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doppelganger, July 27, 2008 in Strength
I prefer the Josh Everett/UC Riverside methodology.
Basically the elbows will not flare out when doing the pushup. At first I coach doing them just to the head like a headstand, but then we will go all the way from there to the back of the shoulder. This has a little more similarity towards a handstand pushup down properly.
Honestly, bridge pushups are not something I would consider will develop a lot of strength. Moreso, I employ for building some shoulder strength and shoulder flexibility in the bridge position.
Doing the arched handstand pushups in a bridge off a height ( another common HSPU drill ) would place less stress on the spine.
Most of the literature out there states that gymnastics bridging shouldn't be employed to children till after 5 ( that is free hand bridging ). Then again I was doing a lot of head bridging at 4 and they never seemed to worry about it with the 5-7 year olds in judo.
To go back and answer the first question, I would go with handstand pushups and dips for a better upper body workout. Break them down to progression drills if you have to, but bridge pushups will not build the sort of strength HSPU and dips will.
I limit them to my warming up for bridge. Generally 2 bridges for say 15-30s of time with 5-10 bridge pushups either before the time hold or bridge rocking ( like a bridge pushup [sorta] but no bend in elbows ).
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