If you have ever watched a hand balancing act you have most likely seen it – the Mexican Handstand. It’s a shape that creates a beautiful arch and without fail impresses audiences from young to old, all around the world.
In this tutorial we will cover everything you need to know to learn this skill safely and correctly. In a few months time you can be the one showing off your new skills and dropping jaws.
The Mexican Handstand is an advanced hand balancing back bending position where your feet go over your body and your chest gets pushed the other way.
There are a few variations of it, but generally you can consider any position that follows this principle and forces your shoulders to fully open as Mexican.
Ok, before we dive in guys – please be smart about your training! This is for the more intermediate/advanced hand balancer and not something to just jump into forcefully. The position requires a lot of strength and flexibility that needs to build up slowly over time.
With that being said, the actual training is pretty simple and straight forward. You need to have a solid freestanding two arm handstand and a lot of PATIENCE.
Basically what I am trying to say is be careful of overtraining your back. When you are training, and e.g. do a bunch of biceps curls – at some point the muscle will send a pain signal to your brain and make you stop. Simple.
Your back.. well your back won’t do that straight away. Since your back is what is holding you up and allowing you to move what will happen is a Fight or Flight kind of situation. Your body will allow you to keep going, but the next days you’ll feel it. Just because it feels great today don’t do 10000 more than yesterday. DONT!!! Instead every week or two add another rep, or go a little bit deeper and let your body adapt.
This is also why you will want to try and get quite a bit of the range of motion out of our shoulders and hips, instead of just your back.
For those of you who don’t have a solid freestanding two arm handstand yet, only work on the warm-up and the first two exercises we cover in this tutorial that are in standing position. Start by incorporating these drills slowly, and make sure to listen to your body and always focus on correct technique.
Ready?? Let’s dive into the fun!! Before starting with the the actual drills you want to make sure that every training session starts with
Seriously, take your time here and make sure you prepare your body and especially your back well! If you want to have access to daily stretching routines for your hips, back and shoulder flexibility, rehab and strengthening exercises to stay healthy check out our full Mexican Step by Step Program (be the first one to sign up for our pre- release deal!!). Yes this was a link, if that was too subtle then click here 😉
Once your body is generating some heat and feels all nice and bendy, you are ready! Ready for the first exercise!
Here you start with your back facing the wall and around half a step away it. Most important you want to:
Then you lean back, tap the wall gently and pull yourself back up to the starting position. Make sure to go slow and controlled. You are no wrecking ball that wants to smash right through the wall. Always always keep tension and don’t rest against the wall! (this will apply to all exercises in this list)
If this feels easy, take another small step away from the wall and repeat. Easy again? Keep increasing your distance until you are too far away from the wall to reach it. Then it’s time and you are ready for exercise nr. 2. A good indicator that it isn’t easy yet is if your head is about to explode or you are letting out some dying sounds/grunts.
The logical next step is to use a table, blocks, or mountain of mats. If you run out of wall you need another way to scale and increase the motion.
Just as with the Wall Taps you start about half a step or step away from the mats. Arms overhead, knees locked. Keep tension and lower down slowly, tap, come back up.
This exercise will force you to go slow and controlled as you do not see the mats coming and don’t want to smash into it.
Easy? Decrease the height of the surface by a little bit. Lower done, tap and pull yourself back up. Continue in that fashion until you are close to the floor.
Nice job! Now you are ready to start with the real Mexican training. We’ll take the same two exercises but instead of doing them standing on your feet, you’ll be in a handstand.
Start in a handstand about half a step away from the wall. Keep your legs in a baby straddle position with knees locked & toes pointed. Make sure to push out tall out of your shoulders and don’t sink in throughout the movement.
Now tap the wall behind you with your feet, letting your shoulders open and chest push the opposite way of your legs. Keep looking at your hands the entire time!
If this is easy – aka you can do it slow and controlled – move further away from the wall.
Once you run out of wall to tap against it’s time to move on to your 4th and final exercise….
Set up in a handstand with your back facing a table or mountain of mats. Lower down slowly, touch the surface and come right back up into your straight handstand.
Keep decreasing the height until your legs are parallel to the ground or even below parallel.
CONGRATULATIONS – Good job! You can now do the Mexican Handstand!
Head positioning in the Mexican seems to be a big topic. I definitely suggest looking at your hands as it allows you to push out and keep balance.
But you will see hand balancers putting their head on their chest.
Tucking in your chin will allow you to open your shoulders wider, therefore getting your feet closer to the floor.
BUT! Some things to consider with a head in position:
What you want is to find the sweet spot. If you are comfortable in your Mexican, go into it by looking at your hands, then ever so slightly tuck your chin closer to your chest to allow your feet to sink lower, but don’t go into a full head in position!
The 4 exercises we covered in this tutorial will all help you to build strength, control and improve flexibility at the same time. Most important:
And if you liked this tutorial, it would mean a lot to us if you guys would share it around, tag us in your posts if you try the drills; like & comment and just spread that stuff everywhere 😉
Sascha aka Coach Bachmann