Handstand push-up

The handstand push-up is an exercise targeting the shoulders, although other muscles assist in the completion of the reps. It is common in both CrossFit workouts and advanced bodyweight or calisthenics training. Given the degree of difficulty, beginners will need to progress to this move.


  1. Builds and strengthens the shoulders
  2. The core works hard to maintain stability during the up-and-down movement
  3. If full ROM is too difficult at first, you can reduce it by placing a pad under your head

Handstand push-up Images


Handstand push-up Instructions

Handstand push-up muscle diagram
  1. With your back to the wall bend at the waist and place both hands on the floor at shoulder width.
  2. Kick yourself up against the wall with your arms straight. Your body should be upside down with the arms and legs fully extended. Keep your whole body as straight as possible. Tip: If doing this for the first time, have a spotter help you. Also, make sure that you keep facing the wall with your head, rather than looking down.
  3. Slowly lower yourself to the ground as you inhale until your head almost touches the floor. Tip: It is of utmost importance that you come down slow in order to avoid head injury.
  4. Push yourself back up slowly as you exhale until your elbows are nearly locked.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Caution: Ensure that the floor surface is not slippery and also, if performing for the first time, use a spotter until you get good at this exercise.