Handstands are a huge part of my training right now. And in this article I want to share with you some of my most current PR’s as well as give you some ideas on handstand pushup progressions.
I’ll start off with talking about my form. I know in releasing these I’m going to get hated on for it, especially the freestanding ones. Save your breath. I purposefully am sticking with the antique style of hand balancing, with the arched form. It’s not “incorrect” it’s just different than what you see gymnasts and circus performers do. And I plan to continue to do it.
The freestanding video comes from the recent Super Human Workshop. In the near future we’ll be releasing the DVD’s from that event, one segment of which I covered handstand pushup progressions in more depth than I ever have. It also includes new stuff I just recently came up with like the circular handstand pushups. Stay tuned for that.
In the meantime I want to share with you one tip I came up with regarding handstand pushup progressions and dividing them into four levels.
1 – Headstand Pushup (or a Handstand Pushup to your head)
2 – Full Range Handstand Pushups
3 – Freestanding Handstand Pushups
4 – Full Range Freestanding Handstand Pushups
These goals are to be achieved in order. The only exception is that after you’ve done step 1 you can move onto steps 2 and 3 at the same time. Still it is quite helpful to have lots of strength “in the bank” before you begin doing the free balancing ones, so I would move to step 2 immediately. And some people may not want to get into the balancing at all and just go for the wall moves.
Of course, with these goals there are many intermediate steps between. My favorite way for making these progressions is to use phonebooks. And I’m not talking about tearing them, but stacking them up so that you go to a height you can work with. And don’t think that you always go for the hardest variation you can do but build up in sets and reps in each one. Its simple yet works so well that many people will go try to do fancier things.
Also, let me mention the one arm handstand pushup as it has been in vogue ever since Convict Conditioning came out. It’s a great book but this is the one thing I probably have the most issue with. Instead of going to one arm towards a move that no one in the world can do yet, why not work the full range instead? Much more useful in my opinion.
And just because my primary goals lie in increasing my freestanding and full range moves, doesn’t mean I don’t return to the easier headstand pushup too. By working different skills and moving back and forth between them it helps to make more overall progress.
So follow these handstand pushup progressions and you too will be busting out these moves and making others say “WOW”! For more information check out my book (also available as an ebook), The Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups. Just reading that page you’ll find some more ideas on progressions you can use.