Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Kyocatt. Kyocatt Wonders, “how do you do a handstand” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Kyocatt!
Have you ever noticed how differently human beings move compared to other animals? Watch your friends as they walk around. Then watch cats, dogs, or just about any other four-legged creature. Notice the differences?
How different do you think life would be if you walked around on your feet AND your hands? Now imagine what the world would look like if you stood on your hands instead of your feet. Kind of weird, right?
But that's the exact way that some athletes experience the world when they perform an athletic feat that many of our Wonder Friends may have already mastered. What are we talking about? The handstand, of course!
Can you do a handstand? If you've never done a handstand, you may be WONDERing exactly how to do one. Do you need muscles like a bodybuilder? Maybe handstands require anti-gravity shoes? Could gymnastics training be necessary?
Although handstands can be hard to do — and require a lot of practice to master — they can be done without huge muscles, anti-gravity shoes, or special gymnastics training.
A handstand requires you to support your body in an upside-down, vertical position while balancing on your hands. Usually, you need to keep your hands spaced about the same width as your shoulders while keeping your body held straight with arms and legs fully extended. This requires sufficient upper-body strength and exceptional balance.
Handstands are an integral part of several athletic activities, including gymnastics, yoga, cheerleading, and acrobatics. You may also see professional divers perform handstands as part of their platform diving routines.
Learning to master the handstand requires you to have a good understanding of a concept of physics known as center of mass. An object's center of mass is the average weighted position of all the masses that make up the object. For most humans, the center of mass is somewhere around the navel.
When learning to do a handstand, it's necessary to master keeping your center of mass directly above your wrists. Keeping your back rigid, such that there's a straight line between your wrists and your hips, will help you reach and maintain a handstand position.
Some people can do a handstand by bending over, placing their hands on the ground, and kicking their feet up into the air until they reach the handstand position. Others may use a wall or the help of another person to get into position. Holding the position as long as possible will require you to make minor adjustments with your fingers and palms to keep your center of mass directly above your wrists.
Even though you don't need magic shoes or huge muscles, handstands can be difficult to master, since they do require a certain amount of strength and exceptional balance. But they can be done if you keep a simple principle of physics in mind!