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Old 08-04-2009, 06:38 AM   #1
Omar Omar
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Handstand pushups

Okayy. So this is very depressing

Well I never be able to do handstand pushups unless I can strict press my own weight. I am 165. Does this mean I have to press 165 before I can do a handstand pushup.

Or is it something we can do earlier. Like if we keep trying and learn??
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:10 AM   #2
Matt Holmer
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Re: Handstand pushups

Check out the handstand push up progression video from BrandX. I'm sure you'll be there in no time! [wfs]
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:19 AM   #3
Ben Moskowitz
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Re: Handstand pushups

Originally Posted by Blair Robert Lowe
It takes a strict overhead press of about 55-65% of your BW to be able to do a Handstand to Headstand to Handstand pushup or HeSPU.

It takes about 75-90% of your BW to do a HSPU against the wall on parallettes with full ROM.

From this thread.
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:48 PM   #4
Brian Adams
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Re: Handstand pushups

Started CF on 6/22 (only about 6 weeks ago) weighing 190 with a max shoulder press of 135 (70% BW). My very first day called for 3 rounds of 12 HSPU...

I had never even attempted to do a handstand in my life, let alone a HSPU. I didn't even really know how to attack it. Needless to say that was an interesting day. I spent the first 12 reps just trying to get into a handstand. The 2nd round I was semi-comfortable holding myself up for about 3 reps at a time of maybe 15% ROM. By round 3 I had split the 12 into 5,4,3 and got about 25% ROM on all reps.

I've since done 3 WODs with HSPU and just recently managed to get my first HSPU with 100% ROM (head to floor). The heaviest shoulder press I've done since I started CF is still only 150 (79% BW), I failed on 155.

Just keep at it and you'll get there, there is plenty of upper body/core building in CF and my strength increase in these areas has been amazing in just 6 weeks.

Some keys for me on the HSPU (with feet on wall):

1. Use a mat on the ground to give yourself a sense of security mentally if you were to fall
2. Find a comfortable distance from the wall so when you get in position your legs are not throwing you off
3. I like to make sure my fingers are spread to give me a wide/solid base and so they aren't folded "under" each other (this may or may not be proper technique just seems to work for me)
4. Look forward and not down at the ground you're not trying to touch your face to the ground ;P
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:09 PM   #5
Graeme Howland
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Re: Handstand pushups

You definitely do not need a BW press to do an HSPU (top of head or forehead to ground). My all time best press is 83% while the last two maxes i've only hit 80% and I can do about 4 HSPU (forehead) if I am rested. My friend's max press is 78% and he can do more reps (him = 160lbs, me = 200). For what it's worth I started CF in January, first time doing HSPU was mid Feb, done them maybe 10 times. Just work at it, stay tight.
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:20 PM   #6
Andrew H. Meador
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Re: Handstand pushups

Omar, think about it like this: use HSPU progressions as improving your overhead press, instead of doing it the other way around. If you can do a bodyweight press, you can't necessarily do a full ROM freestanding HSPU on your first attempt, but the other way around more or less works out. Coach Glassman said that in his gymnastic days they worked it out that if you could do 20 full ROM HSPUs, then you could overhead press 1.5x bodyweight.
I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings. -W. Mozart
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:33 PM   #7
Thomas Green
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Re: Handstand pushups

Yeah, a lot of it depends on your build too. I can't press my bodyweight, but I can do a ton of head to ground HSPU's with my hands pretty close in. My longer arms make the bottom part of the press ROM insanely hard(my push press max is about 80lbs heavier than my strict press max). Once I get to 90 degrees, I can press a ton more weight, which I think is why HSPUs aren't too hard for me.
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:09 PM   #8
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Handstand pushups

And again pressing from the headstand to HS is only about 60% of the ROM of a full ROM HSPU on parallettes which requires that 80-90% BW press roughly.

I can do a ratio of over 3 Headstand>Handstand pushups on the wall compared to doing them stomach to wall ( somewhat free from a headstand ). My ratio of Headstand>Handstand pushups has ranged from 5-7:1 to 1 regular HSPU on parallettes. Based on some of that testing, it may mean that doing a headstand to handstand pushup back against the wall, arms wide, back arched with legs apart could be the equivalent of a 33% BW press. Otherwise, like doing a pushup to the deck. It's harder than that but basically easy and will get easier when you get better at it do to motor unit recruitment ( muscle memory ).

Splaying out the fingers creates a better base of support of all HS acro. More surface area.
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:55 AM   #9
Roger Harrell
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Re: Handstand pushups

HSPU and shoulder press do not correlate tightly. Yeah, they correlate pretty well, but not directly. Shoulder positioning is different necessitated by the bar and proper HSPU on parallettes. I can HSPU more load than I can shoulder press. Predominantly due to familiarity with movement. Some people can shoulder press bodyweight and can't do a full ROM HSPU. It all depends on what you are more practiced with.
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:16 AM   #10
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Handstand pushups

Yep, motor unit recruitment ability.
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