One of the essential exercises in any athlete’s handstand training toolbox should be the handstand wall walk.

First: It’s Simple

There are certainly countless ways to train a handstand, many of which require special equipment or assistance. However, for this exercise all that is needed is a few feet of open space in front of a solid wall (or door). Even matting is optional, but may be recommended if you are a beginner.

Second: It’s Scalable

Regardless of your experience level, this exercise can be incorporated into your training. It can be appropriate for beginners, yet still have value for veteran handstand enthusiasts.

Third: Proprioceptive Training is Included

Proprioception is your ability to perceive your body’s movements relative to your spatial orientation (basically where you are when you are moving). A handstand wall walk is a controlled way to introduce the movement of inverting to a handstand and to train your handstand balance and form in a safe way.

And Fourth: You Can Use it to Build Strength

For an absolute beginner to handstands, balance may not be the only thing to worry about. Simply holding yourself up (without face-planting) may be daunting enough. With handstand wall walks, beginners can build up the strength towards a full handstand, while more experienced athletes can use it to train for press handstand strength, do reps for endurance or simply hang out upside down (yes - your circulatory system needs the practice too with all that blood rushing to your head).


Sold yet? Perfect - now for the “How” of the handstand wall walk.


Step 1:

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Squat down with your back to a solid wall and place your hands, shoulder width apart, on the ground roughly 2-3 feet away from the wall.


Step 2:

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Keeping your hands on the ground, lift your hips up and begin walking your feet up the wall.


Step 3:

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Walk up as high as you can control, then hold:

3-5 seconds for beginners

5-10 seconds for intermediate enthusiasts

10-15 seconds for the more intermediate enthusiasts

Looking more for endurance?

60+ seconds for those advanced individuals seeking to build endurance


Step 4:

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Slowly walk your feet back down to the starting position.


Key Points to Remember

  • Keep the arms straight throughout.
  • Avoid “winging” (aka hanging) on your shoulder blades by engaging the muscles around them and pushing through the arms to the ground.
  • Do not allow your lower back to arch. Maintain a neutral or slight posterior pelvic tilt position (think flat back, tummy tight).
  • The eccentric component of this exercise (Step 4) has a ton of value. Don’t skip it by just dropping to the floor.  Lowering slowly will build your strength more quickly than just dropping down (plus, it'll keep you safer too).



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  • A fully extended handstand at the top of this exercise can be advanced by walking the hands into the wall.
  • If you are a beginner, you can start with your hands a little further from the wall. Only walk up as high as you can control, working towards a fully extended position.
  • Build strength by relying less on the wall throughout the movement, particularly in the eccentric phase (Step 4).
  • For the more advanced, build endurance by performing multiple repetitions. Try walking your feet down to the bottom of the wall, but not touching the floor between each repetition. Or - try taking teenie, tiny steps to put more challenge on the arms.
  • Handstand wall walks can be combined with other exercises for increased challenge, including handstand holds, toe marches, handstand shoulder taps, handstand push-ups, etc... (If you'd like to know more about these advanced steps, check back for an upcoming blog post!)