Apparatus/setup: floor

Description: Position where a straight vertical body is supported by flat hands and the front head. The weight rests primarily on the head and to a lesser extent on the hands. They are used to stay in balance.


  • kopstand (Nederlands)
  • Kopfstand (Deutsch)
  • trépied (Français)

Extra information

With headstand your body is supported by your neck, which registers and controls all our movements. The head needs to be kept very stable because the neck needs to be able to carry the body weight. Because of this, don't start too early with headstand. By shifting the weight more to the hands instead of the head, the neck is indulged. For this the gymnast of course needs to possess sufficient arm strength. For recreational gymnast it is preferred to start at the end of primary school with headstand.


From tucked sit, the gymnast places his hands at shoulder with in front of him with the fingers pointing forward. He places the head behind the hands so an equilateral triangle is formed with the hands. The legs are stretched so the pelvis is pushed above the head.

While pushing firmly on the hands, the straight legs are lifted while the pelvis stays above the head. The legs are brought above the body so we become a straight back and pelvis.

Help techniques

clamp grip

clamp grip

Lifting the legs can be made easier by using a clamp grip at the upper legs of the gymnast.


To avoid the gymnast to roll-out or fall-over, the helper can obstruct the gymnast by keeping his hands behind the lower legs of the gymast. When the gymnast rolls out anyway, he will have to pike or roll-out anyway. The helper accompanies at the lower legs, to avoid the gymnast falling flat on his back.

place head between legs of helper

place head between legs of helper

The helper sits with spread bent legs on the floor. The gymnast places the head between the legs of the helper and the hands on his feet. The helper accompanies to keep the stability of the gymnast.

Error analysis

The gymnast has no body tension.

Cause: Lack of body perception.

Solution: The gymnast holds a small object (eg. piece of paper) between knees or ankles.

The gymnast cannot keep the balance.

Causes: Lack of arm strength Lack of body perception.

Solution 1: To divide the balance, marks are placed on the floor for the 3 points of contact.

Solution 2: To avoid losing balance backwards, we try to put more pressure on the hands and lean slightly forward instead of backward.

Solution 3: By extending too fast you can lose balance. We try to extend slowly.

There is no straight line in the longitudinal axis in the headstand (bent hips).

Cause: Lack of body perception.

Solution: The helper gives feedback during the exercise and corrects if needed.