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15.4 Tips HSPU


If you can’t string more then 3-5 handstand push ups you should be doing the workout scaled period. I would even go as far as saying 3-5 strict handstand push ups. Here’s the thing, the handstand is my favorite movement in gymnastics and takes a lot of time and effort to really get it solid. The handstand is the most beautiful movement. It shows the ability to have body control, strength in core and tests shoulder strength, the foundation to basically all movements in Crossfit and gymnastics. There will be many people this weekend doing the workout RX that should be doing the scaled version. If your Handstand/Handstand Push-ups/Handstand Walks are weak then you need to really get serious about improving them this next year! It takes months of hard work to see progression on this movement. I think I was more upside down on my hands during my childhood then I was right side up. I spent hours on my hands practicing different movements like wall walks, wheel-barrows, handstand holds with a partner, dumb bell presses against the wall. Then I would progress to walking one step at a time on my hands, then practicing more advanced movements like the handstand push up.

The standard is the standard for 15.4. So if you can’t do a single handstand push up without your arms being wider then your shoulders then you simply shouldn’t attempt doing the WOD RX. Some tips when you are ready to attempt training the handstand push up and prevent neck injury from happening would be to:

1. Start with your hands wider then your shoulders and further away from the wall this allows for the head to have room to touch the ground at more of an angle until you are ready to progress to doing a handstand pushup vertically.

2. Always use 2-3 mats during the progression and then take mats away as you progress

3. DO NOT KIP PERIOD unless you can string 5-6 handstand pushups and have a strong hand stand walk. (Kipping can cause you to not have a tight core, and also can create movement in your head and neck so when your head hits the mat it can jam the cervical spine and can cause major problems like neck sprain/strain/disk bulge and even worse  can cause the Atlas the top bone in your spine to LOCK and that’s when you will notice severe health problems. The patients that come to see me don’t just have neck and shoulder injuries and pain they have serious health conditions from the Atlas locking out things like exertion headaches, blurred vision, arm/hand numbness, high blood pressure, asthma to name a few.

4. Get checked if you have never had your nervous system checked using Upper Cervical analysis then you could be missing out on health’s Best Kept Secret. Find an upper cervical doctor near you.

Regardless if you are doing RX or Scaled both movement require a STRONG CORE so make sure you are breathing proper during this WOD, don’t hold your breath the proper use of your diaphragm will help! Don’t BLOW YOUR WOD too soon on this one!

Good Luck Functional Movers!




If you are doing scaled great! The Push Press is a fundamental movement to the handstand. This next year really focus on getting a PR in the push press. This is a slow progression. It took me over 8 months to improve on my push press max, I was stuck at 100 lbs for months. But I stuck with it and I seen improvements in my hand stand push up work.

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