Fact Checked

What are Handstand Push-Ups?

Nick Mann
Nick Mann

For fitness enthusiasts looking for a more extreme type of workout, handstand push ups can be an effective technique. This exercise is similar to traditional push ups, but is substantially more difficult and demanding. Handstand push ups help to quickly develop arm muscle, shoulder muscle and increase one's overall strength. There are basically two different ways to perform this type of exercise. The first method involves using a wall to maintain balance, and the second requires a spotter for assistance.

Using a wall for handstand push ups tends to be the more common technique. To do this exercise the individual should first face the wall and stand a few feet away from it. Then, the body should be inverted into a handstand. Balance can be maintained by placing the feet against the wall.

Woman exercising
Woman exercising

The ideal position will have the individual's body located as close to the wall as possible. Being too far away from the wall can result in stressing the joints. It's also important to keep the hands approximately shoulder width apart and to not extend them too widely. This will ensure safety and maximize the effectiveness of the exercise.

From here, vertical push ups should be performed by bending the elbows and lowering one's head almost to the floor and then back up until the elbows are nearly straight. Usually, a series of repetitions is performed according to the individual's strength. Beginners might only complete five to ten repetitions, while those with more experience may do 20 or more.

The alternative method of performing handstand push ups makes use of a spotter. To get into position the spotter will stand next to the individual. From here the person doing the push up will place his hands on the floor and kick into handstand position. Once the person is vertical, the spotter will hold onto his legs to provide greater balance. Then a series of repetitions will be performed, just like in the first method.

Initially, engaging in handstand push ups is usually difficult for most people. Muscles end up getting exercised that might have never been stimulated before. Blood will also rush to the head, which can cause some mild discomfort. This is why one should gradually work up to more repetitions and not overdo it at first.

Over time, the person's balance will increase and performing the exercise will become easier. Some people are even able to balance completely on their own without a wall or spotter. Once the body is trained to perform handstand push ups, serious muscle growth will ensue.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


Oh man these are so hard. I don't think I'll ever be able to do these, except, of course for handstand pushups in the pool!

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Woman exercising
      Woman exercising