Uprights - Super Shoulders

Vertical handstand push-ups are an excellent functional exercise for developing the muscles of the arms and shoulder girdle. The exercise is designed for experienced athletes, it is better for beginners to first learn how to do all the classic options for push-ups and inclined push-ups with legs on a support. In this article, we will consider the version of the exercise that is most beneficial for the muscles and safe for the spine.

Benefits of exercise

The main goal of almost any sports exercise is to increase strength, endurance and muscle volume.

Uprights - Super Shoulders

When you perform vertical push-ups, the main load falls on the muscles of the shoulders, and more specifically - on the middle bundles of the deltoid muscles.

Trapeze and triceps also work. You can imagine that you are doing a bench press because of the head, only in an inverted position.

Upside down push-ups are useful for the following reasons:

  • You can conduct intensive shoulder training without additional equipment. The burden you have to lift is your own body. How much do you weigh? Deltas will appreciate this load!
  • Biceps and triceps also get a good workout.

  • Lack of compression load on the spine. This item is relevant only with the correct technique for performing the exercise and, which is extremely important, completely forgetting about kipping. What is kipping will be described later.
  • Turning upside down, you shake your circulatory system, which when sitting is simply priceless. Prevention of congestion in the pelvic area, improving the nutrition of cerebral vessels.

  • Due to the weight of the head, a soft pulling effect is exerted on the muscles of the neck and vertebrae.
  • A sense of balance develops, coordination is trained. The fear of an inverted body position disappears.

In other words, the exercise not only develops the shoulders and arms, but also has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system and spine.


You should not try to do push-ups in the handstand while your muscles are not adequately prepared with the basic options for push-ups.

Having lost control, you may fall on your head, and this is fraught with serious injuries.

Also, pushing upside down is contraindicated in the following situations:

  • injuries of the hands, elbow and shoulder joints;
  • high blood pressure, head vessels, eye diseases;
  • for girls - pregnancy and menstruation.

Why can’t you put your head on the floor?

It is not surprising if you learned about an exercise such as push-ups on your hands from sources related to crossfit. In this discipline, it is also used very actively in training and competitions. And all would be fine, but there is one controversial point that should be paid attention in the first place.

This is, in fact, kipping.

Surely you noticed that when doing push-ups upside down, crossfit athletes in the last repetitions stand on their heads and push themselves out of this position upwards due to energetic leg extension. Then they again fall on their heads and again push themselves at the expense of their legs. This is called kipping.

Uprights - Super Shoulders

The number of repetitions in the exercise increases, but the damage done to the cervical vertebrae is incomparable with any competitive awards.

Therefore, if you are not a professional athlete and do not chase after receiving awards in crossfit, forget about kipping forever.

In order for the handstand push-ups to be safe, you should not touch the floor with your head at all, under any circumstances.

The fact is that the cervical vertebrae, unlike, for example, the lumbar vertebrae, are small and very fragile. They are not because nature had overlooked something, but because the strength and size of the elements had to be sacrificed to ensure the mobility and flexibility of the structure. No wonder you can rotate your head, bend your neck in all directions, raise and lower your chin.

Of course, if at the bottom point of the exercise you lightly touch the floor with your head, nothing bad will happen. But can you say with full confidence that you always perfectly calculate the effort? Knock a little harder and can get problems for life. Therefore, it is better to learn how to immediately not touch the floor with your head. In addition, many people have a more or less pronounced curvature of the cervical spine. This means that when the head touches the floor, the spine will experience not only compression, but also shear stress.

In general, since our goal is a beautiful, strong and healthy body, always follow the above recommendations.


The first thing you have to do is stand on your hands near the wall. There are two ways to do this:

  • Stand facing the wall at a distance of a couple of steps. Take an energetic step forward, quickly lower your hands to the floor and, due to inertia, throw up the second leg. Then pull the first one towards her.

    Hands are placed at a distance of 10-15 centimeters from the wall.

  • Stand on all fours with your back to the wall. Come closer to the wall and "go" on it with your feet. Continue to walk on your hands until your legs rise vertically and 20-30 centimeters remain to the wall. This option is less preferable, as the closer you get to the wall, the greater the risk of falling back and hitting your back and head.

    And if you stand far from the wall, the position will not be vertical.

The difference between these two options also lies in the fact that in the second case, the pectoral muscles are turned on and this happens all the more, the more “horizontal” your position is. In fact, vertical push-ups turn into oblique push-ups with raised legs.

Uprights - Super Shoulders

Let us consider in detail the push-up technique when you stand with your hands on your back against the wall:

  1. Take your starting position - stand in your hands. The arms are slightly wider than the shoulders, the distance from the palms to the wall is 10-15 cm, straight legs are extended upwards.

    Your body at the same time makes a straight line, do not press your buttocks against the wall. The gaze is directed in front of you.

  2. Slowly and controlledly bend your elbows until your head approaches the floor. Do not put your head on the floor. The most difficult part of the trajectory will be just the lowest segment.

    Therefore, if the muscles are still weak, start with semi-push-ups.

  3. Extend your arms and exit to the starting position. Repeat the desired number of times. Lower your feet to the floor.

Of course, the question arises - how many times do the exercise? The answer is as much as you can or as you wish.

It all depends on what purpose you do push ups with your legs up.

If you are doing an exercise to develop the muscles of the shoulders, aim for 8-12 repetitions in three approaches. These are the usual numbers for strength training. If you want to test yourself for endurance, train the maximum one-time number of repetitions. Learning to do push-ups in an upright position is not as difficult as it might seem at first glance.

To increase the amplitude of movement, you can do push-ups using special stops. This will make your training as effective and high-quality as possible!



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