Be humble and get strong

how calisthenics helped Noah

Noah

Join the tribe of Movement & Calisthenics Athlete – people just like you that are working with their own body weight to get strength, lose fat build muscle, recover from injuries and live their best lives!

This is story of Noah – Calisthenics Academy

Noah is a software engineer whose time is spent coding, volunteering at his church and playing or watching basketball.

“It is really humbling how hard even the simplest exercises are.”

Noah has always been lightly active over the years, never really sticking to a specific program or training regiment.

“I was thin, and I played basketball, but overall I was eating fairly unhealthily, was not exercising regularly, and spent most of my time in front of a computer screen.”

Diet is just as important as working out

Tracking Progress

Before changing how he was training, he improved how he was eating. “I started by changing my diet to stop eating sugar. I went cold-turkey and didn’t eat a dessert for three months. I started eating healthier breakfasts and lunches focused on eating more fruits, vegetables, eggs and less processed meats.”

He then paired his healthier eating habits with healthier training habits. Early in 2016, he discovered the Convict Conditioning training program. It was his first introduction to progressive calisthenics. But it didn’t quite stick until he found out about Calisthenics Academy.

“I liked the additional steps in between progressions and the materials available to learn the moves.”

“I’m learning to craft my own programming for my workouts. I care more about progressing than pushing out a bunch of reps. For me, 3x12 of an exercise seems to work well, and then I progress to the next exercise. I’ve found this to be very helpful and keep me motivated instead of getting stuck forever on earlier exercises that require 3x30 on the program.”

The 3 main benefits Noah gained since starting calisthenics

He’s learned to prioritize his time

Consistency is a continuous struggle for Noah. But he’s pushing forward, refusing to let procrastination or any kind of mental resistance stop him from doing what he needs to do. “Doing something is better than doing nothing and then waking up to realize you’ve not exercised for an entire week.”

He’s healthier in body and mind

His habits for both eating and exercising have drastically changed since he first started calisthenics. He’s found a few specific tricks that help him keep moving forward, and without restricting his eating or his workouts.

“- Going to sleep the same time every night
– Waking up the same time every morning
– Preparing lunches the night before
– Prep everything you need for your morning routine and set it out the night before
– If you don’t do any of the above four things and you aren’t hitting your schedule perfectly, take a second. Relax. Come up with an alternate plan and at least do something to work out that day.”

He’s committed to a long-term lifestyle

Noah has sees the benefit of pursuing calisthenics as a lifestyle. “I’m learning to craft my own programming for my workouts. I care more about progressing than pushing out a bunch of reps.”

Working out is more than exercising, and the learning process is in fact more important than the outcome. “It is really humbling how hard even the simplest exercises are.”

But the outcome will help keep you motivated, and Noah sees this too.

“I feel stronger. I’m not huge or ripped or anything. To the eye, I look fitter but nothing impressive, but my body just feels stronger.”

How to overcome the challenge of consistency

Noah thoroughly enjoys his new training program. But that doesn’t mean that he’s suddenly acing all his challenges. Consistency is a big struggle, even to this day. “I work out by myself and there are weeks where I really have to fight to even get one workout in.”

In order for him to succeed, he needed to change his way of thinking. He began to think more about how to hold himself accountable. “I read somewhere about the ‘Myth of Monday’. The myth is that you can just start next week, you can change it next week. No, if you miss a day of a workout, just work out the next day. Don’t wait till next week to do it right. This is a great lesson for everything in life actually. Make the changes you need to change as soon as possible and don’t let past mistakes breed future mistakes.”

“If you can commit to this program, you will learn a lot about exercising, about gaining strength, about gaining flexibility. You will create the habit of exercising. None of that will be wasted.”

“If you can commit to this program, you will learn a lot about exercising, about gaining strength, about gaining flexibility. You will create the habit of exercising. None of that will be wasted.”

Here’s Noah’s advice to anyone curious about calisthenics

“Know why you are doing calisthenics. If your answer is that you want to look ripped and get huge as quickly as possible, don’t do calisthenics. If your answer is that you want to feel stronger, more flexible, more connected to your body, then calisthenics is the way to go.”

“If you can commit to this program, you will learn a lot about exercising, about gaining strength, about gaining flexibility. You will create the habit of exercising. None of that will be wasted.”

Professional trainer, ex cross-fitter and a long time calisthenic practitioner. I started with Convict Conditioning and achieved levels of strength which enabled me to take part in street workouts championships. Check Out our Resources and Start Building Real Strength just using your Bodyweight!

How this busy single dad was able to transform his body by transforming his approach to exercise

Neil

Join the tribe of Movement & Calisthenics Athlete – people just like you that are working with their own body weight to get strength, lose fat build muscle, recover from injuries and live their best lives!

This is story of Neil – Calisthenics Academy

Neil is a single dad working a traditional 9-5 desk job at North Island Credit Union. In spite of his responsibilities at work and as a father, he’s managed to commit to four to fiveworkouts per week. But this wasn’t always the case.

“Just have fun with it. Learning a new progression is like learning a new workout move. It gets easier the more you do it.”

Neil started out doing traditional weight training. He’d go online to the most popular websites and pick a training program he enjoyed.

“Most are your typical compound movements like bench press, squats, deadlifts, shoulder presses, etc. It would either be one that builds muscle or loses fat. Most workouts would last around an hour.”

Despite that very traditional approach to working out, he was intrigued by the idea of calisthenics.

“I’ve always been fascinated about gymnastics and the bodies of gymnasts. They’re alway buff and could perform awesome looking moves.”

“I joined the Academy because I was interested in learning the 8 fundamental calisthenics moves.”

“I like how there are lots of progressions and I can make an honest assessment of whether the progression was easy, doable or too hard.”

The 2 main benefits Neil has gained from calisthenics

He learned the importance of daily movement

Joining Calisthenics Academy really made a difference to his progress.

“I’m doing exercises that I’ve never heard of and I’m getting stronger every day! Plus the program is easy to follow.”

At first he continued to follow traditional fitness schedules with calisthenics, but the results just weren’t what he wanted. He now trains at least five days a week, moving and playing the other two.

“If you only spend one or two days a week, you won’t make very good progress and you can regress really quickly on your moves.”

“Once I started doing the program four to five times a week, I was seeing great results!”

He’s learned the importance of committing to healthy eating

Eating right isn’t something that comes naturally to Neil. “My biggest struggle with my fitness journey is the nutrition part. I tend to eat when I’m bored and I don’t realize how much I overeat.”

He’s found ways to cope with that issue, though: by eating less and better, he’s losing weight, which will ultimately help him hit his fitness goals. “I know that being lean will help me achieve the calisthenics moves I am trying to accomplish. I know I have to eat right.”

“The lighter I am, the easier the moves will be…I am definitely getting stronger and much leaner.”

YouTube: great for inspiration, not so much for training

Neil really discovered calisthenics by watching video tutorials on Youtube, where he first encountered specialized calisthenics skills like the typewriter and archer pull-up. The level of mastery shown on those videos drove him to try them out himself, but video tutorials just weren’t enough for him to succeed. He’s been struggling to achieve a handstand since 2010!

“I would watch YouTube video tutorials and try it every morning, but I would get discouraged after many failed attempts and give up.”

Frustrated that these video tutorials weren’t offering enough information for him to gain the skills he wanted, Neil joined Calisthenics Academy.

“My biggest fear was that the program was going to be like all the other YouTube videos out there and just show a couple of progressions without helping me actually attain the move.”

“Just have fun with it. Learning a new progression is like learning a new workout move and it gets easier the more you do it. Having fun is what gets me through the workout.”

My 12-week transformation challenge ended today and here are my results.

My 12-week transformation challenge ended today and here are my results. During the first 4 weeks, I combined traditional weightlifting with the Calisthenics Academy program. Then I stopped touching the weights and strictly did the Calisthenics Academy program daily for. The remaining 8 weeks, logging in the website on my phone and just doing what it told me to at the gym. The program really works and I’m still far from achieving some of the moves, I attached screenshots to show you my progress of each move.

Trust the program and the process! 

 

Neil Before and After

Follow Neil on Instagram

Here’s Neil’s advice for anyone interested in calisthenics

“Give calisthenics a try. It’s a fun way to learn new moves while getting stronger and leaner at the same time. You will be amazed at what your body is capable of doing, plus you’ll look cool doing it!”

“I’m doing exercises that I’ve never heard of and I’m getting stronger every day! Plus the program is easy to follow.”

Professional trainer, ex cross-fitter and a long time calisthenic practitioner. I started with Convict Conditioning and achieved levels of strength which enabled me to take part in street workouts championships. Check Out our Resources and Start Building Real Strength just using your Bodyweight!

How an overweight, busy dad took his life back

with Timo Vlot

Join the tribe of Movement & Calisthenics Athletes – people just like you that are working with their own body weight to get strength, lose fat build muscle, recover from injuries and live their best lives!

This is story of Timo – Calisthenics Academy

Timo joined Calisthenics Academy shortly after the online platform was created, and his life-story is one of challenges, injuries and familial responsibility, being a husband and the father of an 8-year-old girl and a 4-year-old son.

“You don’t have to lift weights to be bad arse.”

From a fit kid to an overweight dad

Timo was active as a child, but playing field hockey for most of his life had wrecked his knees and ankles. He couldn’t play without braces, and the pain just killed any enjoyment he gained from the sport.

His life became more sedentary, full of self-indulgent living.

“I quickly gained weight. No longer was I the 50kg 17 year-old.”

“Soon I was the 85kg 39 year-old with two kids.”

“If I had known about calisthenics, and the awesome tricks you can learn…I’m sure I would have reached handstand push-ups and maybe even a human flag had I started back then.”

3 ways Timo has benefited from joining Calisthenics Academy

“While before joining Calisthenics Academy I had strength, I now have control”

Since starting, he’s retaken the introductory assessment, and although he’s progressed immensely, Timo realized that his form was off in some of the exercises.

“I reset that progression to allow better form and control, but I keep pushing and progressing in the other areas.”

“You don't have to lift the heaviest weights to be bad arse.”

Like many calisthenics athletes, Timo acknowledges that muscle gain simply isn’t the same as you might expect with weightlifting. However, you’ll experience many benefits that go above and beyond the physical appearance of your muscles.

He’s now working on unlocking and achieving the handstand push-up by his 44th birthday in June this year. “I’m 84% there now!”

“Take it slow, and listen to your body. Aches and pains are there for a reason”

He’s learning to pace himself and autoregulate his training.
This doesn’t come quite naturally to him yet, but calisthenics is the safest training method he’s found where he can push his body without hurting himself.

“I need to remember I’m not 18 anymore.”

“I’m also back at doing assisted single leg pistol squats. This time I am injury-free doing it, which I attribute to a longer progression cycle than the calisthenics book I was following.”

Losing weight to get his life back

It started with calorie control. After losing 15kg (33lbs), he changed his focus to “30-day challenges” every morning. It was an easy way to get moving again and see tangible progress from the get-go. “I was quickly hooked to these, and felt the need to increase my exercise time.”

“I joined the local gym and got given a very generic workout by the local PT. I followed this for a few weeks, adding weight pretty randomly to keep from getting bored.”

He developed strength, but not in any structured way. Six months later, and he needed a change.

“After a while I got so bored, I started looking for random exercises online.”

Take time to find the right exercise program for you

The first thing Timo found that worked for him was the book New Rules of Lifting Supercharged. “It was a godsend.”

Timo and his son with the Star Wars squad

Thanks to that book, he was able to play with his program, organize his workouts based on a menu of exercises and explore the concept of an evolving system.

But…something still wasn’t quite working for him.

Amazing as the book was, Timo’s body just wasn’t ready for the weightlifting program the book offered. It caused him some issues, mainly to his knees and ankles, which were a problem for him even when he was younger. He’d spent years completely inactive, and working out came as a shock to his system.

It was obvious that something was wrong and he need to adjust his approach.

“It was a godsend.”

Adjusting your approach

Weight-lifting was just too much for him at that point of his training. “My shoulders could not handle the weights I was carrying.” He could accomplish some spectacular weight-lifting moves, but they would put him out of action for several weeks afterwards.

He still finished the book’s program, but chose to move on and search for something else. He needed a program that would help him progress more safely, without triggering any old injuriess he might have hidden within his body.

“As you get older, your training needs to change and evolve.”

Down the path of calisthenics

He started with the book Complete Calisthenics. At that time, Calisthenics Academy had just published the first edition of the ebook, though the platform hadn’t gone live yet. Timo bought it too.

Timo Climbing Trees

 

The challenges Complete Calisthenics offered were interesting, the program was fun “but then I hit the single leg pistol squat (assisted) and my old knee issues flared up.”

This forced him to take yet another break from exercising, the injury being quite paralyzing.

It was right around the same time that the Calisthenics Academy web platform went live. Timo didn’t hesitate before signing up.

“Calisthenics Academy lets me be more focused on my goals.”

Timo found a program he enjoys and that pushes him a lot. As his body wasn’t fully recovered from his injury he started with maintenance workouts before he could officially get started on his own training program.

“I started slow. I set myself a goal of one session a week. Once that became easy, I slowly increased it.”

Making exercise and movement a habit

Having a family and two young children, finding the time to workout was quite a challenge. Timo tried working out after work, and even after his children had gone to sleep. It just didn’t cut it, though.

And so, he began waking up and working out earlier and earlier.

“I now love my 3:30[a.m.]—I know I’m crazy!—wake up workout.” Mad as it sounds, he claims that it gives him a moment of peace and quiet before the day’s true craziness begins.

“I started slow. I set myself a goal of one session a week. Once that became easy, I slowly increased it.”

“I can control my body much better than before, and am more confident about lifting things (like my kids in play) without a risk.”

Timo’s advice to anyone who is curious about calisthenics

“Go on, give it a try. Start slow and don’t set your goals too unrealistically. Try, and have fun!”

“Thanks to the program, I have managed to strengthen my knees and ankles, which were a problem for me when I was younger.”

Professional trainer, ex cross-fitter and a long time calisthenic practitioner. I started with Convict Conditioning and achieved levels of strength which enabled me to take part in street workouts championships. Check Out our Resources and Start Building Real Strength just using your Bodyweight!

From injured weight-lifter to calisthenics athlete

the value of starting over

Braden

Join the tribe of Movement & Calisthenics Athletes – people just like you that are working with their own body weight to get strength, lose fat build muscle, recover from injuries and live their best lives!

This is story of Philippe – Calisthenics Academy

Braden is an army officer and former weight-lifter, whose injuries caused him pain and problems for years, until the day he found calisthenics.

“A journey of a thousand miles start with the first step”

The path from weight-lifting to calisthenics

Braden started his fitness journey weight-lifting and relay racing in high school, until joint pain and a shoulder injury caused him to rethink his view of exercise and movement.

“When I was in high school, prior to my injury I was 169lbs benching 300lbs, squatting 2 x 325lbs, and deadlifting 475lbs. I was one of the strongest kids pound for pound. I was very successful with weight lifting and was showing more progress as the weeks went on. I was weight strong but not body strong.”

While in full sprint during a relay race, he made a wrong movement, which caused his hip to pop. This resulted in disparity and imbalance in his entire body, particularly affecting one of his shoulders. His form changed, and weight-lifting was putting extra stress on one side.

“I injured my shoulder from heavy lifting. I was at my strongest, and from then on, I haven’t gotten back to that strength. I didn’t plan to rehab, because I loved the gym so much, and didn’t want to step away. My stubbornness kept me from getting it fixed. Not a smart move. It didn’t get better until I started calisthenics…I realized the benefit of having less stress put on my joints, ligaments, and tendons.”

– “I found that with calisthenics I was able to still workout hard and also have my shoulder heal.”

“My workouts are sometimes 20-30 minutes. That’s the beauty of bodyweight. Just keep moving.”

The 3 main benefits Braden experienced with calisthenics

He’s able to train his body intensively without aggravating his shoulder injury

Calisthenics was a challenge to him and his expectations; progress in calisthenics just isn’t the same as in weightlifting. “It isn’t an ego builder. You do not put on size as fast and it takes a while to master moves.” But he discovered the long-term benefits that came as a result of his calisthenics journey;

“I found that with calisthenics I was able to still work out hard and also have my shoulder heal…My body has become more proportioned and I am much more mobile than I was as a weight lifter.”

He’s still interested and committed to using calisthenics years later

Braden considers himself to be a ‘wherever the wind takes me’ kind of person. When something became boring to him, he’d simply move on. And yet, two years later, Calisthenics Academy has helped him stay focused, interested and constantly improving.

“It is simple. It has good descriptions in the video and the progressions are realistic…The majority of the moves in calisthenics I cannot do yet. I am starting at square one.”

He’s learned to pace himself

Calisthenics Academy seems to have helped Braden immensely in his overall training habits, and what he’s now capable of, mentally and physically. He’s experienced first-hand the benefits of periodization; he’s no longer too rigid in his training and appreciates the importance of allowing his body to rest and recover.

What his workouts look like

His workout routine now is just naturally built into his everyday life:

“first thing when I get home, I make a pre-workout cappuccino and get to my garage, get some music going and jump some rope to warm up. Then I am ready to rock and roll. My workouts are sometimes 20-30 minutes.”

Training as a Family

His workouts don’t take over his life, but they’re a valuable part of it.

“That’s the beauty of bodyweight. Just keep moving. Go through the circuit quickly. Do not take a rest if you don’t need it.”

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Training as a family

Nowadays, Braden regularly works out with his wife Tawnee. She too is a calisthenics athlete, who loves acroyoga and was recently accepted to the ninth season of American Ninja Warrior! Check out her awesome Instagram account @tawneeleo.

“That’s the beauty of bodyweight. Just keep moving. Go through the circuit quickly. Do not take a rest if you don’t need it.”

“Calisthenics is great when it comes to the Army because you need to be mobile and strong in all positions.”

“I am much more mobile than when I was as a weight lifter.”

Here’s Braden’s advice to anyone wondering if Calisthenics Academy is for them

“Just go for it. You won’t regret it. A journey of a thousand miles start with the first step.”

“I was weight strong but not body strong. I am very glad I switched to calisthenics because my body has become more proportioned and I am much more mobile.”

From injured athlete to motivated mover

Ryan’s calisthenics story

Join the tribe of Movement & Calisthenics Athletes – people just like you that are working with their own body weight to get strength, lose fat build muscle, recover from injuries and live their best lives!

This is story of Ryan – Calisthenics Academy

Ryan is an independent analyst. He spends his time traveling to and working in remote places all around the world, sometimes bartending in his free time.

“Fitness has definitely become less of a thing I do, and more of a way I live”

Staying in shape as a traveler is always a big challenge, and one Ryan struggled with.

He’s always been an athlete, playing American football and rugby at university. At the time, he focused mainly on weight training and cardio. A work injury involving abdominal tears made him unable to do usual workouts, and in search of an alternative that would keep him moving without making the problem any worse.

“I was immobile for a few weeks and not much more mobile for a good quarter of the year. It pretty much ended my regular regimen, and put off serious weight training for a solid six months, so I needed to find some kind of workout I could scale to my limitations.”

His father had been training for a while, and is the one who introduced Ryan to new approaches to training.

Pre-injury, weight training

Post-injury

He tried calisthenics out for himself, and struggled with the lack of progress he first experienced.

“When I first got started with calisthenics, it was difficult to measure progress and I wasn’t seeing the familiar gains I expected.”

More than that, though, calisthenics challenged his views of what exercise was meant to look like.

“The hardest part of calisthenics has been the patience it requires me to have with myself. With weights or cardio I could just power through plateaus or problem areas: add more weight, run faster.”

“At the end of the day I’d just be more sore or nauseous, but with calisthenics I’m identifying really functional performance errors in myself, that can’t be overcome by more weight or gutting it out – corrections take patience and acceptance.”

“My dad had recently recovered really well from back surgery and he recommended Pilates and calisthenics – so I listened to the old man.“

“You only need the will to do [calisthenics]. You don’t need workout clothes, equipment, or to go to a gym full of people watching you. Find a quiet spot where you feel comfortable,, pull up a workout and see how rad it is to be honest with yourself. Then just go from there.”

The 4 benefits Ryan has gained since joining Calisthenics Academy

A changed mindset which introduced a new way to deal with injury

Calisthenics helped Ryan recover much faster than he imagined he could. In fact, he barely lost any of his base-fitness level,

“because of the scalability and regularity of the workouts. I was also able to identify new areas to improve.”

More than just recovering, calisthenics seems to have taught him to cope with injury differently. The steps he took to recover involved both taking action and understanding his own mind better than he had before.

“I’ve learned to deal with injury by doing something – anything – that lets me see even the smallest growth. My most recent injury required me to have a substantial amount of metal removed from my leg, so at 32 that meant I was off my feet for weeks.”

“So I looked up any small moves I could do with my legs propped up or on one leg (as I got healthier) and just went from there. The work spent planning out sessions and even the smallest bit of gain were enough to keep from falling into a mental grave of sorts.”

Freedom in movement

Since starting calisthenics, Ryan has experienced an openness and a flexibility in his training routine that never really had before.

“Life used to be governed by hard and fast gym times, but now I’m free to build my days around workouts but all the while listening to how I feel that day and responding appropriately in my regimen.”

Calisthenics Academy has offered him a safe structure in which he has the freedom to explore and play. “Fitness has definitely become less of a thing I do, and more of a way I live…I always built my days around workouts but now I build workouts into my days.”

His progress has taken him so far from where he started, which is a huge motivator for him: calisthenics is about progress and evolution.

“I started out looking to recover and maintain but I’ve become a bit more obsessed with movement and functional performance so my workouts are much more form/performance focused now than they were when I started.”

Learn to listen to your body

The results an athlete might expect with weight training just don’t happen at the same speed in calisthenics. For anyone who’s transitioning from weight training to calisthenics, Ryan’s experience shows that you’ll need patience…and a lot of it.

“Be patient and observant. If you’re like me and are used to seeing the types of gains that come from weight/sport training, you need to let yourself learn the language of calisthenics. Gains come but they’re different, your body’s language is different. So don’t give up, invest and listen, because it really is like learning a new language.”

He can play ANYWHERE

Ryan has had a lot of fun exploring the spaces that would allow for a workout. “I’ve trained anywhere from large chain gyms, beaches, freight containers, the back of a cargo plane and a semi truck, hotel rooms and my kitchen. I’ve been pretty creative sometimes – doing vertical pulls on truck axles was a greasy favorite.”

Ryan’s advice to you, if you’re considering starting calisthenics

“Start with one round, or one exercise even. Build that into your day and commit to it, even if just that one day. After that, I like to use the tag #dontgotobedlazy on my more inactive friends, because if all you do is pull up the app and do some push-ups or planks before bed, then you’ve started something you can work with.”

Follow the hashtag #dontgotobedlazy on Instagram!

“Life used to be governed by hard and fast gym times, but now I’m free to build my days around workouts but all the while listening to how I feel that day and responding appropriately in my regimen.”

“Be patient and observant. If you’re like me and used to seeing the types of gains that come from weight/sport training, you need to let yourself learn the language of calisthenics. Gains come but they’re different, your body’s language is different. So don’t give up, invest and listen, because it really is like learning a new language.”

“Fitness has definitely become less of a thing I do, and more of a way I live”

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Parallets

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Parallets

From helping your handstand to getting started with your l-sit, parallets should be a staple in any beginner’s hand-balancing workout. Let me tell you why:

Typically, Calisthenics tells you to stick with the bare essentials of equipment. Some rings, a pull-up bar and that’s it. But sometimes, having one or two more things at home can make your training easier.

Take hand-balancing, for example. It’s crucial to calisthenics, but it’s one hell of a challenge when you’re just starting out:

You need to get your legs up straight, keep your balance and hold your posture. Even if you’re using a wall or support blocks, your wrists and hands will usually get tired long before the rest of your body is ready to give up.

And that’s where a little piece of equipment like parallets comes in handy. They’re an awesome and affordable hand-balancing tool that allows you to do train longer safely. You can even go to our Calisthenics Academy shop and get them today.

But how can I use parallets?

Parallets can help you in so many different ways, but there isn’t much info about how to actually add them to your training, or how to work out with them. This is why we’ve created a guide. Let’s dive into it!

WHY SHOULD I ADD PARALLETS TO MY TRAINING?

Here are some of the awesome benefits parallets have:

  • Prolong your training. You can practice hand-balancing on the ground until you start experiencing wrist fatigue, then switch to using the parallets for the rest of your training session.
  • Prevent overuse injury. Hands and wrists aren’t naturally equipped to carry our entire body weight. If you don’t train them properly, they’ll quickly develop overuse injuries that take a lot of time to heal. As a beginner, parallets will help you train properly without putting too much stress onto your hands and wrists.
  • Add an extra step to your progressions. Is working on the floor too hard right off the bat? Try training with parallets as an extra step towards working on the ground.
  • Practice moves you can’t do on the ground. Can’t do an L-sit on the ground because, well, you just can’t yet? Start on parallets! They take you off the ground enough for you to get started.

6 ways to include parallets in your training

Here are 6 basic moves you can train on your parallets for a wider range of movement, easier progressions while safeguarding your wrists and hands.

Be careful with your wrists’ position! When starting, always keep them in a neutral position to prevent overexertion.

L-Sit
How-to: 
Keep your hips extended at the same level as your hands. Raise your legs as high as you can, preferably to a 90-degree angle, parallel to the floor. If you can’t, focus on keeping your feet off the ground while holding your back and arms straight.
Photo credit: Crossfit Magnus

Tuck-Sit
How-to:
Keep your hips extended, slightly in front of your hands, and your back as straight as you can maintain it. Your knees should be tightly held to get her and your head is held in a neutral position.
Photo credit: GMB Fitness

Push-up
How-to: 
Keep the parallets wide enough that your hands and shoulders are at the same width. Bend your knees if you need to, and lower down with your elbows tucked in. As per calisthenics, lower slowly while exhaling (4s) and push up quickly with a 1s pause each way. Watch out for your hip position and keep them aligned with your body!
Photo credit: Men’s Fitness

Tuck-Planche
How-to: Push down on your shoulders, round your back and pull your knees together, tight against your chest. Remember, keep your wrists in a neutral position.
Photo credit: Men’s Fitness

Dips
How-to: You have the option to do L-Sit dips, or follow the image with your feet on the ground. Keep your elbows tucked in and exhale while going down slowly (4s) and inhale coming up.
Photo credit: Desert Cart

Handstand (against the wall)
How-to: 
Place your hands on the parallets as close to the wall as you can while staying balanced. Align your head, shoulders and back, bring your stomach in to avoid the “banana” shape. Push your shoulders down and keep your head neutral (don’t overextend your neck). Try letting only your feet touch the wall.
Photo credit: Men’s Fitness

Wanna workout? Include your parallets!

  • Use the best warm-up for you.
    If you don’t have one, here’s a good warm-up routine from GMB Fitness:
  1. Shoulder circles – 5 times each direction
  2. Up/Down/Right/left neck tilts – 5 times each side
  3. Arm crossovers – 5 times each side
  4. Wrist stretches, fingers facing into and away from the knees – 5 times each
  5. Elbow circles with hands on the ground – 5 times each way
  6. Scapular shrugs, hands, and knees on the ground – 5-10 times
  7. Cat/Cow alternation – 5 each pose, hold for 3-5s
  8. Shake out those shoulders for a few seconds!
  • Dips – 5-12 reps
  • L-sit 5-10s
  • Tuck-sit 5-10s
  • Tuck planche 5-10s
  • Push-up – 5-12 reps
  • Rest 90s-2 minutes
  • Repeat steps 2-7 for no more than 3-4 rounds.
You can end your workout with a handstand (against the wall), holding for 10-45s.

 

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Professional trainer, ex cross-fitter and a long time calisthenic practitioner. I started with Convict Conditioning and achieved levels of strength which enabled me to take part in street workouts championships. Check Out our Resources and Start Building Real Strength just using your Bodyweight!