howto cheststand

The cheststand, the most envied position. Always wanted, rarely obtained.

Benji in cheststand reading a book

cheststand done by Benji

I’m currently studying the breathing issue in cheststand with my students.
I don’t do cheststands myself, I just collect experience from other people who do them.

A well known trainer once said “in yoga you breathe in this position, in contortion you don’t”. Well some people really do that, but in the end, you will need to breathe.

As long as you can raise your chin off the floor while in cheststand, it should be ok. A training idea is to prop up your chin on a pile of books.

MrSpooky being assisted by George

One issue is that before you can actually try a cheststand you have already done quite a lot of warm up and stretching and then you are too exhausted to do a proper cheststand. That’s where assisted training comes into play. The helper takes off some of the load so you’re no so exhausted when you want to do the extreme bends.



Do not try to go too far, you need to get used to being in that position.

Key for a good stretch is relaxing. To be in a cheststand relaxed, put your feet on a support a little higher up instead of on the floor, so that you are comfortable. Then relax into that pose

Everyone is different, you need to find your easiest way

  • There is the “scorpion way”, laying on your front, flipping up your legs above head.
  • There’s the “bridge way” where you make a bridge, go into elbow stand, then lower yourself on the chest. Only easy if you have good lower back, as this is not using shoulder flexibility to get down
  • There’s the “rolling way” which consists to grab your feet and pull them to the head, then roll forward.
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    One Response to howto cheststand

    1. Stefan says:

      After having trained with you I felt more elastic then ever before, especially in the back. The assisted training with you was perfect and I would love to get further some day in cheststand and backbend anyway.

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