Small changes in body position can make huge differences in doing handstand pushups. The following tip changes the difficulty by about 20%!
That makes a difference of doing it and not doing it for many people, or a good number of reps for others.
The idea is that by bending the knees you won’t have to press your lower legs up. But if you keep them straight, then you truly are handling just about all your bodyweight for the full range of motion.
I’ve been using both of these variations in my training and call them:
- Full range handstand pushups easy
- Full range handstand pushups hard
It’s not that one form is correct and the other is wrong. Instead, they can both be used as progressions in this skill.
Also, this is important to know if you don’t have overhead clearance in order to actually keep your legs straight.
This tip did not make its way into The Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups. Why? Because I was barely doing full range reps at that time.
But there are still tons of tips that apply no matter your level. Even this one is based on the principle of changing your body position, slightly or majorly, that is covered thoroughly in the book (and no one else seems to talk about).
Good tips! Going to try it out. Already own the book, it’s good.
Hi Logan, love your work. The bent legs position is not easier because you are pushing less weight. The weight of your lower limbs is still there pushing on your arms, straight or bent. The reason it is easier is that you are ‘slightly’ pulling yourself up with your hamstrings as you come up with bent legs.
All great advice on progressions,
I think its a bit of both. Less weight is being pushed because the wall is absorbing some of it. It’s the same principle by which the degree of lean can make the exercise easier or harder.