Handstand Wall Walks from Beginner to Advanced

November 9, 2015 by VAHVA Fitness

Handstand wall walks are a great way to not only improve your handstands, but to also build strength in the shoulders, traps and triceps. Your wrists will also get stronger very quickly.


Although handstand wall walks may look overwhelming at first, they can be approached by reasonably fit beginners by following the correct progressions we have demonstrated in this article. 

Balance is not a factor, because you have the wall supporting you. Even beginners can hold this position - just adjust the distance between your hands and the wall to fit your level of fitness. 

Mastering these handstand wall walk progressions will improve the quality of your handstand and build shoulders, traps and triceps very effectively. 

Your wrists are under lots of weight, which means they will strengthen at a fast rate. The tendons in your elbows and shoulders should get stronger as well.

The mobility and range of motion of your wrists will surely increase, but one of the great benefits of wall walks is that you can easily practice improving your open shoulders by pushing them upwards as much as you humanly can.

Improved shoulder mobility will tremendously improve your overall handstand work, but your shoulders will also stay mobile enough to avoid injury. 

Beginner Handstand Wall Walks

beginner handstand wall walk
beginner handstand wall walks

In this beginner progression of the handstand wall walks, you are only slightly lifting your hands up. You are practicing shifting the weight to one of your arms.

If this feels too difficult, then you should practice the basic wall handstand until you feel comfortable to start lifting your hands.

Intermediate Handstand Wall Walks

handstand shoulder taps
wall handstand

You can also call these handstand shoulder taps, because the name describes the exercise extremely well. In this progression you are tapping your shoulders with every rep.

You are holding the handstand with one arm for a longer time, which is the reason why this progression is much more difficult compared to the beginner progression.

Advanced Handstand Wall Walks

handstand shoulder taps
handstand leg taps

With advanced handstand wall walks you are touching your legs with straight arms. This exercise will demand more balance and more strength than the previous progressions. 

The biggest benefit of advanced handstand wall walks is that it will tremendously improve the strength of your wrists and shoulders.

Freestanding Handstand Walks

free hanstand walk
handstand walks

Freestanding handstand walks is the next step from wall walks. Jump into a handstand and start walking in your place. Walking in one place is more difficult than walking forward, but walking backwards is definitely the hardest way.

This progression is significantly harder, because in addition to lifting your hands, you also need to keep your body in balance. 

If you want further details with freestanding handstand walks and other variations, please read:

Handstand Wall Walks Programming

Handstand wall walks are a great way to warm up, but they are also a good exercise to finish your workouts. They can also act as a workout on their own. 

Below is the recommended sets and reps for each of these progressions. You can also work towards longer sets which are up to 60 seconds and beyond.

Handstand Wall Walks Sets x Reps

Beginner HS Wall Walks: 3 x 15-30 seconds

Intermediate HS Wall Walks: 3 x 15-30 seconds

Advanced HS Wall Walks: 3 x 15-30 seconds

Freestanding HS Walks: 3 x 10-30 seconds

You'll get the most bang for your buck with sets that average between 20 and 30 seconds. 

Take 1-2 minutes of rest between sets. 

Train hard, stay safe.


samuli jyrkinen

About the author 

Samuli Jyrkinen

Samuli is the ninja behind the scenes (photography, videography, websites, program platforms and more). He has been training religiously for over a decade and has a firm grasp of physical and mental fitness. You will find our story here.

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