If you’ve ever been to a CrossFit class (or the circus for that matter), you may have watched someone perform a handstand pushup and think to yourself, “That’s ridiculous, why would you ever do that?” On the other hand, some of us thought it would be an awesome challenge, but weren’t able to complete a single rep. 

Throughout my career as a fitness coach, I’ve pondered the functionality for such a crazy exercise. CrossFit claims “functional movements performed at high intensity”, and I didn’t understand the benefits of pressing upside down until they were a staple in my routine.

Whatever the reason, this challenge made me aware of my weaknesses and pushed me to attack them. In the process, I discovered the JOURNEY to performing handstand push-ups has many benefits and the final goal is a bonus that celebrates hard work and dedication to pursuing a healthy lifestyle.

Below, is just a short list of the benefits you will see when you include and work toward handstand pushups into your routine.


Performing handstand pushups improves strength in the shoulders, lats, traps, pecs, and triceps. 

Although handstand push ups don’t involve much of the lower body, it is a multi-jointed exercise that recruits many muscles at once. This requires a large range of motion of the joints and because you’re pushing all of your body weight a significant distance it’s an optimal exercise for increasing strength.


Being able to perform a handstand pushup is a great indicator of healthy body composition. 

Healthy body composition, which has a strong correlation to heart health, indicates how much lean body mass you have. Lean body mass correlates to a lower resting heart rate, lower blood pressure and decreased risk of chronic disease.


As you age, your body awareness and ability to orientate yourself upside down decreases. 

In a handstand pushup, you’re asked to kick upside onto a wall, then perform a press. This requires body awareness, orientation and athleticism. If you continue to improve upon and toward a handstand pushup, you can improve and reduce the body’s natural progression of losing these capabilities as you grow older. 

Also, during a handstand pushup, we’re asking the shoulders to move through range of motion. This assists with not only building strength, but increases flexibility and improves neurological connection which is a key for improving athletic performance. 


Many don’t realize it, but during the performance of a handstand push up, your lats, abs and midline have to work together to stabilize AND lift the whole body.  

In terms of building your six-pack abs, handstand pushups give you a lot of bang for your buck!

Handstand pushups are much more than a circus event! They are a necessity for a healthier, stronger and leaner body. From strengthening your upper body to heart health, the health benefits are beyond comprehension, so get out there and start pushing!

If you’re interested in working toward your first handstand pushup, gain access to our MY FIRST HANDSTAND PUSHUP PLAN HERE. 

The MY FIRST HANDSTAND PUSH-UP PLAN is a 16 week supplemental program containing all the tools you need to accomplish your first handstand pushup. It includes two strength training sessions per week with exercise demo videos designed for athlete who can already perform:

  1. 15 second handstand hold
  2. 10 consecutive push-ups

Also, check out the following:

At Lincoln Nutrition & Fitness, we offer you both nutrition and fitness coaching, from personal training to group CrossFit classes we have the keys to help you build muscle. 

Our personal trainers and group coaches value lifting heavy weights, and using multi-jointed, functional exercises performed at high intensity. You don’t have to guess about what to do! Schedule a free consultation with a coach to see how we can help you with your goals! →  I’M READY TO MEET WITH A COACH!

COACH PHIL KNIEP – Owner & CEO of Lincoln Nutrition & Fitness

Precision Nutrition L1 Coach

CrossFit Level 2 Trainer

Endurance Certified

Mobility Certified

Scaling Certified

3x CrossFit Games Qualifier

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