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 2 of the series, Paoli explains how active shoulders create tension and stabilize the midline. He describes how a handstand push-up is like a squat with the order of movement from core to extremity.
“The shoulder’s the hip, the elbow’s the knee, and the wrist is the ankle,” he says. The same problems present themselves with both movements: knees rolling in during a squat is just like elbows moving out in the handstand push-up—both are a loss of tension.
Paoli shows how to spot and scale the handstand push-up as the next progression from a wall walk. Further advancements to the progression are forward-facing handstand push-ups for quick transitions and parallette handstand push-ups for increased range of motion.
Paoli says the drills help address holes in your fitness that might translate over to other movements, such as Olympic lifting.
“Gymnastics is only an excuse to be able to talk about these holes,” he says.
Video by Again Faster.
Additional reading: The Push-Up by Greg Glassman, published March 1, 2003.