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Weight Training Shoulders vs HSPU's


Does anyone see any need for shoulder weight training if you do handstand pushups? If your goal is generally strength, stability and athleticism (so not bodybuilding/figure etc).

There are lots of different ways to work your shoulders with weights. Are there any that you consider important - over and above doing HSPU's?

Or perhaps looking at it another way, what HSPU variations (or other bodyweight exercises) would you use to ensure no weaknesses/imbalances develop?

Even answers from a bodybuilding perspective will be very helpful as bodybuilders are probably best versed about what movements/exercises work which muscles.


The short answer, imo, is no. Since you said your goals were very general, improved overall strength, stability, athleticism, and shoulder health/mobility etc. Handstand pushups will do a pretty good job.

Should you decide to specify later on, the answer may of course change. For example handstand pushups aren't going to cut it if you're trying to build shoulder strength for strongman implements.

These days the only time I do handstand pushups are when there's pretty girls in the gym that I want to see me doing handstand pushups. You can pull 500lbs for reps, most chicks have no concept of this and you may as well be doing 315, they don't fuckin know. But do a few handstand pushups and everybody loses their minds lol.


That's the same way I feel about doing muscle-ups.


LOL - being female I'm not really interested in the pretty girls, but I won't lie - the fact that bodyweight stuff LOOKS more impressive is part of the appeal.

Thanks for your response :slightly_smiling:


in terms of bodybuilding, they wouldn't be enough on their own. You'd need lateral raises and stuff for the rear delts too.

For general athleticism they'll be fine, and they really do look badass!


Work on eventually doing them like this.


Impressive!!! Actually, I was going to ask what progressions people recommended. I'm still very new to them, but AMAZED at how easy I'm finding them. I doubt I could do more than a 80lbs overhead press yet I can get my elbows to 90 degrees no problem (so head to floor) in a handstand pushup (i'm 140lbs) - not deeper though.....yet :slight_smile:

I'm thinking of trying gymnastic ring handstand pushups and on parallel bars. Maybe a weighted vest?

But I guess getting full range of motion - using blocks - is the most important.


gymnastic ring handstand push ups would be quite a sight!




The best suggestion I've seen so far came from Jason Ferruggia:

"Once you can do 8-10 reps usually (in about 4-6 months) it will be time to start increasing the range of motion. To do this place your hands on boxes and lower your head between them.

Ideally you would want to start with thin rubber mats and add one every couple of weeks. If you donĂ¢??t have that ability, stack some magazines or something in between the boxes to increase the range gradually."


Thank you nighthawkz - I'll give that a try.

Also, I'm now super-motivated to try the ring handstand pushups after watching that video!!!