Odd Pain When Doing Handstand Push-Ups


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I am currently doing HSPU's with the most strict form possible. I am getting pain in the area around my Lats / Ribs (my sides). Feels a little like the muscle is getting overstretched / pulling off my ribs but how can that be with that movement?

It does not stop me from doing the movement or hinder my strength but its annoyingly painful and I want a way to stop it if anyone knows.


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Do you perform freestanding HSPU or wall HSPU ? Are they in full ROM (for example with chairs) or "partial" (hands on the ground) ? I ask because I found free. HSPU more taxing than the wall version.

Do you practice another move which can interfere (or even hinder) the HSPU ?

In all cases, maybe it would be better to see a physio to be sure. Safetey first !

Kind regards,



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I do wall HSPU with hands on the floor. I also do pullups, abs rollers or hanging leg raise, box pistols, and head bridges. This movement is the only one that causes this problem. May just have to stop them even though I like doing them. I have tried varying my hand width, going closer or further from the wall... etc. The pain goes away quickly after I perform the sets and does not persist. Just really, really odd.


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Took a while since Friday was a recovery day. I took a video but have no idea how to upload or embed it.

Bret S.

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Certified Instructor
Google Drive Link:
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Hoping the link works. I am thinking I should pick a wall without that lip so I can take a straighter body angle. Any thoughts? Thanks!
Impressive John! You're not exactly a skinny guy and have great control it appears.
BW isn't something I can comment on regarding technique fine points, but to me it looks good and strong.. FWIW


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@JohnDoeman: Maybe facing the wall would allow you to stay more upright? It is a bit awkward to get in position because you have to walk up the wall. But this is how I learned to do handstands in Karate class :)

Anna C

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Elite Certified Instructor
Looks good and strong to me, too! I don't see anything that might be causing your pain/problem. But I'm not much of an expert on this move.


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Thanks all! I moved to a new wall where I could get closer / more vertical but that did not help. I think I am gonna drop down to a FTW pike press for a while and see if that helps.

What is odd is I have done this move with several other exercises so it does not seem to be another movement. Maybe the compounding stress on my Lats from Pull-Ups, Abs Roller (or Hanging Leg Raises) and the Headstand Press may just be too much?

Lastly, I am exploring that this may be a muscle knot thing that is oddly happening on both sides. Gonna try to explore that angle with a lacrosse ball (amazing little tool!).
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