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How To: Handstand Push-Up

Handstand Push-Up
The handstand push-up is without a doubt one of the hardest and most rewarding bodyweight exercises in existence.
Want functional shoulder strength and abdominal stabilization? This is the exercise for you!
When performing handstand push-ups utilizing a pair of parallettes your range of motion is greatly increased.

Movement: Compound

Targets: Shoulders & Core

Required: Wall

Optional: Parallettes

Handstand Push-Up Form

Place your hands just outside of shoulder-width apart in front of a wall.

Kick yourself up against the wall (leading with 1 leg) with your back and arms straight, ensure your legs are fully extended. Continue to face the value for the duration of your set.

Lower yourself down by flexing at the elbows until your head almost touches the ground.

Push back up through the shoulder and extend your arms while maintaining a straight torso & legs to complete the repetition.

Handstand Push-Up Variations

Freestanding Handstand Push-Up

Perform the handstand push-up without utilizing a wall for support, this requires extreme core strength and balance to pull off. Ensure you're able to hold a freestanding handstand for 10~ seconds before venturing into the freestanding handstand push-up.

Common Handstand Push-Up Mistakes

Using A Partial Range Of Motion

Partial reps can be used to push yourself beyond your point of failure at the end of your set, however strict, full range of motion must be practiced first.

See also
How To: Bench Dips

Lower your head all the way down to the ground before driving through the shoulders until your arms are locked out at the top.

Incorrect Hand Placement

You're not going to have much success with the handstand push-up if your hands are too close (inside shoulder width) or too far apart (far outside shoulder width). Incorrect hand placement will lead to  many  issues such as core stability and flaring elbows.

Similar & Substitute Exercises 

  • Decline Push-Up
  • Barbell Shoulder Press
  • Skin The Cat

Any Questions Regarding The Handstand Push-Up? Ask Below!

Scott J.
Scott J.
I’m SJ. I’m a fitness enthusiast and published author. I transformed my body from a skinny fat 135lbs with 18% body fat to a solid 192lbs at 8% body fat. I became qualified in a field I was passionate about. I founded several online businesses that allow me to pursue ideas and projects in my life that I am passionate about without having to constantly worry about money. I published several eBooks explaining the training and dieting techniques I used to achieve the body I have today. I learnt a plethora of new information on dieting and fitness by reading and applying what I read, to find out what does work and what doesn’t work, because as I’m sure you’ve noticed the health and fitness industry is full of non-sense claims and BS. I found out what was true and what worked for me and applied that knowledge. And you bet I had fun during the whole process.

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