The stretches on this page are meant to give variety to your stretching routine.  Try them.  See which ones feel good.  Add one every now and again to spice things up.

Handstand Lengthening Stretch: (Extreme stretch option)
You need a solid wall in order to do this stretch. Please execute extreme caution when attempting this stretch since your head will be closer to the ground then your feet!  There are two versions, the beginner and the advanced.  It is VERY important that you have the strength in your shoulders and upper back to be able to push the ground away while in your handstand (I contemplated putting this under strengthening since it is also building your shoulder strength as you stretch but I use it mainly as a stretch since my shoulders are pretty strong).  If you just sink into the handstand you are accomplishing nothing and likely hurting yourself.  Your elbows MUST stay straight, do not let your elbows buckle under your weight and bend.  Additionally, if you are able to hyper-extended the elbow joint (which is a common ability in women), do NOT do this; you want a straight elbow during the entire exercise and you must actively push the ground away.

Beginner version:

  • Face away from the wall, have your butt facing the wall
  • Walk your feet apart and put your hands on the ground (how far away from the wall will depend on your strength and flexibility, you may need to experiment).  Do not put your hands less than 2 feet from the wall or you many actually fall forward when trying to get into the wall.  I put my butt on the wall, then walk me legs apart until I can get my hands on the ground while leaning forward.
  • Make sure your arms are straight and your shoulders are directly over your hands
  • Bring one foot onto the wall, then the other and walk them up the wall as needed
  • Align your hips over your shoulders and push the ground away.  Your body should be creating a V or L with the wall, depending how far away you put your hands.  It is important to make sure you bring your hips over your hands or you will over-arch into your back and not actually work on your shoulders as is intended.
  • With your hips over your shoulders which are directly over you hands, push the ground away
  • Step one foot down when you wish to come down

Advanced versions:

  • Face the wall
  • Put your hands down a few inches from the wall
  • Make sure your shoulders are directly over your hands and your arms are straight
  • Kick up or left up (depending on your abdominal strength) so you are in a handstand against the wall.  If you are kicking up, lead with your butt so you don’t accidentally kick a heal into your drywall and need to have it repaired!
  • There needs to a curve in your lower back so your hips are directly over your shoulders
  • Push the ground away