How to Do a Handstand Under Water

Pointed toes give underwater handstands a nice finishing touch.
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If your underwater handstand looks more like a drowning giraffe, your legs flailing in the air to keep balance and your body swaying in all directions, there's a better way. Master a graceful underwater handstand, so your friends can stop laughing.

Step 1

Strengthen your abdominals and back muscles. A strong core helps you maintain simultaneous control over your lower and upper halves during a handstand. Arm strength is beneficial: Water's resistance supports most of your body weight during an underwater handstand, so the main focus is your core. Abdominal crunches, side crunches and back extensions are excellent core exercises.

Step 2

Inhale deeply and hold your breath as you lower your hands to the pool's floor. Keep your fingers spread out slightly and facing forward. Simultaneously kick both feet upward and out of the water while keeping your abdominals tight so your back remains straight. Extend your elbows so your arms are straight. Bring your legs together and improve the appearance of the handstand by pointing your toes toward the sky.

Step 3

Practice in 4 to 5 feet of water. The deeper the water, the more body support you have during an underwater handstand. Plus, this allows you to keep your feet underwater until you're ready to extend them out of the water. As the water gets shallower, it gets harder to do an underwater handstand. If you progressively practice in shallower water, you'll be able to hold a perfect handstand underwater in 3 feet or less.

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