By Brian Diaz

Several of my advancing shoulder rehab clients originally hurt themselves participating in precarious gymnastic ring-based exercises injuring their rotator cuff or long-head biceps tendon. They ultimately want to return to some of these high-intensity bodyweight exercises with one of the more challenging being a handstand push-up.

In our progression towards a vertical TRX handstand push-up we move  past a regular push-up bringing movement and shoulder stability into play. This is a more difficult exercise even without the feet inside TRX holds. Before attempting this exercise, have it cleared with your physical therapist if recovering from a shoulder injury.


Start with your feet in the holds and facing down towards the floor. Come up into a push-up position with the TRX unit shifted slightly back of center attachment point, away from your head. Pike the hips up by drifting the upper body back and moving the feet slightly forward. Start the downward movement of the head towards the ground as the upper body also shifts forward. Just before hitting the ground, arch back into extension of the low back and torso similar to a press-up move in Yoga and Pilates. Pause and hold this position for a few seconds before returning back into a pike position.

Brian Diaz is the head physical therapist and sports specialist at ActivEdge Fitness & Sports Performance. He is a Level II Certified TRX Suspension Trainer and a USA Triathlon Certified Coach. Follow him on Twitter (@JediTriathlete) or go to his website at for more exercise ideas.