Many have aspirations of performing a kipping and/or strict Handstand Push Up (HSPU) but don’t know where to start. That is why I created this HSPU progression that works for all levels. Whether you are just starting out, or still working on your timing, this progression will get you to where you need to be.
Before you embark on your HSPU journey, you should be able to perform at least 10 repetitions of regular Push Ups & Pike Push Ups. If you attempt to get upside down without the prerequisite strength, you are risking severe injury to your head, neck, and spine.
Here is a general weekly outline of this progression. I recommend you perform HSPU work twice a week for 20 minutes during the beginning of your training session. Perform 5 sets of each movement with intent, focus, and quality.
Headstand Hold – In order to master the HSPU, you must dial in the bottom position. Without strength, control, and stability in this position, you will be risking injury to your head, spine, and neck. You should be able to hold this position for at least :30 before moving on to the next phase.
Handstand Hold – This is more obvious, but you must be comfortable in the static handstand hold before ever attempting a HSPU. You should be able to hold this position for at least :30 before moving on to the next phase.
:03 Negatives – Performing just the negative portion of the HSPU is a great way to build strength and stability within the movement. You should be able to perform at least 5 reps with a :03 negative before moving on to the next phase.
Kipping Negatives – Perform just the negative, then bring your knees to your elbows before coming back to your feet. Do not kick back up or press to lock out yet. This is just to build timing, body awareness, and coordination. You should be able to perform at least 5 sets of 5 reps before moving on to the next phase.
Kipping Negatives w/Kick Up (no press) – Perform the same movement as above, but then quickly extend your legs overhead in preparation for the Kipping HSPU. This is a great way to work timing without the added stress of pressing. You should be able to perform at least 5 sets of 5 reps before moving on to the next phase.
Strict HSPU – Start with limited range of motion by using mats or books where your head touches, then remove them as you become more comfortable. You should be able to perform Strict HSPU’s before kipping. No sense in adding a dynamic movement unless you have the strength and control to do them strict. You should be able to perform at least 5 sets of 5 reps before attempting Kipping HSPU’s.
Kipping HSPU – Start with limited range of motion, then increase the range as you become more comfortable. This is where some serious pressing strength is built!
Watch this video of one of my clients using this progression to go from only being able to do a headstand, to multiple Strict/Kipping HSPU’s in just 12 weeks!
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