HSPU help

If you are tired of scaling HSPU, then in addition to the 1 minute shoulder tap challenge, try some of these exercises:


Handstand Push Up Negative: Kick up into your handstand position. Ensure that your hand placement is approximately 6-12 inches away from the wall and your midline/core is in a tight, stable position. Lower yourself at the assigned tempo until your head touches the floor. Kick off the wall and reset. Make sure to control the descent throughout the entire movement. The tempo should be the same from the start of the negative to the end of the negative. If you are hesitant about the distance you are traveling to the floor, then place an abmat underneath your head to lessen the distance of the descent. As you feel more confident with the negative, remove the abmat(s) until you are reaching the full range of motion.

Handstand Hold: Kick up into your handstand position. Hold for a specific amount of time, maintaining a neutral spine and stable midline/core. (See photo above.) Once you feel yourself relax from that tight position, kick off the wall.

Handstand Push Up with Assist: This is best done with a partner. Have your partner hold onto your ankles. Lower yourself at the assigned tempo and press yourself up. The partner is there to help assist you as you press up, giving as much assistance as needed for you to press out of the handstand.


Wall Walks: Lay flat on the floor with your feet against the wall, hands by your side. Press up to the top of your push up position and take a big step up the wall. Take your other foot and step up the wall so that both feet are pressed into the wall. Ensure that you have a tight midline and, if a tight midline is established, walk your hands and feet up the wall until you make contact with your chest. Maintaining control, begin walking your hands out in front of you while simultaneously walking down the wall until your chest is on the floor. Common mistakes with this movement are generally lose of control on the way down from the wall walk and relaxing the midline. Only walk as far up the wall as your mechanics will allow. Increase the height of your wall climb as strength and mechanics improve.

Wall Runs: Wall runs are alternating, single-arm handstand holds and the time held with each arm can vary depending on the athlete’s ability. Wall runs can be performed facing either toward or away from the wall with the latter being the most difficult. Start in the handstand facing the wall (note the cartwheel wall mount in the video below). Keep your glutes and gut tight. You should be in a hollow position with your toes touching the wall, your wrists stacked below your shoulders and your shoulders packed tight into the joint. Slightly shift your weight to your right side and pick up your left hand. Your goal should be to touch your chest and put your hand back down on the ground with control. If you cannot maintain control, walk yourself away from the walk, even as far down as a plank or a pike. If you get to the point where you can easily perform 20 wall runs while facing the wall, you are ready to kick up into the handstand and face the world.


Training Phase 1

  • Day 1 – Five Sets of: Handstand Push-Up Negatives x 5 reps @ 30A1; Rest 90 seconds
  • Day 2: Four Sets of: Handstand Hold x Max Seconds; Rest 60-90 seconds
  • Day 3: Five Sets of: Handstand Push-Up Negatives x 5 reps @ 30A1; Rest 90 seconds

Training Phase 2

  • Day 1: Five Sets: Handstand Push-Up Negatives x 5 reps @ 40A1; Rest 90 seconds
  • Day 2: Five Sets: Wall Climbs x 3 reps; Rest 90 seconds
  • Day 3: Five Sets of: Handstand Push-Up Negatives w/partner assist x 5 reps @ 40A1

Training Phase 3

  • Day 1: Five Sets of: Handstand Push-Up Negatives x 5 reps @ 50A1; Rest 90 seconds
  • Day 2: Four Sets of: Wall Runs x 5-6 reps; Rest as needed
  • Day 3: Five Sets of: Handstand Push-Ups w/partner assist x 5 reps @ 50A1

Be patient with yourself as you work towards your goal of a handstand push-up, and stay consistent on this program!

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