If you are reading the words ” Headstand Benefits ” and thinking thats a typo, clearly he meant handstand then you are wrong. Handstands are great too but they are pretty tricky and quite different from what we will discuss here.
This article will look at the benefits of headstands, essentially a yoga inversion of how you stand most of the time and how to go about achieving them.
The Benefits of headstands require patients
Now before we go any further please don’t read this article and then jump onto the floor and try a headstand without any practice only to end up an injured heap on the floor. Like any exercise or challenge it takes a little guidance and plenty of practice but it can be done.
If it is your first time out a headstand bench might be the way to go but more about that later.
Before considering trying a headstand there are several reasons why they may not be suitable for you. This list is not exhaustive so if you are in any doubt please consult with your doctor before undertaking any form of exercise including a headstand.
Anyone with the following issues should not undertake a headstand:
- History of neck injury
- Recent back or neck surgery or intervention
- Anything to do with eye treatments that is recent such as eye surgery (including laser)
- Anyone who is or may be pregnant
Headstand Benefits – What are they?
There really are a lot of benefits of headstands, definitely more than seven. However we will stick to our top tips here.
- Strengthens Arms & Shoulders
While supporting yourself the arms and shoulders are heavily engaged. This is key since you wouldn’t want to put all of your bodyweight on your head and neck despite the name “headstand”. The result is your whole upper body is active in the process and if you make your headstands a regular practice you will enjoy the increased arm and shoulder strength benefits. Better strength in these areas can really help with other movements such as pull ups.
2. Improve Digestion
When you think about it this one is quite obvious. If you suffer from issues related to trapped gas or other digestive issues inverting your body means your internal organs and systems can react differently. Really focusing on deep breathing can have major benefits here. Some find it great to assist with the relief of things like irritable bowel or constipation.
3. Focus & Productivity
If you think of your brain like an engine then it makes sense that increasing blood flow to the brain can improve your brain activity. Many find they have better clarity and focus during and after a headstand. This in turn leads to better productivity so its great all round.
4. Stress Relief
Just like the improved focus a headstand causes you to bring your focus inwards and your mind is fixed on your balance and breathing. This helps to take the mind off of daily stresses and the increased blood flow can improve your energy to better equip you for the day.
5. Improve Core Strength
This one is pretty clear. As I already mentioned you engage the shoulders and arms in order to keep the full force of bodyweight off of the head and neck. However the biggest influence on stability in the headstand is core strength. While you may not think it even your lower body is active in the pose. Stimulating your core muscles like this is great for just about everything you do. Many people don’t activate core muscles much in their daily lives so doing so can help prevent injury and improve your fitness and body composition as well as making you better at other exercises.
6. Trigger your Lymphatic System
If you are not familiar with the function of the Lymphatic system it is essentially the waste disposal system of the body. It operates far better when you exercise. Many people think the only option here is to run for miles which is not everyones favourite activity. Flipping onto your head activates just about ever muscle in your body so you are in fact burning calories and activating your lymphatic system.
7. Blood Flow & Circulation
Our good friend gravity helps us out here. It goes without saying that being upside down improves blood flow and circulation in the head and upper body. This delivers more oxygen rich blood to your brain, eyes, scalp and more. It will also help with the function of the adrenal glans. They produce what we all refer to as “stress hormone” so as you might expect this is a positive.
Headstand Benefits have far reaching impacts
If you read any of our strength or fitness guides here at outside fit you will know we are great believers in the impact of one exercise or practice on another. Often even exercises that seem completely unrelated can add benefits or improvements to others or even your health overall. Headstand benefits do exactly that.
Consider making them a regular activity. Take your time and enjoy the process. If you need a little assistance check out our guide on how to do a headstand or maybe even consider a headstand bench to get your started.