Some time ago I received a question from a guy who was practicing a straight handstand. He saw a customer of mine, who trained using my Secrets of the Handstand Quick start Guide, holding a handstand for 8-10 seconds, whereas he was able only to hold it for a couple of seconds.
Essentially, he was wondering if it’s better to start training with a curved handstand and focus on the straight one later. The curved handstand is what someone without training would do if you asked him to, since it’s more natural than the straight handstand and easier as well. So, if you want to work primarily on your balance, it’s better to start with the curved handstand. However, you’ll have more trouble with advanced exercises later, as they may require you to be in the straight handstand. On the other hand, if you decide to start with the straight handstand from a beginning, you’ll have easier time performing advanced balancing skills later on, but with a slower start.
As you can see, it really comes down to your own preference. Personally, I like to master the easier version first and my straight handstand still isn’t perfect, but I’ve made progress with it. To sum it up, there are pros and cons to whatever choice you make – start with the curved version and you’ll be able to hold it for long time quicker, but you’ll have to work a bit harder later to achieve the straight handstand.
One other thing worth mentioning. To really count it as a handstand hold, you are looking to hold it for at least 5 seconds. Anything below cannot really be considered a hold, since you are basically just getting in place and falling right up. You need to hold it for at least five seconds and only then you have the balance going.