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Griffin Wilkins

Break through HSPU Plateua?

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Griffin Wilkins

Hey guys, I am currently training full range handstand pushups on chairs (wall assisted) but I can't seem to make any progress.  I have been stuck at 3 reps max for months now.  I keep pushing it every workout but my number doesn't increase.  I just can't get that 4th rep. 

And it's frustrating  because my performance is so varied with the HSPU's.  Over a month ago, I was able to get 3x3.  And yesterday's workout, I was only able to get one set of 3 and worked with 2 reps after.  All my other exercises seem to slowly progress every  week (or couple of weeks).  It's only the HSPU that has stayed the same for months.   

Right now, I'm training HSPU 2 times a week.  What do you recommend I do to increase my reps?  Should I try a grease the groove type plan?  Should I incorporate other handstand exercises?

Thanks guys.

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Alessandro Mainente

Probably increasing volume and/or varying the tempo are both a solution. Also increase the frequency in the week can be a solution but I cannot really suggest you this last option because I do not know how you trained until now.

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Jennifer Marie

I've used negatives (descend slowly, several seconds). Also evaluate your core stability -- my HSPU fluctuate like that if I'm not concentrating on core stability. If I break against the wall (like friend CrossFitters do) I can get back up. Because of this I've experimented with holding a HS while alternating between breaking and stabilizing core to help me both recognize when I break and fix it without coming out of the handstand.

Take this with a grain of salt. I've not been working HSPU steadily. I've been distracted by other movements. But when I do focus on these things, I can feel where I need to improve.

Also, since this is the public forum, if you're not in the handstand course here, it is a great course. I started it after I could hold a wall HS for a minute plus and could do half HSPUs (with a mat under my head to reduce ROM) and am still learning and growing stronger and more stable. So it's not just for beginners by any means.

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Joaquin Malagon

Hey Griffin, apart from negatives and holding isometrics at the bottom of the HSPU you could also try going to an easier variation such as HSPU partials and build up a decent amount of volume there before moving on to full HSPUs. You could do this by performing HeSPUs with the hands elevated on the floor with mats or other means.

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Griffin Wilkins

Thanks for the tips guys. 

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Jared Birbeck

dips. lots of dips. I was running weighted dips which helped but unweighted ring dips to increase the max reps I could do smashed the plateaus.  Russian fighter program for me. I was doing it 6 days a week 3 days as the warm up to Foundation work, as well as 3 on handstand days (first on the weighted version then the unweighted. I found the unweighted worked better)

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Griffin Wilkins
On 2/2/2018 at 6:07 AM, Jared Birbeck said:

dips. lots of dips. I was running weighted dips which helped but unweighted ring dips to increase the max reps I could do smashed the plateaus.  Russian fighter program for me. I was doing it 6 days a week 3 days as the warm up to Foundation work, as well as 3 on handstand days (first on the weighted version then the unweighted. I found the unweighted worked better)

Thanks for the tip Jared.  I didn't know there was much carryver from the dip to the full range HSPU.  Unfortunately I can't use rings at the moment but I can do normal dips. I can already do 15+normal dips. You think my hspu would improve if I got my dips up to 30 reps or so?

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Jin Liu
17 hours ago, Griffin Wilkins said:

Thanks for the tip Jared.  I didn't know there was much carryver from the dip to the full range HSPU.  Unfortunately I can't use rings at the moment but I can do normal dips. I can already do 15+normal dips. You think my hspu would improve if I got my dips up to 30 reps or so?

Just my two cents. I think HSPU is more similar to overhead press in terms of the muscle groups used - more shoulders & trap and less chest. If I remember it correctly, I read somewhere that if you can strict overhead press 120% of your bodyweight, you are ready for 1 freestanding HSPU (given that you can hold a freestanding HS no problem). So I'd use OH press to build strength, especially the strength to press out of the bottom (hands at shoulder level). The balancing part of the HSPU will have to come from practicing lots of HS...

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Jared Birbeck
On 03/02/2018 at 11:02 AM, Griffin Wilkins said:

Thanks for the tip Jared.  I didn't know there was much carryver from the dip to the full range HSPU.  Unfortunately I can't use rings at the moment but I can do normal dips. I can already do 15+normal dips. You think my hspu would improve if I got my dips up to 30 reps or so?

I could do 15+ unweighted dips too and started with weighted dips (+26kg) on the 3RM Russian fighter program (note is is for pull ups which I do too but I am replicating for dips) as some daily work then worked the HSPU work during normal sessions. the load on the weighted dips was proving a bit much as the reps got higher so I went unweighted on the 15RM russian fighter and went a lot better which sorted the plateau, last day of that run I did 5 sets of 20, 18, 16, 14, 12. I started stuck at HSPU against the wall for 2-3 reps and couldn't break through and 6-8 weeks combined weighted and unweighted dips has me going 5 reps as a warm up against the wall and freestanding for 2r.

 

On 04/02/2018 at 4:24 AM, Jin Liu said:

Just my two cents. I think HSPU is more similar to overhead press in terms of the muscle groups used - more shoulders & trap and less chest. If I remember it correctly, I read somewhere that if you can strict overhead press 120% of your bodyweight, you are ready for 1 freestanding HSPU (given that you can hold a freestanding HS no problem). So I'd use OH press to build strength, especially the strength to press out of the bottom (hands at shoulder level). The balancing part of the HSPU will have to come from practicing lots of HS...

yes, OHP is great but trying to get 80+kg on the bar to the shoulders to lift it is a bit much for me as I don't have a rack. so I need to clean it up, a bit risky for a non-lifter. When I have tried OHP as the strength buster it hasn't worked as well as the dips did. the bonus on the dips has been the carry over to my press HS. It is easier for me to add load or volume on dips than OHP so I have preferred dips, I then use HSPU and HeSPU as a warm up/play to get the movement right.

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Julian Aldag

Try increasing the sets from 3x3r to 4x3r, 5x3r maybe even 6x3r (with about 3min rest).   If you can achieve that extra volume, the jump to 3x4 should be difficult. 

Also do a video check on the foums to make sure there arent any energy leaks in your form.

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Jennifer Marie

A bit of food for thought --

My coach has pointed out to me in the past if set up isn't correct, one recruits triceps and does a kind of inverted dip. However, your lats are big, strong muscles. Set up to engage them. Don't forget to engage them before lowering down. They're a great muscle group.

So dips might help if that's the way you're setting up, but use those nice big lats (which have so many accessory movements to choose from) and your HSPUs can be more efficient.

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