Improve your Handstand Push-Ups

Handstand Push-Ups (HSPU) are one of my most favourite movements and when done correctly it will not just work the major parts of the body but also build extreme power.

Yes, you should also practise this movement!

I know most people find it too extreme and challenging but with dedication you also can master it.

The benefits of the HSPU are endless; it not only transfer to other elements, but it's also a door opener.

What I mean by that is, from the HSPU you progress to even more harder exercises, such as the 90 degree push up, it also gives you a great transfer to other bent arm exercises. Also the strength and ROM you build will be very effective in a lot of other movements.

Body-control and body-mind connection plays a big role. You don't just have to keep balance, but also activate certain muscles to perform the movement right.

Let's talk about how to perform the HSPU. Don't get me wrong, but a lot of people truly dont understand the movement and how to perform it correctly. There are so many videos online where people arch their backs, place their hands wider than shoulders, not being in line, poor ROM, etc. This all plays a big role and takes away the greatness from the HSPU (but it does make the exersice much easier for sure).

Key Points

1. Alignment: Start with your body in line above your shoulders. Open your shoulders when locking out and holding the Handstand posistion.

Here is an example of closed and open shoulders.

An example of closed and open shoulders

You can fix this by simply practising it with the wall or a set of dumbells.

2. Hand Placement: Do not place your hands wider than your shoulders. When placing your hands wider than your shoulders your elbows will move to the side while performing a HSPU. This is wrong and takes great stress away from the exersice and decreases ROM.

Hands should always be placed shoulder width apart. This is a correct stand while handbalancing.

It increases true ROM and activates muscle-groups like the triceps. Also, you will have a better understanding in opening your shoulders.

3. Activation: Your whole body should be tight during the whole movement. Do not arch your back. This is wrong and takes away the greatness of the exercise. Focus on activating your triceps when performing a push-up.

4. Correction: Always fix your posistion when you know you are out of line and with practise this will come naturally.

5. ROM: Always perform the handstand push-up with full ROM. Your hands should lower all the way to your shoulders before going back up. This makes it a true HSPU.

6. Quality over Quantity: Do not perform half reps or use bad form. Do not attempt another rep when you know you can't complete it.

I hope this helps and gave you some understanding for HSPU improvement.

Handstand push-ups are truly one of the best bodyweight movements. Practice them and stop being weak.

If you would like to put this into your training or would like to know the progression and preparations then do not hesitate to contact me as I'm always happy to discuss your requirements.


#1 Dillon 2013-10-01 10:59
Great article Metin! The open shoulders video was very helpful.
#2 Marcelo 2013-10-01 23:25
Great! :lol:
#3 Fabrizio 2016-09-08 15:52
Really good advices, keep doing what you do.

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