Handstand Pushups: Week 2

Week 2 of our 3 week progression for HSPU!

I know that this is a movement that is killing a lot of you out there in your WOD times and upper body strength. The reason I know that is because this movement CRUSHED ME for my first year or two in CrossFit. It will never necessarily be a strength of mine but I have come a long way from it being a limiter. I have long arms and I’m a 200+ lb athlete, things that I have to consciously acknowledge so that I understand where I must put my focus in my training. The reason I share all of this is because both of the drills this week were integral in improving my “inverted” work in the gym.

Drill one is something that is rarely done and overlooked by many! Head stand knees to elbow drill. The goal here is to learn the proper position to “kip” from and also stabilize in to be able to hold a pure headstand. This movement will challenge your core stability and surprisingly tire your shoulders. Be sure to take your time and remember as you extend your knees keep your toes angled over your hands, don’t try to bring them over your head, you’ll fall. ; )

Over time the carry over of the drill will be obvious when you are doing kipping HSPUs on the wall and you'll be more confident and comfortable in the “loading” phase, which is where most athletes fall away from the wall.

Drill two is one directed at building strength and lean body mass in the upper body specific to use in the HSPU. In this drill the goal is to get locked out and spend 3-6 seconds lowering your head to the floor into a headstand. You have the choice of doing a strict HSPU, kipping HSPU or even getting down off the wall and kicking back up to a lock out. Again, the goal isn’t necessarily to be executing HSPU’s in this drill it is to descend with control and good position to the desired tempo. Over time and exposure this will result in you having more strength in the concentric (away from the ground/ against gravity) and give you a chance to be executing RX’d HSPU. Even if you are already doing HSPU, this is a great way to increase your overall volume of work you can perform.

The prescription for these are not magic, but the implementation of them is. What I mean by this is doing them will help you. I suggest that you do 2-3 sets between 5-10 reps of either drill 2-3 times a week. Don’t go to complete failure on either and visit them often when you are first learning, you’ll feel a direct improvement!

If you're just joining us, go back and watch week 1!