Retool your gymnastics skills with elite gymnast Carl Paoli, founder of Naka Athletics, coach at San Francisco CrossFit and creator of GymnasticsWOD.com. Through his Freestyle Connections Seminar, Paoli introduces athletes to advanced gymnastics skills using simple progressions and coaching points. Today’s movement is the handstand push-up.
In Part 1 of the series, Paoli shows how to progress from a floor push-up to a tripod position to a headstand. He demonstrates how to spot the movement safely and how to scale it using bands.
Paoli emphasizes slow, controlled movement.
“It’s OK to get excited, but don’t go overboard. And this is also mental control here,” he says. He cues the athletes to “see their toes” in order to maintain a hollow-body position while inverted.
The wall walk is the next progression into a handstand.
“You go as high as you can with your feet without moving your hands,” Paoli says. “Once you feel comfortable with that, then you walk your hands in.”
He continues: “You have to know where your limits are. Go where you know you can handle and return.”
Video by Again Faster.
Additional reading: The Push-Up by Greg Glassman, published March 1, 2003.