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Welcome to the Champions Club Summer 2018!

Next Theme Workout: Shark Week/Hawaiian Mashup - Saturday at 10 am!

Entries in kipping handstand push-up (21)

New Graduate: Conor

Mrs. Fitz has been putting in some background work trying to get her first handstand push-up for a few days now. She had a few good attempts this evening at the 5:30 mobility session, and when Conor saw his mom get so close, he felt the pressure. After the session, he got his first handstand push-up!

While he got a minor bump on the graph for this, his mother still ranks ahead of him in athleticism. But still, keep the milestones coming Conor!

New Graduate: Carter for the Trifecta!

After the team workout this morning, Carter was messing around with Shakes and Tim when they challenged him to kick up to the wall in a handstand. The Blob has been with us for over three years and has never been able to accomplish this mostly due to the general blobness of his shoulders. But much to my surprise, he knocked it out very quickly.

Naturally, things escalated quickly and he was challenged to a handstand push-up. The following happened...

Keep the milestones coming Carter!

Beast Mode: Mr. Wonsil's HSPUs

I think Mr. Wonsil's workout tonight deserved a special shoutout because it is the first one in his 5-year Champions Club career where he did actual handstand push-ups.

He ended up with 16 in total - doing mostly singles. He had a few really clean reps (one of which was basically freestanding), and some that were not the prettiest, but sometimes just getting over that mental hump and doing them is more important than how good they look as long as it is safe.

Big ups to Mr. Wonsil for sure and hopefully he'll dress to impress at the 80's Workout.

New Graduates: Kroll and Nate Dogg

We did some handstand push-up practice during the warmup at the 11 am session this morning, and both Rachael Kroll and new kid Nate Archambeau got their first one. Check it out.

Rachael has been doing a good job mobilizing her shoulders since the winter and she has been able to do movements now that she would normally have to scale. Nate, on the other hand, still has tight shoulders, but he's got that wirey-strength that helps in bodyweight movements. Look for him to be doing handstand push-ups in workouts in a few months.

Fine-Tuning the Push-up

We've been experimenting with a lot of slow push-ups and pull-ups in the warmup, and it looks like it's paying off. A lot of people are improving their push-ups quickly. There's just one little detail that we've been observing silently and now it's time to start fixing it.

On the left, you can see our first athlete of the week Kyle doing a push-up. On the right, you can see what that same push-up position would look like if he were standing upright. His fault is a common one among our ranks.

Head position is important for any movement for two main reasons: first, your neck contains your cervical vertebrae, or in english the top of your spine. Any time your spine is not aligned it leads to power leakage and instability just like a kink in a hose reduces the amount of water flowing and creates a build-up inside the hose. Not good. Even worse than the hose, your neck and upper back are connected to your shoulders, so if you are not in a stable position your shoulders are also compromised. That's a problem when you're doing a lot of push-ups!

When you perform a push-up with your head hanging down like this, that lack of tension in the neck means you also have less tension overall in your shoulders and spine. So to get more tension, think about lifting your head against gravity, pulling your chin back so that the back of your neck remains long.


The second reason for prioritizing head position is more about proprioception. Proprioception refers to your ability to feel or be aware of where your body is in space and what it's doing. The more fine-tuned your proprioception is, the more you're able to tell if your feet are turned out, your back is rounded, or your elbows are flaring out. The process of determining whether you're in a good position or not, or whether you're upright, upside down, on your back, or on your belly, etc... takes place in your brain.

The problem with proprioception is that, even if you normally have pretty good body awareness, changes in your head position can throw it off. People have been studying this curious fact for years, and they've found there is a relationship between poor head position, neck injuries, and a loss in proprioception.

The best example we have is the handstand push-up, where head position actually changes the outcome of the final position. If you try to do push up while looking down at the ground, you end up falling off the wall and not completing the rep. If you keep your chin tucked and look across the room at the ceiling, you are able to complete the rep. Your body's trajectory follows your head! 

So while head position on something as simple as a push-up never seemed important before, think of the bigger picture. Football players expressing pushing at high speeds and loads need perfect position to avoid injury. Older people need body awareness to prevent poor posture from causing chronic pain. Head position is more important than we thought!

New Graduate: Jacob

Guest post by Megan Kavanaugh coming tonight at 8.

Yesterday during the 5 pm session, handsome gentleman Jacob Augustine got his first kipping handstand push-up.

Note: typical Jacob language used in the video

As you know, Jacob has been hitting one-on-one sessions three times per week with me and so far I am happy with the result. In this short time, he's just about fixed all traces of bad knees in a squat, improved his deadlift range of motion by about half (still work to go), did a freakin 16 minute Filthy Fifty, and now this.

All I can say is keep rollin!

New Graduate: Tyler's Been Sandbagging!

This morning in front of the entire team workout Tyler Jabara did his first kipping handstand push-up...

...then he did a few more for good measure. This probably beats out Jennifer Banet as the easiest first kipping handstand push-up of all time.