Imagine this – you’re at a house party, the beats are pumping, booze is flowing, and Flash McGee decides to show off his fitness prowess by bashing out a whole lot of push-ups.

Some people may appreciate his fitness, some may even admire his bravado, but more than likely, most will think that he’s a bit of a buffoon.

Personally speaking, if I was going to make a spectacle of myself, I would do it with as much flare as possible.


This is where handstand push-ups come in, and as far as calisthenics are concerned, few moves are more impressive.

This titan of a move will primarily target your triceps, delts, traps and rhomboids.

But that’s not all. Handstand push-ups will to a lesser degree hit you biceps, forearm muscles and glutes.

The movement is very similar to the military press, albeit upside down, which places a much bigger emphasis on your core muscles and therefore you will find that the more proficient you become at this exercise, the better your balance will become.

Step 1: Pike push-up

For any beginners out there, a great place to start on your quest is with the pike push-up.

This will help strengthen your back, arms and shoulders, with the added bonuses of improving your flexibility and helping you get used to being somewhat upside down.

handstand push up_2When you feel that you have mastered the pike push-up, the next step is the decline pike push-up.

Step 2: Decline pick push-up

This is exactly the same, except instead of having your feet on the floor, they are now on a raised platform, ideally between 1-2 feet off the ground.

This exercise is somewhat closer to the full handstand push-up and will naturally be more challenging than the regular pike push-up.

handstand push up_3Step 3: Wall handstand push-up

After smashing the decline pike push-up out of the park, try doing a full handstand push-up, but against a wall.

If you are going to do it on a hard floor, I recommend putting something soft, such as a pillow or crash mat under your head and against the wall (just in the off chance you come down a tad too quickly and bang your head).

To execute the wall handstand push-up:

1. Place your hands just outside shoulder-width, about 6 inches away from the wall.

2. Get into a position similar to a sprinter going to take off from the blocks.

3. With your dominant leg, push off from the ground and let your body travel upwards to meet the wall.

4. Once upright against the wall, in your own time, inhale, bend your elbows and lower yourself down.

5. When you reach the bottom, straighten your arms, push yourself back up and exhale.

6. Keep your feet against the wall throughout the motion.

handstand push up_5Step 4: Handstand push-up without a wall

Then the final rung on the ladder is, funnily enough, a handstand push-up without a wall.

This is extremely hard to perform and some people may never get the hang of it, whereas some may pick it up relatively quickly.

All I can say is that if you can’t do it right away, do not lose hope, simply try, try and try again!

But a word of warning before you decide to throw yourself against a wall and see what happens.

Anybody suffering from high blood pressure or eye conditions such as glaucoma, should consult with a GP first, before attempting this move, because when you are upside down, blood rushes to your head, which can be a fairly unpleasant experience for most, but may result in complications for those with the aforementioned conditions.

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