This Finisher from CrossFit Athlete Zack George Builds Bulletproof, Boulder Shoulders

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Zack George's Finisher for Boulder ShouldersHearst Owned

The CrossFit Open may have come to close, but that isn't the end of the matter. Maybe your handstand press-ups left a lot to be desired or your cardio didn't quite cut it. For you, MH Elite athlete Zack George has devised a devilish finisher that will test your handstand press-ups and cardiovascular endurance.

‘With the final CrossFit Open workout no doubt exposing those who are lacking in the overhead pressing and shoulder endurance departments, it’s key to get to work straight away on those areas of weakness so you can improve for next year,’ says George. ‘Strict pushing strength, in particular, is something that takes a long time to build.’

It's time to get to it early. With an option for every level, George will help you achieve your handstand goals while providing a good, old-fashioned shoulder pump too.

The Workout

handstand push up
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Strict Handstand Press-ups x 30

For Time

How to: Kick up against a wall into a handstand position. Bend at the elbows, slowly lowering your head to the ground or a mat, pause here, push back up, keeping your body rigid.

George recommends: ‘It’s essential to break your sets early on the handstand press-ups and not go to failure as you still have three wall walks to complete after. That being said, know what you’re capable of doing and don’t go out too conservatively. Don't make more work for yourself by breaking a lot of times.'

Every break perform:

handstand wall walk exercise
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Wall Walks x 3

How to: Start lying down, facing the floor with your feet against the wall. Push up into the high-plank position and walk one foot at a time up the wall so your hands follow until you are close to the wall. Reverse the movement back to the high-plank position.

George recommends: 'If you need to rest on the wall walks, do so in a fully relaxed position for your shoulders, either letting your arms hang loose when kneeling on the floor or laid outwards with your chest relaxed on the ground.'

ski erg
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Ski erg or Row x 15 Cals

Ski erg: Begin facing the ski erg with a wide stance and your hands above your head gripping the handles. Hinge at the hips and send your bum behind your heels with a slight bend in the knee. Explosively pull the handles down in front of you with your core locked. Bring the arms in an arc shape up to the starting position to repeat.

Row: Push hard away from the flywheel with your legs. Keep your arms straight until your legs are extended, then pull the handle into your chest. Reverse the movement. This distance should take less than two minutes.

George recommends: ‘Be as efficient as possible on the rower or ski erg. Relax your shoulders if you are using the rower and draw a bigger circle with your hands on the return to the top of the movement on the ski erg to help circulate blood back to them.

‘Only race through the calories on the machine if you know you will be able to get straight off and start completing your handstand press-ups. There’s no point pulling an extra hundred calories more on your pace just to have to completely re-catch your breath after.’

Scaling Options

press up, arm, physical fitness, muscle, flip acrobatic, knee, leg, stretching, balance, exercise,
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If you need to scale the handstand press-ups, George recommends:

  1. If you can’t do strict handstand press-ups, perform a piked handstand push up or heavy DB strict press (you should be able to do 4-6 reps at a time).

  2. If you have some strict handstand press-ups but 30 is way too many for you, either reduce the amount of reps or performing kipping pull-ups.

  3. If you are a strict handstand press-up ninja and will get through this in 2-3 sets then add some deficit via weight plates or parallettes.

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