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Friday, March 26, 2010

Need some help for a caption on this one. Post suggestions to comments.

Pullup and HSPU Ladder
On the first minute perform one pullup and one handstand pushup (HSPU). In the next minute perform two pullups and two handstand pushups.  When you cannot complete the required number of reps for an exercise continue with the other.  The score is the sum of the total minutes completed for each exercise. Say I failed in the tenth minute of the HSPU and the twentieth on the Pullups my score would be 30.
There has been suggested a correlation between overhead pressing strength and the strength required to do a handstand pushup. In my experience, and drawing from various anecdotal evidence, this is not the case.  There is very little correlated strength from a strength movement to a bodyweight movement. What this means is that trying to improve a bodyweight movement by increasing the strength movement is very ineffective.  In our example it is overhead strength, in another example it could be bench press and pushups.  
Where this rule doesn't hold true is with lower body movements.  We see a pretty strong correlation between air squats and weighted squats, which means that the more you can squat the more air squats you can do.
What can we do to improve these movements (pushups and pullups specifically but more broadly anything involving the upper body)?  One of the best things is to increase your exposure to said movement. Do them more often, every day if possible.  This constant exposure produces great results towards any desired goal, especially with pushups and pullup.

This blog was inspired by an article from Eat. Move. Improve.  They are much more focused on gymnastics and parkour but grew out of a Crossfit ethos. An interesting read.
-Paul Siegel