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Hand-balancing exercises will strengthen your wrists, forearms, upper arms, shoulders and your core muscles. It takes practice to properly perform and hold a hand-balance exercise, such as a handstand. Once you perfect the technique of balancing on your hands, you can take advantage of the strengthening benefits of handstands and other hand-balancing exercises, such as yoga poses. A fitness instructor or yoga expert can help you learn how to do a hand-balancing exercises safely.
Wrist Stretching and Strengthening
Don't try to do any hand-balancing exercises until you have strengthened your wrists. Stretching the muscles and joints of your wrists can help to strengthen the muscles so that your wrists can support your entire body weight. Wrist stretches also improve your wrist flexibility, which will help reduce your risk of injury. Stretch your wrist by grasping the fingers of your right hand with your left hand. Bend your fingers back toward your forearm so that your palm is pointed upward. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and then repeat for your other wrist. You can stretch and strengthen both wrists at the same time by kneeling on the floor and supporting your upper body on your hands. Turn your wrists so that your fingers are pointing back toward your body. Gently press your hands into the floor to stretch your wrist joint and muscle. Hold for 10 seconds and then relax.
You may want to practice a handstand by leaning against a wall. It is natural to feel like you might fall, which can make it difficult for you to balance on your hands. Place your hands on the floor about 12 inches from a wall. Sweep your right leg up toward the wall, followed by your left leg. Squeeze your abdominal muscles tightly to stabilize your body. Keep your hips over your shoulders so that your spine is straight. Avoid arching your back. Allow your heels to rest against the wall. Hold the handstand for a few seconds and the move your heels off the wall about one-inch and try to balance on your hands. Lower your right leg back to the floor followed by your left leg.
Yoga Balance Poses
Many yoga poses require that you balance your bodyweight on your hands. The hand-balance yoga poses are complex and should not be attempted by beginners without professional instruction and supervision by a yoga instructor. The Crane pose strengthens not only your wrists and forearms, but also your abdominal muscles. The Eight-Angle pose is a complex pose where your legs are stretched out to one side and around one arm as your balance your body on your hands. The Firefly pose is less complex, but requires excellent balance and strong wrists to execute properly. Your legs are stretched out on the outside of your elbows with your toes pointed forward. Your bodyweight is balanced on your outstretched arms and wrists.
Always warm up before you exercise to increase blood flow to your tissues and joints. You can warm up by doing some light cardio exercises, such as brisk walking or jumping rope, to increase your heart rate and respiration. Cardio increases your blood flow to your muscles and joints. Stretch your muscles before exercise to further increase blood flow. Warming up your muscles before exercise may help reduce your risk of muscles strains and joint sprains. Exercise in an area free of obstacles. If doing hand-balancing exercising indoors, make sure you are clear of tables, shelves and other furniture. Stop exercising immediately if you feel any pain in your wrists or hands. Stretch after your workout to help your muscles relax.