I always thought it would be great to be able to do handstand pushups without needing a wall for support, but since it wasn’t a skill I could get credit for in a routine I never took the time to learn it. However, since I’ve returned to gymnastics with a much different perspective about time (I’m not restricted to a school competition schedule, and I don’t expect to be ever done with gymnastics anymore) I decided to focus on it.
The first step was to be able to hold a handstand for as long as I wanted, which for me required a great deal of wrist flexibility and of course practice. Then when I was ready to start working on handstand pushups I decided to change my head position so they would be straighter handstands. This caused a delay because it was a whole new body position for me to get used to.
Once I had a straight handstand hold for at least 10-20 seconds, I began trying handstand pushups. I soon figured out that I had to learn how to move between two balance points – one is the handstand and one is a bent arm handstand (almost a headstand but with my head off the ground) – while keeping my balance. This is similar to walking, where you lean your center of gravity from one foot onto the other, and each side is a balance point.
I felt a great sense of accomplishment when I was able to do 10 in a row without falling down one way or another, and the video above includes a demonstration in my backyard. Now I try to make sure I do at least 10 in my daily exercise routine. As the saying goes, “use it or lose it”.