Kick to Handstand – Technique Tuesday

Kick to Handstand – Technique Tuesday

Kick to handstand is a fundamental movement that all tumblers need to be able to do.

A handstand is found in the middle of many tumbling skills ie. Cartwheels, Round-offs, front and back walkovers, back handsprings etc. Athletes should be able to hold a handstand unassisted before trying any of these more advanced skills.

Drill #1- The Lever

The first step in learning kick to handstand is the lever. The athlete should start in a nice strong lunge position with their arms straight up by their ears. Their weight should be evenly distributed into both feet at this time. They will then lean forward putting all of their weight onto their front leg and lifting the back leg off the floor straight out behind them. Their arms should still be straight up glued to the side of their head still. The athlete will then “lever” their body so their hands touch flat on the floor and their back leg will stick straight up in the air behind them. Have them hold this position for a few seconds and then they will “lever” themselves back up into their lunge position. The athlete’s arms should right beside their ears the whole time.

Kick to Handstand | Lever Drill
Click to Animate

Drill #2 Half handstand kicks

For this drill an elevated surface is needed; the taller the surface the harder the drill, so make sure to start off low and build your way up. The athlete should start in the lunge position with their arms straight above their head. Have the athlete lever towards the block, and put both hands flat on top; they will then kick the foot that was on the floor up to meet the other foot. (Note you should not be kicking all the way to handstand at this point). Once this becomes easy and strong they can start to kick up a little higher and use a taller surface.

Kick to Handstand Drill | Half Handstand Kick Ups
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Drill #3 Walking up the wall to handstand

When learning and working on kick to handstand, it is always smart for beginners to start with their stomachs against the wall. This way if they need to fall or come down they can do it safely away from the wall instead of crashing towards it. Have the athlete start in a crouched position with one leg already on the wall. The athlete will then start to walk their hands closer to the wall and walk their feet up until they are flat against the wall looking at their hands. If at the start they can’t make it all the way to a handstand; it’s ok to stop at a place they feel comfortable holding, and have them maintain a hollow body position. As they get stronger they will be able to walk their hands in closer to the wall until they are in a proper handstand.

Kick to Handstand | Walking up the wall
Click to Animate


Drill #3.5 – Once the athlete is strong enough to hold a handstand for a set period of time, have them try and move their hands away from the wall a bit so they have room to try and balance without the walls assistance. By taking one foot off and then switching to the other foot, it will help the athlete understand what it will feel like when there is no wall there to assist them.

Kick to Handstand Drill | One foot off the wall!


Once you have mastered the drill above, it is time to kick to handstand on your own. Check out this great video of Coach Scott showing us how it is done!

Join us next week as we continue to show you great drills and progressions that you can work on to make your tumbling the best it can be.

For more information on our tumbling program, click here!

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