Handstand push up / pine push ups

In CrossFit we use to abbreviate the terms, it must be that we crossfitters want to save energy on the board to reserve it all for the WOD 😉

What are HSPUs?

HSPU stands for hand stand push upwhich in Spanish would be translated as pine push-ups. It is a type of CrossFit exercise within the realm of gymnastics where you only use your own body weight to work with, but that does not make it a simple exercise. All gymnastics movements require a great deal of control of your own body.

Types of Hand Stand Push ups

Many of these types of push-ups are not mutually exclusive. If the push-up is with kipping it is not strict, but for example it can be ballasted and parallel.

During the years of CrossFit Games we have seen how the hand stand push up has been presenting different varieties that increased its demand. Starting with kipping to end up in rings, with weights or in parallel.

With kipping

This is one of the easiest ways to get your first HSPU. It consists of using the your hip impulse in order to help you with the thrust and get that extension.

It is the performance that less force required and therefore allows for more volume of work.

At first it may be difficult to understand the movement pattern. It needs practice to achieve the necessary coordination between hip thrust and arm extension while doing the press.

To make it even simpler and until the athlete gets used to it, you can reduce the distance between the head in the final position and the initial position by using an ab mat. In this case, this is an escalated version of the exercise.


In this case you are obliged to use only force of your upper body to push your body to full extension. You are not allowed to use momentum.

About parallels

Instead of placing the hands on the floor, the surface is a gymnastics parallel bars. 

hspu crossfit games

With deficit

For increase the exercise range and the intensity of the same, hand stand push ups are performed at a deficit. This means that in the initial position the head is below the level of the hands.

It is usually performed by placing the same weights discs under the hands, or with parallel weights.

hspu with deficit

With ballast

Another way to increase the intensity in this exercise is to increase the weight you have to move, in this case using a weighted vest.

In rings

We first saw this exercise make a surprise appearance at the Games in 2010.

This is probably one of the most difficult versions, since it requires a extra work to maintain stability. In addition, kipping cannot be used and the feet and legs must also be somehow wrapped around the ring ropes so as not to lose them.

hspu rings crossfit games

Without wall

For those who have no problem with balance, they can perform hand stand push ups without the support of the wall, totally free. 

We first saw this move at Games 2021.

Movement standards

Whatever the variety, the movement begins with the head on the ground and ends with full extension of the arms and hips..

Over the years they have been changing demands by CrossFit to standardize the movement. Sometimes with very complicated versions in which the total height of the athlete in question was measured, then the distance between the elbow and the thumb, certain calculations were made and the different marks on the wall were pointed out one by one.

In other years, as in 2019, the company has recovered a simpler standard with an exact measurement without customization.

At present, it is mandatory to draw a rectangle on the floor where the athlete must place his hands without the palms of his hands going beyond these lines.

It is possible to use the drawer that is used in the jumps, placing it on the wall with the 90 cm wide and 60 cm high to draw these limits on the floor.


Many people who want to perform this move for the first time find themselves unable to throw themselves at the wall to begin with.

The progressions are intended to approach the RX version little by little. With these tools you build not only the confidence of the athlete in a prone situation, but also the shoulder strength of the athlete in a prone situation, but also the shoulder strength of the athlete in a prone situation. necessary for the exercise.

Try doing the exercise in the box jump. The athlete places his feet on top of the box with his hands on the floor and looks for the flexion in that position.

To continue progressing, the verticality of the movement is increased. The greater the verticality, the greater the difficulty, and so little by little the athlete will be closer to attempting the pike over the wall.