Calisthenics: A How To Guide Part 2 - The 'That's Dope' Exercises
Calisthenic, bodyweight training, street workout...the discipline has got many names. If you haven't already checked out Part 1, where we should you how to begin calisthenics training, click here to start with the 4 basic moves.
OK now you understand the basics right..it’s time to go way and master them with these intermediate “Dope” and “Wow” exercises that get all the attention on social media!
Plyometric push up
Ok, I assume that by now you are doing 100 push ups straight out of bed in the morning, am I right?
If so, let’s up the ante!
The target of a plyo push up is to exert a max force in short time to jump off the floor and look pretty cool (emphasis always on looking cool). Now let's incorporate some claps to increase the levels of cool (and social media comments).
Start with doing 1 clap as you jump off with your hands and before you land again.
Now keep adding claps, so 2, 3, 4 claps, anything after 4 is just showing off really.
Once you got that in the bag there are Superman's, aztec, 360, one arm clap, you name it (or make it up) it’s all possible!
The world looks pretty cool upside down, try it! To build up to a complete yogi handstand and a perfect balance, try this drill.
Start in a pushup position and step back walking up a wall.
Your target is to finish in a handstand position against the wall, chin tucked in, nose touching the wall, feet in plantar flexion (like ballerina pointy) and shoulders extended.
Hold the position for few second then come all the way down and repeat…...we call this the wall walking drill!!!
A Handstand is all about posture and getting your body used to a new position so try, try, try, and try again!
Ok lets put it out there and establish that being able to do a muscle up is the level required to officially enter the Calisthenic gang.
What is a muscle up? Well pretty much a pull up + a straight bar dips.
Keep your body close to the bar on the way up.
The faster you’ll be able to switch from pulling to pushing, the easier it will get.
Then bend your arms and lower your body, leaning slightly forward.
You’ll never see a pull up bar the same way after your first muscle up!
Front lever/Back lever (Advanced)
Remember the Australian pull up from Part 1? Ok so it’s the same but with your feet off the floor.
Start with some resistance band attached to your foot and a monkey bar.
Keep your arms locked, and raise your feet until your body get parallel to the floor.
Squeeze your posterior chain and your core.
Focus on slowing down in the eccentric phase.
Handstand push up (Advanced)
Your balance is on point, you can stay upside down forever, cool. Mix it with some push up ! All about control and balance !
Human flag (Advanced)
I remember the first day I pulled out a flag and trust me you will too!
Find 2 bars, one above the other, at a comfortable distance to allow you to exert force. The upper arm pull and lower push!
With a sideways kick raise both feet in the air to get your body parallel to the floor.
This requires some serious arms and oblique/core strength. Need to build up to that? Kick out tuck our knees in and lower down slowly until you able to stay up for few seconds. The next step will be to extend end bend your legs in that position.
The full planche A.K.A the black belt of calisthenics. Probably the hardest exercises out of all. A plank position with your foot off the floor.
It all starts with a Crane pose (that yoga thing you see on instagram…Squat down. Palms on the floor. Press your knees against your arms. Move your weight forward. Lift your feet from the floor).
Extend your legs one by one and tuck them back in.
This is a very slow progression exercise compared to the others but the end result is a major!
What about legs tho?
Hum, yeah legs… there is only certain things you can do for legs in street workout. Split squat, pistol squat, bodyweight squat, kilometres of lunges. For the lower body we will definitely work the volume rather than the intensity.
Oh, I almost forgot, THE PURPOSE of Calisthenics....
Well it’s all about having a better understanding of your body through movement in different planes. Increase your body strength, flexibility through the full range of motion, improve your balance, agility, coordination, core stability, muscle endurance through the volume. You can only win by doing Calisthenics. Whether you should weight or bodyweight workout? For me, both are the 2 faces of a coin, both are really important for a greater muscular, fitness development.
Now go catch some rays repping some muscle up !
Author - Jeason Marvin
Instagram - @jeasonmarvin
Facebook - Jeason.marvin