Done A Handstand Pushup

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"Now I don’t allow my body to break at all. Boom—that’s the position." --Carl Paoli

Today is my friend and gymnastics extraordinaire Carl Paoli’s birthday.  I met Carl on February 26, 2010.  The reason I remember that is because it was the first day I was able to a muscle up.  If you check out my YouTube channel, you can see Carl in the background of my first
muscle up video.

Like I said, Carl is a gymnastics guy.  As long as I’ve known him, I constantly pick his brain about handstands and handstand pushups.  They’re one of my biggest weaknesses.

The traditional way of doing handstand pushups in the
CrossFit world is to kick up so your back is facing the wall with your heels touching. 
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The problem with this position is that it leaves your back and core overextended and arched.  This is not a strong or supported position.  To get the most out of your upside down, inverted positioning, your body should be in the hollow body.  This is way too difficult to do with your heels on the wall.  Plus, if you eventually want to do freestanding handstand pushups, you want to maintain that hollow body, or what Carl and Kelly Starrett love to call “The Position”.
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Carl supports facing the wall when doing handstand pushups on the wall.  So, I tried this for the first time today.  I had never done a full range of motion handstand pushup before.

I kicked up to the wall.
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I crawled my hands back toward the wall, so I was basically vertical.
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I lowered myself and touched my head to the ground.
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I engaged my core, and I pushed up.  My abs were so sore when I came off the wall.
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One important thing that Carl taught me: I spread my fingers out to create a big base.
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I am definitely thrilled about being able to do completely inverted pushups.  I have a long way to go toward doing freestanding handstand pushups.  A few things I need to work on:

  • -pushing  the body forward more so my head touches a bit in front of my hands
  • -getting my forearms more perpendicular to the ground.  This is a better position to push from (like a press).



I am one step closer to being able to accomplish my goal of doing the CrossFit
King Kong WOD.  I will keep practicing, and I’ll soon be able to walk around on my hands.

Again, happy birthday to Carl, who is truly one of my fitness inspirations.


Cool Stuff:
How to Create Champions: The Theory and Methodology of Training Top-Class Gymnasts
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