The Handstand Push Up vs Pike Push Up
When we work on a movement at CrossFit Bear the goal is always to utilize full range of motion in that movement. Whether it be a handstand push-up or an air squat the goal is that we are achieving full range of motion which will enable each athlete to move safely and efficiently through that movement.
Full Range of Motion
Full range of motion with a handstand push-up begins in a pyramid position with the head centered on the abmat and the hands, palms down, below the head creating a pyramid base. The athlete uses a kipping motion or strict strength and elevates their body from the abmat to the top of the handstand push-up which showcases the athlete’s arms fully locked out and their head pushed through their elbows. Athletes learning to kip and beginning to work on the movement may be inclined to use more than one abmat to ease the movement in a workout format. While this is a great tool and can be safely utilized we would like to point out that sometimes scaling back a movement can actually propel you forward in your progress.
Pike Push Up
Many athletes tomorrow may be inclined to push through Diane using multiple abmats, rushing through the motion and not achieving full range of motion. A workout like Diane can be just as effective using pike pushups on a box or on the ground. The pike pushup is a great movement to improve strength and full range of motion in this advanced gymnastic skill. Utilizing a pike pushup allows athletes to have more control in the inverted position. It also allows athletes to move quickly through an efficient movement, therefore keeping the stimulus of the workout with a high heart rate and increased tension.
While there are always times and workouts that working on improving kipping gymnastics is valued- we urge you to take a step back and think about the big picture when it comes to gymnastics. Pike pushups are hard! They force athletes to recruit core and static strength in their shoulders and backs. This will only enhance each athlete’s ability to perform kipping movements in the future!