Advanced Calisthenics Workout (HSPU Focused)

This Advanced Calisthenics Workout is designed to help you achieve and improve your freestanding handstand push-up while making some serious muscle gains 💪

What is a HSPU?

In a Handstand Push-Up (HSPU), the athlete begins in a freestanding, straight-arm handstand,  they then bend at the elbows, bringing their nose to touch the floor before pressing back up to a straight-arm handstand.

Is a Handstand Push-Up an Advanced Calisthenics Skill?

Technically speaking, the HSPU is considered an intermediate skill in the sport of calisthenics. Even so, I’ve decided to call this an advanced calisthenics workout as most people would consider it so. To be clear, though, I am currently an intermediate calisthenics athlete, even if the general population would consider me advanced!

Handstand Push-Up Progressions

1. Negative Wall Assisted HSPU
2. EROM (extended range of motion) Negative Wall Assisted HSPU
3. Freestanding Negative HSPU
4. Partial HSPU’s
5. Floor HSPU’s
6. Elevated HSPU’s
7. 90 Degree HSPU’s
8. Weighted HSPU’s

Welcome, I’m summerfunfitness. I’m a self-taught calisthenics athlete on a mission to master calisthenics while helping others do the same! I started calisthenics, hand-balancing and flexibility training as an adult with no prior experience. Currently (Nov 2023), I’m working towards my full straddle planche, full front lever and 90-degree handstand push-up while also working on being the best calisthenics coach I can be.

girl demonstrates incline tricep push ups at park

Advanced Calisthenics Workout

This handstand push-up focused calisthenics workout should take around an hour and fifteen minutes to complete. You will need a wall, parallettes, a pull-up bar, a dip station, some weights and a weight belt. If you don’t know how to handstand yet, check out my  30-Day Handstand Challenge and use a wall support for today’s freestanding handstand drills.  

Calisthenics Warm-Up Routine

1. Cardio
5 minutes to warm-up
2. Lateral Lunges

10 reps either side
3. Long Lunges
10 reps either side
4. Dynamic Arm Circles
20-30 seconds
5. Controlled Single Arm Circles
2-4 reps
6. Wrist Warm-Up
6 positions, 30 seconds each

girl demonstrates incline tricep push ups at park

Calisthenics Workout Routine

1. Leg Switch Handstand Kick-Ups
10 reps each leg

calisthenics athlete showing the difference between a crow and crane pose

2. EROM Push-Ups
10 reps x 1 set
Just enough reps to wake up your pecs, not enough to make you exhausted.

calisthenics athlete showing the difference between a crow and crane pose

3. HSPU Attempts
6-8 Cluster Reps, or 15 minutes of work.
Regression: Partial reps
Progression: Deep HSPU’s

calisthenics athlete showing the difference between a crow and crane pose

4. Negative Handstand Push-Ups (HSPU)
3 reps x 8 sec x 3 sets
Regression: Negative Wall Handstand Push-Ups

When first learning this, you may only be able to lower for 4 seconds— that’s fine! Simply track your time from workout to workout to make sure you’re slowly increasing your lowering time. You may also need to incorporate cluster sets (resting between reps), which is also acceptable.

Over time, aim to string together three reps in a row, lowering for 8-10 seconds. Once you have achieved this on the wall, gradually transition to freestanding reps. The ultimate goal is to perform 3 reps of freestanding 8-second lowers with no breaks in between. When you can accomplish this, you’re ready to attempt a full floor handstand push-up!

female doing negative handstand push-ups on bars in a climbing gym

5a. Weighted Pull-Ups
8 reps x 3 sets

calisthenics athlete showing the difference between a crow and crane pose

6. Weighted Dips
6 reps x 3 sets

calisthenics athlete showing the difference between a crow and crane pose

Cool Down

1. Asian Squat
60 seconds
2. Seated Leg Lifts

8 reps
3. Gymnastics Stretch
45 seconds
*Repeat if you have time

calisthenics athlete showing the difference between a crow and crane pose

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