The Definitive Guide to Handstand Push-Ups: 7 Progressions That Will Get You There!


What does your workout look like? Do you always get caught doing the same movements? I bet that you are feeling bored by the lack of some challenge! Why do you limit yourselves? Do you know how many things a person is capable of doing with his body?

When I first stepped into the gym, I used to admire people who were able to do handstands or handstand push -ups! The control they had over their body and the ease of their movements, somehow lighted a desire and some kind of motivation deep inside of me!

As you know, I have a lot of shoulder injuries and back then I thought that it was pointless to set a goal, and hopefully someday become the person, that the newcomers could admire!

Time went by and I decided that even though I liked my workouts, I wanted to be more! I wanted to be capable of more! Thus, I dared to try and start doing handstands and later on handstand push ups!

I bet that right now you are thinking you could never do something like that, but you are WRONG! An year ago I was right where you are now! I was that person, who didn’t believe in herself! That is why I wanna help you and show you the progressions which helped me achieve my goal- handstand push ups!

7 progressions for handstand push-ups

Sure this is not the only way to get there but it was my way!

1. 15 strict push ups. Learn to do a regular push up! Try to hold your arms like an arrow not in a T shape!

Your body should be like a board. Your hips shouldn’t be the first ti drop down. Chin, chest and hips should move together!

2. Hand walks. Calm down, I do not mean handstand walks! See the pictures below. You should do walks like that…move forward and backwards. Your legs will be still on the ground so keep it cool!

Start with 5 walks. When you are able to do 3 sets of 10 walks you are good to go on to the next progression!

3. Handstand. Start with doing a handstand, but use the wall as support. At the beginning it is not necessary to stick to the wall. You need to get confident in staying upside down. Gradually you will work it to get closer and closer to the wall until you get to the point where your body will be somehow perpendicular to the floor. When you manage to hold in a handstand position for between 45-60 seconds move on!

4. Shoulder touches. Here you are trying to get control over your body. You are trying to learn how to balance! This will boost up your confidence and you will understand it is not that scary to stay on your hands. Start doing it on the gymnastics’ wall. If you are afraid to keep the weight on just one hand, go ahead and try support your body with your legs on the wall. Thus, part of your weight will be on your legs, not your hand!

Start with 3 or 5 shoulder touches on each shoulder ( 6 or 10 altogether). When you are able to do 3 sets of 10 shoulder touches, you could move ahead!

5. Now you can give a shot to scaled handstand push-ups! Put your legs on something high. It doesn’t matter if it is gonna be a box or the gymnastics’ wall!

First, put your legs on a height, where your thighs will be parallel to the floor. Start lowering yourself down. At the beginning you don’t need to go all the way down. Just get over your fear!

Start out with 2-3 reps! Do not forget that your fear is stopping you! If you get off the limits, you won’t have a problem!

When you get 3 sets of 5 reps, you could bring down your legs. The lower are your legs, the bigger is the pressure on your hands!

When you are able to do 3 sets of 10 reps, move to the next progression!

6. Assisted handstand push-ups. Here you will need the help of a friend or a band. Get in a handstand position, close to the wall. Start lowering yourself and when you get down, your friend has to help you go back up, by slightly pulling you for the knees(thighs) and you need to push up. Thus, his help will take some of the weight off!

Start with 3 sets of 2 or 3 descents. When you get to 3 sets of 10 descents you could move on to the real handstand push-ups!

7. Handstand push-ups. Get on the wall in a handstand position. If you want to be more confident, ask a friend to stay beside you, just in case you need his/her help. The most important think is do not be afraid! You can do it! Have faith in yourself! Do a handstand push-up!………. See it wasn’t that hard! 😉

I hope that these progressions will help you, just the way they helped me! And I repeat that this is not the only way, but it is my way! If you are advanced or more athletic, or you do not have shoulder problems, you could skip some of the progressions!

The results won’t happen overnight! It will take time, but as every goal in life, this also requires commitment and patience!

Well, are you gonna give it a try? :)