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