Handstand Push-Up – Level 3 – Pre-Intermediate


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Workout A, Workout B, Workout C, Workout D
Volume Day, Accessory Day, Volume Day, Accessory Day

Accumulate 20 knee-on-box handstand push-ups. Go up 5/week till you are at 40. Each week make it a little more difficult by using a higher box or getting the chest closer to the box. , 10×1 negative HSPU (see below for progression). Go up 1 rep a week till you move to the next cycle., 3×10 elevated push-ups. Once you can do all 15 reps at a certain height move up 3-6 inches. , 10×1 negative HSPU. Go up 1 rep a week till you move to the next level.

,,2 sets of 8-12 pike push-ups. Tempo: 31×1.,

Current ability

Comfortably kick up into a handstand against the wall, hold the position with tight abs and no arch in the lower back for 30 seconds, and comfortably come back down.

How to Progress

Move to level 4 HSPU when you can do 1 strict handstand push-up from the ground any day of the week. Do not move to level 4 until you feel comfortable doing an HSPU at any time.

Lesson-specific notes

The objective of this level is to develop overhead pressing strength in the handstand position. Going from a handstand hold to a handstand-up pushup may be a multi-month undertaking for you, so you may be on this level for a good while.

Suggested scale during WOD’s

Knee-on-box handstand push-ups.

Negative HSPU progression

The negative HSPU will be a staple in levels 3-5 of the HSPU. This will be a difficult movement. It’s likely it will conjure up intense and deep emotions against me for forcing you to do it so much, but don’t worry, you’ll love me after you’ve improved your HSPU by leaps and bounds!

It is performed by getting into the handstand position and lowering yourself at a 3-4 second pace. Notice I said lower and not drop! The purpose is to move through this range of motion-controlled and with diligent intent. Not just moving through the range of motion for the sake of checking it off in your notebook. I implore you to do them right and take your time. It should go without saying but as you move into using a larger range of motion the time will increase. Furthermore, while performing this movement, there is a propensity for most to accelerate as you get closer to the end range of the movement. You should focus on fighting that propensity so to try and keep the same pace throughout the entire movement on the way down. Once your head is on the ground or ab mat you can just come out of it either by rolling out or if you are able, pushing back up.

The following represents the 8 levels of difficulty for the negative HSPU. 3 ab mats being the easiest and shoulder touches to box being the most difficult. Each time a negative HSPU is assigned in your programming, you’ll perform the greatest level of difficulty you can muster. The goal is to slowly progress through the levels throughout the remainder.

  1. 3 ab mats.
  2. 2 ab mats.
  3. 1 ab mat.
  4. The ground.
  5. 1 45 lb plate under each hand.
  6. 2 45 lb plate each hand.
  7. Paralette.
  8. The shoulder touches the box.

Movement videos for this level