Friday, 2 November 2012

The crow stand (a.k.a. the frog stand)

The crow stand (a.k.a. the frog stand) is a classic pose found both in yoga and gymnastics. It is usually performed to develop hand balancing skills, and as a building block towards the unsupported handstand and the planche. As well as developing your hand balancing skills, the crow stand will work your core stabilising muscles.

Before attempting this pose, it is recommended that you achieve level 3 in the handstand push up progression, and level 2 in the plank progression.

1. The set up: beginners often find it reassuring to place a pillow directly in front of their face, as the risk of face planting is very real at first.
From a crouching position, place both your knees on your upper arms
with the soft part on the inner thigh resting just above your elbows.
A more advanced variation is to place the knees almost up in the armpits (for this, you will need to bring your hands close to your feet in the crouching position. This will result in a 'higher' crow stand.

2. Start finding your balance by lifting one leg off the floor. Shift your way directly over your forearms until you find a point of balance. Then bring your leg down and repeat with the other one.

frog stand
3. Once you have gained in confidence, lift both legs of the floor, and bring your center of gravity directly above your forearms.
In this position, you can hand balance by pressing hard into the floor with your fingers or bending your arms slightly to 'fall forward'.
Start with a few seconds, and gradually build up to a minute or so.

4. Wrist flexibility: if you struggle with the wrist flexibility required to perform the crow stand, try to perform the pictured stretch regularly. Hold 6 to 10 seconds for flexibility maintenance, and 20/30 seconds for development. Perform 3 times in succession, at least once a day.


  1. How often would you recommend practicing this per week?

    1. Just whenever you feel like it really... This is not particularly taxing muscularly... It's more of a balance exercise.
      You can do it every day if you want.