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ChildInTime

Increasing freestanding handstand pushup strength

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ChildInTime

Hey everyone!

 

One month ago I learned how to do freestanding handstand pushup, but the problem is, I still can only do 1 because I don't have enough strength to do more. I was training 2 times a week for it, one day just doing maybe 15 sets of 1 rep, and other day just doing wall handstand pushups, around 5 sets of 3-4 reps, plus other shoulder exercises. 

 

But I am going nowhere, seems like my strength didn't increase at all in doing freestanding handstand pushups. Is there something I missing, maybe I should do them even more often?

 

PS. balance is not a problem, I can hold it as long as I have strength.

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Joshua Slocum

You're lacking in pushing strength endurance. It's difficult to build strength or endurance with sets of just 1 rep. Choose an easier pushing skill where you can do more reps (e.g sets of 2-4), and build up your volume until you're at around 3x8 or 5x5. Once you're doing that, try moving up to a slightly harder skill.

If you haven't already, you should also look into the Foundation series. There's tons of excellent programming in there.

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Connor Davies

Yeah my advice would be to keep plugging away at wall handstand pushups (make sure you have good bodyline) and freestanding handstands.

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ChildInTime

Well at wall I can do around 4 pushups, but only one freestanding, it seems like different muscles are working. But will do more wall handstand pushups from now on. What do you think best volume of training would be to make fastest progress? Like how many times a week? 

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Connor Davies

Probably 2 or 3 days a week, but your mileage may vary.  Stick with it until you work up to 10 reps, just to be absolutely sure you have the capacity for multiple freestanding reps.

 

Are you doing them with your stomach facing the wall, or your back?

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ChildInTime

With my back facing the wall.

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Andrew Long

Try posting videos so people can look at what you're doing and give you feed back on what to improve or focus on.

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Connor Davies

With my back facing the wall.

Switch to the stomach facing the wall variation, but keep your hands somewhere between 6-12 inches away from the wall.  This forces you to keep a good bodyline.

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ChildInTime

Thank you guys. From now on, will do more multiple sets near the wall. I am also quite fat in comparison with gymnasts, so that does not help either :)

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Connor Davies

Thank you guys. From now on, will do more multiple sets near the wall. I am also quite fat in comparison with gymnasts, so that does not help either :)

Yes well we can't all train twice a day, 4-5 days a week....

 

It's just one of those things, it will get better over time as long as you're consistent.

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Keilani Gutierrez

Yes well we can't all train twice a day, 4-5 days a week....

 

It's just one of those things, it will get better over time as long as you're consistent.

no one can, unless you progressively build upto it. i leaned out substantially with 4/daysF1 + 2/day H1

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ChildInTime

Hello everyone, so one more month have passed and I literally didn't improve even a little bit. All I can do is 1 freestanding handstand pushup (like 2 months ago) and 4-5 handstand pushups near the wall.

 

I was doing handstand pushups near the wall for 3 sets 4-5 reps 2-3 times a week, then pike pushups with legs elevated, 2-3 sets for 6-8 reps. But nothing, absolutely no increase in strength. Of course all exercises separated on different days, so I always 1 one day rest in between.

 

Is it just my genetics so ridiculously bad or why I am not improving at all?  :(

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Connor Davies

I was doing handstand pushups near the wall for 3 sets 4-5 reps 2-3 times a week, then pike pushups with legs elevated, 2-3 sets for 6-8 reps. But nothing, absolutely no increase in strength. Of course all exercises separated on different days, so I always 1 one day rest in between.

Wait, so how many days are you doing pushing work in a week?  It sounds to me like you might have a case of overtraining. 

 

I'd move the pike pushups to the same days as your handstand pushups, in order to really overload the muscles and allow more recovery days.

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ChildInTime

Well I am actually working out 5 times a week, just bodybuilding/strength program: legs, chest, back, off, shoulders, arms, off. So on shoulder day I do wall handstand pushups, on chest day I do pike pushups, and then put pike or handstand pushups into some other day. Nothing too hard, just few sets in the beginning of the workout.

 

I know it looks like a lot of stuff, but I eat a lot and I sleep at lot.

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Connor Davies

.....I know it looks like a lot of stuff....

It looks like a lot of something, that's for sure.

 

Bodybuilding splits don't really work for bodyweight strength training.  The parts you're training are too integrated for that.  Instead of having a separate day for chest, back, shoulders and arms, why don't you just have a push day and a pull day and repeat it twice a week?  Or even have a vertical push/pull day and a horizontal push/pull day?

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ChildInTime

 Because I am into building muscle size and strength, bodyweight training is just something I really enjoy but don't want to focus completely on that and nothing else. On push / pull, I've used that before and it's good routine, but I like my current more, because it allows me to focus more on each muscle group.

 
That said, I read about training style where you train same thing several times a day nearly every day, but not until failure. For example 3-5 sets a day pike pushups and go easy on them, no failure. I think I will try that and maybe I'll see some improvements.

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Andrew Long

Are you talking about grease the groove where you do an exercise for 40-50% of your max reps several times during the day every day? I've heard a lot of people achieve good results from that so would be worth a shot. Honestly though I find near I possible to isolate muscle groups withh body weight training so doing a bodybuilder split using body weight just doesn't seem like it is going to be as effective. You will still build muscle size you don't need to do the split. If anything I would do something more like horizontal and vertical push pull type split and if you wanted more isolation you could through in some barbell work for the biceps and what not.

Anyway grease the groove could be a good solution. So could switching your routine up to have those pushing exercises on the same day and allow for more rest. If you have had no improve,ent over a month then definitely change it up and experiment. What exactly happens when you fail on the second hspu? Do you come down and then are unable to push back up again ? Or do you come down and fall over?

Other things that might help is try to isometric holds at the lower end of the hspu or put some books unders your head so you can do multiple reps of freestanding hspu to the height of the books and when you build up some reps there remove a book do it again remove another one until you are eventually going to the ground.

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ChildInTime

Are you talking about grease the groove where you do an exercise for 40-50% of your max reps several times during the day every day? I've heard a lot of people achieve good results from that so would be worth a shot. Honestly though I find near I possible to isolate muscle groups withh body weight training so doing a bodybuilder split using body weight just doesn't seem like it is going to be as effective. You will still build muscle size you don't need to do the split. If anything I would do something more like horizontal and vertical push pull type split and if you wanted more isolation you could through in some barbell work for the biceps and what not.

Anyway grease the groove could be a good solution. So could switching your routine up to have those pushing exercises on the same day and allow for more rest. If you have had no improve,ent over a month then definitely change it up and experiment. What exactly happens when you fail on the second hspu? Do you come down and then are unable to push back up again ? Or do you come down and fall over?

Other things that might help is try to isometric holds at the lower end of the hspu or put some books unders your head so you can do multiple reps of freestanding hspu to the height of the books and when you build up some reps there remove a book do it again remove another one until you are eventually going to the ground.

Yes it's grease and groove :) I am not doing bodybuilding split using body weight exercises, I am using normal weights.

 

What exactly happens when you fail on the second hspu?

 

I can lower myself by I have no power to come back up so I just fall. Often I can't even do 1 HSPU because I don't have power to even do 1, but that depends, with good warm up, etc, usually I can do 1. I tried doing isometric holds before, and I can hold on lowest position just milometers from the ground for 10+ seconds, but it does not seem to help with overall progression. 

 

With books it's good idea, I am in the gym so I need to find something to put and practice. Thank you sir for advice ;)

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Cu Fang

Have u tried partial reps?

It works well for me to learn HeSPU

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ChildInTime

Have u tried partial reps?

It works well for me to learn HeSPU

Specifically doing partrial reps, no. But often when balancing handstand I do a partial pushup to not fall, and I am doing handstands 5-6 times a week for ~20 minutes.

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Chris Korovesis

try to do freehandstand negatives pushups

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