Could This One Mistake Be The Reason You Can’t Transition To The Handstand?

So you’ve been trying for ages to transition from frog stand to handstand and just can’t get up?

The biggest mistakes made are incorrect technique or strength and sometimes a mixture of both.

What Are The Prerequisites?


Being able to hold a handstand before starting training for the frog to handstand is extremely important as this will make your life easier with the strength and balance element of this skill, one less thing to worry about essentially.

Frog Stand

The frog stand is a great skill to master as it helps with balance and bent arm strength, there are many variations that you can try to challenge yourself.

See our detailed article about frog stand variations.

Deep Dips

Why Deep Dips? This is probably something that you haven’t seen when talking about the frog to handstand, for me, this is one of the most underrated exercises.

The deep dip is so effective for building the strength for the pushing section of the skill, to perform the deep dip for maximum effect it’s best to keep the full motion as slow as possible.

  • Start at the top of the dip position
  • Lower down as slowly as possible while taking a slow 5-second count.
  • Once 5 seconds has been reached pause in position, count to 5
  • Slowly push up to the top position of the dip while counting to 5

The reason deep dips are so useful is that it gets you used to pushing your full body weight up from a static position, this movement is very similar to what you will experience when performing the frog stand to handstand.

Handstand Push-Ups

Handstand push-ups are a great exercise to build shoulder strength and endurance, its perfectly fine to use a wall for this.

When performing the handstand push ups try and focus on full range of motion pushups (nose to the floor), you may not be able to do as many as you normally can but it will benefit you in the long run in regards to strength.

If you don’t meet any of the requirements above I would suggest working on the basics before moving on.

 Arm Position, How Important Is This?

The position of your arms when learning the frog to handstand could be the single thing stopping you mastering this skill.

Look familiar? 

This is by far the biggest mistake that I see at my local gym when people are first trying to learn the frog stand to handstand.

You may be wondering whats wrong with this? you want to be aiming for as close to 90 degrees as possible, the reason for this is, the further that you are leaning forward the further you have to push up which requires more strength.

Hopefully, by looking at the images above you should see a clear difference in angles, being as close to a 90 degrees angle means that the distance to push up into the handstand is much shorter.

Are There Any Good Drills To Practice This?

The best drill for learning the correct arm position is the L-Sit to the high bent arm position, at this stage don’t try and push up into the handstand.

  • Start in the L-Sit position
  • Using momentum swing back to the high bent arm position (aim to slow down as the movement becomes easier)
  • Pause for a second or two once in the bent arm position
  • As controlled as possible return to the L-Sit

With all progressions it’s perfectly fine to use some momentum but you should always aim to work for complete control as you get stronger.

If you have a training partner ask them to watch you to see if you are at the correct angle, if you train by yourself setup your phone and watch the footage back after a few reps, if too low, try again and repeat this process.

Practice is key with anything so be consistent and you will master this skill.