Handstand pushups VS floor pushups
- - which is better?

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Dear Reader,

Well, well, well. After writing about the great (and unfortunately LATE) Doug Hepburn in the last post, is it any coincidence today’s post bears the title that it does?

I’ve long been a believer in NOT believing in coincidences, as I’m sure regular readers of this newsletter are well aware – – and was it another coincidence that a regular reader of this newsletter emailed me recently with regard to getting STRONGER by doing nothing but bodyweight exercises?

While he had quite a few questions (all good, Mark, hehe) – – and many that I’ve covered before, something that I found interesting was this –

“You mention handstand pushups quite often in your emails. Are these better than regular floor pushups? If so, how? Which should I do if I have the choice”

Well – Mark – and my dear reader – if I had to answer very honestly as I always do – I’d say NEITHER is “better”.

Both are excellent exercises (the latter having many, many variations that if you did throughout your life would keep you in the best shape of your life WITHOUT anything else).

Both tax the upper body heavily – as well as the CORE – and upper back, of course.

Both build super strength and MUSCLE throughout the entire body – – and BOTH give you a great, great cardio workout.

Today’s workout for me took about 22 minutes (shave off 2 minutes for dithering about at the start, hehe).

That’s 20 minutes. 15 of those were consumed by rope jumps, and once I was soaked in sweat I got down on the floor, ready to pump out my pushups.

Except I didn’t. After getting into the diamond pushup position I just held … and got up after about 15 seconds or so.

And then, as if on “auto pilot” my brain directed me to the WALL nearby – and before I knew it, I was in a handstand.

The rest of the five minutes was consumed by nothing but handstands and handstand pushups — something I don’t normally do in exclusion of regular pushups – – but I did today — and I feel GREAT – – energized to the BONE – – and my upper body feels like it’s been put through the grinder.

What may (or may not, for you seasoned fanatics out there if any) come across as amazing is that most of that 5 minutes wasn’t even actual handstand pushups. They were handstand holds of different types (as mentioned in Shoulders like Boulders).

And that was enough to give me a super, super workout.

On the other hand, so do my regular pushups.

If I had to pick an answer, I’d say do BOTH. But if you really, really have to choose just one?

I’d say regular pushups.

Huh?? What?? The “Shoulders like Boulders” guy – the guy that writes about Doug Hepburn pounding these out at a mammoth bodyweight – says this? What gives??

I know, I know. Hear me out, my friend.

The reason I choose the answer I did is because a) regular pushups work the entire body, including the LEGS – in a way handstand pushups CANNOT. That might sound strange, but it’s true – and you’ll find out why once you get on the 0 Excuses Fitness System (or do the supplementary exercises mentioned in Shoulders Like Boulders).

and b) while BOTH work the core – floor pushups do so in a way that cannot be mimicked in an upside down position – and lend themselves far more to a “real life” sort of core training.

Don’t get me wrong – so do handstand pushups – but there is a solid reason behind boxers, wrestlers, sportspeople and the military all doing hundreds upon hundreds of floor pushups. Yes, they DO handstand pushups too – but NOT to the exclusion of regular pushups!

Last, but not least, it’s very hard for folks to get up to the sort of numbers I did in the handstand pushup that will really give you a great “all in one” workout. Not to mention the time taken.

Yours truly of course pumped these out in sets of 50 (NOT all at one time obviously) – but this took work – and isn’t what I’d recommend for the average person at all.

Do them – but focus more on the floor pushups – and you’ll be amazed at how far you go in a very short time.

Well, my friend, that is all for now. I’ll be back again later!


Rahul Mookerjee

P.S. – If you really want to get up to INSANE levels of upper body strength (think raging elephant like) – – and do handstand pushup workouts like I used to (and still often do) – – well – I’ve got JUST the course for you — right here — https://0excusesfitness.com/battletank-shoulders/

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