You are here:

Gymnastics/cast handstands



Usually, I do cast handstands with legs together everyday. But I was wondering - which muscles are used in that? Is it just shoulder strength?
What exercises can you do to train for it?

I think planche work would be a good option for leaning over the bar. But what else can I do?


Hello Katie,
         I am very glad to help you.  I would also practice them also on the men’s parallel bars.  They are similar and you can usually get more repetition in.  I believe the important muscles in the cast handstand are the planche muscles listed below with some exercises.

Chest:  Bench presses (hand holds on the bar above the shoulders) with weights or push-ups on the parallel bars (feet & hands on the p-bars) with the chest below the hands.
Back/Lats:  Lat pull downs with arms parallel.
Deltoids:  Using dumbbells in all three ranges of motion.   (up and forward sitting), (sitting up and to the side…laterally) & ( bent over standing with one hand on the bench, raise arm up and back).  Please note:  Do not raise the dumbbells above the shoulder level.

I would consider the above exercises the most important.  Keep a journal to keep track of your numbers and always do at least 3 sets of 6-8 repetitions.
I wish you the very best and good luck – Jack Leonard


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jack Leonard


Former 5 time Natl. Tumbling Champ, 3 time Natl. Vaulting Champ, Natl. Floor Exercise Champ; Ass`t coach of Dominique Dawes for 6 years; Owner/Director/Head coach of Kauai Gymnastics Academy on the island of Kauai in Hawaii; Retired Physical Ed teacher; Childrens Fitness Expert; Expert Consultant for gymnastics litigation; Retired Mens & Womens HS Gymnastics coach for 32 years. National coaching honors for Men in 1981 & Women in 2001.


I value the following awards because they were given by acknowlegement through my peers: The Nissen/Grissold Award given to the outstanding Tumbling and Tramp Athlete(1972), National High School coach of the year in 1981 for men and 2001 for women, 10 time County Coach of the Year. Medal Award given at the first World Tumbling Championships in London, England for dedication to the sport. Lastly, having the opportunity to coach Wes Suter(1988 Olympian)in his intermediate years and Dominique Dawes(1992 & 1996)

©2017 All rights reserved.