Most of us, as kids, have at some time or the other tried doing things like cartwheels, backflips, and handstands. A handstand is basically a position where you support yourself with the help of your hands, but in an upside down position. A good sense of balance and strength in the upper body muscles are required to perform a handstand. Have you ever tried doing the same thing inside a swimming pool? No? Well, if you know how to do a handstand on land, then doing it in water is also fairly easy, once you get the technique right.
Steps to Do a Handstand Underwater
- Handstands can be done in lakes or other bodies of water too, but if you are a beginner, stick to the swimming pool, preferably the shallow part where your legs will stick out of the water.
- Make sure that there is no one around you where you intend to practice your handstand. So in case you fall, you do not mistakenly hurt others in the process. Also ensure that the pool surface is flat and not sloping towards a side.
- Take a deep breath and dive into the pool, swimming till you reach the bottom of the pool. When your hands touch the bottom of the pool, thrust your legs upward. This should be comparatively easier, since the thrust of the water will actually aid you in kicking your legs up in the air. Just don't do it with a sudden jerk, or you might lose your balance and topple over instead!
- Slowly straighten your body, carefully balancing yourself on both your hands. Learning to balance yourself in this upside down position will take a while. If you are an expert in doing handstands on land, this part should not be very tough.
- How long you can hold yourself in this position depends on how long you can keep holding your breath.
There, now you are standing in water, albeit upside down! Fun, isn't it? Keep trying a few times till you get the hang of it. Whenever your hands are on the bottom surface, keep them locked there, so it becomes easy for you to balance. Your hands must be placed shoulder-length apart. Look straight ahead, another trick to maintain that balance. Your legs should be straight too, knees locked, feet very close together, toes pointing upward. If you are daring and an experienced swimmer, you can even do a somersault in the pool and come to a halt when your hands touch the pool surface, and there, you just performed the handstand underwater.
Whenever you want to practice, make sure you have someone waiting nearby, preferably a swimmer, who might be able to help you in case you hurt yourself doing the handstand or somersault. Although doing the handstand is not difficult as such, you need to master the art of holding your breath underwater for as long as possible. That's the trick to maintaining yourself in the upside down position for a longer duration of time.
Learning to hold your breath will also strengthen your lungs. And then, you need to really know how to balance yourself for extended periods of time as well, for which you need a strong back. Once you have mastered both these techniques, you may want to attempt walking upside down in water. I would suggest you try this only after you are able to stand upside down in the pool by yourself, for a good enough time, without losing balance.
So go get your swimsuit and jump into the pool to practice the handstand. If your friends and family have never seen you do it before, they will surely be impressed with your new workout! Get your friends in on the act, practice together, and you can even hold a competition wherein whoever does the handstand for the longest time is declared the winner.