Subj: How to execute the handstand push up and grow huge shoulders in the process.
Handstand push ups are an advanced movement that require upper body strength and balance.
They are a great exercise for training shoulders, arms as well as your upper chest, back and core muscles.
Handstand push up benefits include vascular shoulders and thicker arms. With the added bonus of increased shoulder mobility, stability and upper body strength.
I’m going to say you want to be able to overhead press 75% of your body weight before attempting the handstand push up.
The last thing you want to do is have your arms give out and you fall on your head or neck. This could cause serious injury so focus on what your doing and take safety precautions.
Handstand Push Up Progression
Start with regular push ups and dips to strengthen your arms and upper body.
Then start doing Pike Push ups to move more weight onto your shoulders and to get used to having your head under your torso.
You do Pike push ups by lifting your hips into the air, move your feet closer to your hands and keep your legs and arms straight. Your body should resemble and upside down ‘V’ if someone looked at you from the side.
Maintain a straight back and legs and bend your elbow to slowly lower your head down to the floor. Bring your head down as low as you can to the floor without touching it. Press yourself back up. Do as many reps as you can for three sets. Once you can do 10-15 in a row without stopping you can try the handstand push up.
If you can’t do one handstand push up, start by holding the handstand position as long as you can. This will train your muscles to support your weight and will teach you balance. Stay vertical as long as you can until your arms get shaky or you feel your strength about to give out.
To dismount, push your feet of the wall and bring your feet back down to the floor in front of you.
Handstand Push Ups: Getting it Done
Hand postion in relation to wall: My wrists are planted about an arms length from the wall. The are wider than shoulder width.
Keeping your hands on the ground and Arms locked, move your feet close to your hands and you knees close to your face and ‘jump’ with your legs and fling them over your waist and in contact with the wall.
Your hands should be a little over shoulder width apart. Widen your hands if you have trouble lowering yourself but not so wide you loose leverage. You want to keep your forearms perpendicular (at a 90 degree right- angle) with the floor.
Your elbows will bend in the most natural position for you. They might flare out from your torso or be a little bit in front of your shoulders when looking from the side. My elbows are slightly in from of my shoulders. Mostly for balance because I’m leaning against a wall.
Look at the Ground when Upside Down
Keep a slight natural bend in your back by looking at the ground.
Looking at the ground is important because it helps orient your mind. If you look ahead, everything will be upside down and it will be difficult to control your movement.
When I tried handstand push ups the first time I remember being in a handstand without being able to move because I couldn’t figure out how! It was the strangest feeling.
I was looking at a mirror across the room. My upside down reflection looking back and me and I couldn’t move a muscle. I just couldn’t figure it out while looking straight a head.
The key is to look at the ground below you. This tells your mind where ‘down’ is and everything makes sense from there. Your body follows your mind so this trick makes a big difference when doing handstand pushups.
Slowly lower yours head/face to the ground. Keep tension in your arms and shoulders constantly so your arms don’t buckle. Just as your head is about to touch the ground, press your palms into the ground. Do as many handstand push ups as you can until your arms are about to give out.
I recommend wearing socks so your feet slide easily along the wall. Shoes and bare feet might stick and kill your momentum, making the movement harder.
handstand pushups on HARD Mode. When you’re proficient with handstand pushups you can prop yourself up using sturdy handstand push up bars so you can go deeper.
Deeper handstand push ups increase range of motion as well as strength and muscle used. Try this if you’re up for a challenge once you can get 12-15 reps in a row.
You can use weight plates laying flat on the ground. The advantage to using weight plates is you can stack them one on top of the other for gradual progression.