You start with bent legs on a bench with your upper body as vertical as possible and do a push up.
Piked (straight legs) on the bench with upper body vertical.
Raise pike to something higher. (the smith machine works nicely for this)
Barrier hspu. With feet behind your head laying on something. ( a ledge or stacked tires of appropriate height works nicely for this)
HSPU on paralletes
Free standing hspu
Lay on the ground underneath a climbing rope.
Pull yourself up to standing, using as much leg assistance as needed.
Lower yourself back down to the ground hand over hand.
While these are an excellent substitute for people unable to climb a rope or for those who don’t have room for a full height rope, make no mistake, done with a rigid body, they are a very demanding exercise.
Annie Sakamoto, one of the Santa Cruz originals demonstrates Beginner rope climbs amongst other variations in this video.
Rope Climb Variations (Annie) [wmv][mov] » Sept 6 07
Scaled version suitable for beginners start at about 1:50