Handstand Pushup Variations

handstand pushup variations

Handstand pushup demonstrated by Logan Christopher of Lost Art of Hand Balancing


The handstand pushup is an advanced hand balancing skill that demonstrates shoulder strength, scapular mobility, and a proper challenge to those who are willing. But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you’ve already achieved the handstand pushup, and are looking for something a bit more thrilling…some handstand pushup variations.

(Note: these handstand pushup variations aren’t only for the advanced trainees. In fact, variation 2 and 3 helped me to achieve my first HSPU, so don’t be afraid to try something new!)


Variation 1 : Lateral Handstand Pushup

Well first, what would be the benefit of exploring different handstand pushup variations? Without the variations, there is still sufficient opportunity to progressively improve the intensity of the HSPU and get stronger with each turn. With the variations, however, comes the opportunity to increase all-angle strength in your training.

For instance, while the basic HSPU does a lot to strengthen your shoulders, traps, and scapular elevation, this lateral HSPU variation trains scapular protraction, retraction, and upward rotation. In addition, as your mobility increases, you can slow down and exaggerate the lateral movement to emphasize your one arm handstand balancing skill.


Variation 2: (Elevated) Backbend Pushup

Furthermore, your posterior deltoid has a critical role in your handstand stability, as it is the primary shoulder hyperextensor. One of my favorite handstand pushup variations to train for developing that strength is the back bend pushup.

The back bend alone is a powerful stability exercise that, with isometric tension, can provide incredible strength. The integrated strength, posterior deltoid strength, and scapular mobility that you can build from the back bend pushup will do wonders to strengthen your HSPU. To increase the difficulty of this exercise, elevated your feet by putting them onto a wall.

As I said, this exercise was a huge part of the reason I was able to develop the strength and range of motion for the HSPU.


Variation 3: Handstand Walking

Often times as kids, we have an easier time walking in a handstand than we do holding a stable handstand. However, having the strength to walk in a handstand position without compromising the integrity of your form can develop your technique, strength, and mobility fairly quickly.

This is one of my favorite handstand pushup variations to couple with the lateral HSPU, because it does the same work to progressively improve balancing strength on one arm, but has a much sharper focus on the shoulders and triceps because…well, you’re walking.

When you’re searching to advance not just in strength but also in skill, especially with hand balancing, be sure to add some fun and variation to your training, and you’ll be sure to see some results. Be sure to let us know in the comments how these variations help you, or if you’ve tried them before. Finally, if these do improve your training skill, be sure to share!

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Legendary Strength Lockups


Hey everybody! In today’s post, I went back into the archives and caught a great tutorial by Logan on how to start developing single arm chin-ups. He calls these drills lockups.


You start off with a single ring or pull up bar. Begin in an alternating grip position. Whichever hand you are going to preform the lock-up with, you’ll use the opposite hand only a baseline support. Gauge yourself and try not put too much weight on the support hand.


Once you’ve locked up at the top end, complete the rep by releasing the hand and controlling the drop like a normal chin up.


Now the final addition is to turn each rep into a negative so you can begin to build your maximal strength!

Check out Logan performing his Lockups below!

March is the month to get yourself in tune with your body, so be sure to pick up the Advanced Bodyweight Training Bundle!

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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Are Handstands Possible at an Older Age?


Hey everybody.  Every now and then we get some feedback on not just how do start balancing with your hands, but also is it attainable at an older age. Luckily while browsing through the archives I was able to find Logan’s opinion on the subject.  Mindful movement is the key. So, if this is an endeavor you want to jump into, listen to your body and watch the video below for tips.

Now that you’ve watched the video, we found an excellent example of performing acrobatics as an older adult. This gentleman’s name is Lee Mowatt and if I remember right, he did this video at 64 years old(don’t fully quote me on that!)


Take a look at his stabilization and control below.

If you want to get better at your mindful movement pick up our Advanced Bodyweight Training Bundle!

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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Parkour From Scratch #2 – Climb Up Tutorial – How to start Parkour

Hey guys! It’s been a while. Logan and I have been working on the back-end putting some stuff together for you all and I also caught some nasty bug that’s been going around in my area. I wanted to come back strong with something that could put your autonomy, body feel, and endurance to the test. Today, we’re bringing you another segment of Parkour From Scratch with the Climb Up!


The first thing that TranquilMVMT looks at in this tutorial is your grip when you go into the climb.  Some people prefer to grip with the fingers themselves and others with the base of the fingers. Test it out, and see what works for you!


The next thing you want to do is figure out which driving foot you feel most comfortable with. Start first in a hanging squat position and then switch legs to see what would work best. Quick note is also to try and see if how long you can hold yourself up.


Lastly they discuss different ways of driving up from the elbow post, muscles up, and even utilizing a hip drive!(If you don’t know what I mean by hip drive, check out our A-Frame tutorial)


Once again their videos are packed with info, so I suggest to watch below and get in-depth!

Parkour is all about getting from point A to point B in the most effective way possible. In order to do that, you have to feel mastery over your own body. With that said, we’ve got an awesome deal this month to jam-pack yourself with the information necessary to gain that mastery. Click Here to develop to start you on the course to Advanced Bodyweight Training!

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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1 Min Tip: Acrobatic Attributes – Reverse Shoulder Roll

For today’s tip, I’ll be going over an easy stretch that everybody does, yet with a little more detail than the usual. The move we’ll be working on today is the reverse shoulder roll. It’s probably something you all have done since your school days, in sports, or physical education(if you had it).


The first thing to keep in mind while doing this combo is that your main focus in on the lats and the traps. You want to pay attention to keeping the shoulder neutral and in a relaxed position.


Once you begin your reverse shoulder roll. Pay attention to your arm when it gets behind your back. From personal experience with clients, I found that once they finish getting their hand overhead they completely relax their arm and let it drop behind their back. Lets not try to do that and be more mindful of our movement!


As your bicep lines up with your ear, outstretch up to activate the lat and keep it activated during the rest of the rotation.


Check out the full video here!

Also if you are looking to really develop your foundational range of motion and flexibility for acrobatics, check out the GMB Focused Flexibility program here: http://www.lostartofhandbalancing.com/go/focusedflexibility/

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1 Min Tip: Acrobatic Attributes – Kickup Coordination and Strength

For today’s post, I’ll be showing you a nice way to build up the strength of your kick up into the handstand! Whats great about this move is that its a nice diversion from the usual lead up stunts. It also helps you with your hip-hinging, driving power from the floor, as well as your mindful body feel! The move we’ll be working on is called the Frogger to Banzai Hop from the Gold Medal Bodies Elements Program.


The first thing you want to do is start in a deep squat position and make sure your arms are on the inside of your legs.


Up next, get your arms in a locked position and load them onto the floor. Once you’ve put the load on your hands, drive your hips up and let them fall naturally forward.


Once your legs land, get into an overhead squat position and complete a small hop.


Continue with this combo for about a minute, being mindful about whats happening with your body!


You can catch the action in the video below!

This combo came from the Gold Medal Bodies Elements Program. If you’re interested in delving more into developing your acrobatic foundation go here!

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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Some Inspiration from 47 year old Freerunner

Hey guys! If you don’t know much about me, know that I started in on movement training at a later age. I’ve always done the martial arts and have trained in combat sports, but working on tying it together into a cohesive art of self expression didn’t happen till later. I’ve still got a long way to go, but its great to see what others have accomplished even later in life!

P.S. No highlights in this one. Just watch the video as it is, you won’t regret it!

Only a couple of days left to pick up the Advanced Bridging Course. You’ve heard us talking about over the past month and you can get it by clicking here!

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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1 Min Tip: Wrist Flexibility

For today’s video, we’ll be working on a wrist stretch that can increase your wrist flexibility while at the same time, increasing the strength of the locked arm position


The first thing you will do is to get into a quadraped position. Make sure that your palms are under your shoulders and your knees are under your hips!


Once you feel comfortable and solid, drive you hips towards your palms while keeping them on the floor. Pay attention to your shoulders in relation to your hips and knees.


Rotate your elbows back and engage your lats while you lock out your arms.


This will give you a strong foundation for your upper extremities and will be essential in developing a solid kick-up.


Be sure to watch the whole video here!

Also if you are looking to really develop your foundational range of motion and flexibility for acrobatics, check out the GMB Focused Flexibility program here: http://www.lostartofhandbalancing.com/go/focusedflexibility/

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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Parkour From Scratch #1 – Shoulder Roll Tutorial – How to start Parkour

Hey guys! As you know, we’ve been looking for ways to really develop your acrobatic base and all your acrobatic skills. In this series, you will be getting the information you need to start in parkour from scratch! The first tutorial is all about the Shoulder Roll.


The first thing you want to do is focus on rolling out from your shoulder to your opposing hip. More specifically, you should start rolling from your trap or scapula and not the deltoid.


The next thing you want to do is either crunch or tighten your abs. That way you have a rigid surface to push off of the floor!


When putting it all together, create a diamond shape on the floor, pull your arm in, crunch abs, and roll forward from your shoulder to hip!


There you go guys! Here is the full video for you.

Acrobatics are about autonomy and being mindful of your own movement. The Advanced Bridging Course February sale is almost over so don’t forget to grab it in order to build that strong and dynamic core necessary for acrobatics. To get the course, click here!

Stay Inverted!
-Coach Jon

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“1 Min Tip”: Acrobatic Attributes: A-Frame Leadups

Hey Guys! In today’s post, I’m going to be expanding on the A-frame position. Each move in the GMB Elements program works on multiple attributes that one needs to develop for acrobatics.


Specifically today, I’ll be talking about how the A-frame teaches one to utilize the hip while either walking up or kicking up while utilizing the wall!


In the first position, drive up from your hips and try to align your hips above your shoulders. This will make it easier to get into the handstand than creating an arc from your feet to the wall.


If you utilize the same hip drive in the reverse wall handstand, you can create an angle where you can fully extend your legs and really stabilize your body.


Check out the full video below!

Also if you are looking to really develop your foundation in any acrobatic endeavor check out the GMB Elements program here: http://www.lostartofhandbalancing.com/go/elements/

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