There is always many questions on what is the perfect handstand? Which style should I go for? Surely one is wrong and the other is right.
I talked about this quite a bit in the Different Styles of Handstands article. Essentially this will be part two.
You have to ask yourself what you are trying to achieve and why. Do you like the straightness of the gymnast’s handstand? Then by all means focus on that. Is arching your back easier for you? Go for it as long as you are still applying all the fundamentals of a good handstand.
What if you want to work on a new position? Here are two drills taught by Professor Orlick in Handbalancing Made Easy that can help you find any correct position you want.
In the first position you stand with your feet together raised up on the toes. Stretch your arms overhead while at the same time stretching your entire body upwards. Turn your head to look up at your hands while they bend back as if you were holding a handstand. This position should become very familiar as it is exactly what you want to do in a handstand.
The second position is much the same except that this time you will lie with your stomach on the ground in front of a wall. Place your hands bent back against the wall and recreate the tight, stretched out feeling.
You can tense up your entire body to groove the position in your mind. If you want to work on a straighter handstand this drill is perfect for it. Arch your back more or less to find what you want to do in your handstand with these positioning drills.
Very often people assume that you must keep a straight body in order to do more difficult stunts like the one hand handstand. While it is more common it is certainly not a necessity. In the True Art and Science of Handbalancing there are many pictures and descriptions of how to pull of the one hand stand with much arch.
The perfect handstand does not rely on a straight or arched back. The perfect handstand is a matter of keeping the body tight in a strong position and balancing with the hands.