Being able to balance one's inverted body on the hands is a lost skill in mainstream fitness today, but its benefits make it more than worth taking the time to master. Obviously, training handstands improves balance and increases shoulder strength," but, says Greg Glassman, "ending the analysis there doesn't speak to the singularly unique advantages" of such training for increasing "proprioception and core strength that other protocols cannot, will not, deliver" (CrossFit Journal 17, January 2004).
This month, Jeff Tucker and his crew from GSX Athletics give clear visual demonstrations of the basics of the handstand, touching on everything from how to get into position from standing to how to execute a forward roll out of a belly-to-the-wall or freestanding handstand. They address the key concepts of being able to strike and maintain the pose: hand width, shoulder and head position, "locked and loaded" arms, and a tight "hollow" body position.
Jeff Tucker (just "Tucker" to most folks) is a retired 20-year member of the Fort Worth Fire Department, where he served as a firefighter and arson/bomb investigator. He was head coach and director of Texas Christian University's gymnastics/ cheerleading programs from 2001 to 2006, and he holds a multitude of degrees and certifications. He currently owns and operates GSX Athletics in Fort Worth, Texas, which specializes in Tae Kwon Do, gymnastics, CrossFit, and private athletic instruction.