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SDGWarr10r

HSPU vs HS Presses

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SDGWarr10r

From a non-gymnastic athletic/fitness viewpoint, would it be more beneficial to train handstand presses or HSPUs?

I only have time to train one of them.

Also, what exactly do press HS develop. Obviously HSPU develop upperbody verical pressing, but I'm not sure what exactly HS presses develop.

Thank you very much.

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Blairbob

From a gymnastics POV, the press is more important. It works a lot of different things. Straight arm strength, core strength, hip control, balance.

A HSPU is good basically for inverted pressing strength. Similar to working a standing press but you're inverted so it works balance as well and of course your core gets worked as well.

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MH87

Yeah.. Funny question though.. I saw this thread the other day.. and I figured that HS presses were more advanced and anyone capable of doing them would also be capable of HSPUs?

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Blairbob

I've coached plenty of little girls and boys who could do various types of HS presses with no or little ability to do HSPU, especially full ROM HSPU on parallettes and zilch on rings though that is difficult period.

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Aaron Griffin
I've coached plenty of little girls and boys who could do various types of HS presses with no or little ability to do HSPU, especially full ROM HSPU on parallettes and zilch on rings though that is difficult period.

I wonder how this compares to adults. I can do a small amount of HSPU (currently working HeSPUs in my SSC), but can't do any sort of handstand press without momentum.

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Nic Scheelings

My two cents, and oming from learning this as an adult.

I found Handstand pushups comparatively easy compared to press handstands. Nowadays i'm decent at press handstands but still way better at handstand pushups, i have no problem with 5-6 full rom handstand pushups but can only knock out a couple of presses in a row at best. Funnily enough a lot of people who did gym as kids are the other way round.

That being said people who are very flexible and have a good technique can knock out press handstands like nothing whereas with a HSPU flexibility will not help at all it's just sheer pressing strength.

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Mikael Kristiansen

Hs presses(with straight arms) and HSPU are very different, and you can find those who are masters at either but terrible at the other. Hs press depends on flexibility factors as well as strength, while hspu is pushing power only.

The major reasons why many quite easily can get hspu and not hs press is often because of lacking shoulder flexibility. Hip flex also counts, but the shoulders are the main problem. If you do not have very open shoulders, you can not stack the torso on top of the shoulders, thus getting a hard time activating the trapezius the scapula into the action. It then becomes a planche-ish press where the deltoids need to carry a lot of the weight. This works too of course, and is for many, including me, the way the first presses are learned. Another reason why it is hard to learn press hs is because it is a movement which is very different from most things we do in daily life or at the gym. It is also straight arm strenght which needs to be approached differently than hspu.

Hspu is also a great exercise, and many who can easily press hs, have no chance at hspu.

I dont understand why you only have time to train one of them. Most certainly you can train and learn both. Work negatives from a straddle or tucked handstand to develop hs press. Hspu you can start against a wall down to the head, then progress to freestanding and full rom. I see no reason why you should only learn to do one of them

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Blairbob

If you were super limited on time, I'd alternate. If you have a bit, treat the presses as skill work. Maybe 5 minutes doing them on the wall or negatives, what have you.

If your active hip flexibility is lacking, HSPU will be easier. I've seen quite a few adults get HS presses before HSPU because they have that flexibility in their hips.

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Animalonfire

If I had a super cool coach I'd go for press HS's to make the most of him/her. If not I'd go for the HSPU via barbell/dumbell pressing(HSPU with a wall is IMO not much different from using a machine, and is tricky to scale), static HS's and maybe shoulder stands. As I've yet to see a press HS from someone on the forum but have seen plenty of HSPU's, I assume HSPU's are possible to learn on your own, but press HS's are not. The proof is in the puddings, and also the missing puddings

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Blairbob

Umm, one of my latest videos has a press HS off a panel mat. Sometimes, I can even do it on floor though it's not pretty as a textbook press since I lean as much as I can these days (which is nowhere near as much as I used to be able to).

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Mikael Kristiansen

I can pike press hs 5 times in a row from L sit, as well as press 1 arm from straddle support, and i never have had anyone spot me on neither. It is however harder to find good exercises for presses, epesially since you need a solid handstand more than for hspu, as you there can use a wall. Flexibility is also a major factor for presses. The definitely best way i have seen, and also the way i learned it, it to do negatives from handstand. First it is good if you are able to hold a tucked handstand as it will teach you to keep on top of your shoulders while having the weight of your legs slightly in front of you. You then learn to lower your legs to the floor first in a straddle or tucked, depening on which is easier for you. This builds good compression and it is easier to not cheat by bending the arms than if you start out by trying to press too early. In the beginning you will maybe only be able to keep the handstand for a second once your legs start to go down towards the floor. Also box presses(look up the stickied thread by blairbob) are very good when you start to get some strength.

Presses are harder to achieve for many than hspu, but it is definitely worth training them. Again, what people should do if they want hspu or presses, is learning a good handstand first. Sommer said it too, to simply spend more time on your hands. Learn to balance for some time, learn to control the legs a bit and progress towards negatives. For hspu i have more belief in scaling by ROM rather than barbell work. Partial reps against wall - HEspu against wall - full ROM against wall

/Hespu freestanding - full ROM freestanding - bowers for example. Takes time and dedication, but takes ages longer if the normal handstand isnt solid

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Animalonfire

Do you concede that you are both bad examples, as one of you I believe is a gymnastics coach and the other in circus school hand balancing?

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Mikael Kristiansen

No. I learned press HS before I even knew there existed something called circus school, and I learned it alone without knowing anything about gymnastics. I learned by chance more or less because I would just naturally try to hold my legs up as hard as I could every time I underbalanced and fell down, thus doing negatives. I was around 18 at the time I learned it. I have since taught several people to do it and without ever spotting them, through having them do negatives from handstand and then pressing from an elevated surface.

Reason why fewer are doing it is because it is a more complicated thing to learn, involving flexibility, specific strength, AND beacuse you need a solid free standing hs to be able to even work on it.(possible with wall presses, might work for some, but I have never seen good results from that) It is still a VERY rewarding exercise to work on and master if one is interested in more advanced bodyweight or balancing work.

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Animalonfire

Fair shout. Could you share a sample program please?

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Bruno Cochofel
No. I learned press HS before I even knew there existed something called circus school, and I learned it alone without knowing anything about gymnastics. I learned by chance more or less because I would just naturally try to hold my legs up as hard as I could every time I underbalanced and fell down, thus doing negatives. I was around 18 at the time I learned it. I have since taught several people to do it and without ever spotting them, through having them do negatives from handstand and then pressing from an elevated surface.

Reason why fewer are doing it is because it is a more complicated thing to learn, involving flexibility, specific strength, AND beacuse you need a solid free standing hs to be able to even work on it.(possible with wall presses, might work for some, but I have never seen good results from that) It is still a VERY rewarding exercise to work on and master if one is interested in more advanced bodyweight or balancing work.

I'm also trying to learn this, but I've noticed that I need to "master" free handstand first.. And this is my current skill to train.. I'm trying to keep the body tension but keep loosing that from the hips... But I will get there.. The one difference is that I'm not 18, I a "little" older ;-)

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Mikael Kristiansen

Knowledge and consitency makes up for age many times over, if we are not talking childeren and china hehe. Handstands does take time because you need to build up a set of muscles, stabilizers as well as main movers, to keep you in a veru unfamiliar position, get proper alignment through passive and active stretching as well as techical training, and become neurologically efficient at balancing yourself in the position. Last but not least you have to learn all this yourself if you havent been taught at a young age. However training a lot while taking care of your body and acumulating knowledge and experience will get you far in time.

Animalonfire:

I dont have any sample program ready(ihave worked a lot with grease the groove principles for a long time) but i do have some tools so you can create your own.

It depends a little on your current hs level(shoulder flex, balance etc), but still the same apply. I would have you work on 3 hs positions, legs together and tight, straddle and tucked.

In the straddle you are not allowed to arch, but rather bring them a tad forwards instead(this depends on leg flex a lot). This is already for most a step towards a negatve press because of the weight going forwards. You would either have to lean a bit front or, ideally, push hard through your shoulders so you stay stacked on top.

The tucked position is where you bend your knees and bring your legs towards your chest. Same thing applies here as in the straddle, though those who are not so flexible often find this a bit easier. The further down you pull them the better/harder, but start where you can controll, even if its just bending the knees forwards(NOT towards an arch)

What is necessary here to work the negative presses is then to push down as hard as you can when you start to lower the legs(either from straddle of from tuck), so you fight to stay on top of the shoulders. Having open shoulders also really makes a difference here. When you lower the legs you do NOT simply drop them, but rather pull them to your body so you work your compression ability. Working these consitently will build up both presses after a while as well as better hs control. You might get the feeling that you will faceplant if you let the legs go down. This means you can not handle the weight going outside your body line, and that you should work more on easier variations(and probably do shoulder mobility work). In this case that means working up the straddle or the tuck positions better.

It is fair to lean a bit front, as long as you do not bend the arms, but try pushing through your shoulders as much as possible so the trapezius stays active on the way down. They are supposed to feel like 2 tennis balls on the side of your neck when you press.

This at least touches upon the technical aspect of it which is very important if you want to develop presses.

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Bruno Cochofel
Knowledge and consitency makes up for age many times over, if we are not talking childeren and china hehe. Handstands does take time because you need to build up a set of muscles, stabilizers as well as main movers, to keep you in a veru unfamiliar position, get proper alignment through passive and active stretching as well as techical training, and become neurologically efficient at balancing yourself in the position. Last but not least you have to learn all this yourself if you havent been taught at a young age. However training a lot while taking care of your body and acumulating knowledge and experience will get you far in time.

Animalonfire:

I dont have any sample program ready(ihave worked a lot with grease the groove principles for a long time) but i do have some tools so you can create your own.

It depends a little on your current hs level(shoulder flex, balance etc), but still the same apply. I would have you work on 3 hs positions, legs together and tight, straddle and tucked.

In the straddle you are not allowed to arch, but rather bring them a tad forwards instead(this depends on leg flex a lot). This is already for most a step towards a negatve press because of the weight going forwards. You would either have to lean a bit front or, ideally, push hard through your shoulders so you stay stacked on top.

The tucked position is where you bend your knees and bring your legs towards your chest. Same thing applies here as in the straddle, though those who are not so flexible often find this a bit easier. The further down you pull them the better/harder, but start where you can controll, even if its just bending the knees forwards(NOT towards an arch)

What is necessary here to work the negative presses is then to push down as hard as you can when you start to lower the legs(either from straddle of from tuck), so you fight to stay on top of the shoulders. Having open shoulders also really makes a difference here. When you lower the legs you do NOT simply drop them, but rather pull them to your body so you work your compression ability. Working these consitently will build up both presses after a while as well as better hs control. You might get the feeling that you will faceplant if you let the legs go down. This means you can not handle the weight going outside your body line, and that you should work more on easier variations(and probably do shoulder mobility work). In this case that means working up the straddle or the tuck positions better.

It is fair to lean a bit front, as long as you do not bend the arms, but try pushing through your shoulders as much as possible so the trapezius stays active on the way down. They are supposed to feel like 2 tennis balls on the side of your neck when you press.

This at least touches upon the technical aspect of it which is very important if you want to develop presses.

you mean something like this:

http://gymnasticswod.com/content/tuck-press-handstand

http://gymnasticswod.com/content/stradd ... -handstand

http://gymnasticswod.com/content/pike-press-handstand

And for the straddle is this the arch that you talk about?

Thx

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