How to Walk on Your Hands: A Step by Step Guide for Beginners (2023)

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how to walk on your hands

1. The Basic Steps to Start Learning How to Walk on Your Hands

Step 1: Warm up and Stretch

Before attempting to walk on your hands, it’s important to warm up your body and stretch your muscles to prevent injury. Start with a few minutes of light cardio exercise such as jogging or jumping jacks to get your blood flowing. Then, focus on stretching your wrists, shoulders, and core muscles. This will help prepare your body for the movements involved in handwalking.

Step 2: Master the Handstand

The first step in learning how to walk on your hands is mastering the handstand. Begin by practicing against a wall for support. Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the ground and kick up into a handstand position with your legs straight up against the wall. Focus on maintaining a straight line from your wrists to your hips, engaging your core muscles for balance.

Once you feel comfortable holding a handstand against the wall, you can start practicing freestanding handstands. Start by kicking up into a handstand away from the wall and try to hold it for as long as possible before coming back down. Gradually work on improving your balance and control in this position.

Step 3: Introduce Small Steps

Once you have mastered the handstand, you can begin incorporating small steps while maintaining balance on your hands. Start by taking small steps forward or backward while in a handstand position against a wall for support. Focus on keeping your core engaged and maintaining control throughout each step.

As you become more comfortable with small steps, gradually increase the distance between each step until you are able to walk several steps while maintaining balance on your hands.


  • Practice consistently to build strength and improve your balance.
  • Start with short practice sessions and gradually increase the duration as you progress.
  • Use a spotter or practice in a safe, open area to prevent falls and injuries.

2. Improving Balance and Stability While Walking on Your Hands

Why is balance and stability important?

Balance and stability are crucial when it comes to walking on your hands. Without proper balance, you may find yourself toppling over or unable to maintain a steady handstand position. Stability is equally important as it allows you to control your movements and make adjustments while handwalking.

Tips for improving balance and stability:

  • Practice core strengthening exercises such as planks and hollow body holds to improve overall stability.
  • Work on your wrist flexibility by performing wrist stretches and exercises regularly.
  • Start with shorter handwalking distances and gradually increase the distance as you become more comfortable and stable.
  • Engage your core muscles throughout the entire handwalking movement to maintain balance.

By focusing on improving your balance and stability, you will be able to perform handwalking with greater control and confidence.

3. Specific Exercises and Stretches to Prepare Your Body for Handwalking

Exercises to strengthen the upper body:

To prepare your body for handwalking, it’s essential to strengthen the muscles in your upper body, particularly the shoulders, arms, and core. Here are some specific exercises that can help:

  1. Pike push-ups: This exercise targets the shoulders and triceps, which are key muscles used during handwalking. Start in a push-up position with your hips raised towards the ceiling, forming an inverted V shape. Lower your head towards the ground while keeping your elbows close to your sides, then push back up.
  2. Diamond push-ups: Similar to regular push-ups, but with your hands close together in a diamond shape. This variation targets the triceps and chest muscles.
  3. Plank variations: Planks help strengthen the core muscles, which are essential for stability during handwalking. Try different plank variations such as forearm planks, side planks, and high planks to target different muscle groups.

Stretches for wrist flexibility:

Flexible wrists are crucial for maintaining proper form and preventing injuries while handwalking. Incorporate these stretches into your routine to improve wrist flexibility:

  • Wrist circles: Extend your arm in front of you with your palm facing down. Slowly rotate your wrist in circular motions, both clockwise and counterclockwise.
  • Wrist flexor stretch: Extend one arm in front of you with your palm facing up. Use your other hand to gently pull back on your fingers until you feel a stretch in your forearm. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
  • Wrist extensor stretch: Extend one arm in front of you with your palm facing down. Use your other hand to gently pull back on your fingers until you feel a stretch on the top of your forearm. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

By incorporating these exercises and stretches into your training routine, you will gradually build the necessary strength and flexibility required for successful handwalking.

4. Common Mistakes Beginners Make When Attempting to Walk on Their Hands (and How to Avoid Them)

Mistake 1: Lack of Proper Warm-up

One common mistake beginners make when attempting to walk on their hands is skipping a proper warm-up. Failing to warm up the wrists, shoulders, and core muscles can lead to injuries and hinder progress. To avoid this mistake, it is essential to spend a few minutes performing dynamic stretches and exercises that target these areas. This will help increase blood flow, improve flexibility, and prepare the body for handwalking.

Mistake 2: Incorrect Hand Placement

Another mistake beginners often make is placing their hands incorrectly while attempting handwalking. Placing the hands too far apart or too close together can throw off balance and make it challenging to maintain control. The ideal hand placement should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with fingers spread wide for better stability. By ensuring proper hand placement, beginners can avoid unnecessary strain on the wrists and improve their overall technique.

Mistake 3: Lack of Core Engagement

A common mistake beginners make is neglecting to engage their core muscles during handwalking. Without proper core engagement, it becomes difficult to maintain balance and control while upside down. It is crucial for beginners to focus on activating their abdominal muscles by drawing the belly button towards the spine during each step of handwalking. This will provide a stable foundation and enhance overall performance.

5. How Long Does it Take to Learn How to Walk on Your Hands Proficiently?

The time it takes for an individual to learn how to walk on their hands proficiently varies depending on several factors such as fitness level, prior experience with similar activities, consistency in practice, and natural aptitude. For some individuals, it may take a few weeks of regular practice to achieve proficiency, while others may require several months.

It is important to note that progress in handwalking is gradual and requires patience. Beginners should focus on building strength, improving balance, and refining technique rather than rushing the process. By dedicating consistent time and effort to practice handwalking drills and exercises, individuals can gradually improve their skills and eventually become proficient handwalkers.

6. Tips for Building Upper Body Strength Necessary for Handwalking

1. Push-up Variations

Incorporating different push-up variations into your workout routine can help build the upper body strength necessary for handwalking. Try incline push-ups, decline push-ups, diamond push-ups, or one-arm push-ups to target different muscle groups and challenge yourself.

2. Shoulder Exercises

Strengthening the shoulders is crucial for handwalking. Include exercises such as shoulder presses, lateral raises, and front raises in your workout routine to target the deltoid muscles. Resistance bands can also be used for added resistance during these exercises.

3. Core Strengthening Exercises

A strong core is essential for maintaining stability while walking on your hands. Incorporate exercises like planks, Russian twists, and leg raises into your routine to strengthen the abdominal muscles.

4. Handstand Practice

Regularly practicing handstands against a wall can help build the necessary upper body strength required for handwalking. Start with shorter holds against the wall and gradually increase the duration as you gain more strength and confidence.

7. Safety Precautions to Keep in Mind While Practicing Handwalking

  • Always warm up properly before attempting handwalking to prevent injuries.
  • Ensure you have a clear and spacious area to practice handwalking, free from any obstacles or hazards.
  • Start with gradual progressions and do not attempt advanced techniques without mastering the basics first.
  • Listen to your body and take breaks when needed. Overexertion can lead to fatigue and increased risk of injury.
  • Use proper padding or mats to cushion your landing in case of falls or slips.
  • If practicing outdoors, be mindful of the surface conditions and avoid slippery or uneven surfaces.

8. Advanced Variations and Techniques for Handwalking Once You’ve Mastered the Basics

Variation 1: One-Handed Handwalk

Once you have mastered walking on your hands with both hands, you can challenge yourself by attempting a one-handed handwalk. Start by shifting most of your weight onto one hand while maintaining balance with the other. Gradually increase the duration and distance covered using only one hand.

Variation 2: Handstand Push-ups

To further advance your handwalking skills, incorporate handstand push-ups into your training routine. Begin in a stable handstand position against a wall, then lower yourself towards the ground by bending your elbows. Push back up to complete one repetition. This exercise targets not only upper body strength but also shoulder stability.

Variation 3: Walking Upstairs on Your Hands

To challenge yourself further, try walking upstairs on your hands once you have mastered basic handwalking. Find a set of stairs with a sturdy railing for support. Place your hands on each step as if you were walking normally, but instead, use your hands to support your weight and propel yourself upwards.

9. The Benefits of Walking on Your Hands for Overall Fitness and Coordination

Walking on your hands offers numerous benefits for overall fitness and coordination. Here are some key advantages:

  • Strengthens the upper body muscles, including the shoulders, arms, and core.
  • Improves balance and stability by engaging the core muscles.
  • Enhances coordination and body awareness as it requires precise control of movements while upside down.
  • Increases flexibility in the wrists, forearms, and shoulders.
  • Burns calories and contributes to cardiovascular fitness when performed as part of a dynamic workout routine.

10. Recommended Training Programs and Resources for Mastering Handwalking

1. Online Tutorials

Websites such as YouTube offer a wide range of handwalking tutorials from experienced practitioners. These tutorials provide step-by-step instructions, demonstrations, and tips to help beginners progress in their handwalking journey.

2. Handstand Classes or Workshops

Attending handstand classes or workshops conducted by certified instructors can be highly beneficial for mastering handwalking techniques. These classes often include structured training programs that focus on building strength, improving form, and advancing skills gradually.

3. Personal Trainer or Coach

Hiring a personal trainer or coach who specializes in gymnastics or calisthenics can provide personalized guidance tailored to individual needs. They can design training programs specific to handwalking goals and provide valuable feedback to ensure proper technique and progression.

4. Strength Training Programs

Incorporating strength training programs that target the upper body, core, and shoulder muscles can significantly contribute to improving handwalking abilities. Programs such as bodyweight exercises, resistance training, and yoga can help build the necessary strength and flexibility required for handwalking.

In conclusion, learning to walk on your hands requires practice, strength, and balance. By following these steps and maintaining consistency, you can gradually improve your skills and master this impressive feat.

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