The handstand alone is an art, as well as an incredible exercise to build shoulder strength, stability, and total body control. Performing a handstand against a wall can help boost your confidence and build the necessary muscles that you will need to perform the Handstand Push Up later on. So, this exercise is a fantastic movement no matter what your fitness goals are.
PROGRESSING WITH VERTICAL PRESSING PATTERNS
As we talk about in other articles on this site, our “Vertical Pressing Pattern” would typically be a dumbbell press or military press where you are pushing a load over your head. In bodyweight training we have to get inverted in order to mimic that same pattern, using our own bodyweight as the resistance. You then modify your body position in order to increase the resistance. The final progression of your Vertical Pressing Pattern IS the Handstand Push Up.We have shown you the Pike Push-Up in earlier tutorials, so now we want to bring you a few steps forward and get into a fully inverted position. From here we can begin training the movement by taking just the negative (or lowering) portion. Negative phase training has a strong carryover into progressing into the full exercise. We can use this technique for almost any bodyweight exercise. It’s a great way to practice a movement and build the neurologic response to a pattern when you still lack the strength to perform the entire movement.
In this version of the Negative Handstand Push-Up, we are not just using the negative movement to increase strength in that pattern, but we are also using the wall to help maintain our balance. You can also practice kicking up with each leg in order to determine which one is stronger and will make the movement more comfortable for you. As you progress, you can try pushing out of the bottom position as well. This would be the full Wall-Assisted Handstand Push-Up and will allow you to eventually progress to a non supported version.
AREAS FOR SPECIAL ATTENTION
There are a couple of things you should pay attention to in order to perform this exercise correctly:
Flexibility of Lats:
Tight lats pull on the fascia of the lower back which can pull you into hyper extension and put excess stress on the lumbar discs. Spending some specific time on stretching the lats, pecs and internal rotators can help alleviate this potential risk.
Head and Neck Position:
You want to be aware of the head and neck position while you are performing the negative or lowering portion. If you are bringing the forehead to the ground instead of the top of the head, you run the risk of straining your cervical spine (neck) as you touch your target object. This is why it’s essential to keep your focus looking away from the wall.
It is also important to make sure to lower yourself with complete control. If you get to the point to where you can no longer control the descent, stop the exercise and come back when you’ve recuperated.
The Negative Wall-Supported Handstand Push-Up is an incredible exercise in so many ways. You should definitely add this exercise into your routine. Of course, as I always say, form is everything so stop as soon as your form breaks down! Now check out the video below, and go get started with it!
If you liked this exercise, you may also enjoy these other posts:
- For another great lead-up exercise to learning the Unsupported Handstand Push-Up, check out my article and video on The Pike Push-Up: Building Strength for the Handstand Push-Up.
- You can learn about another one of my favorite bodyweight training versions of a Vertical Pressing Pattern movement in my article and video on the Horizontal Squat with Press.
- I also recommend checking out Logan Christopher’s book, The Ultimate Guide to Handstand Push-Ups, which I review here.