Tips of The Week

The Hand Stand Push Up (HSPU)

Perform this gymnastic exercise in a globo gym and you’ll get some funny looks, but do it in a CrossFit box and you’ve just become everyone’s idol!

HSPU (Handstand push up)

Kick up to the wall, then bend your elbows, then push with everything you’ve got to get back to full extension in your arms … Simple hey? If not then follow these simple steps to achieving this move!



(Regressing to progress)


Push up
Start with regular push ups… You can complete 20 chest to floor? Awesome, next step.


– Kneel at the edge of a 24” box, search your hands down to the floor and keep them close to the box.
– Keep your back straight with your hips above your shoulders, shoulders above your hands and your hands a little over shoulder width apart.
– Lower your head toward the floor then push back to full extension of the elbows. If this is too hard, move your hands further away from the box. As you get more proficient, move your hands back closer towards to box.

The idea is to be as vertical as possible, with the weight over your shoulders to simulate a full HSPU.


The Kick up
– Practice kicking up into a handstand position against the wall
– Move your hands to 1 hand length away from the wall then using your dominate leg, launch up towards the wall.
– Keep your elbows locked out and straight when you are about to kick up.

Looks good? Feels solid? Next step!


Now you’re against the wall, upside down and as stiff as an ironing board.
– The next step is to flex your elbows and slowly lower your head to an ab mat below.
– If this progression is too hard then add another ab mat to decrease the range of movement.


Strict HSPU
– Stack 3 ab mats slightly away from the wall.
– Kick up into a handstand over the stack, now lower yourself down so your head kisses the mat then apply pushing force through the palms of your hands until your elbows fully extend, if you get this, reduce the size of your stack and smash it again, keep going until you’ve got a full ranged HSPU.
TIP – Keep your body aligned when in a handstand position – once your body loses alignment you’ll either fall or be adding unnecessary weight to your body when you push.

Once you’ve completed the steps to a strict HSPU against the wall the next progressions to try are:
– Kipping
– Deficit
– Freestanding
– Ring
*Work up to these progressions with correct, solid form. These are hard and should only be done if competent in previous progressions.


By Sam Grudgings