Why we are not using abmats to scale handstand push ups:
1. Full Range of Motion In CrossFit, one of our goals is to train all movements with full range of motion of the joints. This strengthens the joints through their natural use pattern and keeps them healthy. Adding one, two, or even three abmats shortens the movement. We would not scale pull ups by shortening the movement. Could you imagine pull ups half way to the bar in a WOD?
2. Crash Mat Sometimes athletes get comfortable using the abmat as a "crash mat". This is not the intention, but it is only natural to come down faster when you know there is something soft to help break the fall. We would rather you develop the strength and control to lower yourself down safely!
3. Intensity If you are shortening the distance of the movement, you are able to perform more reps faster than if you had to go the full range of motion which would not be in line with your current level of fitness. Performing full range of motion with feet on a box is a more accurate reflection of where you are on this movement!
4. So, how do we scale? Use boxes! Gymnasts train handstands with their feet on boxes and so should you! This allows for a straight back or even a nice hollowed out position! You will often find yourself in an arched handstand when kicking up to the wall. Let's develop good habits and core strength by using those boxes!
Pike push up with feet on floor
HS push up with feet on plate or 6" box
Keep working your way up higher boxes until you are ready to try it on the wall!
Exception: If you have RX HSPU already, you can use an abmat with plates stacked beside them. This is not for scaling. When athletes use this setup, they have already achieved the strength and control to raise and lower themselves safely and they are ready to ramp up the intensity. Be sure to keep the above in mind and keep the head and neck in a safe position!
Back Squat for load:
#1: 3 reps @ 70%
#2: 3 reps @ 80%
#3: 3 + reps @ 90%
10 min AMRAP:
5 Unbroken Handstand push ups
15 Unbroken Wall-ball shots, 20/14
Right & left side plank