Handstand press exercise

Handstand press

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Anterior Deltoid
  • Synergists: Upper Pectoralis Major, Triceps Brachii, Lateral Deltoid, Middle and Lower Trapezius, Serratus Anterior
  • Dynamic stabilizer: Biceps Brachii (short head only)
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  1. Position two benches shoulder-width apart, against the wall perpendicularly.
  2. Assume a handstand position with one hand on each bench and heels against the wall. Your back should be neutral and positioned parallel to the wall.


  1. Keeping your back neutral and heels against the wall, inhale as you lower your head between the benches.
  2. Exhale as you straighten your arms and push your body back up to the starting position.
  3. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Comments and tips

  • The handstand press is an advanced exercise. Gym-goers should try the pike press and then the elevated pike press before trying this exercise.
  • For the safety of your back, do not arch your back. Keep your core engaged throughout the whole exercise.
  • Do not flare out your elbow to the sides. Keep them slightly tucked in.
  • Placing your heels against the wall helps you keep your balance and increases stability.
  • Performing the handstand on an elevated surface, such as the benches, allows you to utilize your full range of motion.
  • The handstand press can also be performed using just one bench, with the long side of the bench against the wall. However, it is ideal that you use two benches as instructed.

Handstand press video

Instead of positioning the benches parallel to the wall, position them perpendicular to the wall, as shown in the image above.


ExRx.net, Elbow Articulations

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