Tag Archives | Handstand Pushups

Handstand Clap Pushup

The handstand clap pushup is an amazing skill. In this post you’ll learn about and see a couple different ways to do it.

Although it’s called a “pushup” the truth is the easiest way to do it is to not really do a pushup. By generating a jumping action from the feet you can launch yourself into the air, clap, and then land back in the handstand.

Here is a good example of that. There is only a slight bend in the arms before launching and when landing.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

Contrast that to this one. Here the jump is generated fully from the legs, but it is not caught in a handstand position or even close to it. The guy ends up in basically the bottom of the handstand pushup and must press back up.

Now here is where it truly becomes handstand pushup with claps and not just a jumping handstand with a clap. Not only does he not use the legs at all but he manages several reps in a row.

These strict handstand clap pushups are tough to do. Even the earlier version are going to be outside the realm of what most people can manage.

To work up to this skill I would recommend:

1) Learn how to hold a stable handstand.
2) Build handstand pushup strength.
3) Learn how to jump with your hands (if you’re going for that version).
4) Build a lot more handstand pushup strength (for the strict version).

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Handstand Shrugs

Handstand shrugs are a seldom used exercise yet they can be quite important.

Ask any professional hand balancer, or just watch them at work, and you’ll see how much their shoulders are shrugged up towards their ears. (Here is an example of Cai Yong.) This is necessary to get the locked out position that makes balancing much better.

But this isn’t necessary to do just a regular handstand. Handstands can be done even with the shoulders packed in, but this is not optimal.

Handstand Shrugs

Shrugged vs. Not Shrugged

Kick up into a handstand against the wall. Keep your arms locked at the elbows the entire time. Just using the muscles of your shoulder girdle and traps, shrug up, trying to make yourself taller. Stretch as far as you can go. Then lower using the same muscles and repeat.

The most important thing is that this exercise can help build the shoulder flexibility you need to get into the best handstand position possible.

Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups
Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups on Amazon

Handstand shrugs are also a great way to build up to handstand pushups as I cover in my book.

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Amazing Hand Balancing Video

Here’s another video of an amazing hand balancer.

  • The video starts off with 15 straddle L presses to handstand.
  • This is followed by 10 handstand pushups, a half pirouette, then 3 more.
  • Using rotating hand balancing stands a series of elbow lever press to handstands.
  • Front and side splits (including extended).
  • One arm handstands in a variety of positions on the floor and on stands.
  • This is followed by one arm presses and hopping from hand to hand.
  • I don’t think I’ve ever seen the move at the 5:30 mark before (it has to be way harder then the straddle version)
  • A variety of walking, holds, human flag, the grand arch and much more.
  • And it ends with one of the most visually appealing hand balancing stunts.

Hand balancing is not a lost art to this individual. Thanks to Mark for sending me this video.

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Strength and Skill

The more strength and skill you have the better you’ll be in hand balancing and acrobatics.

You may be saying ‘DUH’ but this works on multiple levels.

Obviously you’ll require more strength in order to do high strength movements like the planche, iron cross and more.

Among various moves some are more strength oriented like those above and others are more skill oriented like the handstand and more so the one arm handstand.

Still all require some degree of both strength and skill.

Yes you need strength in order to do a handstand. Its not much if you get into a proper body position but it is still present. And if you hold a handstand for a minute or two you’ll start to feel those muscles burning.

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

Even though it doesn’t require much strength, practicing the skills can take strength and endurance.

Lets say you’re working on the one arm handstand. Maybe you get ten minutes of practice in before your shoulders are fatigued and you can’t get any more quality work in.

Let’s say you’re trying to do a bent arm press. It takes strength plus skill. If your strength is lacking how good are you going to get at the skill of that movement?

Freestanding handstand pushups? Going to be very hard to work the balance of the movement if two handstand pushups against the wall is all you can manage.

So more strength makes doing the moves easier but also allows you to get more quality practice in. If you’re fatigued then its hard to do fine motor movements.

That’s why building a foundation of strength is important. And when you’re just focusing on this foundational strength you want to minimize the skill necessary.

I have a video that talks more about this and the four bodyweight exercises that work best for the whole body.

All you have to do is go here and signup to watch it immediately.

And soon I’ll have even more to help you get stronger and thus more skilled.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. If you’ve already signed up the next video on the Do’s and Don’ts of Technique is set to come out tomorrow. But if you haven’t go here now.

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Gaining Skills at Older Age

I got this in just a couple days ago from Steve.

Thank you. I am a 60–almost 61–year old man, 6’1″, about 185 lbs. I have lifted off and on since age 15, trying to stay in shape. During my college years I did a small amount of handstands. I taught myself to do them by kicking up against a wall. Back then I could even do what I call handstand pushups, which I have always considered a true gauge of pressing strength. I figure that if you can do say, 10 handstand pushups, kissing the ground at the bottom of each rep, then you are pretty strong. I would even try to make them a little harder by putting each hand on a gallon paint can, and lowering myself between them. After a while, I learned to walk on my hands, but it’s been many, many years since I’ve even practiced any of this stuff consistently.
They say as a person ages they lose their sense of balance, unless they work on it. So that is why I am interested in your site. I watched part of your 30 minute video and already have learned some things. I’ve been kicking up against a wall and slowly lowering myself a few inches at a time, then pressing out, to try to develop my handstand strength. I also need to work on my balance. My goals would be to do a one-minute free handstand, to do ten “floor kiss” handstand pushups, AND to walk on my hands for at least one minute without falling. Not sure if any of these are attainable for an old geezer like me. Maybe my goals are too lofty; what do you think?

Thanks for coming by Steve.

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

Professor PaulinettiYes, I absolutely think your goals are attainable. While it is easier for young people to learn these skills this doesn’t mean anyone older can’t do it. Professor Paulinetti practiced his hand balancing into his 70’s before passing on at 76. Granted he was already one of the best but that doesn’t mean anyone can’t practice and attain new skills at any age.

Add to the fact that you have prior experience and I see no reason why you can’t get back to what you were doing in your college days.

My advice would be to follow what’s laid out in the Handstand quick start video. Work on standing still in a free handstand before you start walking around. And once you hit about 30 seconds in a free handstand you can add in the hand walking practice.

Add to that a few handstand pushups, which you can find more information about that here and here, and you’ll be well on your way. What you wrote, doing the partials reps, is an excellent place to begin.

Be sure to keep me posted of your progress.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Handstand Pushup Plateau

Another question came in recently regarding breaking through handstand pushup plateaus.

I’m now able to balance about 15 seconds at best, but I do see progress.

Focusing my weight on that first row of knuckles helps a lot. I also started doing more forearm stands as a balancing drill which have helped.

… On another note, I have been plateaued at about 10 handstand pushups max (but not all the way down). This is against a wall and going down to touch a yoga block about six or eight inches off the ground. If I go all the way until my head hits the ground, I can get just one rep. I’ve been at this level for a couple months. Any suggestions to break through the plateau?

Thanks,
Dean

isometric handstand pushup

An isometric handstand pushup

This is a questions I’ve actually answered before in The Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups, which by the way, is on sale now along with all my other products.

From the book in Chapter 11 – Common Problems:

Use the exercises in the beginning of Chapter 6, such as negatives, isometrics and others. Using these moves especially to work harder and to work on sticking points will make you stronger. As long as you can do just a little bit more than last time you are improving. Sometimes improvements come fast. Sometimes they are slow.

If those do not work try switching up your routine. Often just going from normal HSPU’s to Reverse HSPU’s will work wonders. Or change your set and rep scheme. If you’ve been doing 5 sets of 5 try 8 sets of 2 or vice versa. Or maybe you should break from the HSPU’s altogether and use weights for a while.

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

So there you have it. There are four ways you can change up what you’re doing to make faster progress. Not to mention in the book you’ll find a lot more regarding positioning of handstand pushups that can make a HUGE difference.

Good Luck and Good Handstanding,
Logan Christopher

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Secrets of the Handstand Review

Since releasing the Secrets of the Handstand Quick Start video for free on the site last week there has been more traffic here, more people signing up and lots of emails of thanks. Thanks everyone for spreading it around.

Got this report from Dan who purchased the Secrets of the Handstand Quick Start DVD awhile back before I released it. He has been making progress. As it’s quite long I’ll make comments and answer questions as they come up.

Frogstand

The Frogstand - One of the lead-up stunts to the handstand.

hi – i have gotten to a minute or more on the lead-up stunts but have been only practicing the kick-up and toe-touch handstand for 5 minutes twice a week. i am making progress with it, but because i’m practicing so little, i have only done 5-10 seconds as my max handstand with toes off the wall and have only kicked up into handstand successfully once.

With easier moves like the lead-up stunts and handstand you can get by with a minimal amount of practice. Even five minutes twice a week and you’ll eventually get it. Of course, with more time spent practicing you’ll make progress faster. Also for the harder moves like the one handed handstand don’t think you can get by with this little practice.

i promise i will keep working on it and i am not discouraged at all, just lazy and a little busy. but i know i can do it. i also do two sets of ten handstand pushups (going half way down or so) to build up some strength. i’m definitely stronger than when i started.

Though I didn’t include handstand pushups in that DVD they’re obviously a great exercise for building strength. A great complement to the work you’re doing

sometimes i practice on a hard floor and sometimes on the carpet or grass. hard floor seems easier….do you have any comments about pros and cons of using a soft surface?

A hard surface is superior in that you can transfer the force in your wrists and hands to balance best. A soft surface has give making this harder. If you want a real challenge attempt to hand balance in the sand. On the flip side a complete newbie may want to try handstand’s in the grass first, in case they fall.

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

also my wrists tend to hurt after less than a minute of being in a handstand….they get better after a few minutes, but i do tend to quit because i am afraid of injuring my wrists. i do stretch them for about 10 seconds in two directions before i start practicing. do you have a suggestion of how much discomfort you should practice through and when you should quit for a while? (i’m 36 yrs old and healthy.)

There is a difference in pain of stretching and pain from an injury. Hopefully you won’t come close to the second. Stretching first is important. As you warm them up and get use to the position they should become more flexible. At this point you can keep going. If they start to feel sore, like you’ve done too much, then you should call it a day.

i like the dvd. i like the ideas of lead-ups and toe-touch and kick-up suggestions – i wouldn’t have thought to do any of those on my own, i don’t think. i don’t have any suggestions for improvement in the video other than to say something about keeping your mind quiet when you are up there. as a novice, my thoughts tend to race when i get upside down. “am i doing it right…my arms are getting tired, i’m gonna fall” etc. of course these thoughts hurt your performance. so concentrating on breathing or the body position or something is helpful to prevent your mind from working against you. thanks and hope to hear from you.

Dan

Thanks for the report Dan. I agree with you about the mind. Instead of thinking of all the component parts, which can be tough in the beginning, merely focus on what you’re trying to achieve, staying in the handstand.

Now I’d love to hear your thoughts on the video. Are you seeing success with the lead-up stunts? Hit a road block anywhere? Comment below.

And of course, if you haven’t seen this video yet all you have to do is sign up on the side.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Handstand Endurance

In my last post on juggling I talked about the differences between learning most skills and that of hand balancing. The biggest difference being that hand balancing takes a lot of strength and endurance.

People talk about having the proper position which places the stress along the structure of the body versus using your strength to hold yourself up. This is true.

One Hand Handstand

Building endurance holding this position against the wall allows you to train more when trying to learn the balance.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon
But either way you will only be able to hold a handstand so long. What can you do to increase this time?

While holding a handstand out in the open is largely a matter of balance, you know once you get past a certain point fatigue starts to set in.

By working to increase the time you can hold a handstand against the wall you can increase your endurance overall. You should be able to balance and hold a freestanding handstand longer with more endurance.

But the main benefit is you’ll also have the endurance to train longer with greater effectiveness.

So even if you are working on balancing, still spending some time against the wall to improve your endurance will benefit you.

This applies to more than just the basic handstand. Why not try the same thing with the one hand handstand?

Of course, as going for long timed holds against the wall is fatiguing you’ll want to do these at the end of your practice, not at the start.

The same can be said of handstand pushups. Are you working on presses and freestanding handstand pushups? Make sure you have adequate strength to work on the skills of the movements. And to do that increase your reps and follow the progressions laid out in The Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups.

Work to increase your skills. Work to increase your endurance. Both lead towards the same goal.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Building Skills

Yesterday I was doing a garage sale. Always nice to clear out stuff you don’t need.

It was a fairly busy day but there were points in time when no customers were around. Instead of just fiddling around on my iphone (alright I did a bit of that too) I decided to practice a new skill.

Juggling Balls

Juggling vs. Hand Balancing (How these skills are different)

Juggling.

Not kettlebell juggling, something I’m already quite good at, but just tossing three small balls around. It was one of the items we were selling, and to pass the time I picked the balls up and got started.

Trampoline Handbook
Trampoline Handbook on Amazon

It may surprise you but this is something I never had really done before.

Within a couple minutes I was able to get the three balls going at once. It wasn’t pretty but I was having some success. By the end of the sale I could easily keep them going and hit a streak of about 30 or 40 tosses.

I even decided to keep the juggling balls so that I could practice more in the future.

Now this isn’t something I plan on doing all the time. Nor do I want to go after it and become a great juggler. But it was fun to pick up a new skill from scratch.

I want to relate this to hand balancing. One of the reasons hand balancing is a harder skill to work on then most is because on top of the skill you need strength and endurance.

This means you can only practice so much or so long before you get to the point where your body can’t handle any more.

Overtime, you can increase this amount. And certain skills take a lot less that others (the regular handstand versus handstand pushups, for instance). But no matter how you cut it, it is a very physical skill.

While I could juggle for hours without spending too much energy, the same could not be said for hand balancing.

So when you do practice you have to do it smart. Being able to get results in a short amount of time is going to get you further along overtime than needed to practice for long stretches at a time. For this reason doing short practices throughout the day may be your best bet.

Of course, if you have built up to it, then spending an hour or two can get you real far.

Having the right roadmap and way to progress into these skills is also essential. For the best material on all hand balancing skills, check out the Hand Balancing Mastery Course.

They say practice makes perfect. I would add that smart practice makes perfect faster.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Handstand Pushup Article

I’ve added a new article to the site: How to do Handstand Pushups

Handstand Pushup

New Handstand Pushup Article

This just covers the basics of the movement against the wall for anyone looking to get started. More articles and advanced stuff coming later.

And would you believe I don’t have a video of myself cranking out the handstand pushup reps? I will soon and I’ll be adding that to the article later.

Tumbling Illustrated
Tumbling Illustrated on Amazon

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Of course if you want everything I know and do with this exercise, check out The Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups.

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