At What Point Would my Wall Hand Stand Duration be too Long?

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    At What Point Would my Wall Hand Stand Duration be too Long?

    I've been holding a wall hand stand for about a month now as part of my daily training, and I've really enjoyed doing this exercise both despite and because of how challenging it can be, because I find it to be hands down one of the most effective upper body moves I've ever tried, and I just find that it feels good to do a lot of the time. However, there was something that concerned me about it, that being, at what point would I go too far when it came to the length that I held it. I started at about a minute, and I've added on 5 seconds every day since then, and as of writing this post, I can hold one for about 3 minutes and 25 seconds with a good bit of effort. The reason that I ask this is because I've heard that even though being in a handstand can have a positive effect on the brain due to the blood rushing down towards it, I've also heard that being in positions like that for too long can be harmful as well. I don't plan on working up to being able to do it for more than 5 minutes anyway because that's always my cut off when it comes to timed exercises, but would I be going too far before that point? If so, at what point should I stop and leave the duration I do them for as is? I would really appreciate some feedback here, because I love this move and I don't want doing it to cause me any harm.

    #2
    As far as I know, the human body maintains a somewhat constant pressure of blood within the body, regardless of the direction that the body is oriented. While not really designed to be oriented upside down, I don't think that it really has much of an effect. Otherwise weird stuff would happen to blood flow in zero gravity environments or in a vaccum. So I think you can hold a handstand somewhat indefinitely, providing your arms can handle it.

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      #3
      Hmm. I don't have science here, only a personal observation: there was a time when I practiced handstands against the wall and I'd get an uncomfortable feeling in my head and after a while (I guess it was the combination of being upside down and the effort involved), I'd have tiny little purple dots on the skin around my eyes which I interpreted as very small burst blood vessels from the increased pressure (I get the same thing when I have a stomach bug with intense vomiting, and I had the same thing after giving birth to my first daughter, both situations involving strong abdominal contractions). Ever since I've noticed these dots, I've been careful with handstands, my reasoning being that if little blood vessels burst in my skin, they might do the same in my eyes, which doesn't seem like a good thing. So I see how people would be worried about extended handstands. But then, it also feels really uncomfortable to me (almost as if I can feel the blood going down), and if you feel fine, I'd think you're probably fine. The good news is that the body has a special mechanism for keeping blood pressure in the brain constant even when it fluctuates elsewhere, so I guess the brain is protected.
      I have no idea why my body reacts that way - I've always had very low blood pressure, maybe that's a reason?

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        #4
        As far as my research goes (which is only searching around for 20 minutes tops) if you feel the pressure in your head building up, you might have to work on your breathing (and should probably stop there for the moment).
        The good news is: When the pressure gets too much for your brain, you'll get a blackout (self-protection mechanism right there). The bad news: You'll probably fall over when that happens, so there's a risk of injury.
        I once had a friend who was comfortable being in hand-stand for over 10 minutes and he's still alive and kicking today and with a brain very much intact. So my totally not medically relevant opinion is: handstand away.

        The better question is, though: Why don't you move to a free-standing handstand instead?

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          #5
          The better question is, though: Why don't you move to a free-standing handstand instead?
          I second that question...

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            #6
            MissSmilla That makes sense. Going by that I think that I should be alright, just because I've never felt anything alarming in my head while I was doing one, and anything I felt in my arms was just normal muscle soreness, so I think that my body can probably endure wall handstands well enough that I don't have to worry about any issues.

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              #7
              Nihopaloa and HellYeah I've never felt any pressure building up in my head while doing one, so it looks like I should be all good. I guess my breathing must be a-okay, which I thank my healthy lungs for hahaha. As for why I don't move on to a freestanding one instead, well I do plan on trying that eventually, although I don't know if I feel quite confident enough to attempt one just yet. Maybe I'll give one a shot after I'm done with doing wall handstands everyday, which should be soon, so we'll see how it goes then!

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