Want to swim faster, develop a stronger core and look really cool then you need to be able to rock a handstand! OK. Maybe you just want to do a handstand. Whatever the motivation here is my personal challenge (still ongoing)

So bodyweight training is cool. Gymnastics are for pros and yoga is for people with flexibility you only dream of. Oh and handstands are for 10 year olds with no fear and an amazing ability to conquer gravity. Do you feel like the above is true?

It’s not (apparently)… I am not a believer in get rich quick schemes. And that goes for getting strong, getting fast, getting flexible, getting ripped. The list goes on. Living my life by the ‘if it sounds too good to be true it probably is’ has avoided many scams and provided me with much needed reality. But I have a few goals I want to achieve by working on this little personal challenge. One is to develop core strength. One is to develop shoulder strength and aim for some handstand push-ups. But one is to see if it is possible to actually get up into a handstand having never attempted (so no muscle memory whatsoever).

Get Rich Quick…. Here we come. From zero to hero in 2 months (or shorter). Can it be done? I am going from a pretty solid starting point. Can squeeze out 40+ pushups and not much body fat. From reading a few websites and how to guides I am going for what sounds to be the safer approach for a novice with the fear of face planting. Starting with a wall plan and adding a bit of gradient every day.

(Beginning of July)

Day one… 4 sets of 1 minute plan with the palms of my hands between 90cm and 1m away from the wall. Set 4, body is shaking. Arms are shaking. Core is certainly screaming out but pretty happy with this (it was after press ups as well). I was expecting to feel a lot more light headed but it felt fine. Getting into position was pretty easy, walking up the wall and I didn’t feel off balance.

Day two… (don’t worry, I wont bore you with the detail every day) the same as above but taking it 5-10 cm closer to the wall with the hands. Is anyone impressed yet? My 4 year old daughter is, but then she pulls out a wall plank that puts mine to shame.

I’m going to keep this up! Surely I am.

Day 4. Palms are 70cm away from the wall. 1 foot closer than a few days ago. The sets of 5 for 1 minute each I am resting for 4 mins between. Will try and drop that down soonish but too tough right now. Last 2 sets were very tough. Shaky arms just screaming out for the minute to end. Oh, and the dismount (I’m guessing that’s what coming down off the wall is officially called) needs some work. A kind of splat at the base of the wall doesn’t feel very elegant. Got to bore my sister in law last night with my desire to achieve a handstand. Anyone else not interested?

Week 2 - Fresh after the weekend (yes I had Sunday off from the training for this) so got my palms to 60cm from the wall. Woah, feels a bit steep! But OK. Mixing this up with some press-ups and a few sit-ups, the minute timer on my phone could not come sooner by the third set.

A couple of days into week two and my palms are now just 50cm away from the wall. It seems a little easier to hold the minute today and my feet feel light against the wall. Feels to me like the beginning of a handstand!

After a few week gap for holiday it is back to the challenge.

After about 1 month my palms are more or less 30cm away from the wall. Mind over matter “I won’t fall over. I won’t fall over”. It is certainly a workout on the wrists from the lack of flexibility.

Now in the second month (end of week 1) I have now dropped my rest intervals down to 3 minutes between each minute of handstandplanking against the wall. Repeating for 5 sets. Not sure when that slipped in but it has! (I am sure I started at 4). I am also only doing this week days. So I am feeling stronger and now I think ready to take the leap of faith into the second stage whatever that may be.