“Why do you think everyone was sucking so bad at those handstand push-ups on the rings (at the 2010 CrossFit Games)?” asks coach Carl Paoli, a trainer at San Francisco CrossFit and owner of Naka Athletics. As you might guess, he has some ideas about how to improve your handstand push-up.
Join Paoli as he puts Jason Khalipa through handstand push-up training.
Paoli critiques Khalipa’s freestanding handstand push-up and offers suggestions for improvement. Paoli first tackles Khalipa’s position on the floor.
“You’ve got to make a bigger base,” he says. Paoli sets Khalipa in a tripod position with his head driving forward of his hands to touch the ground. To finish the movement, the head drives back up through the arms, just as it does in a shoulder press or push press.
Paoli uses a hollow-body position to stabilize the back and maintain balance. A handstand push-up facing the wall helps develop this stability and positioning.
“Chest against the wall and then go head forward, head up,” Paoli says as he demonstrates a wall-facing handstand push-up. “Now I don’t allow my body to break at all. Boom—that’s the position.”
Additional reading: The Freestanding Handstand Push-Up by Roger Harrell, published June 1, 2006.
The “perfect shoe” may not exist, so Dr. Lon Kilgore offers up a system designed to help you select the best footwear for any sport.
There has been a tremendous amount of online chatter about what shoe to wear while CrossFitting. Hundreds and hundreds of expert and not-so-expert opinions are floating around the Internet. This person recommends one model and brand of shoe because he or she likes it. This person recommends this shoe for running, this shoe for lifting, and this shoe something else. This person says not to wear shoes at all.
Who is right?
As opinion-rich as this area is, we have very little objective data about what the perfect exercise shoe is like. This is the Holy Grail of exercise footwear: the elusive multi-purpose exercise shoe. What is presented here is a simple means of selecting the correct shoe for your training, a more formalized and quantifiable version of my advice to trainees for the past two decades. Its intent is twofold:
1. Make the consumer non-reliant on the advice of random experts.
2. Give exercise professionals a framework to help them develop a means of identifying shoes to recommend to their trainees and provide these trainees with a compelling rationale as to why they need them.
Strength legend Louie Simmons swears by the reverse-hyper machine he invented after breaking his back. In this two-part video, Kelly Starret explains why the device works and why you might want to put it in your gym.
According to Starrett, the reverse hyper helps people figure out how to stabilize the body while moving the hip independently. It can also come in handy if you want to get an injured athlete doing hip extension without knee flexion.
Going deeper into the movement, Starrett explains what happens in the body when you use a reverse hyper and how it can restore spinal movement and improve disc health.
Additional reading: Spine Mechanics for Lifters by Tony Leyland, published Nov. 1, 2007.