Former U.S. Champion Dave Durante:

Part 1-The Bad: legs bent, head out, bent elbows, flexed feet, big lower back arch, legs apart. …

Part 2- The Old School: legs are tight/together and elbows are locked, but head is still way out of line and lower back is still in an arch position. Lots of unnecessary angles …

Part 3- The Good: whole body is stacked…feet over knees, knees over hips, hips over shoulders, shoulders over elbows, elbows over hands. This is your POSITION OF MAXIMUM POTENTIAL. …

@powermonkeyfitness #crossfit #crossfitgymnastics

Coincidentally, I was just chatting with Handstand Homework author Carrie Spender Lennox. She feels we need MORE and BETTER materials for explaining common errors.

She’ll love this video. :-)

Published by

coach Rick

Career gymnastics coach from Calgary, Canada.


  1. I cringe every single time I see a photo on pinterest/social media/instagram of some person (especially a yogo-ite) doing a handstand with closed shoulders and slight arch to compensate. Pet peeve!

    No, I will not be as impressed as you think I ought to be.

  2. An interestingly, at the very high and finnicky end of the spectrum, it seems that due to Durante’s body shape (the genetic one, moreso than how gymnastics has sculpted a straight shape for him?) is slightly off 0* (i.e. not 12 o’clock –> 6 o’clock orientation). It might just be this one time; it might also be how he has trained his handstand for whatever reason.

    I do remember that GB MAG made a big push for their senior boys to do handstands that slightly leaned over 0* – their coach said it gave them much better lines.

    Are there benefits, aside from aesthetics, to the slightly overextended line? Is there just a limiting factor for each athlete as to how straight they can be through the midline and what shape that gives as an end result?

  3. I agree, Anna. I once made a comment on Facebook about the correct way to do a handstand and a yoga instructor friend of mine says, “there’s no wrong way to do a handstand.” I didn’t want to start an online war so I just left it at that.

    In my experience, a handstand just past vertical is ideal and much easier to hold longer. I think it totally locks the shoulders into a complete extended position. Just my opinion, I would love to hear others.

  4. Can you comment on my dreadful handstand? Will really appreciate some advice if you would be so kind. It’s a banana handstand, more strength to hold like a constant press up.

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