Lately you may have noticed an increasing amount of wall walks, wall walks with shoulder taps, handstand holds, handstand walks, handstand push ups, etc. No matter your ability level, any of these exercises holds the same benefits for everyone! So for today, I wanted to talk a little bit about those benefits…
Upper Body Strength. If you haven’t really bought in to why we do these crazy things on the wall, or you’re one of those that have no desire to do any sort of handstand push up or walk, I will gladly remind you that any of these movements translates well to a lot of exercises we do in the gym. Those wall balls, push ups, shoulder to overheads, or snatches all require some sort of shoulder, upper back, and arm strength. If you’ve ever kicked up to a handstand hold or walked yourself up the wall to a hold, you may have noticed that just after 10 seconds or so you might begin to shake! Holding yourself in the upside position takes a great deal of upper body strength, and overtime you will develop that strength and watch it translate into other movements.
Balance/Core Strength. Proprioception or balance is another benefit to hopping upside on a wall. Just like when we do any sort of pressing overhead, we must maintain a good foundation of core strength in order to fully benefit from holds, taps, or push ups. If you’ve ever been upside, it’s easy to lose that tension in the midline and let that low back arch a bit. Again, just as we press overhead, remember to keep that midline and rib cage drawn down. In terms of balance, try some shoulder taps next time your upside down or even reach over to touch the backside of your opposite hand. You’ll quickly learn that in order to do so takes a good amount of balance!
Satisfaction. This last one is more for just feeling good about yourself. If you’re like me, when I first started CrossFit I would’ve never imagined myself doing things upside down. Handstand push ups? What the heck?! If you asked me 3 years ago, I would’ve told you that humans aren’t supposed to be upside down dangit! But in the gym, we get to progress and try new things that we wouldn’t otherwise try on our own. Challenging yourself and improving at your own given pace is a great way to feel good about coming in to the gym day after day!
Next time you see wall walks, holds, or push ups keep those 3 things I talked about in mind. Remember, they translate well to a lot of movements that you may love doing and may even help you improve on some of the things that you struggle with!