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Old 07-15-2014, 04:38 AM   #1
Chris Tan
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What's the best scale for strict HSPU?

Hi,

I'm following Competitors Training at the moment (great blog) and one of the skills is strict HSPU. Sadly, I can't do these yet (working on it) and I'm wondering what the best scale would be.

1. HSPU to an ab mat - the goal is to become better at gymnastics movements and this is as similar as you can get. The drawback is that you don't get the full range of motion.

2. Shoulder Press - you do get the full range of motion here, but you don't work all of the stabiliser muscles that you would when upside down etc.

3. Anything else I haven't mentioned e.g. Box HSPUs

What are your thoughts?

Thanks
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:09 AM   #2
Steven Wingo
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Re: What's the best scale for strict HSPU?

I like both shoulder presses and HSPU to one or more abmats, the latter being the closest approximation. I would do both of those to progress toward full HSPU. If a workout calls for HSPU, I would do them with one or more abmats and do presses for strength on other days.

Box HSPU are of course an option, but they seem very awkward to me and are probably best used by newer athletes who can't even get into a handstand hold. I'd much rather see an athlete just getting in a handstand hold against the wall and holding it, then progressing to shoulder touches in that position, then HSPU to abmats to limit the range of motion until strength improves enough to go lower.
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:16 AM   #3
Jayme Gruber
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Re: What's the best scale for strict HSPU?

I've seen our coaches program kipping HSPUs w a very slow negative on the way down to build strength.
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:36 AM   #4
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: What's the best scale for strict HSPU?

Box HSPU is generally the progression before Headstand pushup on a wall. It also matters if the elbows are kept in or flare out and if the torso remains vertical or goes into an incline upon execution. Big difference.

You can scale these with the kipped HeSPU and negative or using abmats but the headstand pushup already is scaled from a true HSPU on parallettes. It's already a partial ROM movement compared to an overhead press.

You can work DB OHP to work the stabilizers but you are skipping the balance portion of the HS.

If your wall HS is poor, you need to build that up (as in you cannot hold 60s).

If your wall HS and free HS are decent but you are just weak, the shoulder press or DB OHP can help as can the basic dip.

If you haven't mastered a basic dip, working on handstand pushups is sorta beating your head into a wall. Even if a HeSPU is partial ROM of BW compared to a dip.


So things I would be interested is how many dips you can do on a set of dipstands/parallel bars. You can quote ring dips but unless the rings are parallel that means you are just doing them poorly (or if you are kipping them).

A HeSPU is only maybe 50-65% ROM of a true HSPU. You start using more than 2 mats, and you are only working a very small ROM. Especially if your hands are much wider than shoulder width. At that point, it works the triceps more than the delts and traps.
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:18 AM   #5
Chris Tan
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Re: What's the best scale for strict HSPU?

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Originally Posted by Blair Robert Lowe View Post
Box HSPU is generally the progression before Headstand pushup on a wall. It also matters if the elbows are kept in or flare out and if the torso remains vertical or goes into an incline upon execution. Big difference.

You can scale these with the kipped HeSPU and negative or using abmats but the headstand pushup already is scaled from a true HSPU on parallettes. It's already a partial ROM movement compared to an overhead press.

You can work DB OHP to work the stabilizers but you are skipping the balance portion of the HS.

If your wall HS is poor, you need to build that up (as in you cannot hold 60s).

If your wall HS and free HS are decent but you are just weak, the shoulder press or DB OHP can help as can the basic dip.

If you haven't mastered a basic dip, working on handstand pushups is sorta beating your head into a wall. Even if a HeSPU is partial ROM of BW compared to a dip.


So things I would be interested is how many dips you can do on a set of dipstands/parallel bars. You can quote ring dips but unless the rings are parallel that means you are just doing them poorly (or if you are kipping them).

A HeSPU is only maybe 50-65% ROM of a true HSPU. You start using more than 2 mats, and you are only working a very small ROM. Especially if your hands are much wider than shoulder width. At that point, it works the triceps more than the delts and traps.
Thanks for the replies.

On a dip stand, I can do about 15-20 dips and up to 28kg weighted. I can hold a handstand for 60 seconds (with difficulty) and I can't free HS.

Based on that and purely with regards to this specific exercise (which is basically 50 CTB pull ups with 3 strict HSPU every time you drop)? Would it be more beneficial to kip with slow negative or HSPU to an ab mat

Thanks
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:31 AM   #6
Adam Shreim
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Re: What's the best scale for strict HSPU?

ABMATs are too squishy and I don't feel like they are a good scale at all. Infact, the ONLY time I have ever felt like doing something CF related ever "hurt" was when my neck popped a few times trying this junk on an ABMAT. Especially if you are trying to kip them.

The old HSPU scale, besides having your feet on a box, were to use bumper plates (put a towel on it, if it "hurts your head"). Start with a 45 and add 10s if you need more. Eventually get down to a 25, then down to nothing.

I would not suggest kipping the movement until you can do a few strict, also. The plates will limit your ROM, to make the movement easier, but provide a more stable surface if you get "stuck" in the bottom position.
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:13 AM   #7
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: What's the best scale for strict HSPU?

Your definitely strong enough. I would then inquire if you can fully open your shoulders. If your shoulder mobility is meh, it makes the HSPU a bit more difficult. Obviously, you can just place the hands wider to allow a more open shoulder but this decreases ROM.

So either scaled abmat HeSPU or Box HeSPU. You shouldn't be in much danger of doing them to an abmat unless you are coming down too fast. Something of a controlled descent so you lightly tap the abmat with your head.
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Old 08-15-2014, 01:49 PM   #8
Jan Dahlberg
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Re: What's the best scale for strict HSPU?

This always amazes me with CrossFit. Now, I come from a very solid background of strenght training and have 0 problem with strict HSPU, let alone kipping ones.

Why? Cause I am really fcking strong overhead compared to my weight. So why not get stronger first, then work on the finer stuff like HSPU. In the meantime you get to do some work with balance with HS holds.
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Old 08-15-2014, 01:57 PM   #9
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: What's the best scale for strict HSPU?

^^ Pretty good point.

If you can't do CF strict HSPU, which are just to a headstand...you're probably either weak overhead or dizzy because of a lack of inversion. It only requires something like a 55% BW OHP to do a CF HSPU against the wall, more like 50% and even less if you start going really wide, archy with a ****ty ROM.
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:57 AM   #10
Jan Dahlberg
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Re: What's the best scale for strict HSPU?

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Originally Posted by Blair Robert Lowe View Post
^^ Pretty good point.

If you can't do CF strict HSPU, which are just to a headstand...you're probably either weak overhead or dizzy because of a lack of inversion. It only requires something like a 55% BW OHP to do a CF HSPU against the wall, more like 50% and even less if you start going really wide, archy with a ****ty ROM.
To prove my point even further, check out Klokov doing King Kong. Does he seem to be having trouble with the handstand pushups? Of course not, cause he is strong as ****. Now people might say that heavier people will have it tougher. Well, here is a fact for you. Klokov also weighs a metrick ****ton. But that is muscle.

So, get stronger first, then incorporate static holds. Then turn to pushups.
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