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How to Do a Handstand


Some circus acrobats seem as comfortable walking on their hands as they do on their feet. Students can learn the basics of the handstand by watching the video and following the instructions below afterward.

Watch the Video

How to Do a Handstand

Learning to do a handstand takes practice. Christian Stoinev demonstrates the basics.

Materials Needed

  • Enough space to walk across inside or outside
  • Soft mats or dry grassy areas where students can fall without getting hurt


  1. Warm up your shoulders, arms, and wrists. Be sure to stretch until you feel loose and flexible.
  2. Pair off into two equal-sized groups of students.
  3. Practice the “closed back” feeling by having one student lay down, arms extended over the head. The student should slightly sit up until there is no space between his/her lower back and the ground. The partner can check this by trying to put a hand between the back and the ground.
  4. With one student spotting, the other should crouch down, putting hands on the ground, aligning the hands and shoulders so that they are straight. With a small jump, push your feet up into the air. The second student should carefully spot, holding on the hand-standing student when they look wobbly. When done, gently bend knees and come back to an upright position.
  5. Students should switch places and repeat steps 2-4.
  6. Practice, practice, practice! Use a wall to lean against if that makes it easier.

Suggested Activities

  1. Handstands are hard, but if students are able to do them, you can hold a contest to see who can hold it the longest, or who can walk the farthest on their hands.
  2. If students are able to do regular handstands, you could ask them to balance a soccer ball on their feet while they balance in the handstand.