a while, sitting on your hands will make your whole upper body tense and exhausted, and you’ll wonder why your biceps or neck hurt when you do not use them.
How to Walk on Your Hands
Another exercise that is quite useful and fun is walking on your hands along a wall. Stand on your hands with your belly or back to the wall and go to the side, left or right, from one point to another, and back. This helps with balance, posture towards vertical objects (ie your vertical axis), improves strength and endurance, and learning to sit up straight.
A final factor that must always be taken into consideration is breathing. It is very important for the body to be oxygenated while executing such movements. When you are close to the ground, inhale a large breath of air, and when you’re pushing, exhale as you go up. From here, you can breathe normally, but you must not stop. Even if you are tense and fixed in position as long as you breathe, your body relaxes a little and you can focus on it more.
With all this, just practice how to do a handstand daily, whenever you feel like it. The results will be seen after a while.
How to Wall-Run
The wall-run is one of the most common techniques used in Parkour and Freerunning. Whether you are trying to escape from somebody or using it between two tricks, it is ideal to know how to wall-run. The wall-run is used to switch directions abruptly, gain height to jump over tall obstacles, or simply run horizontally on a wall.
The wall-run and it’s variations can be broken down into simple steps that are pretty easy to follow. Let me show you the basics of the movement:
Run parallel to the wall.
The best way to approach the wall for this movement is at a wide angle, almost horizontal to the wall. This will help you step onto the plane and maintain an optimal grip on the surface you are running on. If you approach at a narrower angle you risk traveling a shorter distance than expected, or losing your grip. Your running speed is also an important factor. You will have to run fast to be able to keep your feet on the wall long enough.
Place your leg on the wall slightly behind you.
Most people who try it for the first time have the tendency to place their leg in front of them, thus blocking the forward momentum they have. This is a mistake. The correct foot placement is in line with your body with your chest out. This will give you the best control and distance. At first it may seem pretty insecure, due to the fact that you have your leg so far behind you, but this is only a mental block that you will need to overcome.
Keep your body as horizontal as possible when executing the wall-run.
While wall-running you need to keep your body horizontal. Try to keep this position as much as you possibly can, without losing your balance or grip. This unnatural position will be corrected on your last step, when you can push yourself off the wall and regain you vertical position to land.
In order to advance on the wall, you need to use only your toes and balls of the feet. Do not attempt to place the entire foot on the surface. This technique needs to be practiced a bit to get it right.
Push hard with your foot to break off from the wall.
After finishing the steps on the wall, you will need to push hard off the surface using your inside leg (the leg between you and the wall). Remember that you need to push your body at a 45 degree angle, and not sideways, as that would make you lose your balance.
The best way to learn how to break from the jump is by learning how to tic-tac first. It is the same move you will perform when beginning and ending the wall-run.
Try to use your hips and hands to control the angle at which you exit the wall-run.
Run using small steps on the first attempts on the wall-run.
At first you will want to try running using small steps, to gain confidence and learn correct foot placement. As you progress, you can increase the size of the steps on the wall, thus increasing the distance you can cover in a wall-run. The more you practice this movement, the easier it will get to increase the number of steps you place on the wall.
Frequent mistakes when learning how to wall-run:
I can’t place more than one foot on the wall without falling.
This usually happens when you do not maintain a relatively horizontal position of the body and feet. Sometimes it helps to use a slightly inclined wall during the first attempts.
I cannot advance when trying to run horizontally.
This usually happens when you place your foot too far in front of you. The secret to this movement is that the chest is in front and the legs are behind you. Also, remember that you only have to place the balls of the feet on the surface, not the entire foot.
I keep losing grip when I place my feet on the wall.
This can be due to several factors, but the most common one is the angle at which you approach the wall. You should run towards the wall at a 45 degree angle so you will be able to punch into the wall with your leg, maintaining enough grip for the wall-run.
The movement is quite easy when you understand the dynamics of the wall-run. You cannot physically run horizontally on a wall. However, you can, for a short period of time, place your feet on a wall the same way as you would on the ground.
It takes practice to make perfect, but once you master it, you will be open to a whole new array of possibilities and new moves.
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Initially published on Dan Dinu's website ParkourTrain.net
Hello, My name is Dan. I’m the owner of the blog ParkourTrain.Net and its content is mostly part of my perspective about training in Parkour, and other sports related issues. I have been training for a few years now, and I started feeling the urge to talk about it. How it feels, how it goes and how I’m feeling about it. Most of my posts are subjective, and I do not claim to be all-knowing. I’m mostly talking from personal experience, so I don’t really have solid arguments for everything.