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 Four - Putting it all Together

Day One

Strict Diane with a "rocky" twist
Deadlift (225/155)
Hollow rocks (tuck position for scaled version)
Strict HSPU  



Day Two

Rest as needed between sets.


Rx'd work:

3 rounds for quality

  • 20 box shoulder shrugs off rings (keep arms straight)
  • 15 HSPU
  • 60-second handstand hold 


Scaled work:

3 rounds for quality

  • 20 box shoulder shrugs off box (keep arms straight)
  • 15 HSPU on box
  • 60-second handstand hold



Day Three

Skill: 3 x max-effort handstand hold (against wall or freestanding) rest as needed between sets



12 minute AMRAP of:

  • 10 V-ups
  • 12 shoulder touches
  • 12 squat to 1/2 jump turn
  • 12 inchworm with pushup