Handstand Push-Up

Handstand Push-Up

The handstand push-up is an excellent exercise for your shoulder muscles, and can be done instead of the barbell shoulder press. I often do the handstand push-up when I don't have the time to go to a gym. Find more shoulder exercises at weight training main.


  • Go into a handstand position (see gymnastic handstand lesson) and plant your hands close to the wall. Your hands should be a about one shoulder width apart and your elbows should be fully extended. You can either do your handstand push-ups with your hands on the floor or use push-up bars. Careful with push-up bars though. Make sure they can't tip over when you do a handstand on them. In gymnastics there are special bars for this. The advantage of using push-up bars is that a wider range of your shoulder muscles is trained - because you can lower yourself further.
  • Move down until your head touches the floor and inhale. Keep your back straight and don't rest on your head. The down-motion should be slightly slower than the up-motion.
  • Then push yourself back up and exhale.


  • Do your handstand push-up on a wall, with a training partner, or, if your handstand is good enough, free.
  • Superset recommendation for the shoulder muscles (without weight training equipment): Handstand Push-Up + Arm Circles or Shoulder/Triceps Push-Ups