Boy, you turn me
And round and round
Back in the day, Diana Ross turned music upside down with her Motown cool… But when it comes to bodyweight cool, handstand push ups are at the top of the heap. Few bodyweight exercises can rival its display of strength, timing, coordination and balance.
The ultimate version of the handstand push up is freestanding. But you need to have a rock solid handstand in order to be able to do it. While you’re working up to that, you can still take advantage of the amazing strength and coordination benefits of the handstand push up by doing it against a wall.
Obviously these are advanced exercises.
But if you do have the strength and hand balance to start doing this exercise against the wall, you’ll be impressed with the results. And using the “palms” of your feet against the wall to help pull yourself up when you’re just getting started is a very effective strategy.
To make it even easier, you can also use a fence or low wall and actually hook your feet over it. That allows you to pull even more with your legs as you press off the ground with your arms.
Here are a few of the technical queues to remember…
- Keep your shoulder blades pulled down and back throughout
- Lower your head until you just feel the ground
- Exhale throughout the pressing portion to engage the core
- Keep your glutes, quads and core tight throughout
If you can only do a handful of presses at a time, a great training protocol to use is cluster sets. Pop up into position and do 1-2 reps below your maximum (if you can do 4 reps normally, do 2 to 3 reps). Drop back down and count to ten then get back into position and do 1 to 2 more reps. Continue that until you get to 10 reps total then rest for up to 2 minutes before starting again. Do a total of 3-6 of those cluster sets.
Let us know in the comments how you do. And please feel free to share your own handstand push up tips…