The Wall Headstand is a nice little preliminary exercise for mastering handstand push ups. In fact it's not a hard exercise for your shoulder and arm muscles but for your vestibular system. For people like me who are used to stay with the head above the feet almost always it's pretty weird to be in an inverse position. And that's what this exercise is all about...you should get used to a position like this before you start to pump your muscles in that pose. I hadn't been in an upside-down position for many years (actually, I think the last time was during my studies...) so in the beginning I was a bit insecured about kicking my legs up to the sky (even if I knew there was a wall). I thought about falling down to the side or hurting my neck or or or...but once I stopped thinking about what could happen, I kicked strong enough to reach the wall with my feet (it took some attempts)...in the end it was no problem. After you got into position the main part of the exercise is holding this posture as long as you can (until you're able to reach the target). It's an unusual felling and you have to be secured in this pose before you can do the other exercises of the handstand push up progression.
Let's come to the how-to-perform explanation:
First you have to find a solid wall or tree stem. To make it more comfortable for your head place a pillow, mat or a smooth folded towel by the base of the wall (not directly at the base). Get down on all fours and place the top of your head on the pillow (approx. 6-10 inches from the wall). Put your palms shoulder-width apart on the sides of your head. Now bring the knee of your stronger leg close to your corresponding elbow and straighten out the weaker leg. Push down with the strong leg and kick the other leg simultaneously in the air. Both legs should now move up in the direction of the wall. After your feet touched the wall, straighten your legs until your body is aligned. Breathe easy through your nose. The contact with the wall should be with your heels only (the body is slightly curved in the pose). Now try holding the position for the requested time (balance your weight between your palms and head) and bring the legs back down slow and safe! If your neck starts to ache during the exercise stop it!
Target: 3 sets of 2 minutes (if you can't manage the target instantly, hold it as long as you can)
Caution: If you don't believe that you can manage this exercise or if you're totally unfit or if you feel to weak for holding this position then skip the handstand push up progression (and also this exercise) until you feel you can do it safely!
Paul recommends to do this exercise only once a week but I prefer to do it twice (see "The Plan").
At my youtube channel (Andreas Heller) you can already find more videos to the Progression Series (I'm gonna explain these exercises in further postings).