Relaxation for the rich and famous comes in many guises. While sipping ice-cold champagne on the deck of a yacht or frolicking in turquoise surf on a Caribbean island are among the most obvious, these days they are just as likely to be found unwinding upside down.
Health club boss Duncan Bannatyne showed off some extraordinary yoga moves on Instagram this week, hanging, bat-like, from the ceiling of his yoga studio.
The 70-year-old was suspended via a complicated harness in a shot taken by his 39-year-old wife.
Nicole Scherzinger is one celebrity who has bought into the new trend of exercising upside down
Elizabeth Hurley shows off her impressive handstand skills in a picturesque beach location
Instagram has been flooded with pictures of upside-down celebrities. Whether it’s via ropes, straps or a simple handstand against a tree, a perfectly poised ‘inversion’ is 2019’s must-do trend.
Going topsy-turvy is the perfect way to show off a toned body, or youthfulness and playfulness beyond your years.
What’s more, not only will you look impressively athletic, spending time upside down also comes with a host of health benefits.
Geri Halliwell (left) gets a rush of blood to the head while working out with ropes, while Naomi Campbell (right) chooses to use the wall as leverage
‘The ability to do a handstand is a complex physiological achievement,’ says celebrity personal trainer Cornel Chin. ‘You need good balance, upper body strength, core strength and plenty of confidence.’
You’ll also be using a huge number of muscles in your upper body. ‘Going upside down is fantastic strength training,’ agrees Tim Allardyce, clinical director of Surrey Physio.
Health club boss Duncan Bannatyne (left) showed off some extraordinary yoga moves on Instagram this week, while David Beckham (right) gives it a go at the gym as well
‘Legs weigh a lot, so you are having to recruit all the small, stabilising muscles around your core, shoulders and upper body.’
This will also be beneficial for posture, he adds. ‘You’re learning how to maintain a state of alignment — and you learn fast, as the stakes are high. The moment you wobble, you’re going down!’
But isn’t this sort of gymnastics just for teenagers?
Chloe green (left) practices her headstands on a surfboard and Naomi Watts (right) keeps closer to land
Not so, says Tim, as maintaining balance is vital as we age. ‘A headstand or handstand isn’t something that comes naturally to someone older,’ says Tim. ‘But, if you’re in your 40s or 50s and able to do a handstand, then you’re incredibly fit.’
From a beautifully poised headstand on a body board in the pool, to a frankly extraordinary splits-in-the-air stance, all of these celebrities demonstrate immense levels of body conditioning.
A handstand increases blood flow to the brain and the digestive system, and some experts say the rush of blood to the head can plump out wrinkles, too.
Tess Daly (left) takes to the backyard to go upside down. Britney Spears (right) is another celeb to practice her handstands on the beach
Yoga expert Paul Selvey, founder of Power Flow Yoga, says: ‘It can give skin a rosy glow and the fun nature of doing a handstand can release the well-being neurotransmitter serotonin.’
Some experts even say that regular handstands help regularise hormone production and lead to a better sex life.
All of this doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind and upend yourself against the nearest wall, of course. ‘Be very careful,’ says Tim.
‘If you have weak wrists, for example, this is going to be painful or impossible.’
Fearne Cotton (left) and Ella Woodward (right) show off their distinctive styles of headstands
There are also potential problems for those with heart problems or high blood pressure. And, should you suffer from glaucoma, it’s best avoided, as you are almost doubling the pressure in your eyes, warns top eye surgeon Ali Mearza.
But if you are desperate to achieve Instagram glory, experts recommend you start small, build up — and make sure there’s a soft landing such as grass or a carpet!