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Handstand Virtuosity: Part 2 by Laurie Galassi - CrossFit Journal

Handstand Virtuosity: Part 2

By Laurie Galassi

In Coaching, Gymnastics/Tumbling, Reference, Videos

September 14, 2011

Video Article

CrossFit Santa Cruz’s Laurie Galassi, a gymnast and fifth-place finisher at the NorCal Regional, shares her coaching tips for mastering the handstand. In Part 2 of the series, Galassi applies the handstand basics she taught through body position and wall climbs to the next step: kicking up into a handstand.

Galassi drills the athletes on forward and backward leg kicks.

“This is another great chance to squeeze your stomach and integrate your body as it moves,” she says. According to Galassi, pointing the feet helps create more tension in the leg and integrates more muscles. The kick up to a handstand takes both legs.

“It ultimately becomes a bend and straighten of my knee at the exact same moment that I kick the back leg, and now I have effectively tipped myself up and over,” Galassi says. She drills the athletes on their mechanics, then has them practice kicking up to a wall.

To test an athlete’s ability to remain stacked up and organized in a handstand, she has each one kick up into a handstand off the wall, using a partner to catch and hold the legs. The partner tests the stability of the inverted athlete, then tries to find the athlete’s balance point.

The athletes then try kicking up against the wall and pulling their legs off the wall one at a time to find their own balance.

8min 45sec

Additional reading: Why Train Gymnastics Basics? by Jeff Tucker, published Aug. 1, 2008.

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9 Comments on “Handstand Virtuosity: Part 2”


wrote …

It is such a pleasure to watch (and learn from) a true teacher. This is my first comment (ever) on CrossFit, though I've been a devotee and Journal subscriber since 2007(!) Ms. Galassi, well done indeed.


wrote …

The active shoulders while you are going from the lunge into the hands-down position is what always catches me. Sometimes I'll just collapse when I move my weight onto my hands, because my shoulders aren't active and "stacked". It's easy to see from this video what I'm doing wrong. Thanks!


wrote …

Thanks for this - it's a gold mine of gymnastics info!


wrote …

It's really a pleasure to listen to Laurie Galassi. Precise and clear coaching, lots of pertinent info. Thanks!


wrote …

love it.... keep em comin. solid and simple...


wrote …

love it.... keep em comin. solid and simple...


Casey Schmidt wrote …

LOVE THIS! I have been working on getting good at a handstand for 4+ years now when I discovered CrossFit! I am now really getting the hang of walking on my hands (about 10+ meters unbroken) thanks to part one of this series! Going to work these drills this week on myself and start using them with my guys next week. Thank you, Laurie!


wrote …

Thanks Laurie for the new ideas on how to work our handstands!


wrote …

Great videos I always had trouble with my handstand, I actually can do more than 10 handstand push-ups(arching against the wall) but couldĀ“t do one solid handstand... well things change today, I did my first 20s handstand. Thanks

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