3 Tips to Do The Yoga Handstand Press

Here are my top tips to achieve your first press into handstand. Instead of jumping into the handstand this move requires you to slowly transition into it giving an awe-inspiring impression. hen you break the move down, it’s not what you think! On top of that, the handstand press is great for improving circulation and resetting your energy and clarity of thought. 

Tip # 1: The press to handstand is not a strength move!

Handstand press is actually a mobility move. I get asked a lot how I can build up strength in the shoulders for a handstand press. While there are some strength elements, the majority of the strength that is required will be determined by how much mobility you are lacking. If you have a good range of motion in the hips and you can fold far in your forward fold poses, like standing forward fold pose and seated wide-legged forward fold pose, you will be able to do the hand press a lot easier than someone who doesn’t. 

My recommendation for you is to make sure you are training that range of motion. Practice forward fold poses two to three times a week. You also want to make sure to practice these poses right before you do a handstand press so you have that range of motion available to you. Pair forward folds with core work like boat pose (navasana) and pike core compression. Try to hold boat pose for 30 seconds with your legs straight. The core work will help improve your compression and press. 

Tip # 2: Get your hips high as soon as possible. 

This is probably one of the biggest mistakes that I see. When people are going for a straddle press handstand, sometimes they will start with their legs out wide and then they will try to press up. However, when you have your legs out wider your hips are going to be lower and thus harder to stack into a press position. 

Instead, bring your hips together into a pike position, which will raise your hips. The sooner you can get your hips over your shoulders the easier the press is going to be that is why the mobility aspect is so important. I recommend starting from a pike position and then pushing the legs out into a straddle use some form of elevation like blocks to make the press a little bit easier.   

Tip # 3: Build basic handstand balance and awareness

A press to handstand definitely comes after achieving a good handstand first. You need a 30second hold in a handstand before the press. This will build your awareness and balance. 

Then add in a jump-press to handstand which takes out a little bit of that strength but you still get that awareness through the range of motion. From the straddle press, practice lowering the legs down slowly. 

There you have it, top tips for achieving a handstand press. Mobility is the primary foundation and the component you should focus on the most.

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