Understanding Handstand Push-Ups and Their Benefits by Cross Training Gyms

A majority of athletes are quite familiar with the standard push-up movement. However, the same cannot be said of the many variations that have significantly enhanced the challenge of this bodyweight movement in CrossFit gyms. One of the push-up variations known as handstand push-ups or simply HSPU is very demanding both in strength and technique.

Simply defined, handstand push-up is a position where an athlete holds a fully extended handstand up against a wall and then lowers his head gradually until he reaches the ground after which he pushes the body back to the wall until his arms are fully extended once more. The challenge in handstand push-up is that the CrossFit athlete is required to rely only on the core or upper body strength while at the same time attempting to push his bodyweight right in the opposite direction against the force of gravity.

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Benefits of Handstand Push-Ups

Handstand push-ups according to experts in CrossFit gyms demand athleticism at the elite level, and this makes it a choice exercise for your training regime. Among the benefits you will get from this workout include:

Strength Enhancement

When you do handstand push-ups, you will realize an improvement in strength within your prime movers which are the shoulders, chest, and triceps. Typically, handstand push-ups are not designed for beginners although they can be modified to suit the needs of athletes who are less experienced. The reason this CrossFit workout places a greater demand on your muscles compared to standard push-ups is that it involves pushing up 100% of your bodyweight. Women can also benefit immensely from this workout because development of shoulder strength is not a preserve of men.

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Improved Balance

The sort of athleticism required to hold your body upside down while performing the handstand push-up is incredible. Any sport would value such kind of athleticism. If you possess only the strength required for the exercise, but you do not have the prerequisite balance, maintaining the upside-down position may be difficult for you. You can use the wall as a spotter against which to challenge yourself without the risk of falling over.

Core Conditioning

In as much as exercise balls and balance boards are used to exercise and build core strength, they may be somewhat inferior to athletes who are already experienced and have well-developed cores. The core strength developed through wall-supported or freestanding handstand push-ups in CrossFit gyms exceed by far that produced by any sport or device. When your core strength is well developed, you will enjoy greater protection against injuries.

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To perform the handstand push-ups, you must have the ability to push much more weight than that in most shoulder press exercises.

If you are a young athlete looking to build shoulder strength, handstand push-ups are such a fantastic CrossFit exercise. However, before integrating them into your CrossFit training schedule, you must prioritize safety. If you feel in any way that you can’t measure up to the full handstand push-up, begin from the pike push-up and then progress gradually.


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