Perform one or two of the following exercises 3-5 days per week.  You may perform these before or after your workout or even on a rest days.  Remember, more is not always better.  Adjust your volume as needed based on what we are doing in class and level of soreness.  Always make sure you are properly warmed up before your sessions!

Prioritize quality over quantity and be honest with yourself.  Develop strength through the full Range of Motion.  This means to make sure you show control through the very top and bottom positions for every rep by having your elbows locked out at the top and controlling your body all the way down.  In other words, don’t fall onto your head in that last inch!  We recommend training on a surface that is padded and ideally where your head and hands are level at the bottom position.  For example, if you hands are on the ground and you are using an Abmat, you are missing out on about 2 inches on your Range of Motion.  Over the course of weeks you will increase your reps/sets and decrease your rest time between sets.

Ideally use a spotter instead of a partial ROM.  The spotter can help just as much as needed to get through the reps and sets.  If no spotter is available, ideally perform a scale or exercise that allows for full ROM.  Stacking up a bunch of pads does have its place, but do not make it your standard training protocol.


Exercise #1:  Negative Handstand Pushup

-Kick up into your handstand position. Ensure that your hand placement is approximately 6-12 inches away from the wall and your midline/core is in a tight, stable position. Lower yourself under control until your head touches the floor in the tripod/headstand position. Kick off the wall and reset back to the top position.

-Perform 5 sets of 5 reps with a 60-90sec rest between sets.  Start with a 3 second negative and work up to a 5 second lowering time per rep.

NOTES:  If you cannot perform this under control with a full range of motion and do not have a spotter available, ideally perform a pike version with your feet on a box or the floor with a full range of motion.  You may also use a spotter in the pike position if needed. 


Exercise #2:  Pushup

-Maintain a hollow body position throughout the entire range of motion (tight stomach and butt, spine straight).  The hips and shoulders move at the same time and touch the chest to the ground and lock out the elbows for every rep.
-Perform 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps at tempo (no pausing at the top or bouncing off the floor) -rest 60 to 90 seconds 
NOTES:  Scale by setting up an incline that allows you to maintain these standards. This is a foundational and challenging movement to perform properly. Be honest with yourself, focus on quality over quantity, be patient and you will see improvements in all aspects of your fitness!  

Exercise #3: Handstand Hold Facing the Wall

-Kick up into a handstand facing the wall.  Hold a tight hollow (straight) body position with toes pointed, feet together, locked out elbows and and your ears between your biceps.  The only thing touching the wall should be your toes.  The better you get at this position the closer your hands will get to the wall.  Once you feel yourself relax from that tight position, kick off the wall and rest.  

-Perform 3-5 sets of 30- 60 seconds with 60-90 seconds rest.


Exercise #4: Assisted Handstand Push-up

-Kick up to a handstand and have your partner hold onto one of your legs firmly.  With their assistance, you will perform a full range of motion handstand pushup.   Be sure to prioritize keeping the midline tight and not arching the low back.  Remember, the bottom position should have your head forward of your hands in the classic headstand/tripod position.

-Perform 3-5 sets of 5 reps with 60-90 seconds rest

NOTES:  A good tip is to avoid staring directly at the ground and focusing on touching the top of your head.  This helps to keep the midline straight.  You may perform this both facing the wall or facing away from the wall.  The facing the wall variation is better for learning perfect form and leads into a freestanding version while facing away from the wall is more common for CrossFit and learning the kipping style handstand pushup.

Be patient, focus on quality, stay consistent and you will achieve your handstand pushup!  Let us know how it works for you…happy training!


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