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How to Do Lateral Handstand Walks

This Challenging CrossFit Exercise Is the Ultimate Move to Strengthen Arms

My love for handstands sprung at an early age practicing in the grass during recess. It continued when I started doing inversions in yoga, but it wasn't until I started CrossFit that standing on my hands has truly taken flight. After watching the CrossFit Games and seeing the athletes compete in handstand walks, I was determined to learn.

Working on my lateral handstand walks against the wall

A post shared by Jenny Sugar (@jennysugar) on

I've consistently been working on traditional handstands for months, doing handstand holds against the wall and practicing wall walks to strengthen my upper body and improve my balance. Now I'm proud to say I can hold a handstand for a good amount of time and can even nail Handstand Scorpion! But walking on my hands is much harder. In the past, whenever I'd try, I'd maybe get two steps until falling.

My CrossFit coach and a CrossFit Games competitor, Dani Horan of Champlain Valley CrossFit, recommended that instead of trying to walk on my hands (and failing), I should work on lateral handstand walks against a wall. It allows me to stay upside down for longer, which has drastically increased my upper-body strength. Moving side to side also strengthens my upper body in a different way. I not only walk sideways, but I also practice walking slowly and staying on one hand for a couple seconds.

I'm proud to say I worked on handstand walks in class yesterday and took almost eight steps! This exercise has definitely made me feel more stable. If you've been wanting to master handstand walks or you're just looking to tone and strengthen your upper body and core, find a wall and give this exercise a try. The only bad thing about learning this exercise is that every time you see a wall, you'll feel compelled to do this.

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