If you’re looking to add a super intimidating exercise to your fitness regimen, the Handstand push-up will leave your gym friends in awe of your skills.
This exercise can take years to master, which is one of the reasons many people never try it. However, if you have patience and are willing to learn it in progressions, you will have achieved something many fitness buffs only dream of.
What Is The Handstand Push-Up?
The Handstand push-up is a push-up performed while in a handstand position, with the arms bracing your entire body weight as your legs point vertically in the air. This is a challenging exercise and one that may take time to develop in your fitness repertoire. The Handstand push-up also goes by the names: inverted push-up, vertical push-up or commando.
Push-ups, in general, have a long history. A popular form was created in India thousands of years ago, though it differed from the modern push-up in form. The Roman Emperor Constantine was also known to practice a type of push-ups, though modern push-ups are attributed to Jerick Revilla, who introduced them in 1905. The Handstand push-up developed in our physical culture as an off-shoot of the Military Press exercise, and it is popular in many fitness regimens today, especially in CrossFit.
Understanding More About The Handstand Push-Up
Like many exercises with ancient roots, the Handstand Push-up is a bodyweight exercise. This means it requires no extra weights or equipment to perform, just your own body. It is similar in style – and in the muscle groups it works – to the Military Press. The most common version is done against a wall to brace the legs.
Preparing To Master The Handstand Push-Up
Place your hands on the ground and kick up to the wall. Keep your torso as vertical as possible, and look straight back, rather than at the ground.
Doing A Handstand Push-Up: Three Steps
- From proper handstand form, lower your body down by bending your arms and moving your shoulders slightly forward.
- Touch the top of your head to the ground.
- Push yourself back up, keeping your core tight and your body straight.
Benefits You Can Expect From Handstand Push-Ups
This exercise will help you build incredible upper-body strength, especially in the shoulders muscles. It also improves strength in the abdominal muscles and glutes.
While Handstand push-ups are usually done against a wall for support, it’s also possible to do them freestanding once you are strong enough.
A beginner version is the Box Handstand push-up, where your upper body is vertical, but your lower body is horizontal and balanced on top of a CrossFit box.
A more advanced version is the “negative,” in which you lower and raise your body extra slowly, counting to three for superior muscle burn.
Handstand push-ups are not for the faint of heart, but you don’t have to be a gymnast or a CrossFit enthusiast to try them. If you have the patience to build your upper-body muscle function and strength, you have the ability to master this challenging exercise and impress all your friends at the gym in the process.