The body is vertical in a handstand

The handstand push-up (press-up) - also called the vertical push-up (press-up) or the inverted push-up (press-up) also called "commandos"- is a type of push-up exercise where the body is positioned in a handstand. For a true handstand, the exercise is performed free-standing, held in the air. To prepare the strength until one has built adequate balance, the feet are often placed against a wall, held by a partner, or secured in some other way from falling. Handstand pushups require significant strength, as well as balance and control if performed free-standing.

Similar exercises

The movement can be considered a bodyweight exercise similar to the military press, while the regular push-up is similar to the bench press.


The primary muscles used in the handstand push-up are the anterior deltoid, middle deltoid, posterior deltoid, pectoralis major, upper trapezius, and triceps brachii.[1]


The handstand push-up is measured in the Men's Gymnastics Functional Measurement Tool (MGFMT). According to one test on competitive male gymnasts in the United States, those competing at Level 4 averaged 3.0 handstand push-ups while those at Level 10 averaged 15.7.[2]


  1. ^ Johnson, Abigail; Meador, Melanie; Bodamer, Meghan; Langford, Emily; Snarr, Ronald L. (2019). "Exercise Technique: Handstand Push-up". Strength & Conditioning Journal. 41 (2): 119–123. doi:10.1519/SSC.0000000000000427. S2CID 56807126.
  2. ^ Sleeper, MD; Kenyon, LK; Elliott, JM; Cheng, MS (2016). "Measuring Sport-Specific Physical Abilities in Male Gymnasts: The Men's Gymnastics Functional Measurement Tool". International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. 11 (7): 1082–1100. PMC 5159633. PMID 27999723.