Handstand Canes: Lift your Calisthenics to Performance Level

Best handstand canes

Handstand Canes, also called hand balancing canes, are the devices used by the illustrious handbalancers, both male and female. They’ve made their entry into Calisthenics some time ago and are rapidly becoming more popular. Where a regular handstand only gets you so far, and probably not draw a lot of attention, handstand canes give a new dimension (literally) to your handstands. Perched up on your canes, all the world could be witnessing your epic feats of human fitness and finesse. Or, you could be using your canes to improve your balance, use muscles you never thought you’d use during handstands and so much more. We’ll show you the very best handstand canes and what you could be doing with them.

What Are Handstand Canes? 

Handstand canes, or hand balancing canes, is a device consisting of a base plate with 2 or more vertical pillars which are typically about a foot off the ground. You can then perform handstands on these pillars, which come equipped with flat plateaus or grips to hold on too. Handstand canes are among the simpler contraptions but allow for spectacular, off the ground human feats of strength and endurance. They are frequently part of circus props and used by advanced calisthenics practitioners and performers.

Handstand canes have a fascinating history reaching back thousands of years. Performers of great physical feats in fanfares, circus or as jesters and entertainers have been using canes since time memorial.

Why Use Handstand Canes? 

If you are already skilled at doing ordinary handstands, including doing handstand push-ups, then using handstand canes might be just the thing for you. Canes can bring more diversity to your handstands with the inclusion of multiple pillars for you to “walk” towards or turn on. Handstand canes also raise you off the ground, making your handstands appear much more spectacular. This is why canes are an integral part of circus props, where performing artists show off their incredible strength, agility, and stamina to the crowd. That is why you will want your own canes in the following situations:

  • If you want to bring more diversity to your handstands
  • If you want to increase the difficulty of doing handstands
  • If you are an artist (handbalancer) looking to perform artistic feats of strength

The Best Handstand Canes for Beginners

Because canes are very specialized and have a higher learning curve than most other forms of calisthenics equipment, we have categorized our best handstand canes according to skill level. These are handstand canes fit for beginners. They are excellent to either practice on or to be used as regular calisthenics equipment.

#1 Circus Props Handstand Canes 4.0

  • Superior Professional Quality
  • Adjustable distance
  • Delight to the eyes

At number one we place the gorgeous Handstand Canes 4.0 from Circus Props. With the beautiful medium-stain oak wood blocks and matte-black finish on both the pillars and the base, the Circus Props Handstand Canes 4.0 is perfectly photogenic and exceptionally durable. The attention to detail and comfort in these canes go beyond all other canes we have yet to see and use. 

The bolts and other metal parts which fix the blocks to the pillars are all sunken in, creating a flat and smooth surface which is comfortable to the fingers. No longer will a metal rim or a protruding bolt cut into your fingertips when you grab the blocks.

Each size baseplate comes with a 10cm (4”) range of adjustment for the pillars, allowing you to customize their positioning to your perfect neutral handstand. This makes the Circus Props Handstand Canes 4.0 suitable for both adult and child practitioner. With the hexagonal screws, the canes can be easily disassembled for transport. A cutout in the baseplate facilitates easier handling.

#2 LOVSHARE Fixed Handstand Canes

  • Easy to disassemble and store

The LOVSHARE Fixed Handstand Canes is an easy setup, robust system of canes to practice your handstands on. Made of untreated pine-wood laminate, these canes are sturdy enough to support up to 440lbs of weight. That should prove sufficient for any practitioner who can do handstand push-ups on their own. The pillars are at a fixed height of 25” and fixed distance, with a base size of 31.5”. For most practitioners this will be kind of all right, although not perfect for everyone. 

The pillars are stainless steel and are screwed into steel flanges in the blocks and baseplate. The pillars can be unscrewed from the baseplate for easy movement and storage when not in use. The flanges are not perfectly sunken into the blocks, neither are the screws perfectly flush. These handstand canes are ideal to practice on and when your budget is limited. They are not suitable for outdoor use and you should prevent them from getting wet.

You receive a free Yoga mat along with your LOVSHARE Fixed Handstand Canes.

#3 Happibuy 8” Fixed Handstand Canes

  • Easy to disassemble and store

The Happibuy 8” Handstand Canes are a lower set of canes for practice purposes. If you are only looking to perform elevated handstands on your own, then these canes should suffice for you. Made of laminated pine-wood, they can take any practical weight for a practitioner who can do handstand push-ups. The shorter pillars can be unscrewed for easy transportation and there is cutout in the board for your hand.

Fit and finish leave things to be desired for. The flanges are not perfectly sunken into the blocks, the pine-wood laminate is not perfectly sanded and is left untreated and of course there is only one height and one distance you can use.

You receive a free Yoga mat along with your Happibuy 8” Fixed Handstand Canes.

The Best Handstand Canes for Professionals

These hand balancing canes are meant for the professional athlete, whether that means you’re a professional Calisthenics athlete or a crowd performer. These professional handstand canes not only perform good, they also look good and can be used as circus props or otherwise function as showpieces on which you perform wonderful, illustrious handstands before a viewing audience.

#1 Circus Props Collapsible Triple Handstand Canes

  • Superior Professional Quality
  • Superior comfort
  • Very compact and fast assembly/disassembly
  • Delight to the eyes

Designed by and built for the professional handbalancer, the Circus Props Triple Handstand Canes add a unique depth to your handstands. The blocks are made of first-class birch laminate and beveled around the edges and with a center notch, providing superior grip, comfort, and ergonomics. The thick, round baseplate provides 360 degrees stability, allowing for a safe execution of various handstands and stepping over from one block to the other.

The flanges are neatly sunken into the blocks with perfectly flush screws so they do not impede on the placement of your fingers at any time. The same goes for the flanges in the baseplate, giving a more aesthetically pleasing appearance as well as less protrusions to potentially cause injury.

The Triple Handstand Canes comes apart completely and the parts can be stored inside the circular wooden baseplate. Despite its elaborate size, the whole device can be packed and unpacked in just one minute. In its packed form, the canes are only a fraction larger than the baseplate itself, allowing for easy storage and transport.

#2 Circus Props Rotating Handstand Platform

  • Superior Professional Quality
  • Superior comfort
  • Very compact and fast assembly/disassembly
  • Delight to the eyes
  • Rotates

Add a twist to your handstands with the Circus Props Rotating Handstand Platform. Not only are the canes raised, the baseplate itself is raised onto a rotating platform. That platform can then also be raised by an additional 60cm (24”), making you the star of the show. The platform can freely rotate either clockwise, counter-clockwise or both ways. The moment you begin your act, the platform will be inclined to spin gently. This allows all your onlookers or photographers, from any angle, to see your entire act (instead of just from one side). 

The rotating plateau stands on ball-joints, ensuring a perfectly level placement and maximum stability every time. When it comes to safety, there is no difference between canes with or without the raised rotating plateau, bar the added height itself.

The blocks are first-class birch laminate, beveled along the edged and with a center notch for superior grip and comfort.

#3 Happibuy 18” Fixed Handstand Canes

  • Easy to disassemble and store

The taller 18” Fixed Handstand Canes are a more affordable alternative than the handstand canes by Circus Props. Although not nearly as beautifully constructed and finished as the Circus Props, the Happibuy 18” canes lift you 1.5 foot up in the air for all to see. 

Also made of laminated pine-wood (again cheaper than the birch-wood and oak used by Circus Props), they can take any practical weight a practitioner may have. The whole assembly can be taken apart by unscrewing the pillars from their flanges. Fit and finish are again mostly OK. The blocks are sanded and beveled around the edges. The baseplate is left untreated. 

You receive a free Yoga mat along with your Happibuy 18” Fixed Handstand Canes.

How to Use Handstand Canes

There are many different exercises which you can perform on handstand canes. The first and most obvious is the neutral handstand. But handstand push-ups and single hand handstands are also a possibility, as well as various arching and stretch techniques while doing the handstand. The blocks on the canes make sure that your hand is perfectly flat and you grip around the blocks with your fingers. This makes a handstand on the cane more secure than just your flat hands on the floor. 

Alternatives to Handstand Canes

If you are not comfortable using hand balancing canes yet, we have 3 alternatives for you which can serve much the same function or allow you to build up your confidence towards promoting to the handstand or hand balancing canes. These are:

  • Handstand blocks: handstand blocks are just the plateaus on top of canes, albeit a little thicker to allow for enough clearance off the ground when you grip them. They allow you to train doing handstands the same way you do them on the canes without the additional height involved. 
  • Parallettes: parallettes are a training tool for doing both push-ups and handstands. They offer you a more solid grip than blocks or canes, adding more security to your handstands.
  • Handstand bench: a handstand bench is used frequently in Yoga and helps in the training of doing headstands and handstands by supporting your neck, arms, and shoulders. 

DIY Handstand Cane

You can build your own handstand cane without too much trouble and some basic tools. Of course, we are supplying you with a step-by-step guide how to make your own DIY handstand cane.

What you will need

  • 8-foot 2×4 pine board
  • 2x ½ galvanized pipe 14” or less, threaded
  • 4x ½ galvanized flanges, same thread as the pipe
  • 16x wood screws that are no longer than 1 inch to avoid over-penetration
  • 4x wood screws longer than 3 inches but no longer than 5 inches
  • A handsaw of some kind
  • An electric drill/screwdriver
  • An electric sander

How to build your handstand cane

  1. Make the following cuts to your 2×4 pine board: 2x 5” and 3x 24”. From an 8ft board this should leave you a little wiggle room.
  2. Mark the middle on two of the 24” boards at 12”. Lay the third across both to form an H-frame with the ends of the horizontal bar in the middle lying flush against the outer-sides of the H’s legs. Screw in place using 2 wood screws on either side. You may want to pre-drill the first board.
  3. Place 2 of the flanges on top of the area where you screwed the pine board in place. Use all the holes in the flange to screw it to the pine board. Avoid placing the flanges over the open area beneath the horizontal strut of the H-frame. 
  4. Screw the galvanized pipes in place tightly.
  5. Screw the remaining flanges to the 5” blocks using all available holes on the flanges.
  6. Screw the blocks onto the galvanized pipes tightly and until they are aligned with the vertical struts of the H-frame base.
  7. Use the electrical sander to smooth over all the edges of the 5” blocks. 

Your DIY handstand canes are now ready for use.

Frequently Asked Questions about Handstand Canes

Handstand and hand balancing canes are a fascinating topic with a lot of history. Here are a few more trivia and frequently asked questions about canes and similar devices.

What are handstand canes used for?

Handstand canes are used to perform various kinds of handstands on raised pillars. This increases the difficulty of the performance and allows the performer to better highlight their feats of strength, agility, and endurance. They are frequently found as circus props and with calisthenics performers performing in front of an audience.

Why Circus Props?

Circus Props is a professional producer of handstand canes and hand balancing canes based in the Russian Federation (Russia). The Russian people have a long tradition of circus acts and physical performance such as ballet and gymnastics. Circus Props supplies canes to performers of the world-famous Cirque Du Soleil. It was first founded by Artem Morozov when he realized just how heavy and cumbersome professional handstand canes were during a photoshoot. Circus Props’ quality and reputation are faultless and taking their high-quality standards in mind, they are very reasonably priced.

How far apart should handstand canes be?

The canes should allow for a neutral handstand, which means your arms are extended below your body (when inverted) and lightly touching your ears. Additional pillars may be placed at a similar distance so you can “step” on them without going more than once over a neutral stance.

Is it easier to handstand on canes or blocks?

The level of physical difficulty is the same between canes and blocks. The psychological difficulty of being raised off the ground, however, must be overcome by the performer’s confidence. It can be compared to tightrope walkers first practicing less than a foot off the ground before attempting crossing from one high-rise to the next.

Are handstand canes safe?

High quality handstand canes like those from Circus Props are structurally safe for use. The act of using them comes with added risk since if you lose your grip or strength the fall will be higher and the canes themselves might get in the way. This is a risk you as a performer accept and must mitigate with proper technique and the buildup of strength and stamina.

Are handstand canes worth it?

Good, high-quality canes are an investment. If you enjoy doing handstands and want to push your body doing handstands to the next level, good canes are worth it. If you wish to perform your feats of bodily prowess in front of an audience, either professional or as an amateur (for instance in a park with a lot of passersby) you will want professional grade, handstand canes.

Can I wear gloves on handstand canes?

You can wear gloves but you are advised not to. Using gloves diminishes your sense of grip on the blocks/plateaus. Your hands could also slip within the gloves, potentially off the plateau underneath. It is always best to use canes barehanded.

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