4 Tips to Get Your First Handstand Push Up

Got a few tips for you today to help you get your first HSPU!!

You may or may not know this – but I am a pretty big dude by most standards. I sit around 245-250 now, and was over 300 pounds in my pro football days.

So, handstand push ups are an exercise that at one point in time I NEVER thought I’d be able to do. I FREAKED out the first time I tried flipping myself upside down into a handstand postion against the wall.

BUT … they are a badass exercise. They great for:

– building shoulder and upper body strength
– improving balance
– strengthening the core and glutes

And more. So I really wanted to learn how to do them.

Over the last couple of years I’ve worked up to where I can crank out sets of six or eight reps at a shot (with my feet against a wall – still working on the  freestanding version ;))

If I can do it, ANYONE can.

And honestly I think if you want to call yourself truly fit – and Body Weight Strong – you should be able to do this exercise.

So without further ado, 4 tips to help you get your first handstand push up:


1 – Train consistently

The bare minimum to improve is two sessions a week … but to really advance, go for three times, if not every day. Think of this particular exercise like a skill – in order to master it, you have to practice it frequently!

To get better at handstand push ups, do more handstand push ups (and variations/practice drills we will cover here in a sec/etc.). Simple :)


2- Adequately stretch

Many people have issues just getting into to the handstand position due to wrist or back pain. A simple way to remedy this is to work up until the point where you encounter pain – and then stop.

Here is a stretch for getting your wrist strength up :

Bend your wrist back by using your other hand to push back the fingers toward the backside of the wrist. Try to push both on the fingers and the palm to be sure both the wrists and fingers receive the stretch. Work both sides.


3 – Increase tension

The more tension you create in your muscles, the stronger you will get. Tension in one muscle allows the surrounding muscles to contract even harder.

Squeezing your abs and your legs while doing your handstand is a simple way to increase muscle tension during this particular exercise.

Another cool way to increase tension is with your fingers. When in the handstand position, grip the floor like you are trying to tear it apart with your fingers. This move will put tension in your forearms and give you even more strength!


4 – Be safe!

When starting a handstand push up training program you may very well fall – and that’s okay! Be sure to not start off in a cluttered area. Clear the area of furniture or obstacles so if you lose your balance you’ll minimize any damage. Having a friend act as a spotter when you are first getting started is another great way to feel confident and avoid injury.


Bonus tip! :)

Here is an example of a great first week of workouts :

Workout 1

Kick up into a Handstand against the wall and hold it for 3 seconds then come to feet. Repeat 10 times.

Pike Press 5 x 5

Workout 2

Hold handstands for a total of two minutes. Do this is as many sets as you need. From workout to workout try to reduce the number of sets you need.


Boom! Hope you enjoyed this article. Take the tips we covered, get to practicing, and you’ll have your first HSPU in no time …

Oh – also – don’t forget, my Body Weight Strong 2.0 program – where you’ll learn how to do handstand push ups, pistol squats, one arm push ups, and all kinds of other
cool advanced body weight moves – is on sale this weekend at over 50% off:

=> Body Weight Strong 2.0

– Forest

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