Learn how to Handstand Push up

Apr 22, 2019

 by Chris Brown

With the 2019 CrossFit Games Open behind us, it's now time to look ahead.  But it's also still important we reflect on the Open, as there is a lot we can take away from it. 

One thing everyone who participated probably learned or identified was a personal weakness.  Strict handstand pushups was a common theme for many (what, no kipping allowed?  who were they kidding?). 

But many athletes also discovered or accomplished something they hadn't known they could do.  Here at CrossFit Awaken, several people did their very first bar muscle ups!

The Open is a great launchpad to set new fitness goals for ourselves.  These goals are probably not beginner moves at this point, but that's what it's about.  Pushing it to the next level.  Next year, you WILL be able to do those HSPUs or toes-to-bar. 

We'd like to help you reach some of those new goals and will be releasing some progressions throughout our upcoming blog posts for specific movements. This week, here are some ideas to help you master both handstand pushups and handstand walks.

"I think the strict handstand pushup is a great test of our strength," Coach Chris Brown says.  "If you can do these, you ARE at that next level of fitness... you can put a barbell in almost anyone's arms and they can move it. These take a lot of practice, a lot of energy, a lot of effort.  These movements take intentional training."

Learning strict handstand pushups before kipping handstand pushups is safer and will help you to gain more strength in the long run.  So, assuming you're already at the level you can do a military-style pushup and a box-style pushup, it's time to get comfortable being inverted.  

From there:

  • Step 1: You'll want to work on an assisted headstand against the wall. 

  • Step 2: Start practicing kicking up to the wall to a handstand position.

  • Step 3: Handstand holds are next.  Kick up to the wall and maintain a solid core. 

  • Step 4: Work on kicking up to a handstand against the wall, and add in a slow lower down to continue building strength. 

  • Step 5: Work on your first handstand pushups with pads below your head to decrease the necessary rang of motion.  Start with three mats (abmats used for sit-ups work great).  Then, go down to two.  From there, one.  And then, eventually, none. 

  • Step 6: Now, you're ready to work on your strict, Rx handstand pushups.

If you have any questions about any of these movements, our amazing coaching staff at CrossFit Awaken is here to help.