How to do a Handstand Pushup for Beginners

The Top Rated Guide to Learn How To Do a Handstand For Beginners

Doing a handstand looks impressive but it’s going to take some practice as it takes coordination and balance.

With this Ultimate Blueprint in how to do a handstand for beginners you will join the ranks of the few who can do the handstand

Unless you have a physical impediment which cannot be overcome anyone can learn to do a handstand.

“everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was”  ― Richard L. Evans

To learn how to do a handstand we are going to teach coordination and balance the Lazy Man’s Way. We are going to learn how to do a handstand against the wall. The wall handstand is the first step in seeking perfection to progress to a freestanding handstand.

NOTE: Don’t forget to grab our free tutorial, the PDF of the ultimate bodyweight progressions at the end of this post.

One of the Greatest Challenges of learning how to do a handstand for beginners is to overcome the fear of being upside down. To overcome that fear & start building balance we are going to start with headstands against the wall.

Before doing any handstand work I strongly suggest you to do some wrist preparation exercises. Learning how to do a handstand for beginners in particular, can put a great deal of strain on the wrist which may backfire.

Doing a headstand against the wall is not a difficult move, with a little practice, just about anyone can do it.

Practicing against the wall helps to:

  • Gain confidence in holding your handstand and can show that nothing bad will happen if you fall .
  • Build up balance & coordination by staying upside down. If your feet touch the wall, you can just kick them away instead of falling down.

Aim to hold the headstand for 60 seconds without your feet touching the wall  before progressing on to the next stage,

Try to kick your feet slightly away from the wall and aim for a freestanding headstand you can hold for 30 seconds +

Headstands strengthen deep core muscles and as an added bonus, ischemic strokes rarely occurs in individuals that consistently do headstands!

Headstands alone will not help you progress to a full handstand so it’s time for some exercise…

10 Must try balance and coordination exercises for learning how to do a handstand for beginners.

Hollow Body Hold for Rock Solid Abs

A fundamental core body exercise for gymnasts and one of the most difficult abs exercises.

A key exercise for learning how to do a handstand for beginners is the hollow body hold. Improvements will happen at a faster rate by regular practice of this must do hold.

If you cannot hold the hollow body hold your back will arch because your abs are weak.

The lower back must remain in contact with the floor.  If the lower back slightly comes away from the ground it is no longer the hollow body position.

How to do the hollow body hold:

  • Lie on your back, lift hands up over your head and raise a few inches off the ground while doing the same with your feet.
  • Focus  on keeping  the lower  back  flat  on  the  ground  and  breathing throughout the hold .
  • If it is not possible to keep your lower back on the floor, bring your knees slowly up to your chest into a tuck position and find the point where your lower back contacts the floor. This is the point where you should begin your hold. It may take time but eventually you will go deeper into a full hollow body hold.

When you are able to complete five sets of sixty seconds you will have a rock solid core, time to progress to hollow body rocks.

To carry out a hollow body rock, simply rock back and forth and maintain tension and do not allow your shape to break at any point. Aim for sets of 30

The hollow body hold and hollow body rocks are important exercises to practice. The hollow body hold is the position to aim for when carrying out many gymnastic and bodyweight exercises.

The hollow body plank.

The plank is a traditional yoga position and good old timers exercise. Improvements will happen at a faster pace if the body is kept in the hollow body position as above. Keep the shoulders down packed tight into the joint, glutes up and your wrists stacked below your shoulders.

The plank engages more than 20 muscles, including your back, shoulders, legs, arms, glutes and really works your core.

Once you can hold a plank position for five sets of sixty seconds move on to more advanced variations.

The wall plank is great variation for handstands, once you can hold the wall plank for sixty seconds move your feet higher.

Looking for variations? This list of plank exercises should be more than enough:

Now it’s time to test your strength and coordination!

The frog stand, also know as the Crow Pose is a fundamental exercise that works your shoulders. It is more of a balance than strength exercise but a good test to see if the strength and balance is there for handstands.

 The frog stand is a prerequisite for freestanding handstands and the starting progression for moving into the planche positionDon’t even try to do a freestanding handstand if you cannot hold the position, you either lack strength or coordination.

Unless you have powerful shoulders, do not practice the frog stand in the same session as handstands, you risk overtraining

To get into the right position for the frog stand:

  • lean forward enough so that you’re on your tiptoes and
  • hug the knees into the arms and roll over onto your hands,
  • then try and stay in that position.

If you are unable to get into the position, use a yoga block or some other aid to lift up the feet and do the pose on your tiptoes or one foot at a time.

You will have a hard time doing a handstand if  you don’t have the strength.

Strength is usually an issue for people new to bodyweight exercises but adding the exercises below to your routine will help build a rock solid core and improve your balance and flexibility.

No 1 Exercise to Build Strength for Handstands the Pike push up

Pike push ups! My favourite exercise for teaching how to do a handstand for beginners. It’s more or less an essential exercise as it targets all the upper body muscles needed for handstands.

Form is crucial in all exercises but form is often sacrificed when people do pike-push ups. Most tutorials do not show the correct body alignment so I have written a complete tutorial on  how to do pike push-ups with the correct form:

Dive Bomber Push ups for shoulder control

Dive bomber push ups, also known as Hindu pushups, work your shoulders, arms, chest, core and improve shoulder control

A real shoulder blaster that helps with body mind awareness. Concentrate on keeping good form in both directions with a slow controlled motion.

Hanging Leg Raises build a rock solid core

Hanging leg raises with correct form are not an easy exercise. Keep the knees locked out and rigid while bending at your hips in a slow controlled motion.

Leg raises helps to lower risk of back injuries by strengthening the back muscles.

Continue to build up strength & bring your toe to bar then boom! You will have one sexy midriff to show off

“Build shoulder strength with the Downward Dog Against the Wall”

  • Another of My favourite exercise for teaching how to do a handstand for beginners is the, Downward Dog against the wall. Again as with many of the isometric exercises, aim for  five sets of sixty seconds

Handstand walks

Handstand walks are alternating single-arm handstand holds! Maintain the hollow body position while walking your feet up the wall.

If you can perform 15-20 wall walks you probably have the strength to kick-up into a freestanding handstand!

If you don’t have the strength & cannot keep control simply walk away from the walk. Keep practicing, strength will come in time, have patience.

How to do a handstand for beginners progressive inversion – The forearm stand

Harder than the headstand but a step closer to the handstand is the forearm stand. You need to arch your back so if you have poor flexibility in your back do some work in this area before attempting the forearm stand.

You also need good shoulder flexibility and for some, me included, the full handstand is an easier pose than the forearm stand

Foundation skill, the kick up

It’s near impossible to learn how to do a freestanding handstand if you don’t learn the essential skill of kicking up into position. The kick-up is how you get into the handstand position.

Practice your kick-up often to build your foundation skills and you’ll cut your learning curve in half

Make sure to kick all the way up, don’t be scared that you’re going to fall forward.  The worst thing that will happen if you kick up too much is that you touch the wall with the tips of your feet.

Practice often & you now have a proven formula to build the strength, balance and coordination for you to take on the world!

Now we have demystified the process & showed how easy it is to do a handstand for beginners, watch out for our next post. How to do the freestanding handstand, you’ll learn how to do moves most people dream of!