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Inversion Strength

Part A
3 Rounds NFT of:

Piked Wall Walk Hold for :15
Log Roll Left 3 V-Ups, Log Roll Right 3 V-Ups

3 Kick-Ups
20 Hollow Rocks

Part B
5 Rounds
NFT of:

5 Kick-Ups
Dumbbell Press, heavy 5

5-10 Handstand Push-Ups
Log Roll Left 3 V-Ups, Log Roll Right 3 V-Ups


5 Rounds Not For Time:
8ea Kettlebell Snatches
12ea Goblet Reverse Lunges

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Gina G and Aileen H after completing the Go Ruck Challenge this weekend

At the moment it's difficult to properly reflect on today's 1am-2pm Go Ruck Challenge because my body is in a world of pain and I'm running on little sleep (plus some peanut butter m&m's) but here are my top two thoughts. This 9/11 tribute challenge included visits to several Brooklyn & Manhattan fire stations to show our respects to their fallen heros in form of push-ups, squat thrusts, flutter kicks, etc which was an amazing structure for the whole challenge. We took a sunrise dip in the Prospect Park duck pond for general splashing, thrashing and manmakers! (**Afterwards steam rises off of your body as you do up-hill buddy carries!) How many people can say they've enjoyed that experience. Oh and as a bonus third thought; all of our CrossFit training definitely had us physically & mentally ready to attack anything thrown at us in this Challenge. Thanks CFSBK!  -Gina G

Developing Your Handstand

Anyone who came in on Monday or Tuesday had an opportunity to work on their handstands in class. Some folks were seasoned hand balancers while others were working towards their first full inversion. If you're new to the handstand game, read over these tips to start moving in the right direction.


  • "Active Shoulders" mean that you're shrugging up and back slightly. Try to open your armpits and push the floor down.
  • Your elbows must ALWAYS be locked out. If they bend, you'll collapse
  • Grab the floor with your spread out fingers, your fingernails should turn white
  • Eyes are looking right between your hands on the floor the entire time. Your neck will be extended JUST enough to make this happen. No more, no less.
  • When in doubt.. SQUEEZE!! The more moving parts you allow in the system, the harder it is to organize. Think of making your body as rigid as possible.
  • Practice makes good enough. Being on your hands is weird at first. Practice the skill 2-4 times per week in order to accelerate your development. A handstand session can be anywhere from 3-10 minutes, the latter being with LOTS of rest. Don't practice in a fatigued state. Less is more sometimes.

Static before Dynamic
Before you attempt kicking up to full handstand you have to develop the shoulder strength and body control required to take your weight from your feet all the way to your hands. Wall walks are a great place to start and an easy way to develop some shoulder integrity without worrying about coordinating a kick up.  Start slow with these and do sets of 3-5 walks holding your most inverted position for 3-5 seconds. Some folks will have to start only going up about half way to a 45 degree angle while others may be able to get within a hands length of the wall.  Focus on active shoulders and a rock solid midline. Minimize knee bend as you go up and down the wall, try to tip toe down using your ankles. Finally, you should never go up further than you're comfortable with and your hands should never go within 6-8 inches to the wall. If your hands are touching the wall you'll probably flip over onto your back. NO BUENO.

Halvsies before Wholsies
Once you feel comfortable supporting your body weight on your hands you can start working on kick ups. We did this in class with a spotter but you can also do this on your own using a wall.  Organizing the initial approach into the kick up is critical. If you start this process slowly there will be much less extraneous momentum that you'll need to deal with later on. Remember, you can SLOWLY kick up into a handstand, it should feel more like a big reach that a flip. Watch this video to understand how to position your body for this portion. Once you can do that consistently start kicking up higher and higher with your lead leg while your trail leg stays low in a split. This will allow you to get all your body weight onto your hands while still controlling your body position By keeping the back leg low you increase your margin for error on each kick up. Get to the point where your lead leg's heel can gently tap the wall and come back down. The final step would be to gently get both heels to the wall. While he's not using a wall, this video shows you what I'm talking about. Practice this regularly and focus on how graceful you can make the whole process. Get good at kicking up with both legs.
A sneak peak at next week's inversion strength training
Efficiency in Handstand Push-Ups CrossFit

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Reader Comments (13)

Congrats on more SBKers finishing the Goruck! Next up, we all need to do a Goruck heavy.

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Katz

Hey y'all. I'm going to be on nbc's million second quiz today hopefully. Open up the stream on NBC.com and maybe you can see me.

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoel W

Joel! Jealous! Still hoping to get a phone call too. Good luck!

Re-tweaked my back warming up to the accessory work (and I wasn't even trying to do the snatches, just regular old KB swings), so I spent the rest of class doing mobility work. At least I didn't tweak it as hard as I did the first time, but I guess I need to back off more than I thought.

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStella

I went to the intro bouldering class at BKB last night. It was lots of fun, but unfortunately I gracelessly muscled my way up a V1 and managed to hurt my shoulder :(

Symptoms: pain/ache (maybe a 3-4 on a 1-10 scale, so not that bad, but it's there) whenever I raise my left arm, on the anterior side of my shoulder, just beneath my clavicle.

Is there anything I should do, other than rest?

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlan O'D

Got a couple less-than-graceful handstands this morning - still feeling that out.

HSPU - 5x5 strict felt stronger than last week

Accessory with a 24kg bell. This added up and I was struggling by the end.

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDan L

My legs are still feeling it from the track work and foot ball yesterday. Thanks again to the coaches who put those things on for us not at the workshop.

I was kicking up to a free standing handstand most of the time in the first round, which I was happy about. The 5 rounds really burnt out my shoulders but not to the point of fail, I just could not go unbroken the last set.

The kettle-bell work certainly added to that burn. Its really important I found that you get your arm to the bell and not the bell to your arm. Certainly saves your forearm from the pain of a bell strike.

In other news related to adventure races and go-ruck...
For anyone that wants to do a seriously challenging obstacle adventure race. My Friend Kryn, (Some of you know him form the last NY Ragnar) is helping to organize and put on these.

http://tieronechallenge.com/Tier_One_Challenge .html (Space at the .html)
They will have different levels of difficulty and I am sure that these will make spartan races look pretty tame when you get up to the longer ones.

Ever want to do a special forces workout now is your chance.

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKeith W.

Congrats Gina and Aileen. Sound like a fantastic experience. You've inspired me to get the ruck off my @@@ and sign up next year.

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJay

I did Jerry at 9 am at CF 718 yesterday. It was purely physical, it meant nothing. It took me 26:18, which was over a minute slower than the other time I did it. But I was on only a few hours of whiskey tainted sleep. The row felt like I was pulling through quicksand and the first few blocks of the second run were brutal.
Then a heavy double hang power snatch. I worked up to 125 and called it. Some felt good, my feet splayed on others. It was hard to care after Jerry.

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBen W

6am with Nick and McDowell. Very first kick-up of the day was by far the best. Smooth with the lightest of touches against the wall. The very next kick-up put a dent in the wall. Had a few 5-10 second freestanding handstands. HSPUs felt strong: 5 unbroken reps each round. 24kg on the accessory work. Snatches were easier than the reverse lunges.

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Hahah @ next weeks inversion class.
Sure, you go first though!

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmma-Lisa

If I do not have a full-ROM HSPU (I have maybe half-ROM), what's the best sub? Heavy DB presses? Controlled negatives to a cushion?

September 9, 2013 | Registered CommenterDaniel O

Congrats to Aileen and Gina! How about a CFSBK GoRuck team? I'm in if anyone else wants to do it!

Pretty wrecked from football yesterday, although I had to leave early due to antsy babies. I'm feeling my hip flexors in a way I don't think I ever really have before.

I'm excited to get back to training after a week away in California. If anyone's ever in the Bay Area, Crossfit Oakland is great. Nice people, great coaches, even fewer "amenities" than our box!

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBianca S.


Lost. Really boring mostly. Choked a bit. Winning would have been miserable though

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoel W

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