fbpx
Home | Knowledgebase | HOW TO HANDSTAND

Tuck Up VS. Swing Up

Which one is easier and more consistent? You might be thinking right now that it all about personal preference or really about who is able to tuck but it is much simpler than this. There is a very precise and straight forward answer. One of the two is significantly more consistent and significantly easier than the other. Want to find out which? Than keep reading below!

Why Swing Ups are hard

The kick up or swing up to handstands is the first thing that pops to anybody’s minds when first starting to train handstands yet it comes with a wide variety of difficulties making the skill fragile and significantly harder to learn than one might expect.

You have to be flexible

To do this skill properly you need to be able to create at least a 90 but better 135 degrees angle between your legs without bending the knees and without externally rotating the legs. That is difficult and without proper training rather unlikely. You will have to invest time into stretching your hips and hamstrings. 

 

It is easy to over- or undershoot

Even after years of practice the kick up to handstand is a big hit or miss for many. It takes ages to get really consistent at it and you will quite often have to gamble where exactly to throw your legs.

Your hips might rotate

As mentioned you need to be quite flexible to get up. A lack of mobility will stop your leg from freely swinging up. If your leg gets stopped something else gets pulled. This is usually your hips. If they rotate the torso and eventually shoulders will follow and it will becomes close to impossible to balance the handstand.

More movements means more room for error 

One leg goes right on top. The other should stop parallel to the floor and then go up. At the same time the hips need to end up on top of the shoulders and the hands and we have to make sure the legs stay locked. That is a lot to take care of and only missing one of the details will mess with everything that you’ve got. On top of that the kick up is an dynamic movement meaning you have to coordinate all of these things together in a quick moment. Trust me. It’s not easy!

2 sides means twice the training or twice the troubles

Don’t forget that there are 2 legs! This means you either invest twice the time to train both sides or you will develop imbalances. This can easily turn 1 of your legs more flexible than the other of even goa s far as developing back pain and scoliosis in the most extreme cases.

 

Circular motion

This really is the biggest issue. Unless doing Kick Ups with a very precise technique the direction of the momentum is circular pointing behind you. This is a real problem as we want to go up. You have to first guess how much is enough power to make it up and at the same time you need to judge how much is little enough momentum not to fly over. Difficult!

Why Tuck Ups are easier

Now I know what you are thinking. How are you supposed to do a tuck mount if you can not hold a tuck handstand yet? Well the beauty is that you actually don’t need to be able to hold a tuck. We are just using the position for it’s tight and compact nature.

Vertical Motion Only

This is really straight away the big point where the tuck is winning. The motion is not in the direction of a half circle anymore. It goes up and only up and you can hardly jump up too much. This is key for when trying to hit the right position. You do not have to judge or guess of far you have to kick. You simply travel up.

 

No need to actually Master the Tuck

It might be called a tuck jump but you do not have to hold the tuck. We just use the tuck as a stepping stone to align the hips with the already aligned hands and shoulders. As soon as everything is in 1 line we extend the legs upwards. Do not waste any time trying to hold the tuck or to fix your alignment. Do all of this once up in the straight handstand. 

Less Movements means Less Room for Error

Jump to the tuck and extend the legs upwards. That is all. Now I am not saying that this is easy. You will have to practice and you should go through the appropriate progressions but it is pretty simple compared to the complex nature of the swing up.

 

Easier to Safe 

In the tuck jump you have equal weight on both hands, your legs are together and you are stacked relatively early. This means the main thing that can go wrong is a misjudgment of direction or power. Both are fixed quite easily. In any tuck like position your center of gravity is relatively low and you can regain control either by pushing your fingertips into the floor if you overshoot or by bending the elbows if you do not make it all the way up.

 

Carries over to future goals

Imagine doing a tuck jump but you don’t make it up. You bend your elbows and catch yourself close to the floor. You use your force and push up to the handstand. All of a sudden you are able to do a bent arm press to handstand. This builds an incredible foundation that can be further developed into proper handstand push ups and straight arm presses.

 

Some find it scarry

That being said it would not be fair to only say good things about the tuck jump to handstand. Many find it intimidating at first or even scary. Pushing with both legs off the ground can be a rather uncomfortable idea but with the right progressions it will be easy to push past any limitations.

No it is not up to personal preferences

Swing Ups or Kick Ups to handstand might seem easier at first but as you can’t currently hold your tuck just yet but the swing up leaves significantly more room for error. When done correctly tucks are mor consistent, more precise and simply more practice. I’ve been through this with countless students. Every one argues that the Kick Up is easier until they learn the tuck up and never go back.

No matter which one you chose make sure to start with your shoulders already on top of the center of your hands and place lots of weights into your hands.

Do not ever jump on your hands. Not only will you not make it up but you also risk injuries!

No it is not up to personal preferences

Swing Ups or Kick Ups to handstand might seem easier at first but as you can’t currently hold your tuck just yet but the swing up leaves significantly more room for error. When done correctly tucks are mor consistent, more precise and simply more practice. I’ve been through this with countless students. Every one argues that the Kick Up is easier until they learn the tuck up and never go back.

No matter which one you chose make sure to start with your shoulders already on top of the center of your hands and place lots of weights into your hands.

Do not ever jump on your hands. Not only will you not make it up but you also risk injuries!

Don't waste your time with mounts

This is an important one. If you are interested in serious improvements, don’t train your handstand without the wall until you are not very good yet close to the wall. In order to actually train something you need time under tension. You need to spend time doing the thing you are trying to improve.

If your handstands close to the wall are not that great yet your handstands off the wall won’t be better. This means you will fail most freestanding attempts and you won’t get an actual training effect.

The thing is that the less advanced your handstand control is the more precise your mount has to be. Yet the better your handstand it the less the quality and form of the mount matters because you are simply comfortable on your hands. You could now invest plenty of time rehearsing your mount in order to get ultra precise and actually make it up without the wall but this time would be wasted. If you continue training your handstand will improve enough so that the mount just doesn’t matter. Don’t train something that you won’t need in the near future. Instead focus on improving your handstands!

So as you can see it isn’t really up to discussion. The tuck mount is significantly superior to the kick up if you are willing to push through the initial mental barrier. Keep in mind that once you are very good at handstands it honestly won’t matter too much anymore and you might even simply press up for your sets anyways.

1 Response
  1. Michael Davies

    Excellent content! When I first started training handstands, I found that the tuck up came more naturally to me than the swing up. Now I know why! Thank you for creating so much good content!

Leave a Reply

WordPress Lightbox