The handstand push up can be one of the most intimidating movements in the gym – not only are you upside down, but we are asking you to balance on your hands and at the same time press your entire body weight. It’s pretty awesome once you crack the handstand push up though.
Just like everything we do at CrossFit Central Wellington, the set up (and where you put your hands) is going to be super important in getting your HSPUs cranking. This is absolutely something that we can all be working on while we are locked away in our houses (just watch out for the walls!). If you don’t get your hands in quite the right spot, you won’t be able to access all of the power from the big muscles in your shoulders, and there’s a chance that you could hurt yourself.
So – what are are we looking for?
First things first, we want to have you spreading your fingers right out – make those hands as big as can be. You want to have a nice solid base of support on the ground.
When you go to kick up into your handstand, we want your hands straight underneath your shoulders – there should be a nice straight line from your hands, through your elbows (which should be also be fully locked out and completely straight), your shoulders should be nice and active, spine neutral, legs straight, butt squeezed and feet squeezed together. It may seem a little counter intuitive, but you actually don’t want to let your hands go out super wide past your shoulders – think the kind of width that you’d be push pressing.
At the bottom of the push up, we want your head and your hands to form a tripod (a tripod is going to be THE strongest position), with your head between your hands and the wall. Your chin wants to be tucked and you should be looking straight out in front of you. Your elbows should be pointing straight ahead, don’t be letting them flay out to the sides.
So what can you be working on right now from home?
Get to work on your perfect handstand position:
– Hollow holds (with your hands pressed hard against the wall, as if you are in a handstand but lying on the ground);
– Handstand holds (with either your beck or chest against the wall,) with your hands in that perfect position underneath your shoulders;
– The headstand/tripod position (you can be doing this up against the wall for a bit of security, and then once you feel ok and a bit more confident, start to come away from the wall and try this freestanding). Really think about creating that nice strong tripod position.
SO – what you can be thinking about from home is making sure that your positions at both the top of the handstand, and the bottom of the handstand push up are nice and strong and stable. Once we are back in the walls of CCW we can get you flying through those handstand push ups in no time.
Nicole Taylor – Senior Coach
CrossFit Central Wellington