“No stunt is more beautiful, more symmetrical, more eye pleasing, more attention-attracting, or more universally admired than the handstand. No stunt is more indicative of highly developed neuro-muscular coordination, controlled strength and power, and skillful daring than the handstand. No stunt is more satisfying to do, more impressive to watch, or more widely performed, than the handstand.
“The handstand is truly the “King Of All tricks” and probably the “grandfather” as well. For sheer psycho-somatic joy, nothing can equal that which comes from developing absolute control over your own body. There is no greater mental-physical pleasure than that which comes from being able to press into a perfect handstand and hold it without the slightest quiver. Nothing can give you a more satisfying feeling of self-confidence than that which comes from knowing that every muscle in your body, from the tip of your fingers to the tip of your toes, is eagerly waiting to obey your slightest command.” — Prof. E.M. Orlick
Hand balancing is a true art with the human body being the canvas and paintbrush.
The benefits are many. If you look at any master of this art then you will see a strong man or woman. Put simply, the advanced moves like a pike press or planche take an unbelievable amount of strength across the arms, shoulders, and abs on top of the coordination required.
Look at the arms of any advanced hand balancer and you will see not a bulky 20” arm but one that is capable of many feats of strength. And its not just the upper arm. Even more so is the strength you get in the forearms and hands.
The simple act of hand balancing requires strong fingers that allow you to stay balanced in the air by digging into the ground. This is before you even move on to crazy finger balancing like Bob Jones.
When so many people can not do a pushup because it strains their wrist a hand balancer can support his entire weight on his hands often times with wrists bent back much further than 90 degrees. You get the strength and flexibility.
The pressing power is equally amazing. Though the simple handstand does not require an extraordinary amount of strength the various presses such as a hollow back press-up or a freestanding handstand pushup will help you build it. Press your bodyweight with a barbell? All good, but can you actually press your bodyweight?
You see these moves take lots more then just arms and shoulder strength. Most of the power and stability actually comes from the abs and midsection. To hold any position requires a coordinated effort from your entire body even the legs.
The body awareness and muscular control you will develop from practicing these hand balancing skills cannot be beat by any other means. True strength comes from being able to control your efforts to a high ability. Watch a master of this art and you will see someone who can make their body do whatever they want it to…on command.
Even the basic handstand done properly is an awesome display of this control. Just watch the looks on the faces of your friends and family when you show them what you can do.
Furthermore, by practicing hand balancing you will learn the lessons of humbleness and persistence. Without these two traits you will never get very far. The handstand cannot be rushed. Although there are secrets and shortcuts to perfecting this and any other move it will still take practice and the right mental attitude.
With all these benefits the question you have to ask is why would anyone not practice hand balancing?