What is the American handstand you might ask? Well, let us explain that for you by going back in history to the 1920s. In the ancient tome of knowledge called “The True Art and Science of Handbalancing”, the straight handstand is referred to as the “Continental handstand”! While the European style had a straighter back, the American approach advocates arching the back as much as you can. Not only does the deep arch make it easier to access the anterior chain of your shoulders for strength, but it also displays the “aesthetic curvature of the back”.