There are many different ways to improve your current exercise routine. What about doing frog stands, what will the effects be?
Frog stands are a type of handstand where your knees rest against your arms and your center of gravity is close to the ground.
This exercise is mainly done to improve balance and coordination as a progression step towards more advanced handstands. You will also engage a variety of muscles including triceps, shoulders, and upper back muscles a nice amount.
That being said, for muscle growth more dynamic resistance training exercises for these muscles are generally more effective.
Whether you should add frog stands or alternatives to your routine depends on things like your personal situation, personal preference, and training goals.
How to do a frog stand
If you are relatively new to resistance training and/or balance training, it can be helpful to have a soft mat or cushion in front of you when trying out frog stands.
This can save you from some pain and make you less scared to lean forward enough for the actual exercise. Once you have that to do a frog stand take the following steps:
- Put your hands right in front of the cushion with your head facing the cushion. Your feet are right behind your hands and flat on the ground.
- Bend your arms a certain amount, how much depends on things like experience and personal preference. Put your knees right to the outside of your triceps close to your elbows. You can already stand on your toes with your feet.
- Slowly but surely lean forward until your feet are off the ground and you are in a position where you are balanced.
- Hold this position for a certain amount of time.
Especially beginners will likely face plant quite a few times before completely mastering the frog stand. This is relatively normal and why the soft mat or cushion is more a requirement than a luxury.
Another challenge individuals have is not leaning forward enough to get and/or keep their feet off the ground. This is usually due to the fear of falling. Again, a safety net will help you get used to this feeling.
If strength in your arms and the rest of your body is the issue, you can lean in a similar way with your feet still on the ground. This will train similar muscles at a less challenging level.
Even better is doing resistance training exercises for the specific muscles holding you back.
Lastly, once you are comfortable doing the frog stand, you can consider more advanced handstand variations to train balance and coordination even more.
Muscles worked with frog stands
While frog stands are mainly a balance and coordination exercise, they engage a wide variety of muscles too. The main body parts/muscles frog stands work include wrists, forearms, triceps, shoulder, and upper back.
A variety of other muscles like lower back, core, biceps, hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, etc. have to work to a lesser extent too.
Frog stands are mostly a type of isometric exercise. This means that you engage your muscles in a more static way, without moving a lot.
On the other hand, you have isotonic exercises where you engage your muscles in a dynamic way, by moving.
Isotonic exercises are generally more useful for building muscle. That means that more dynamic resistance training exercises are likely better for improving strength in and growing the muscles involved in frog stands.
So if certain muscles, for example your triceps, are currently not strong enough for frog stands, it may be smarter to do exercises like close-grip pushups instead of doing frog stands.
Frog stand benefits
Some people question how useful this exercise can be but adding frog stands to your routine can offer you some valuable benefits. Some of the most important ones include:
- Balance and coordination: Balance and coordination are fitness skills that can be improved by challenging them. Frog stands can definitely help you with this.
- Beginner-friendly balance exercise: Certain balance exercises like full handstands are currently out of reach for many people. Frog stands are a great beginner-friendly option as a first step towards these more challenging options.
- Stronger muscles: Frog stands are more balance and coordination training but they can still help you strengthen your muscles.
- No equipment or location required: Since frog stands are a bodyweight exercise you don’t have to invest in equipment or be in a specific location. That being said, a soft safety net like a soft mat or cushion can help a lot.
- May reduce or prevent back pain: Wrist strengthening exercises like frog stands can reduce or prevent wrist pain. If you currently have wrist pain you do want to be careful and talk to an expert before implementing this exercise.
While inevitably many workouts are better for some of these benefits than frog stands, it is amazing that you can get so many important benefits from adding one activity to your routine.
The main thing to keep in mind is that frog stands can be hard on body parts like your ankles, knees, back, shoulders, elbows, and wrists, even if you implement the right technique.
If you are weak or sensitive in these body parts you may need to do other strengthening exercises first. Especially if you have any wrist, elbow, back, or shoulder pain, you may want to talk to your primary care provider before implementing frog stands into your workout routine.
If you feel pain in any body parts it may be a sign you are overdoing it. In that case, you may need some rest, better lifestyle habits, a less intense workout schedule, or it may be a sign that frog stands are not (yet) for you.
Frog stand alternatives
While frog stands can be a good addition to your workout routine, there are also some alternatives available for training similar muscles. Some of these frog stand alternatives include:
- Quadruped rocking
- Wall handstand
- Full handstand
- Close-grip pushups
- Pike pushups
Which one of these options is the best depends on things like your personal situation, training goals, the equipment you have available, etc.
Many people will benefit a lot from adding frog stands with the right technique to their routine. Mostly for improving balance and coordination and all the benefits that come with that.
Do make sure that you are ready for this exercise and preferably put a soft mat or cushion in front of you.
Another thing you need to remember is that doing frog stands can be hard on body parts like your ankles, knees, back, shoulders, elbows, and wrists, even if you implement the right technique.
If you are weak or sensitive in these body parts you may need to do other strengthening exercises first. Especially if you have any wrist, elbow, back, or shoulder pain, you may want to talk to your primary care provider before doing more frog stands.
Also keep in mind that consistency is an important factor for any workout plan. The more you love the exercise you do the easier it becomes to do it consistently. If doing frog stands is a workout you love, great. If not other exercises can also offer a lot of benefits.
If you do decide to implement more frog stands make sure you give your body enough nutrients, rest, and sleep to repair and grow your muscles.