The Handstand Push-Up

See an exercise that you can't do on the whiteboard? No problem. Here are four ways, from most challenging to least, to scale it to your current ability level.

Not all exercises are created equal, and not all exercises can be completed by everyone. No matter if you’re a handstand push-up veteran or struggling to get started, a tailored approach can help make the handstand push-up work for you.


Level 4 Scale: Partial-ROM Handstand Push-Up

Place an AbMat and a couple of weight plates stacked on each other (or a book or two if at home) between your hands to limit how far you can lower down. Tap your head on the raised surface, then powerfully press back up.

Level 3 Scale: Feet-Elevated Pike Push-Up

Place your feet up on a plyo box or bench a few feet behind you (hands on the floor) and bend your hips so your torso is nearly perpendicular to the floor and at a 90-degree angle to your legs. Keep your legs straight and core tight as you lower your head to the floor between your hands and press back up.

Level 2 Scale: Pike Push-Up

From a push-up position on the floor, walk your feet forward so your legs and torso form a V. Keep your butt pointed straight up with your knees extended. Touch your head to the floor at the bottom and reach full elbow extension at the top of each rep.

Level 1 Scale: Hands-Elevated Pike Push-Up

This exercise is the same as Level 3 but only with your hands elevated and balls of your feet on the floor. Lower yourself down and at a slight angle in front of the elevated surface (bench, box or other raised surface).