Tag Archives | Handstand Push Ups

Handstand Push Ups – Guest Post by Al Kavadlo

You can train every muscle in your body without ever going to a gym or lifting weights, you just have to be creative!

The overhead press is one of the most fundamental strength training techniques out there – and for good reason. Overhead pressing is a great way to build upper-body strength as well as a strong core. Barbells and kettlebells are great for pressing, but no matter how strong you are, handstand push-ups are a unique challenge and must be treated as such. Get ready to flip the classic overhead press on its head – literally!

How to do the One Hand Handstand by Professor Orlick
ow to do the One Hand Handstand on Amazon

Pike Press
If you aren’t strong enough to do a handstand push-up yet, the pike press is a great way to ease in. Pike presses allow you to train the movement pattern without having to bear your entire body weight.

Rest your toes on a bench or step and get down in a push-up position. From here, walk your hands back toward the bench while you pike your hips up in the air over your shoulders. You will wind up looking like an upside-down letter L, with your body bent in half from the waist. Try to keep your back straight by taking the stretch in your hamstrings. You can bend your knees a little if you need to in order to keep your hips up over your shoulders. Lower yourself down until the top of your head touches the ground and then push yourself back up – that’s one rep.

Wall Assisted Handstand Push-up

Once you can do ten consecutive pike presses without too much trouble, you’re ready to try a full handstand push-up against a wall. Kick up into a handstand with your back slightly arched and your fingers spread out. Engage your core muscles and keep your body tight as you lower yourself down and press yourself up. Make sure you touch your head to the ground on every rep to ensure a full range of motion. You can also try touching your nose to the floor instead of the top of your head to allow yourself to go a bit lower.

Handstand Push-ups on Parallettes

If you want a bigger range of motion for your handstand press, you’ve got a couple options. You could use a set of parallettes or you could set up two benches (or other sturdy objects) alongside each other with enough room for your head to fit in between. Any method that allows you to drop your head below your hands will add a new challenge to your handstand push-ups.

Freestanding Handstand Push-up

The freestanding handstand is a tricky move to get the hang of on its own, adding a push-up to it takes things to a whole other level!

The freestanding handstand push-up requires tremendous strength, balance and total body control, so before you think about training for this move, I suggest getting to the point where you can do at least ten wall assisted handstand push-ups and hold a freestanding handstand for a minimum of thirty seconds.

When performing handstand holds, I’ve often found it helpful to look in between my hands. With the freestanding handstand push-up however, I’ve found it better to look a few inches in front of my hands. Since the balance changes throughout the range of motion, I recommend practicing static holds at the bottom and middle positions of the range of motion to help train for this feat.

The One Arm Handstand Push-up

Often discussed, though never actually executed, the one arm handstand push-up is the holy grail of bodyweight strength training. In theory, the one arm handstand push-up is the ultimate calisthenics exercise. However, a full, clean rep has never been documented as far as I know. I have no doubt that someone will eventually perform one (and get it on video), but in the meantime the rest of us will just continue to train hard and keep the dream alive.

Watch the video below for more:

For more from Al Kavadlo check out his website here. He is the author of several books Pushing the Limits!, Raising the Bar and his newest book Stretching Your Boundaries, as well as the head instructor of the Progressive Calisthenics Certification.

 

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How to Do a Handstand Pushup

We’ve all seen them. They looked real cool and impressive. Here are some ideas on how to do a handstand pushup.

Walking and Jumping On Your HandsWalking and Jumping On Your Hands on Amazon

The first thing to do is to warm up your shoulder muscles. You can do this by simply shrugging your shoulders several times. Continue by making your arms into wings and flapping them up and down. A final exercise is to swing your arms in a circular motion around the shoulder socket. These will get your shoulders in the correct condition. Once you are warmed up, you are ready to begin the handstand pushups.

Beginners who want to know how to do a handstand pushup should use a wall or spotter for support. Start by placing your hands about a foot from the wall. While locking your arms, kick your feet up and over until you are touching the wall. Once you are in the vertical position, slowly lower your body down to the floor. It is a good idea to put a towel or pillow under your head to avoid injury or banging your head on the floor.  Lower your body to the floor as far as you can go. Make sure you do this slowly. A fast movement will not train your muscles properly. Do as many reps as you can. If you kick out of a handstand after each repetition, you will help train your muscles to prepare for the weight load when you do your handstand pushups.

If you have done a handstand pushup before, you can try a more challenging approach by getting into a headstand position and raising your legs up to your elbows.  From here, you can lift your legs vertically to form the handstand shape.  Another good strategy is to simply walk over onto your hands while your arms are fully extended above your shoulders. You just lean forward and walk your legs up to the upright position. From there, you can press down and up. If you’re looking for a real challenge, try doing a handstand pushup with your legs at a 90 degree angle. Be careful not to put too much stress on the shoulders. They are easily torn.

Once you know how to do a handstand pushup, you will be hooked.

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Will Wall Handstands Help Balance? How Often to Train HSPU's?

I have some cool things in the work for this month. One of them is nearing completion. More on that subject later.

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

In the meantime let’s tackle a few more questions that have been sent in.

First off from Carol.

“If I keep practicing kicking up to a handstand against the wall, and holding it as long as I can with a tight body, will I eventually be able to do the handstand without the wall?”

The handstand against the wall is an important lead-up stunt I advise beginners to do when starting out with the handstand. It is great to work up to holding for at least one minute while maintaining a good position.

However, although you can learn how to keep your body tight and up in space you will not learn how to balance from this position. This requires a few other moves as well as practicing at the freestanding handstand itself.

And next from Ashley.

“Hi there. I consider myself to be a quite a physical culturist. I have made handstands a staple exercise in my upperbody workouts. I am currently working towards handstand push ups with my hands elevated to get full range of motion. How often would you recommend to train handstands to get to the desired standard?”

First off congratulations. Handstand pushups are often no more then a dream to most people, especially when you start going after the full range of motion.

I just happened to be working on a few myself today. In all honesty, depending on how you train with them you could do them everyday or just twice a week. And either way you can make progress.

If you just do a few sets each day and none of them are an all-out effort, you could do them every day.

But in most cases I would advise two or three times a week. Train them hard and eventually you’ll be able to do many full range reps. The important thing to look at is if you are moving forward. If your are then your training is good and you should continue.

If you’ve been training handstand pushups whether just starting out or doing them with ease I’d love to hear about your training. Send in questions, concerns, workouts or specific exercises you’ve come up with. Just hit the reply button up above.

That’ll wrap it up for today.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. About that first thing I mentioned. If you’re following me on facebook or twitter there was a big hint just put up there in the form of a question. If you aren’t already become my friend on facebook or follow me on twitter by clicking the links.

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Handstand, Tumbling and Athleticism

Wanted to start off today’s message with a powerful comment from a subscriber.

Logan,

Your website is absolutely fantastic and it has helped me learn a whole new approach to physical-culture training. Over the last few months, I have incorporated handstand push-ups and some elementary handstand training into my weightlifting routine, and the results have been nothing short of incredible.

A while back you received a comment from somebody who was upset that you are putting acrobatic videos on the Internet for all to view. He was apparently concerned that some people may develop bad form or bad training habits without direct supervision from a qualified trainer. While I’m sure this gentleman meant well, I must say that I have benefited enormously from watching the videos you have posted. I suspect that many other people have too.

Viewing your videos and reading your articles helped me to refine my views of what is possible with physical culture training. Before I made a visit to your site, I paid virtually no attention to the athletic side of physical training, and I new very little about the many benefits which can be derived from doing handstands and related movements. I have no desire to become a professional gymnast or acrobat, but I find that the type of training which you promote on your site improves my athleticism and strength tremendously.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

Thanks for running a great and innovative site.

Rob Drucker

Thank you, Rob. Comments like these really make my day. It brings a smile to my face to read about the success of people like you.

Handstands have been proven over and over to strengthen the body. If you have to start against the wall, you’ll still get many of the benefits. The truth is going from handstands against the wall to free standing is the transition many people make, myself included.

As far as athleticism though, that is just the beginning. Can you imagine where you’ll be at if you add just a few of the following into the mix?

Forward Rolls, Backward Rolls, Diving, Head and Hand Balancing, Hand Balancing, Forearm Balancing, Cartwheels, Roundoffs, Head and Hand Springs, Hand Springs, Backward Hand Springs, Back Bends, Upstarts (Kips), Somersaults (Flips), Combination Rolls, Combination Hand Springs, Combination Hand Springs and Somersaults, Combination Hand Springs and Rolls, Combination Balancing and Rolls, Miscellaneous Combinations, and Novelties.

Those are the 21 chapters found in the soon to be released Tumbling Illustrated. As of writing this it’ll be available in 4 days, 23 hours, 57 minutes, 34 seconds. To find the updated time go to https://lostartofhandbalancing.com/tumbling.html

I wish it was ready now, especially since a few people have inquired about buying it already. But I’m still waiting on the printers for the main book. Plus I want to be able to ship it out the day you order it.

You don’t have to be a professional gymnast or acrobat to get the benefits of this training. (If you are though, more power to you.) Even if you work on just a few of the 248 different moves you’ll learn how to control your body to a extraordinary degree.

Tomorrow I’m going to reveal a few details on the companion workbook to Tumbling Illustrated and how you can use this workbook will increase your skills even faster.

Good Luck and Good Tumbling,
Logan Christopher

P.S. I’ll try to get another video up showing some acrobatic conditioning in action before the launch. Maybe even a sneak peak of the workbook.

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