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I am currently working my way up to a freestanding handstand. The issue I am facing is that my wrist simply does not feel sturdy enough to do a handstand. In other words, if I start falling, there is no way my forearms will be strong enough to correct my position.

So, the question is... How can I build forearm strength to be able to do the handstand relatively comfortably?

  • Start using hook grip on all of your barbell exercises, and do front squats. Should easily be more than enough – Muntasir Alam Oct 3 '16 at 16:41
  • Are you able to hold yourself up against the wall? If not, can you hold a pike handstand with your feet on a chair or a bed? Either will build up your forearm strength in the best way, by training you in what you plan to be doing. – Sean Duggan Oct 3 '16 at 18:02
  • There are lots of forearms exercises out there. A simple search of ExRx or similar site should give you what you want. – rrirower Oct 3 '16 at 18:52
  • @MuntasirAlam hook grip is there to help you hold on to the bar using mechanical advantage. To train grip there are plenty of better known methods – Gunge Oct 4 '16 at 6:59
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    Possible duplicate of Training your forearms with weights? – Gunge Oct 4 '16 at 6:59
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There are actually different types of grip strength, the type you use when balancing on your hands is going to be different to the type you use pulling a heavy deadlift. Yes, there will be some carry over, but since you're trying to accomplish a free standing hand stand, specificity comes into play.

First off, I would recommend stretching out your forearms regularly using a kneeling forearm stretch (on your hands and knees, rotate your arms outwards until your elbows are facing forward, palms flat, and lean back gently to stretch the forearms). When you do this, make it a more active stretch by gently resisting the stretch.

Although it sounds like an odd suggestion, stretching like this can actually help condition the forearms to having to apply force in this manner (very similar to when you have your palms flat on the floor in a handstand position).

Secondly, you can train the Crow Pose as a progression into a free standing handstand. To make it a little more interesting when you get reasonably good at it, gently apply pressure through your hands to rock yourself backwards and forwards.

The reason I stress gently so much is that to start with, your forearms may quite tight and you don't want to risk an injury (I've seen a climber trying to get rid of a forearm pump badly pull something by trying to stretch too hard).

Don't forget to stretch your wrist in the other direction as well, since general wrist mobility and strength is important for a decent flat handed free standing hand stand.

Lastly, just a general handstand tip, spread your fingers as much as possible; it'll help with balance and control.

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... so you want to be a handstander ... Why not train something relating to the exercise itself?

Here are some suggestions:

  • Fingertipp push-ups and adding more difficult versions to it

  • pushups on your knuckles (for the wrist)

  • reverse pushups (laying on your back)

  • if you have access to a barbell, proper military presses help a lot!

  • rice buckets where you twist and grab through the rice with your fingers

Hope it helps.

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