The Press Series: HSPU Part III

Workouts

The Press Series: HSPU Part III

Earlier this year, we began the latest instalment of our ‘Press Series’, this time focusing on progressing towards a handstand push-up (HSPU). You can find part one here, part two here and, below, the third and final expert-led phase to owning a full HSPU rep. 

Here, Third Space Elite Personal Trainer Stu Slater walks you through the final phase of HSPU accessory work, by shifting previous primary exercises into a warm-up routine and coaching you through becoming comfortable in a fully-inverted position. To top it off, Slater walks you through some heavy triceps shoulder and chest accessory exercises to build a stronger, more stable upper-body. 

“If you are at all unsure about the lowering phase of the HSPU, firstly reduce the range of motion by placing yoga blocks beneath your head in order to make it less intense and more achievable,” explains Slater. “Also, use towels as padding to ensure a soft landing surface. Finally, consider asking a gym buddy or training partner to spot you by holding onto your legs and helping with a small upward pull during the press phase.” Let’s get started, shall we?

 

WARM-UP & PRIMER

Some movements we have already visited in Part 1 and Part 2.

Shoulder PAILs RAILs: 3 reps of 10 seconds, each side

  1. Start on all fours and then roll forward so that your torso rests on a large Swiss ball, whilst holding a stick in one hand.
  2. Slowly work your hand up the stick whilst ensuring that it remains vertical
  3. Continue until you reach the end of your range of motion, then pause for a second, exhale and try to lower your torso slightly increasing the stretch.
  4. Slowly return your hand to the starting position and repeat.

 

Angry Cat, Happy Cat: 10 reps x 2-3 sets

  1. Start on all fours, with your hands and knees stack directly under your shoulders and hips respectively.
  2. Engage your abdominal muscles and arch your spine upward toward the ceiling (angry cat), exhaling as you do so.
  3. Hold the position for a few seconds, then slowly relax your back and allow your stomach to fall toward the floor, stretching your back downwards (happy cat), inhaling as you do so.
  4. Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position and repeat.

 

Body Saw: 8-10 reps x 2-3 sets

  1. Start in a low plank position forming a straight line from head to toe and your shoulder stacked directly above your elbows.
  2. Brace your core and push the floor away from you.
  3. Slowly rock forward and backward maintaining an abdominal contraction.
  4. Repeat for the designated number of sets and reps or time period.

 

TRX Plank: 8-10 reps x 2-3 sets

  1. Start in a kneeling position facing away from the TRX with both feet in the foot cradles.
  2. Get into a low plank position, ensuring your elbows are stacked underneath your shoulders and you are forming a straight line from head to ankles.
  3. Hold this position for the designated time period.

 

TRX Mountain Climbers: 8-10 reps x 2-3 sets

  1.  Start in a kneeling position facing away from the TRX with both feet in the foot cradles.
  2. Get into a high plank position, ensuring your hands are stacked underneath your shoulders and you are forming a straight line from head to ankles.
  3. Bring your right knee to your torso by contracting the abdominals.
  4. Return your right knee to its starting position whilst bringing your left knee up to your torso.
  5. Repeat this alternating motion for the designated number of sets and reps or time period.

 

TRX Pike: 8-10 reps x 2-3 sets

  1. Start in a kneeling position facing away from the TRX with both feet in the foot cradles.
  2. Get into a high plank position, ensuring your hands are stacked underneath your shoulders and you are forming a straight line from head to ankles.
  3. By contracting your abdominals, bring your feet to your hands and send your hips high.
  4. Return to your starting position and repeat for the designated number of sets and reps.

 

Headstand: Accrue 6-8 reps total, resting at least three minutes between reps

  1. Interlock your fingers. Create a triangle with your elbows as the sides and hands as the top on the mat. 
  2. Lift your hips up and forward, forming an upside down V.
  3. Adjust yourself so your hands are resting on the back of your head. Keep your elbows still and stable.
  4. Slowly walk your feet towards your face. Begin to lift your feet as your weight shifts onto your elbows.
  5. If you are new to the movement, start by keeping your knees bent in the air. Brace your core and focus on your balance. As you continue to get more confident, straighten your legs and point your toes.

 

MAIN WORKOUT

Handstand Push-Up (HSPU): Accrue 6-8 reps total, resting at least three minutes between reps

  1.  Start on all fours. Place hands about 6-12 inches away from a wall and slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Make sure palms are facing forward, or slightly turned out.
  2. Kick up into a handstand, with your heels touching the wall
  3. While maintaining this position, lower yourself until the top of your head touches the floor.
  4. Once your head touches the floor, press up until your elbows reach full extension.

 

Plyometric Push Up:  6-8 reps x 4 sets, 2-3mins rest

  1. Start in a high plank position. Your neck, back, hips and legs should all form a straight line. Your core should be engaged and your palms stacked directly under your shoulders.
  2. Start to lower your body as if you’re going to do a push up until your chest is almost touching the floor.
  3. As you push up, do so with enough force for your hands to leave the ground. You can clap your hands together, but this is optional.
  4. Land softly on the ground, moving into your next rep immediately.

 

Diamond Push-Up: 6-8 reps x 4 sets, 2-3mins rest

  1. Start in a high plank position forming a straight line from your ankles to your head.
  2. Bring both hands together forming a triangle between your thumbs and index fingers.
  3. Brace your core and lower your chest to your hands, whilst keeping your elbows tight to your torso.
  4. Engage your triceps to push yourself back to the starting position and repeat for the designated number of sets and reps.

 

CORE

Slider Unilateral Leg Curl Eccentric: 4-6 reps each side x 3 sets, 2-3 mins rest

  1. Start on your back, feet flat on the floor with a slider under your right foot.
  2. Raise your left leg and contract your right glute to perform a single leg glute bridge.
  3. Slowly lengthen your right hamstring whilst maintaining a full glute contract to lower yourself to the floor.
  4. Reset in your glute bridge position and repeat for the designated number of sets and reps.

 

Butterfly Sit Ups: 12 reps x 3 sets, 30s rest

  1. Start on your bum with the soles of your feet together.
  2. Lower yourself back to the ground slowly, bringing your hands up above your head as you do so.
  3. Engage your core and use your arms to bring yourself back upright and touch your toes

 

Bicycle Crunches: 20-30 reps x 3 sets, 30s rest

  1. Start on your back with your legs straight and hands behind your head.
  2. Raise both legs slightly so they are hovering just off the floor.
  3. Now touch your right elbow to your left knee, reverse the movement and repeat on the other side. Repeat for the designated number of reps.

 

Crab Up: 6-8 reps x 3 sets, 1-2mins rest 

  1. Start in a straight legged seated position, hands down by your hips.
  2. Bend at your knees, keeping your feet and hands flat on the floor and press your hips up towards the ceiling into a table top position.
  3. Pull your hips back and down, without touching the floor, behind the wrists line while straightening your legs. Repeat in smooth motions.

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