In CrossFit, the goal is to be proficient at any and every functional movement, there is. Wall Walks are one of the constantly varied movements you’ll find in your CrossFit programming. Whether you’re just getting started in CrossFit or you’re a seasoned competitor, we’re going to talk about how to perfect your wall walks, so you can become more effective and efficient at this commonly programmed movement.
Wall walks are a functional strength movement, that uses your body weight to introduce the basics of inversion. As opposed to a handstand push up, performed on the wall, wall walks help build mid-line stability, coordination, and balance, by walking your feet up a wall behind you, until you are fully inverted, then reversing the movement back to starting position.
Wall walks require you to know where your body is at all times. Starting in the push-up position, you kick up your feet to the wall behind you, then walk your hands back towards the wall, while you walk your feet up the wall.
With coordination, comes balance. Wall walks require you to have balance and can benefit you greatly in achieving more total body balance, by engaging every muscle in your body to move your way up and down the wall.
At the top of the movement, you find yourself in the handstand push up position. This can greatly benefit shoulder stability as well as shoulder mobility to help improve hand-stand push-ups and overall shoulder strength.
Check out the video above from Swolverine and CrossFit Games Athlete Abigail Domit as she walks through Open Workout 3 in the 2023 CrossFit Open, which includes Wall Walks.
- Start in push-up position. Lay face down on the floor, with your feet touching the wall behind you. Ensure that your quads, and chest are flat on the ground. Keep your spine neutral and your head down.
- Slowly walk your feet up the wall, with your hands following suit. Or as Abigail shows, kick up both feet on the wall to start.
- Keep your core and mind-line as tight as possible. Walk your hands back all the way to the wall and push up through your shoulders.
- Make sure to keep your back straight. If your back starts to arch, you risk hurting your neck and shoulders.
- Once you get to the wall, you’ve reached the half-way point. You should be in an upside-down position, facing the wall.
- Gradually walk your feet down, and move your hands away from the wall. This puts you back in your starting position.
If you’re new to CrossFit, or if you’ve never been that athletic and this is a whole new venture for you, wall walks can be a very challenging movement. Just getting your feet onto the wall and being inverted can seem like a stretch, especially if you’ve never been into lifting or sports. If that’s the case, we’ve listed a few progressions below that can help you get the movement pattern down and build more confidence to crush your wall walks.
Practicing the inch worm is a great place to start, to mimic the movement pattern of walking your hands and incorporating your core to help with wall walks. Simply start in standing position, then hang your arms in front of you. Start walking your hands out in front of you, until you get into push up position. Once you reach the plank or push up position, walk your hands back until you are erect in starting position.
The bear push up, is a movement that will help you build more shoulder mobility and strength, to mimic the movement pattern when you are inverted. The bear push up, is a mix between a down dog, plank, and pike. Simply get into push up position, and walk your hands back one step (down dog). From here rotate your shoulders back, put your weight into your heels and push your head down with a neutral spine. Slowly lower yourself down, and push yourself using your shoulders back up. This movement focuses on the push and press movement, to help with shoulder tension and strength, needed for wall walks and hand-stand push ups.
Now that you’re familiar with how to wall walk and do them efficiently, you can easily incorporate this movement into you programming. Wall walks are a challenging full body functional movement. Focus on developing your strength and progressing through the movement, to maintain good form, balance and control.
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