Learning the Handstand Walk

By Dusty Hyland and Kelly Pearsall with Valerie MacKenzie Voboril

In Coaching, Gymnastics/Tumbling, Videos

December 26, 2010

Video Article

Welcome to DogTown CrossFit, home of 2010 Games third-place finisher Valerie MacKenzie Voboril. Today, Dusty Hyland and Kelly Pearsall, two DogTown CrossFit coaches, are teaching the handstand walk. CrossFit.com recently posted a WOD of a 100-meter handstand walk, and Hyland and Pearsall aim to prepare athletes for that WOD by working on the handstand position and the progressions to the handstand walk.

The progressions start with the handstand position, which can begin against a wall for support. Key points of performance are active shoulders and a stable midline. From a stationary handstand, an athlete can shift his or her weight from hand to hand.

“That is really going to help you develop the strength to allow you to effectively walk on your hands,” Hyland says. From there, an athlete can progress to a free-standing handstand with a spotter.

Pearsall shares another drill: the sideways walk, which can be performed at an angle for beginners.

“That’s going to help you get stronger in your shoulders and get more comfortable with the movement,” Pearsall says.

She spots Hyland through a handstand walk, noting that a more efficient handstand walk mirrors Pose running technique. Finally, Hyland, Pearsall and MacKenzie Voboril use these coaching cues to take on the 100-meter handstand walk.

7min 57sec

Additional reading: The Handstand by Greg Glassman, published Jan. 1, 2004.

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9 Comments on “Learning the Handstand Walk”


wrote …

atta boy! nice stuff Dusty. you are a great addition to the team... keep em coming


wrote …

Thanks for the tips guys...I am so anxious to get practicing!


wrote …

great coaching Dusty and Kelly!! Big fans of Dogtown!!


wrote …

good stuff guys!


wrote …

yayy!!! go Kelly, go Dusty!!
i heart u Val!
i wanna go play @ dogtown :-)


wrote …



Daniel Schmieding wrote …

Dusty, Kelly, I want to thank you guys; those were fantastic tips. Everybody notice which way their fingers were pointing?


Dustin Kreidler wrote …

Thanks for the progression ideas. I don't have a freestanding hand-stand yet, but I can kick up a wall like a mofo! Gonna get strong like bull doing shoulder taps and stuff! :D


wrote …

This is an extremely useful video. I need to start practicing....

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