Handstand Pushup Progressions

In Bodyweight Mastery by admin6 Comments

Handstands are a huge part of my training right now. And in this article I want to share with you some of my most current PR’s as well as give you some ideas on handstand pushup progressions.

Let’s start with the videos. Here you have 8 full range handstand pushups and 4 freestanding handstand pushups.

I’ll start off with talking about my form. I know in releasing these I’m going to get hated on for it, especially the freestanding ones. Save your breath. I purposefully am sticking with the antique style of hand balancing, with the arched form. It’s not “incorrect” it’s just different than what you see gymnasts and circus performers do. And I plan to continue to do it.

The freestanding video comes from the recent Super Human Workshop. In the near future we’ll be releasing the DVD’s from that event, one segment of which I covered handstand pushup progressions in more depth than I ever have. It also includes new stuff I just recently came up with like the circular handstand pushups. Stay tuned for that.

In the meantime I want to share with you one tip I came up with regarding handstand pushup progressions and dividing them into four levels.

1 – Headstand Pushup (or a Handstand Pushup to your head)
2 – Full Range Handstand Pushups
3 – Freestanding Handstand Pushups
4 – Full Range Freestanding Handstand Pushups

These goals are to be achieved in order. The only exception is that after you’ve done step 1 you can move onto steps 2 and 3 at the same time. Still it is quite helpful to have lots of strength “in the bank” before you begin doing the free balancing ones, so I would move to step 2 immediately. And some people may not want to get into the balancing at all and just go for the wall moves.

Of course, with these goals there are many intermediate steps between. My favorite way for making these progressions is to use phonebooks. And I’m not talking about tearing them, but stacking them up so that you go to a height you can work with. And don’t think that you always go for the hardest variation you can do but build up in sets and reps in each one. Its simple yet works so well that many people will go try to do fancier things.

Also, let me mention the one arm handstand pushup as it has been in vogue ever since Convict Conditioning came out. It’s a great book but this is the one thing I probably have the most issue with. Instead of going to one arm towards a move that no one in the world can do yet, why not work the full range instead? Much more useful in my opinion.

And just because my primary goals lie in increasing my freestanding and full range moves, doesn’t mean I don’t return to the easier headstand pushup too. By working different skills and moving back and forth between them it helps to make more overall progress.

So follow these handstand pushup progressions and you too will be busting out these moves and making others say “WOW”! For more information check out my book (also available as an ebook), The Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups. Just reading that page you’ll find some more ideas on progressions you can use.


  1. Logan, I noticed in the first video with the full ROM against the wall that your feet don’t move up and down, rather you bend your knees. Is that something you generally recommend? I’ve been struggling with straight legs and non anchored feet on the headstand version so far.

    1. Author

      Yes, I find it easier to do it this way then sliding the feet up and down for these. I only do this with the full range of motion handstand pushups though, because of the position and there’s not always overhead space so I’ve become use to it. The best thing is to try it out and see how it works for you James.

  2. Logan,I’m not sure what is more impressive,the free standing or 8 on the chairs. As for the form..pay no attention to the on line heroes..maybe a person or two every thousand can do this. In my opinion it is more outstanding than a pistol.Conrats

    1. Author

      Thanks Darryl. True on the online heroes, though some hate does come from people that can do this with their “superior” form. And yes both of these are much harder than pistols.

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