Handstand Pushup

  • Area Served: Northern California
  • docs to perform:Guarav Abbi


The vertical pushup, also known as the handstand pushup, is an exercise that requires the body to be positioned in a handstand, held up in the air by your upper body. The exercise develops the upper body but it is not suggested to execute every day because as the body weight is elevated, pressure is put on the joints. As a rule, your muscles may recover quickly, but joints need more time to recuperate.

In order to perform the handstand pushup, become comfortable with a simple handstand first. This will help you build balance and upper body strength before taking the exercise to the next level. If needed, seek assistance from a partner to hold you and to prevent you from falling as you invert your body upside down. Or you can do the handstand alone using a wall to balance on. The goal is to hold onto the handstand position for around one minute or until you are comfortable enough to continue with the pushups. The handstand increases your strength as well as improves overall balance. Once you have gained comfort and ease with the handstand, carry on with some pushups. Take note that to do the handstand pushup, your hands must be flat and wide on the ground.

This exercise builds upper body and shoulder strength while tightening the core and buttocks. A warm-up is sometimes a good first step, allowing the body to cope with the strain of the exercise. To prepare, swing your arms in a circular form; stretch your wrists by placing your hands on the ground while your fingers point to your thighs; and execute a few pushups to warm up the body.


The handstand pushup mainly targets the shoulder muscles, biceps, forearm muscles and triceps. The abdominal and glute muscles are the secondary muscles affected.

This workout stabilizes muscles, making them more balanced and flexible, especially in the shoulders. Your forearm muscles become h3er and gain more muscle mass as you lift yourself up. Your abdominal muscles also become more flexible as they contract upon lifting, and your glute muscles become tighter, leaving your buttocks firm and plumped.

Sets and Repetitions

A variation of the handstand pushup involves using a chair to elevate your feet on. This is a good accommodation for those who cannot achieve a handstand on their own. Doing the exercise in a slanted position from the chair is a bit easier, too. The higher your feet are on the chair, the more contracted and flexed your shoulders become so keep that in mind when choosing a comfortable position.

As a basic goal, aim to stay in the handstand position for around 15 seconds before proceeding with the pushup. For beginners, one set of 12 repetitions can suffice, and for the advanced, three sets of 12 repetitions should be attainable.

Top Performance Metrics

Mr. Manvel Mamoyan was able to complete 28 repetitions of the handstand pushup in just one minute.

Related Movements

For better and faster results, here is a list of exercises that can be added to a routine with the handstand pushup:

  • Double under
  • Kettle bell swing
  • Power clean
  • Box jump

Related Foods

Below is a list of food that you can eat before performing your workout:

  • Dried fruits and crackers
  • Banana with peanut butter
  • Whole wheat cereal or granola
  • Fresh fruits

After your workout, you need to replenish your body with the foods below:

  • Brown rice with chicken or salmon
  • Protein bar
  • Yoghurt and almonds
  • Protein shake or protein bar

Celebrity Use

Celebrity trainer Ashley Borden has revealed some of her personal workouts that she shares with some of the sexiest celebrities in Hollywood, and the handstand pushup is part of her program for many.

Functional Use

After incorporating this move into your routine, core strength should improve. As with many workouts, a bump in physical energy can also be expected. Other benefits you can expect to see are improved balance, better support for your whole body and increased mobility. Back muscles will also strengthen, limiting and often preventing back injuries and the abdomen and buttocks will become tighter

Trainers Consultation


15-30 minute consultation

  • 1:1 Phone consultation, review imaging and ask questions.

Professional Consultantation


15 minute overview of procedure

  • 15 minute preview of procedure