EDITOR'S NOTE: Pamela Gagnon was introduced to CrossFit in 2010 and recently finished eighth at the CrossFit Games Masters Division. Pamela has made Regionals as an individual for four consecutive years. She coaches at Rising CrossFit Ballantyne in Charlotte, North Carolina and travels the world as a Lead Coach for CrossFit Gymnastics Certifications with Jeff Tucker. As a busy mother and wife, she feels lucky to be able to coach, train, and do gymnastics into her forties.


Four Weeks of Handstands and Handstand-Based Skills and Strength

Throughout the next four weeks, I will be programming essential movements to help with your balance, shoulder and core strength, and coordination - all essential components of handstands, freestanding handstand push ups, press handstands, and handstand walking.


Focus on these four things when doing handstand work:


  1. Form matters! Pointed toes, tight core, and active shoulders are all important.
  2. Keep the majority of your weight mid palm but use your fingers to "grip" the floor to find balance.
  3. Gaze your eyes in-between your thumbs (without moving your head too much). This will help you find your balance.
  4. Spread your fingers for more surface area.
Breaking Muscle Shop

*** Always ask for a spot when needed or scale the movement.


Click on a week to go directly to any of the four weeks of programming:


Week Three - HSPU, Pressing, and Core

Day One

Rx'd work:

8 minute AMRAP of

  • 4 strict HSPU *rx+ = do them freestanding!
  • 6 strict knees to elbows (get knees to elbows, not armpit)
  • 80ft handstand walk


Scaled work:

8 minute AMRAP of

  • 4 strict HSPU (off box)
  • 6 strict knees to elbows (can do laying on floor holding pole)
  • 8 plate walks




Day Two

Rest as needed between sets.


Rx'd work:

  • 5x5 deficit HSPU, 12" or more
  • 3x10 L-hold to standing press (off parallettes)
  • 5 max-effort floor slides in pushed out hollow position (use frisbee to slide) 


Scaled work:

  • 5x5 deficit HSPU (off box)
  • 3x10 L hold to standing press (off box)
  • 5 max effort floor slides in pushed out hollow position (use frisbee to slide)




Day Three

Rx'd work and scaled work:

10 min emom

  • 8-10 strict HSPU (small deficit for RX+)
  • 8-10 strict toes to bar or scaled: hollow ball press