I started working out with calisthenics recently, and I want to workout my shoulders using only hand stand push-ups. Will that be enough to have good looking strong shoulders? Thanks.

1 Answer 1


No, it doesn't hit all three shoulder heads (assuming you mean the anterior, lateral and posterior deltoids.) Breakdown of handstand push-ups.

Mechanically I don't see how you can work all of the shoulder muscles unless you can encounter resistance coming from the wide range of angles the shoulder can direct force to. A gymnast routine on the rings would probably do it, but does that count as a single exercise?

You should be able to find a small repertoire of shoulder exercises that hit all the muscle heads and fit in with your calisthenics routine. I cannot speak to how visible the development would be.

  • 2
    Mechanically, you cannot. You can get Ant/Lat, Lat/Post, or individual... but not all 3. I will accept the argument of doing a concentric movement that hits Ant/lat and has an eccentric lengthening that hits Lat/Post or just post.
    – BryceH
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 18:47

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