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Gymnastics Phase 3: BAS

Posted 5th June 2016 by Josh Schouten

Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the current Bent-Arm-Strength (BAS) Gymnastic phase has been focused on building bodyweight pushing and pulling strength for all levels.  Those that have been consistent with the program have seen some steady progress over the last 10weeks, well done.  The next phase will focus on inverted pressing and ring muscle-ups, especially false grip strength.

Where do we start?  How can we possible take a simple push-up and progress towards strict handstand press-up? Or a pull-up and dip to a strict muscle-up?

To start, let’s be clear on a few things you should have before you look to build a strict Handstand Push-Up (HSPU) or Muscle-Ups (MU).

RingsHandstand:  First, you should be comfortable kicking into a handstand against the wall. Hopefully you are comfortable with being upside down and maintaining a stable position? This stable position should be a nice straight line from wrists to ankles with a nice posterior pelvic tilt (PPT).  If you can not create this position you should not be upside down!  Would you deadlift with a rounded back?  HELL NO!  Overextension in the handstand can places a significant load onto the lower back if a PPT is not used, its only a matter of time before you have a sore lower back if you persist with bad form.

To obtain a good stable handstand position, think about squeezing your butt and sucking in your belly. Once you have established this position, then you can move forward to HSPU.

No Kipping: Developing a STRICT HSPU or STRICT MU should always come before this kipping bullsh**.  Honestly, kipping should be removed from CrossFit as there are ZERO benefits from kipping moments except speed.   Unfortunately the sport of CrossFit requires the high level athletes to perform crappy kipping movements if they want to be competitive.  However, those of us who are using CrossFit for health and fitness should avoid kipping movements at all costs, they are simple not worth the injury risk as we are not winning any trophy or prize money when we WOD at our local gym.

There are many benefits to obtaining strict movements as they builds high levels of strength attached to a  low risk of injury, if the correct progressions are followed. Strict HSPU and MU will make your shoulders stronger and more stable and enable you to build a strong core. Kipping movement will not help you build strength in the shoulder or the core as they simply use momentum to achieve the end goal.

The shoulder strength required to complete a strict HSPU or MU is great, and many may not have that strength just yet. Have no fear, we have created a training program to help you build your upper body strength to reach the goal of obtaining a strict handstand push-up. With dedication, patience and hard work, you too can become and HSPU and MU ninja.

Locomotion Warm-up

Bear Walk – change hand position to mobilise wrists
Table Top Walk – change hand position to mobilise wrists
Heel-to-toe x3 + Squat – hip, ankle and hamstring flexibility
Straight Leg Hops 3 + 2 bounds – Hamstring stretch, core activation, pike to handstand control
Lunge, Cossack, Lunge, Bend (lift front toe) – hip, ankle and hamstring flexibility
Forward Rolls – Escape route 1
Cart-wheel – escape route 2
Lunge + Kick-up to handstand – positioning and kick to handstand control


PART A & B [30min]. BAS Work  –

Choose 2 BAS push exercises and 2 BAS pull exercises.  The harder PUSH and PULL exercise should become PART.A superset.  The second PUSH and PULL exercise should become PART. B superset.  Spend 15minutes on PART A and 15min on PART B.

BAS Push BAS Pull
1. P-bar: Inverted Press, 5 x [3-8], 3110
-increase difficulty by inclining feet
-decrease difficulty by dropping to knees on concentric phase
2. Floor: Pike Press, 5 x [3-8], 3010
-increase difficulty by inclining feet
-decrease difficulty in straddle position
3. Box: Feet on Box, Pike Handstand Push-ups, 5 x [1-6], 3010
4. Wall: Wall Walks 5 x [1-6], controlled
5. Wall: Negative HSPU (facing away from wall), 5 x [2-4], 6002
6. Wall: HSPU,(facing away from wall), 5 x [1-6], 3010
7. Wall: Wall Facing HSPU, 5 x [1-4], 3010
8. Wall: Wall Facing Deficit HSPU, 5 x [1-4], 3010
8. Floor: Freestanding HSPU, 5 x [1-4], 3010
1. Rings: Hinge Rows 5 x [8-15], 21×1
2. Rings: False Grip Bent Arm Hang 5 x :60sec
3. Rings: False Grip Straight Arm Hang 5 x :30sec
4. Rings: False Grip Ring Row 5 x [8-10], 31×1
5. Rings: False Grip Scapular Arch Pull-ups 5 x [5-10], 2222
6. Rings: False Grip Pull-ups 5 x [5-6], 3111
7. Rings: Standing Muscle Up (feet on the floor) 5 x [8-10]
8. Rings: Partner Assisted Negative MU (jump to ring support) 5 x [5-6]
9. Rings: Negative Muscle Up 5 x [5-6]
10. Rings: Strict Muscle-ups 5 x [1-5]

Challenge: Forward roll on rings
PART C. Equilibrium (1-3 rounds of:)
Rings: FLR or FLR with arm circles 3 x :60sec
Floor: 10sec Hollow Hold + 10 Hollow Rocks + 10 Tuck-ups + 10sec Hollow Hold
Ring: Support Holds or Support Swings 3 x :30sec
Floor: Twisting Bear Alt 10reps (Start in Bear position and rotation into single arm bridge)