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Erik Sjolin

HSPU Blues

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Erik Sjolin

Hey everyone.

I feel a little reluctant to post this (in hopes that I'll find my answer buried somewhere in the board), but lately I've been getting quite frustrated with my handstand push ups. My handstand is by far the most often trained gymnastics element I do, and I feel it in itself is quite proficient. However my push ups are pathetic, to say the least. :cry:

What sort of things can I do to strengthen the bottom part of the push up? Some ideas that I've been bandying about have been;

-hold the shoulderstand a few inches up from bottom

-work full ROM against a wall (this has been giving me limited success)

-military press (I followed slizzardman's advice about weighted pull ups and those have worked wonders for my front lever)

-practice freestanding HeSPUs (I do these when my shoulders crap out for MPPr variations, but without a spotter or any type of camera, it makes it difficult to monitor form)

-hold handstands. I can confidently perform straddle presses into them and hold for at least a minute, but having done that for some time, it hasn't given me much success.

Thank you to anybody who has any advice for me, it is extremely appreciated.

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Joshua Naterman

Isometrics can help for sure. Your best work will be near, but not quite at, the bottom of your best range of motion. So if you can go down to a certain level, do isometrics an inch or two above that. Slowly progress where your holds are, and at the end of the isometric try to press up out of it. Do not lower.

Military press could, but only if you are using really good form. If you know how to military press without using your chest very much then that will probably be a good idea as well.

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acegerter

Spend ~200-10,000 more hours on your hands :-)

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Erik Sjolin

Thanks Slizzardman, I really do need to balance out my strength in the handstand.

It's the darndest thing, I can reliably do straight arm straddle presses, and I've even done a couple pike presses, but when it comes to bent arm work...yikes.

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Blairbob

How is your dipping strength?

I have had a score of gymnasts who could do straight arm presses but were not exceptional or beyond the very first progressions in HSPU. Watching our optional boys and some of the collegiate guys, I think it's merely they don't work some of the progressions, but I don't see a handful of them banging them out on parallettes or rings or even off the wall.

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Joshua Naterman

It's funny you say that Blairbob, I am noticing that my tricep strength grows the most from dips (of course now I am doing weighted Russians, but just working the top half of the MU transition consistently has gotten me there) and that lets me keep a better line in my HSPU progressions which are now working my shoulders more.

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Erik Sjolin
How is your dipping strength?

I have had a score of gymnasts who could do straight arm presses but were not exceptional or beyond the very first progressions in HSPU. Watching our optional boys and some of the collegiate guys, I think it's merely they don't work some of the progressions, but I don't see a handful of them banging them out on parallettes or rings or even off the wall.

I can bang out about 7 bulgarian ring dips, and 10 regular ring dips (I try to keep them RTO), but due to a lack of a dip station I haven't been able to work them weighted without fear of breaking the ring straps.

Would it be a good idea to build up regular ol' dip strength to 3/4 bodyweight along with my pull up strength?

It's funny you say that Blairbob, I am noticing that my tricep strength grows the most from dips (of course now I am doing weighted Russians, but just working the top half of the MU transition consistently has gotten me there) and that lets me keep a better line in my HSPU progressions which are now working my shoulders more.

Reading this (and through a bit of trial and error since I joined the forum 2 years ago. Derp.) makes me think I might just not be using the right muscles. When they're really hard, they feel like I'm using my triceps to push up, but when they're good it feels like my shoulders are working more and I sort of float up. This worries me, because I know how hard it is to fix bad form, and fixing it solo is even tougher.

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Mats Trane

Work negative HSP

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Joshua Naterman

Sometimes negatives are the easiest way to fix things when you are alone.

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Erik Sjolin
Sometimes negatives are the easiest way to fix things when you are alone.

Maybe...I really don't want to have to return to that Sisyphean nightmare again. It's taken me almost three freaking years to get to where I am now. I just want these to move forward with the rest of my FBE's.

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Joshua Naterman

Just for mental health it may be best to go into maintenance mode on HSPU and concentrate on other things as you say. There's nothing wrong with that, it's what I am doing with my planche work while I try and fix my shoulder.

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Erik Sjolin

That might be for the best...my shoulder has kind of been bugging me, so I might just keep practicing what I can do and really nail my form down.

Thanks for the advice guys, I really appreciate it! :D

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Blairbob

Sounds like enough tricep strength. I'm good for about at least 15 dips on PB and can do 7 or 8 wall HeSPU.

How's your box HESPU?

well Sliz, if you remember, pushup-dip-HSPU is the order.

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Erik Sjolin
Sounds like enough tricep strength. I'm good for about at least 15 dips on PB and can do 7 or 8 wall HeSPU.

How's your box HESPU?

well Sliz, if you remember, pushup-dip-HSPU is the order.

If I'm against a wall, I can usually get about 10 HeSPU. As for box HeSPU, around 15 (but I was emulating the form in the book, elbows to the side and head right between the hands. Also my feet were lower than my hips since all I have is my desk, but that shouldn't matter, should it?)

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Blairbob

Try box HSPU with parallettes. Or work them on the wall to not quite full ROM. Remember graduated He/HSPU from the book?

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Erik Sjolin
Try box HSPU with parallettes. Or work them on the wall to not quite full ROM. Remember graduated He/HSPU from the book?

Oh yes, I've read the book quite a few times. :)

The "not quite full ROM" is with parallettes, a single rail, or on the floor? (I have a couple of cinder blocks that I used to do the graduated progression, but my back was to the wall, but those mimic being on the floor, so it'd be different than on parallettes) Feet flat against the wall or on a box?

And the box HSPU's, is that full ROM or just to headstand?

I apologize if I'm being obtuse about it, I just really want to make sure I'm getting it right this time around.

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Joshua Naterman
Sounds like enough tricep strength. I'm good for about at least 15 dips on PB and can do 7 or 8 wall HeSPU.

How's your box HESPU?

well Sliz, if you remember, pushup-dip-HSPU is the order.

I had actually forgotten about that lol! It makes sense to me, I'm doing 3 freestanding HeSPU with my hands elevated about 3.5" now, and I definitely feel like my dip work is making a large contribution to that.

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Eddie Stelling
(but I was emulating the form in the book, elbows to the side and head right between the hands.

I read through this rather quick so I apologize if someone has covered this already, but the elbows to the side is something that can only be done when supported by the wall or a spot. In order to increase your tricep strength to do the correct form free standing HeSPU/HSPU, your elbows must be in. If you are currently doing all your HSPU work with elbows out, bring them in. Working all the moves that have been explained with the correct elbow placement will make you much stronger at the freestanding.

Also, I took slizz's advice on concentric HeSPUs and it helps ALOT!! Kick up in a HeS and try to press to HS with out using anything to balance. Once you press to a HS kick out and repeat, don't lower down. It's really hard at first but helps you build the strength in the bottom of the movement and get the coordination of pivoting your bodyweight. As you get better elevate the hands and so on... Huge help for me!

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Erik Sjolin
(but I was emulating the form in the book, elbows to the side and head right between the hands.

I read through this rather quick so I apologize if someone has covered this already, but the elbows to the side is something that can only be done when supported by the wall or a spot. In order to increase your tricep strength to do the correct form free standing HeSPU/HSPU, your elbows must be in. If you are currently doing all your HSPU work with elbows out, bring them in. Working all the moves that have been explained with the correct elbow placement will make you much stronger at the freestanding.

Also, I took slizz's advice on concentric HeSPUs and it helps ALOT!! Kick up in a HeS and try to press to HS with out using anything to balance. Once you press to a HS kick out and repeat, don't lower down. It's really hard at first but helps you build the strength in the bottom of the movement and get the coordination of pivoting your bodyweight. As you get better elevate the hands and so on... Huge help for me!

My elbows are in when I press (as much as they can be with hands flat), and can usually do 3-4 freestanding HeSPUs from ground level without coming back down (but starting from a shoulderstand on a bench I can press to a HS freestanding. Go figure.) I think as far as practice goes I may just end up building myself a short handbalancing bench or drag out the cinder blocks again.

The weighted dips seem like they would be worth investing some time in, so as soon as I have access to a stand that won't tip over on me, I'll start on that.

Thanks again for the advice everyone!

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hand-balancer

Strength is important when trying to do hspu's..having a strong military press should help a lot and also controlling the arch in you back is critical, arching more on the way down and pushing up strongly while limiting the arch on the way back up helped me alot when first starting out. Keep up the practice, good luck

Edit by slizzardman: You are on a forum for discussion, not specific product promotion. It is pretty disrespectful to Coach for you to be posting links to your own products here, especially when you are clearly not able to offer the same caliber of instruction as Coach Sommer. There's nothing wrong with trying to make money, but don't use this forum as a place to spam your products. That is your only warning from me.

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Blairbob

Box HSPU would be with parallettes or a bar or beam. Shoulders all the way so ROM is full.

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Erik Sjolin

Thanks for the tip Blairbob! I'll start on those as soon as I can.

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Marlon

I have to disagree with you when it comes to controling arching while doing hspu, hand-balancer. I think the most critical thing to remember is to stay hollow and not arch at all on the way up or down.

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Mikael Kristiansen

Arching in hspu is a waste of time since you basically get more bang for your buck by staying hollow. I hope this guy with the hand-balancer profile will change his username as it easily leads to confusion.

As for the hspu themselves, try combining full rom box ones with negatives freestanding if you manage. Negatives is what has given me the most strength in hs by far, but it is good to combine with some submaximal work as well.

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Erik Sjolin

Will do. Is this a good way to develop strength when transferring to new apparatus, like from floor to single rail, single rail to parallettes, parallettes to rings? I recently gave some full ROM single rail ones a shot (on a box) and easily banged out ten of them. Then again, I was having a "strong" day, so that may have something to do with it.

What did you do the negatives on? Parallettes, bench, rings? I can't imagine doing them freestanding on a single rail.

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