Thanks to Kurt and Sharnell from Crossfit 808 for stopping by, great people from a great gym. Today’s focus point test was handstand push ups. A lot of amazing efforts were put forth, whether it was in a handstand or modified version. The discussion toady was about flexibility/mobility and stability and how they can help us determine if we should or should not attempt a movement like the handstand push up. The first assessment, looking at mobility, was a simple shoulder press with a stick. If someone was not able to keep their spine in a neutral position as they pressed the stick overhead, then they were not fit to be in a handstand. Shoulder mobility work would be better time spent. The shoulder has more range of motion than any other joint, and what comes with that is less stability. We have to make sure there exists the ability to create the required stability in the shoulder before doing movements like handstand push ups. The Turkish Get Up (2nd assessment) gives us a pretty good idea on the stability one has in the shoulders, e.g. if you are not able to do a Turkish Get Up with decent weight, you probably have no business kicking up into a handstand. These movement assessments were meant to give us an idea on how a persons shoulder flexibility and stability are. If you do not have decent shoulder position and stability, you may end up doing more harm then good in a handstand or any intensive shoulder movement for that matter. Take the overhead squat for example. If you are unable to keep an externally rotated and supported shoulder throughout the movement (your shoulders internally rotate, putting unfavorable stress on the anterior tissues of the shoulder), it is in your best interest to stay away from the movement for the time being. What we’ve seen is that it is a smarter approach to gain that shoulder mobility and stability before doing demanding shoulder movements like full range of motion overhead squats and handstand push ups (this is of course under the assumption health is the ultimate goal). You can only get away with loading tissues in compromised positions for so long, before they do what they are made to do, speak to us through injury.
Max Handstand Push Up
5 Minute AMRAP: 35 Double Under 15 Dumbbell Thruster (25/35#)