Hand Balancing Canes Tricks – Part 2

This is Part 2 of a hand balancing blog series 🙂 Check out the Part 1 post if you missed it.

In the last post I mentioned how important doing ground work is for moving your hand balancing to canes. Two skills I think should be mastered on the ground are: kicking up fully into handstand and holding for >5 seconds  and bailing properly when you over arch using a rotating  pirouette technique.

Knowing how to bail on a handstand gone wrong is so important. This should be second nature, because you do not want to fall flat on your back and potentially hit your head or back on your canes.

This post will share 5 more advanced tricks that I’ve practiced on canes with pictures. This is part 2 of a series.

Part 2 – Hand Balancing Canes Tricks

1. Pigeon


Pigeon is a position borrowed from yoga, and is relatively easy as far as hand balancing goes. I throw this in here for variety. Some fun things to do with this are playing with tuck, pike, split and stag positions and using it in a transition.

2. Contortion Handstand

Contortion Layout

The contortion hand stand is similar to the Mexican Handstand I mentioned in Part 1, but more difficult in my opinion. In the contortion hand stand the shoulders will go from open to hyper open and move forwards while your back arches and moves back, forming a “C” shape. Optionally, you can bend at the hips in a pike, which will end up looking more like “7”.  This can be a fun trick to play with head position in and gaze neutral instead of at your hands.

3. Unwrapping the Present

Unwrapping the present is a moving trick that goes from a straight handstand, to a pigeon toed stag position to straddle. This trick is really only explainable through video, since there are so many movements. Unwrapping the present is visually interesting and can be done with both legs or a single leg at a time. I like to practice this in candlestick position on the ground to focus on what the legs should be doing.


4. “Lazy” Press

Lazy Press Graphic

I’ve heard this called a lazy press, and it is definitely easier than a traditional press. This mount can be done standing on the canes, which is a good skill to have when your canes are tall. To do this one, place two hands and one foot on the canes, straighten the leg that is standing on the canes and raise the other into a straddle. From here lean into your hands and press up by raising the standing side up into a straddle. Use a little hop if necessary.


5. Crossed Legs

Crossed Legs Layout

Crossed legs is a beautiful shape, and it can be done with an contortion back or a straight back. This is another one that is good to practice out of handstand to master the shape. The crossed legs position is not “Indian style” crossed leg (which is another cool shape), but crossed legs as you would sitting in a chair. To do this, pull one leg into a tuck and let the other one sit on top, crossing your ankles if possible. To make this look good in a contortion handstand, the back must arch and then pike at the hips.


If you have any requests for the next part of this hand balancing series, please share in the comments 🙂 >>

For more handstand adventures follow me on Instagram @eliannah

I share fitness inspiration for the daring and every day ways to get better on my blog, AcroCafe by Eliannah. I’m passionate about alternative fitness and doing what makes you feel alive.

Life is better upside down!

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