Can I TRAIN Calisthenics Every Day? THE TRUTH REVEALED!

Can I TRAIN Calisthenics Every Day? THE TRUTH REVEALED!

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Since Calisthenics Academy was created, I’ve seen many athletes rely on excuses to avoid getting started.

“I can’t train every day, I don’t have the time.”

“You’re asking for too much! What about overtraining?”

“Daily movement? I’m no pro, that’s too much!”

These are valid fears new athletes may have. But I’m here to tell you that you can do calisthenics every day.

I want to alleviate these fears once and for all while showing you a better way of thinking about your daily training and movement practice. I’ll also share strategies to move every day without overtraining and still get amazing results.

Ready for it? Let’s get started

Let me get something straight:

Calisthenics & Movement is a lifestyle

…and yes, you should be moving every single day.

The typical get-fit-quick, 8-week program pushes for hours upon hours of working out from the get-go, with a strict schedule and training for optimal and quick results.

For a lot of us, especially when just getting started, it’s just too much to take on.

Some of the strategies from these programs are effective and get results, but they don’t tackle the thought-process behind exercising. They create a tall, seemingly insurmountable mountain that takes hours upon hours of daily workouts to climb.

But what of someone who’s never done this before? How can they get started when the first step of the journey is already so challenging?

The answer is simple…

MOVE EVERY SINGLE DAY

But then, you start wondering…

Should I move every single day?

Would I feel better if I did?

Hell yeah!

Regardless of what your program says, even when talking about these so-called “rest days,” you should be moving.

Now, moving might not mean a full-on 2h training session. It’s important to understand that moving doesn’t always mean training, though training usually means moving.

Before I talk more about this, let’s get something straight:

I’m worried about overtraining”

Or is that just an excuse?

Read this LOUD and CLEAR: overtraining is ONLY a problem for elite athletes in competition training.

If you aren’t a professional, elite athlete, overtraining has just about NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU.

And yet… trainers hear clients express this worry repeatedly.

Soreness doesn’t equal overtraining. Working out for 2, or even 4 hours in the day isn’t overtraining.

There’s a big difference between overtraining and over-doing:

When you get started, your body isn’t conditioned for long training sessions. It’s completely unused to the work you’re putting it through, and so you can easily overdo it, because your body isn’t conditioned yet.

Working out an hour every day is not overtraining.

This might sound like a lot to you, but if you progressively condition your body into being used to a one-hour daily workout, it’ll just become normal.

You can alternate between having very dynamic workouts and taking it a bit easier on some days, but moving daily is extremely important for your overall health.

So rather than worry about overtraining, you need to ask yourself:

Should I be training every single day?

I’m not talking about moving. I really mean “training.” Remember, moving doesn’t have to mean training, but training always means moving.

And the answer is, you don’t have to TRAIN every day, but you should definitely MOVE every day.

So if you train for an hour 3 days a week, you should still be moving the 4 other days. It as simple as practicing your handstand, stretching or a short yoga session. Or even running after your kids, playing tag.

Studies show that even just 15 minutes of movement will help you extend your lifespan by 14%. The best would obviously be a bit longer, with approximately 45 minutes of mindful exercise per day, but even just 15 minutes will have amazing results on your overall health and mindset.

The WHO estimates that a quarter of European adults, and four-fifths of European adolescents, are insufficiently active. This means that they don’t regularly engage in the recommended levels of physical activity. Across Europe, the lack of activity has contributed to over 500,000 deaths per year – deaths that could have been averted by enabling and encouraging all European inhabitants to engage in more dynamic lifestyles.

And you know what the recommended level of physical activity by WHO is?

15 minutes a day.

But the upside is massive:

“Engaging in these levels of physical activity substantially reduces an individual’s risk of developing one or more of the health problems or disorders set out, quite the opposite. This underlines the extensive benefits which physical activity can bring: in addition to promoting cardiovascular health, it is effective in treating or averting a broad range of serious non-communicable diseases, physical and mental health issues.”

In other words – it’s a life-saver.

“All efforts to increase levels of physical activity can be seen as life-saving medical interventions, as well as investments in human health and potential. Physical activity delivers longer, happier and more productive lives, contributing positively to economic and social outcomes in numerous ways.”

So should you be moving every single day?

Hell yeah!

But what about the results?

We all want results. And that’s good. We need goals to keep on moving, keep on progressing, keep on getting better. It’s really important.

There’s a sweet spot, though, where training more won’t get you more results. Unless you’re a professional athlete and you’re training for some sort of competition, consistency is more important than the volume.

So even though I know you want results – whether you get these results in 2 or 3 months won’t make much difference. What will make a difference is you building the habit of working out or moving, day in and day out.

Keep that in mind.

Yes, you’ll get there faster if you train 6 days instead of 3, but can you actually afford to train 6 days a week? or after 4 weeks, will you burn out and never want to train again?

It’s better that you train more slowly, and be able to stick to it for the next 6,12, 24 months. In fact, you should be able to commit to it for the rest of your life.

So let’s talk about how you can move, and even train, every single day without burning out while making sure that you’re moving forward a little bit every day.

3 Strategies To Optimise Daily Training

1. Cycle Your Training Focus

Working for hours upon hours of time working doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll improve.

You need to focus specifically on what you want to train and achieve. This will help you make progress much faster and more efficiently than if you didn’t focus your attention on your goals.

But you need to have first mastered the Fundamentals. If you’re just starting out and you want to master your handstand – that’s cool but you probably won’t have conditioned your abs, legs, or pulling strength.

If you want to have good form and master your handstand, you need to first develop the right muscles. This is how you’ll be able to go after more advanced moves.

This is why the training program in Calisthenics Academy starts with the fundamentals.

pasted image 0 11

Training your core will help your handstands, doing leg lifts will perfect your l-sit, pulling strength and vertical dips will help you eventually achieve a muscle-up.

Once you’ve got that – periodization and cycling come into play.

2. Split Workout Routines

I hear some of you saying: “But wait, how will my muscles grow if I train them every day? Don’t they grow during the resting time?”

This is where split routines can be used:

Split routines typically consist of either a 2- or 3-day split. With calisthenics, I’d stick with a 2-day split.

Examples of a two-day split routine could be:

Day 1: (PUSH + Legs): Handstands, Push-Ups, and Legs

Day 3: (PULL + Core): Pull-ups, Horizontal pulls, Bridges, Leg raises

Day 5: Back  (Progressions towards Bridges & Back Lever)

Another way you could split your training is based on the muscle group:

Monday         Chest and Triceps

Tuesday        Biceps and Back

Wednesday      Legs and Shoulders

Thursday       REST

Friday         Chest and Triceps

Saturday       Biceps and Back

Sunday         Legs and Shoulders

If that sounds confusing, here’s an easy solution for you.

This is how we create the routines inside Calisthenics Academy.

Our system gives you the ability to adjust the time of your workouts. You can pick the days and choose how much time you want like to workout for, from 30 to 90 minutes.

In the past, we had full and split body routines. Recently, we’ve deployed machine-learning algorithms to create the most optimal workouts for you.

Here’s how the routines are created:

When creating your workout based on time, we use 3 main elements to determine what goes into it. These are:

1. How long it takes to do each exercise

We gather data on how long it takes to physically perform each exercise and average it out.

2. Type of exercise

We categorize all exercises from each progression – core, arm, legs (and in the future, a back progression). When building your workout, our algorithm makes sure that none of the exercises in the same category are next to each other – that enables us to create the most optimal routine for you and give you time to recover.

3. History

We also track every last exercise accomplished. It helps for recovery.

Our system then rotates the exercises, so if you did a pistol squat, you’ll be run through other exercises in the queue before hitting the pistol squat once again.

This optimizes for effectiveness and recovery, so don’t need to build up your routine. You can just follow the program we set you, which will make your entire workout easier.

If you’re interested in Calisthenics Academy – you can find more details here – or Take an Assessment and see where you stand with the Fundamentals moves.

2. Autoregulation

Autoregulation is an important topic in calisthenics. It’s all the more important because it addresses the challenges we face as soon as we make a long-term commitment: some days a good, some day not so much.

Autoregulation is a tool that will help you adjust your training based on your performance.

Imagine you are coming into your workout but you are tired.

There are many variables that can affect the quality of your workout:

Sleep, emotional stress, illness, work, energy levels and diet all significantly influence your state of mind and body.

There are days when you’ll feel great and on the top of the world, where you just power through your workout. Other days you might be feeling really bad. Some weeks are amazing, some are miserable.

And unfortunately, there are too many variables to predict and plot how you’ll be performing on a specific day to be able to schedule the right kind of workout.

The old school of thought would say that you just need to push through it and train. But the truth is that these are real variables. Instead of fighting against them, you should work with them to make your training more effective. This is autoregulation.

The best thing about it is that you can easily train every day and simply adjust your training based on how you feel.

There are different schools of thought around this type of training. Calisthenics Academy uses a 5-point scale of RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion), where, based on the image below, point 7, 8 and 9 are combined into one level of Exertion.

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How does it look in real life? After every single exercise you do, we’ll ask, “How hard was it to complete that set of reps?” – based on your feedback, the system will automatically adjust your next set by adding or subtracting reps. This, yet again, will ensure that your training program is the best for you.

If you aren’t a part of Calisthenics Academy, you can simply use this spreadsheet to record your training and adjust your own workout.

So, can you afford to train every day?  

The short answer is yes.

But you don’t need to train every day.

Remember the distinction between training and moving – you need to move every single day. Moving can be as simple as a 20 min handstand practice, or 20 burpees, or 10 min of yoga – basically, movement snacks.

Few are the athletes who can devote their entire day to training without having to worry about other responsibilities.

We normally recommend 3-4 days per week 30-60 min each session. In addition to regular movement outside of these scheduled workouts.

Most people will be able to accommodate their workouts to this much training, and it’s a reasonable amount of time to give you optimal results.

If you’re a part of Calisthenics Academy, you can pick your 6-day schedule and the program will make sure that your workouts will be perfectly optimized for you.

Cover your bases

I might have focused on calisthenics workouts, but you need to remember to rest and eat appropriately. Working out is just a part of the process towards better health.

Can you afford NOT moving every day?  

I will repeat this again. Movement is life – scheduled training sessions are good, but ideally your days are filled with easy movement, stretches – whatever feels good.

Remember, just 15 minutes of moving will protect you from these issues:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke Reduced risk
  • Overweight and obesity Reduced risk
  • Type II diabetes Reduced risk
  • Colon cancer Reduced risk
  • Breast cancer Reduced risk
  • Musculoskeletal health
  • Improvement Falls in older people Reduced risk
  • Psychological wellbeing Improvement
  • Depression Reduced

And this is backed by science.

Don’t Get Caught Up Living Other peoples lives

Remember, move every day, even when you’re not training.

You’re playing a long game with your health – this isn’t a short-term solution that will just help you now. You’re making a lifelong commitment towards a healthier life, habits, and mind.

Use autoregulation to adapt your training to days where you might not feel like you’re doing enough. If you’re moving, it’s enough.

Don’t let anyone else’s expectations or judgment of what’s right influence what might be right for you.

Choose a routine and a program that feel right for you: it won’t matter or work in the long-term, otherwise.

Don’t give up when you hit a wall. If you’re trying, that’s good enough.

That’s where you’ll find your own kind of happiness.

Move every day.

 

DO YOU WANT AN OPTIMAL TRAINING PROGRAM SO YOU CAN MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR TIME?  

Lack of personalization is hurting your training performance. It’s a FACT

Imagine if some of these exercises above were too hard for you. Your body will try to compensate with a poor form, movement dysfunction and possibly risk injury if it’s too challenging. And now imagine if some of these exercises were too easy they wouldn’t challenge your muscles to grow – you’d simply be wasting your time.  This is why we created Calisthenics Academy: to offer a fully personalized training program reflecting exactly where your level is for optimal performance.

Take the assessment to see how do you stack up on the 8 fundamental calisthenics moves

calisthenics training assessment

calisthenics training assessment

Share the results and comments in our Facebook Group

 

calisthenics academy the ultimate calisthenics training program

 

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!
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.

 

Interested in getting your own set of parallets? Check out our shop at Calisthenics Academy!

Have your own experience with parallets? Share it in the comments or in our Facebook group.

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!
Bare Minimum Workout from a professional acrobat

Bare Minimum Workout from a professional acrobat

If you’re in a fitness rut, The Bare Minimum Workout is for you.

Have you left the office after work too exhausted to work out? Ever been stuck in a cycle of exhaustion and lack of exercise because of

minimal calisthenics workout with Rocco Lapaire professional acrobat

play time!

poor food choices? Or are you just bored with your current routine?

This happens to the best of us; I’ve experienced all types of workout plateaus, ruts, jeesh even valleys!…and that’s why I developed my “Bare Minimum” workout. It’s not a substitute for a full training plan. It’s more like insurance to make sure that you never, ever get out of shape. Consider it a way of bulletproofing your long-term fitness goals.

This workout combines basic everyday fitness needs with focused skill training. It can be tailored to meet your goals. This can mean, for example, doing it in the shortest amount of time with as little equipment and space as possible. With it, you’ll never, ever get out of shape. 

It’s a do anywhere, anytime workout.

Before you get started, though, you need to lay your fitness goals out. What does your body need to achieve your goals? Do you have any special exercises, like physical therapy exercises?

Get creative, and make sure the program you lay out for yourself is reasonable. Try building it with little to no equipment, and short enough to squeeze into even your most hectic days.

You are the creator of your plan, these are your goals -make this program your go-to when you can’t get a longer routine in. Smart, focused, and diligent training will yield results!

1. My “Bare Minimum” workout

I’m an acrobat, so I set myself very specific goals.

I’m an acrobat, so I set myself very specific goals. My body needs specialized exercises to make those goals a reality while protecting my joints from the wear and tear caused by advanced acrobatics.

My current goals: increase the flexibility of my active and passive splits; have a reliable one arm handstand.

My fitness needs: PT to prevent shoulder and wrist problems to continue my acrobatic work. For the splits, I need enhanced joint mobility and strength.

My Bare Minimum (BM) Workout: I start off with a PT warmup. It stretches my wrists and shoulders, preparing me for handstands.

I then go into a routine with a variety of handstands, wrist strengthening exercises, and split stretching that addresses my body’s needs and moves me closer to my goals. The entire routine is 45 minutes.

Wait, what? 45 minutes?!

I know that for many people, 45 minutes is excessive for a “Bare Minimum” workout.  But my routine caters to my career as a full-time acrobat.  Remember, this program is customizable! Unless you’ve got the same needs as me, working on a one-arm handstand and splits, you’ll want to create a shorter workout that still keeps you on track with your long-term goals.

So let’s talk about YOU.

I think that it’s safe to say that there are three broad goals for general fitness:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Maintain current weight
  3. Gain muscle mass.

You can obviously add more goals to this list, though. Do you want to increase your cardiovascular endurance, so that you can run your first 5k/10k Marathon? Or maybe you want to focus on your chest and back, or your glutes! These are all goals that can be included in your Bare Minimum workout.

2 A BM booty workout routine

Shake that booty!

Fitness goals:  Lose 10 lbs and have a perfect booty.

Fitness needs: Expending more calories, increasing glute size and strength.

So what should your BM workout look like?

I’d suggest high-intensity interval training. Consider workouts like Tabata, burpees, mountain climbers, jumping rope, and other high-intensity full body moves guaranteed to burn some fat. Set a timer and do it for 15 minutes with a little rest as possible. It’s better to do an easier version of an exercise than have down time.

Now for the targeting –go for the hardest squat/lunge-type exercise you can do. Air squats, lunges, and squat jumps are all fair game. The key is to have a full range of motion. Pick an exercise or resistance level to do at least 8 and no more than 12 repetitions.

Bang out 3 sets and you’re done. Stretch and go home…unless you’re already home.

Never forget – these exercises all rock, but only if you absolutely nail the form. Every one of the above exercises is a risk for knee injuries if done wrong.

3 Bodyweight beast

Fitness goals:  Muscles, muscles, everywhere.

Fitness needs: Gain muscle without creating imbalances that lead to injury.

This is a staple bodyweight workout.

These are the three most important and complex exercises you can do: squats, pullups, pushups. Now make a workout around them.

Warm up with some wrist, knee, or shoulder PT.  You have to warm up anyway, so might as well keep your joints healthy. Almost every athlete develops problems in one of these three areas at some point. Some have problems their whole careers. If you really don’t feel warm enough yet (are you sweating yet?), go ahead and run around the block once or something.

The routine

Do 8-12 pullups, 8-12 pushups, and 8-12 squats. No more than 90 seconds of rest between each exercise.  If you can’t do a full pull-up yet, try pull-up negatives or pull-downs. If a normal pull up is easy, throw “pull-up progressions” at google and you’ll get a host of great sites like this one:

When I say 8-12, I mean pick a challenging-enough version of each exercise that you can do no more than 12 but can get at least 8 repetitions in. 8-12 is the NASM standard for hypertrophy (gaining muscle size).

This whole workout will probably take you as little as 20 minutes altogether, especially if you’re already warm. The only piece of equipment you need is a pull-up bar. Don’t have one? Use a door frame or jungle gym, fire escape, or the underside of some steps. Still, nothing? We’ve got you covered.  Now you have a basic bodyweight staple you could do even in your bedroom if you had to.

There is always a way.

If your workout can be done quickly, anywhere, at any time, you won’t have any excuses. So what are you still doing, reading this?

Share your Bare Minimum Workout with us in the comments, or on Facebook!

Extra resources to help you create your Bare Minimum Workout routine:

The Best and Worst Exercises for Bad Knees

Knee Physical Therapy You can Do at Home

Five Exercises for Rotator Cuff (Shoulder) Pain

calisthenics academy the ultimate calisthenics training program

 

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PRO ACROBAT with an extensive experience in movement science former Cirque Polynesia & Cirque Dreams acrobat and owner at http://gravityentertains.com/ Receiver of National Academy of Sports Medicine certification, 8 years experience in Martial arts. After a career in performance he passionately wants to bring movement disciplines to the masses
A Little Reminder That Hard Work in Calisthenics Pays Off

A Little Reminder That Hard Work in Calisthenics Pays Off

For a lot of people pursuing  calisthenics, it’s a relatively solo endeavor. You’ve got the book open in your living room, garage, or some other area of your house, and you’re putting in the time to give your muscles a punishing workout Paul-Wade-style. While you might tap into the growing network of social media sites where you’ll find like-minded Convict Conditioning disciples, when you’re doing the actual workouts, you’re probably on your own.

That’s a lot like the solitary confinement Paul Wade endured while serving time in prison. And for the purists, that may suit them just fine day in and day out. But even Paul Wade wasn’t in solitary confinement for his entire 19 years in prison. He spent a lot of time locked up with a cellmate, including the ex-Navy Seal who taught him the basic principles for building supreme survival strength. And he gained a following of inmates who respected him, feared, him, and wanted to be like him because of this strength, endurance, and confidence and the ability to do hard work.

Being around like minded people is the kind of environment that fosters success. A lot of us need just a sliver of encouragement, hope, or head-nod from others to know we’re headed in the right direction, and that all the hard work will be worth it. In a traditional gym setting, you might have a personal trainer or at least a group of friends who are there to cheer you on, witness your transformation, and even inspire you to achieve your goals.

A good way to remind yourself of what’s possible is to tap into the growing number of videos posted by Convict Conditioning believers. It’s incredible to see what other people have been able to achieve through bodyweight training. Prepared to be amazed. Prepared to be inspired. And prepare to recommit yourself to the Convict Conditioning way. Take a look at this brief collection of Convict Conditioning fans who have paid their dues.

Just Another School Day at Convict Conditioning High

Inspired by Convict Conditioning, this high school wrestler mastered some of Paul Wade’s advanced moves and shows off his skills and abilities in this short video. He does push-ups weighted by a 20-plus pound chain. He does uneven handstand push-ups with one hand on the floor and one hand on a medicine ball. He climbs a rope with pure grip strength, and he muscles his way through a ton of parallel bar dips. And he doesn’t stop there. If a high school student can achieve this kind of success, so can you.

Bust Free of All Weakness in 9 Months

hard work

strenuous workout a step towards convict conditioning

Source: YouTube

When Francesco Vaccaro decided to pursue Convict Conditioning, he went all out for nine months to see how much muscle strength and endurance he could really achieve through bodyweight training exercises. Nine months might seem like a long time, but you have to remember it took Paul Wade years to master the advanced Big Six moves. So in the big picture of life, nine months is just a drop in the bucket. Check out what kind of badass muscle strength this guy was able to achieve with a nine-month commitment. And when it gets to the part where he’s doing handstand push-ups, check out the lady on the yoga mat fixated, mesmerized, and completely entranced by his superhuman strength.

Always in Training

hard work

Convict conditioning workout

Source: YouTube

Personal trainer Geoff Graue lives by this motto: “The game of life has no off-season.” In 15 years of training professional sports stars, college athletes, and people ready to step it up to lose weight and build muscle strength and endurance, he’s made it his mission to teach people how powerful bodyweight training can be. And he’s not the fat guy roaming around the gym telling people what to do. He’s the real deal. Check out his incredible muscle strength and coordination in this video, including the one-legged squat direct from Paul Wade’s Bible of bodyweight training.

Double the Muscle Strength

If you’re dedicated enough to go the distance in Convict Conditioning, you can move on to Convict Conditioning 2 to try and master the moves of brothers Al and Danny Kavaldo. These tattooed tough guys don’t just talk mean, they can back it up with real muscle strength earned one rep at a time through years or bodyweight training and conditioning. Wanna learn how to get strong enough to execute the human flag, make fingertip pushups look easy, or build bridge strength so powerful you could arch your back and take the weight of a full grown man? These guys will show you how it’s done.

Just a little reminder that hard work pays off. Stick with the program, be patient, and you’ll be on your way to busting free of all weakness and achieve supreme survival strength.

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!
10 Inspirational and successful  Vegan Calisthenics Athletes

10 Inspirational and successful Vegan Calisthenics Athletes

Most of you have doubts whether you can really train as an athlete while following a Vegan diet. There is a long list of athletes who have stuck to a Vegan diet and still made significant contribution to the field of Calisthenics. Before discovering who these athletes really are let us look at what a Vegan Calisthenics diet is all about.

Vegan Calisthenics

Vegan Calisthenics

Source: Roar24

The beneficial Vegan diet for athletes

Plants are a rich source of protein and can greatly benefit those who are trying to build up their muscles. The athletes need to have the recommended intake of protein as decide by different sports bodies. Luckily even if meat is denied completely the vegan diet does provide an adequate intake of protein so here are some of the reasons why an athlete should opt for a vegan diet Calisthenics diet benefits in the first place.

  • When you consume an ample amount of fruits and vegetables the fiber optimizes the process of digestion and it reduces the possibility of a bloated tummy. The bloated stomach can be a big hindrance when you need to workout. When you say no to meat than you would not really have to worry about the cholesterol levels rising up and clogged arteries as well.
  • Great cardiovascular health is essential for Calisthenics athletes. The plant based diet is very low in saturated fat. When your cardiovascular system is in optimal state then you would not have a problem in running longer, jumping higher and training harder on a daily basis. Stamina maintenance is also a crucial aspect for an athlete and this is only possible when you have a great cardiovascular health.
  • The plant based diets contribute to increased endurance.
  • Most athletes struggle with maintaining their physique. When you are on a plant based diet this struggle becomes a lot easier because you are not consuming a high fat diet.

Successful Vegan Calisthenics athletes

Vegan Calisthenics

Vegan Calisthenics expert

Source: Uncrueleats

Here is a list of the top 10 Calisthenics athletes who have been consuming a vegan diet, but still have been able to carve a name in the field of Calisthenics.

  1. Frank Medrano: When we talk about the top Vegan Calisthenics Athletes the name of Frank tops the list. He is a 100 percent Vegan. He is an ardent consumer of super foods and ensures that his diet is low in fat. When he has to get in peak conditioning he makes sure that he cuts down on his sodium intakes and increases the consumption of vegetables. His fitness is truly an inspiration for those Calisthenics athletes who want to say goodbye to meat and switch to a veggie diet.
  2. Stephen Hughes: He is a popular pro street workout athlete and he supports the street workouts across the globe. He initially switched to the Vegan diet to see how it would affect his performance and the results were simply mind blowing. His mental and physical energy increased greatly once he switched to the Vegan diet. His diet primarily includes mixed vegetables, sweet potatoes, broccoli, mixed nuts and fruits.
  3. Noal Polanco: He is the well-known Vegan Fitness star. He follows a plant based diet to the core and has still been able to make a name in the field of Calisthenics. His diligence and determination is truly inspirational and he has helped many others to switch to a plant based diet. Noal has proved to the world that you can be muscular and super fit despite following a vegan diet. Noal has a great liking for veggie salads, fruits and nuts.
  4. Ricky Warren: He is a renowned Calisthenics coach and athlete as well. He has got massive experience in bodyweight training and 7 years of experience in Martial Arts training. Currently he gives bodyweight training workshops to fitness trainers. Ricky is in the process of embracing a complete vegetarian diet. He maintains his fitness by eating vegetables, but he consumes fish as well. He has quit the red meat and is willing to become a Vegan Calisthenics
  5. Dan Attanasio: He is also a reputed name in the world of Vegan Calisthenics. He first started his training with weight lifting. Dan has excelled in Extreme Calisthenics as well. He follows Vegan lifestyle and makes sure that he has lots of great superfoods in his diet as well. Hemp seeds, Gogi berry, Cacao and Maca are his favorite foods.
  6. Bill Mc Carthy: He is a great power lifter and strength and conditioning coach. Bill completely relies on a vegan diet and believes that there is little need for supplements when you are on a vegan diet. He only consumes B12 supplements. His strength is a proof of the fact that vegetables are sufficient to address the needs of the body.
  7. Dusan Dudas: He is a skilled Vegan body builder. The prime reason why Dusan decided to give up meat and dairy was due to his family health problems. Once he switched to a Vega diet completely he witnessed immediate health benefits.
  8. Patrik Baboumian: He started off his career as a bodybuilder. He has continued to improve his strength by switching onto a Vegan diet completely.
  9. Alexander Dargatz: He is one man who has won a number of bodyweight titles. He has also undergone massive strength training. He enjoys a Vegan diet and has still been able to continue his winning spree.
  10. Joel Kirkilis: He is a powerlifter and a Vegan Body Builder. He has various accomplishments to his credit and has tried out various lifts. He decided to turn vegan because he did not favor animal exploitation.

 

Now you should wipe the apprehension from your mind that fitness and training require an intake of various meats and fats. Plant based diet is best for any athlete’s health. All these men are a living proof of this fact. If you have decided to start with Calisthenics training follow in the footsteps of these successful athletes and switch to Vegan diet.

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!

The Ultimate Guide To Wrist Mobility For Calisthenics

Wrist mobility is absolutely crucial to any calisthenics workout and needs to be implemented to effectively build and maintain upper, and even lower, body strength. If you don’t strengthen your wrists, you’ll never be able to get as far as you want with calisthenics. There are many wrist wraps and straps available on the market, but it is important to build up your wrist mobility and strength on its own without the need for third party products.

I started calisthenics in 2010 and pushed myself hard with handstands, bridges and frost attempts at planche. It wasn’t long before my wrists were hurting, the pain and lack of mobility was stopping me from performing the exercises! If you’ve ever tried a bridge you’ll know our bodies weren’t made to be in that position, not mentioning holding the whole weight of our bodies on our wrists.

All the other guys in the gym, some not even as big as me, seemed to be doing these exercises no problem and I couldn’t figure it out so I pushed myself harder. Soon it felt like I’d broken my wrists; they were on fire every time I performed. I spoke to a trainer and he told me about wrist mobility and why it’s so important. Almost all exercises we do in calisthenics involve our wrists, so it seemed so obvious that I needed to pay attention to my wrists as well!

Since then I’ve got good at training and protecting my joints, and my wrists are much stronger now and I’ve been able to push myself further and further with my calisthenics. Just like when I started, the new starters that I teach always complain about wrist pain, because they’ve never focused on wrist mobility before!

I’ve written this guide because I want to teach you here what I teach them, why you should focus on your wrist mobility and how to do it. It’s not only the possibility of pain or injury you’re risking; poor wrist mobility will mean you’ll never be able to perform the calisthenic moves that you want to. That’s why YOU MUST READ THIS GUIDE.

Why Should You Be Focusing On Wrist Mobility?

Many exercises in your calisthenics routine will involve using your wrists, whether this be handstands, bridges, blanches or front levers. Without good wrist mobility, chances are you won’t even be able to perform these moves, but if you do this new level of intensity, combined with lack of wrist mobility and the pressure on the joints from exercises like using a keyboard can leave you with a wrist pain or injury.

Even worse, it can stop you from ever performing calisthenics as the health of the wrist directly affects grip strength! I know I found it tough when I was out of training, trust me you DON’T want to get into that position, it’ll only make you miserable. These are just some of the exercises you’ll need strong wrists for:

  • Push ups (Regular, incline, diamond, decline and MORE!)
  • Chest dips
  • Handstands
  • Planches
  • Chin ups & Pull ups

Your wrists are crucial to your calisthenics routine, and this list just scratches the surface of how often you’ll use them. Gymnasts differ from other athletes or gym-goers in that they spend a hell of a lot of time on their hands. Those at the highest levels of competition might even spend as long as 40 hours a WEEK on their wrists (OUCH!). Gymnasts are repeatedly exposed to compressive, torsional and tensile stresses with the wrists constantly in the extremes of extension and flexion. It’s hardly surprising that wrist pain is one of the most common issues gymnasts have to deal with is it?! Get this right and you’ll be unstoppable!

I know you’d much rather focus on building bigger biceps or stronger shoulders, and it may feel like you’re wasting your time with wrist exercises, but as we use our wrists a lot more than we think daily, having strong and flexible wrist mobility is a must. Injured wrists will lower the reps you do and damage your technique. Without this you can’t push on further and be the best at calisthenics that you want to be.

Remember, there’s two areas you want to focus on with your wrists; mobility and stability. Mobility allows for a greater position of the hand for grasp while stability will allow you to engage in heavier tasks like lifting or pulling.

All seem a little too much?

Don’t worry, at first it stressed me out having to focus on the tiny ligaments and joints in my wrists when all I wanted was to be out there performing one-handed handstands like the pros. But bringing a new focus to your wrists and dedicating time to strengthening these joints will allow you to push the rest of your workout further, as well as increasing your overall performance and health both inside and outside the gym.

Now I feel like one of those pros myself!

Wrist Mobility

Not Worried About Your Wrists? Soon You Might Be!

Poor wrist mobility HURTS. Trust me, I’ve been there. It was hurting me to drive, to pick up coffee and even keeping me up at night. You might be able to guess that it put me out of training for a while. More seriously, it can lead to conditions like:

None of these injuries sound too fun do they?! It’s VITAL that you focus on your wrists early on before you get serious about your calisthenics.

Wrist Mobility

Source: Platitudes

Wrist and ankle pain are two of the most common places for pain and acute injury, with approximately 350 million people worldwide suffering from arthritis. It is easy to find yourself suffering from some form of acute wrist pain at some point in your life, especially with the increased use of mobile, tablet and laptop usage.

Gymnasts differ from most other athletes in that their wrists essentially act as weight-bearing joints due to the extra level of extension that we get. Quite simply, we weren’t MADE to do some of the exercises we do. Although that might seem a little crazy, that doesn’t mean we can’t still do them! It just takes an extra level of understanding with your routine. But it means we look a lot cooler than other athletes right?

Before you think, “I’ll be fine, it won’t happen to me!”, let me tell you, IT WILL.

I thought exactly the same thing, and it was only after I was out with injury that I was told at least 75% of male gymnasts have chronic wrist pain of greater than 4 months in duration. While this was only 33% for female, it’s still not worth taking the risk! Failing to take steps to prevent this kind of injury could leave you out of calisthenics & gymnastics permanently, and none of us want that! This guide looks at why wrist injury is common in gymnasts.

 Wrist Mobility

Source: Why Wrist Pain is common in Gymnasts

4 Easy Ways To Test Your Wrist & Finger Mobility

These are 4 easy tests you can do to test your wrist and finger mobility. It’s so important that you do this BEFORE you train, so you know your limits. If your wrists hurt slightly from these, then you will feel it BIG TIME when you move on to calisthenics. Don’t be disheartened though, I had to start from the beginning as well; just see these tests as areas you need to improve, and I can help you work on that further below.

Wrist Extension

This is an easy exercise for testing your wrist extension. Stand facing a wall with your shoulders flexed to 90 degrees and with your arms outstretched. Make sure your hands are in front of your shoulders, your wrists in a neutral position and your palms facing downwards.

With your elbows straight, attempt to place your hands flat on the wall in front of you. If you have a normal Range of Motion (ROM), you should be able to place your palms flat on the wall. If you feel pain, don’t worry! It’s normal to feel this at the beginning, which is why it’s important to build up wrist flexibility.

Wrist Mobility

Wrist Flexion

Stand facing a wall with your arms outstretched , with your hands in front on your shoulders and the palms facing downwards. Keeping your elbows straight, try and place the back of your hands flat against the wall. You should be able to get most of your palm on the wall, with the wrist coming within about an inch of the wall.

Finger Extension

Either standing or sitting, have your elbow flexed with the forearm supinated and the palm facing up. Open your hand as wide as possible and it should open to reveal a flat or slightly hyper-extended position. Make sure you test both hands!

Wrist Mobility

Finger Flexion

Stand with your arms outstretched in front of you at 90 degrees and your palms facing downwards. Try and make a tight fist, and then flex your wrists at 30-40 degrees, testing both hands. Again, feeling pressure or even pain is completely normal if this is your first time testing this, but just acts as a warning before you do anything more intense with your wrists!

 Wrist Mobility

Again, feeling pressure or even pain is completely normal if this is your first time testing this, but just acts as a warning before you do anything more intense with your wrists!

All images sourced from this Assessing Flexibility document.

How Do The Wrists Work?

The Wrist’s Structure

Wrist Mobility

The wrists, while small, are complex joints with bones, ligaments, tissues, muscles and nerves that aren’t specifically designed for taking the full weight of our bodies or large amounts of pressure for an extended period of time. But, as with any muscle, they can be trained.

The wrists are highly flexible joints, being able to move both forwards and backwards (extension and flexion), as well as from side to side (radial and ulnar). This is in direct contrast to the knee joint, which only has the flexion and extension abilities.

The range of motion (ROM) for normal extension and flexion is approximately 120 degrees (85-160 degrees) and the ROM in radial and ulnar deviation is approximately 65 degrees (15-25 degrees for radial and 30-45 degrees for ulnar).

For most daily activities, a functional level of ROM is:

  • 40 degrees wrist extension and flexion
  • 15 degrees in radial and ulnar deviation

Wrist Mobility

For good calisthenics you need good flexibility and motion in your wrists. As with any muscle, you need to train it and increase its potential. I work on mine daily and have built up the flexibility over a number of years, meaning I’m not limited in my calisthenics routines.

Technique

As with all areas of our body, maintaining correct technique with the wrists ensures they will stay healthy and strong. This means using the right grip, aligning your body correctly and having a good bar path. If you’re not sure if your technique is quite right, ask your trainer before you risk doing yourself some real damage and putting yourself out of training!

Calisthenics And Wrist Mobility

Here I look at some of the different calisthenics exercises you might be performing and how wrist mobility is important for those. These are just some of the many exercises available, get in touch if you want to discuss it further!

Handstand

Performing a free-standing handstand looks awesome, but it puts a lot of strain on the wrist. Your wrist will be at a 90 degree angle to your arm, and if you felt the pain when testing out your wrist mobility by placing your palm flat on a wall as shown above, holding your full bodyweight on your wrists will hurt even more!

If you can’t extend your wrist to at least 90 degrees on its own, then a handstand will cause you a lot of injury. Before you start, work on the primary wrist motions, build strength in these areas to build yourself up to the handstand.

Being able to perform a free-standing handstand takes time, patience, a lot of discipline and of course strong wrist mobility and stability. This is one of the harder exercises to master but when you have you’ll feel like you can do anything! Not to mention it looks super cool.

 Bridges

Ever look at someone performing a bridge exercise and wonder how the hell they got into that position?! Well, as difficult as it looks, it’s possible, but you need good wrist mobility. Your wrist is going to be at an even greater angle to your arm than it is in a handstand, so if you struggle with a handstand you may find a bridge tough as well!

Bridges are an incredible exercise to work yourself up to, not only is it great for a weak or injured lower back, it will also help to make it a strong, flexible and injury-proof. Many skip over this exercise but as it works on every single muscle in your back it is something you should definitely factor into your routine. Once I started working on my bridges I found that it gave the front of my body a great stretch as well as resulting in extra endurance.

 Wrist Mobility

Source: Al Kavadlo

Wrist Mobility

Front Lever

The front lever is another exercise that will not only help develop your strength immensely, but it also looks awesome, and really shows others just how hard you’ve worked to achieve your results in not only your wrists, but also your should shoulders, back and core. It will take you time to build up to a full front lever and there are many steps to progress up to this, such as starting with your pulling prep and strength, and working yourself up through pulling up with knees to a front tuck, then to leg extension and finally to a full front lever.

Your wrists will be under a lot of strain when performing an exercise like this as you’ll not only be pulling up your own body weight but will be extending and flexing your wrists as you move into a full lever position. Holding yourself in this position you’ll feel the tension on your wrists, so it’s vital to build yourself up to this rather than diving straight in.

Push Ups

An obvious exercise, but a great one to build up the strength of your upper body that also uses your wrists. While many use this exercise to increase the muscles in their chest and arms, don’t forget about the pressure that you are putting on your wrists while doing a push up.

Wrist Mobility

Source: A Shot of Adrenaline

To keep your wrists pain-free, keep your hands shoulder width apart and close to your chest, facing forward (not angled!) and all parts of your hand should make contact with the ground. Check this guide here for a full list of how to protect your wrists during a press up.

Preventing Wrist Injury

It’s better to be proactive with these things rather than reactive; you want to be focusing on building up your wrist mobility early on to avoid the pain and the time out of training. Trust me, once you get put out of training you’ll be kicking yourself you didn’t do more to prevent it before! Here’s my best preventative strategies:

Mindset

Mindset is absolute crucial to any workout and for preventing injury and achieving success. This is something my clients regularly overlook, but you can’t have a strong body without a strong mind. If you don’t believe you can do it and don’t stay positive, chances are you won’t do it!

You need to see building up your wrist mobility as honing your skills and progressing towards becoming the most awesome gymnast you can be. Stay positive and stay patient, but stay committed!

Remember, strong mind = strong body.

Warm-up

You must ALWAYS warm-up no matter what exercises or routines you are planning to work on. The lack of a proper warm-up is one of the most common mistakes I see all many gymnasts suffer from. The pros still warm-up, no matter how long they’ve been doing it for.

There isn’t really a wrong way to warm up so don’t stress about trying to find the ‘perfect’ warm-up routine, just make sure you loosen the muscles and the joints, get the blood flowing and get the heart beating.

Mobility, Flexibility & Strength

At the end of a workout you’re tired so it’s ok to just go home and relax right? Wrong!

Make sure you stretch after every routine to keep your wrists flexible and limber; much like a warm-up you need to make sure you warm-down. Skipping out on stretching is another common but easily avoidable mistake that causes people stiff muscles and longer-term injury.

Remember, strong wrists SCOFF AT INJURIES. Try using a therapy ball to improve your wrist strength and mobility, you can see a great tutorial video for this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WknBLKSpG0w.

I look below at 5 AWESOME exercises to help build your wrist strength and mobility without a therapy ball. Without proper movement quality, you can’t train how you want to and below you’ll see how to keep your wrists mobile and working right.

5 Effective Exercises For Building Wrist Mobility

Below are a list of effective exercises I use for increasing my wrist mobility, some that I do at home or on the way to work, and others that I’ve incorporated into my calisthenics routines. Try and use a number of the exercises for a more balanced and well-rounded routine:

Wrist Rotations

This is the most basic of the wrist mobility exercises, but it is something that you can easily work into your everyday routine. Simply intertwine your fingers and rotate your wrists around in every direction possible. Any position that feels slightly tender or restricted; simply hold this position for a little longer. Repeat as often as you feel comfortable with throughout the day. This exercise will help to increase your natural wrist movement range, allowing you to push further with your calisthenics exercises.

This is one of the most effective routines as you can perform it ANYWHERE, and it focuses on every possible range of movement with your wrists.

Planche Push-Ups

This is a more intense exercise, but a great one to do to increase your wrist mobility and strength. Get yourself into the plank position with you elbows fully extended at the top of the push up, while turning your hands inwards so that your fingers are pointing towards your feet. Move your body forward so that there is an angle from your shoulders to your wrists, and try holding this for as long as you can, although 30 seconds is a good marker to aim for. This is a great exercise, and as you progress through calisthenics you can complete the exercise with your legs raised up off the floor. Trust me, it looks super cool!

It also has the added benefit of working your arms, core and even your legs. Perfect right?

Wrist Walks

Place your palms on a wall as high up as you can reach, and then ‘walk’ your hands down the wall. Go as far down as possible, while keeping your palms on the wall, and once you can’t reach any further turn your hands around, with your fingers pointing to the floor, and walk the palms up the other way. Repeat this for as many times as you feel comfortable.

A good exercise, but it only focuses on the extension and flexion movements rather than the radial and ulnar – although most calisthenics exercises use extension and flexion.

Prayers

Wrist Mobility

Wrist Mobility

While standing, place your hands in front of you as though you are praying. While keeping contact between your two hands, lower them as far down as you can – the longer you can keep your hands together the better you’ll be stretching your wrists. Once you get down as far as you can go, reverse your hands so your fingers are pointing downs, and complete the exercise in reverse.

(Maybe at the same time you can pray to be the best gymnast there’s ever been?! It doesn’t hurt to aim big!)

Static Holds

This is another simple exercise that you can complete from wherever you are, so there’s absolutely no excuses not to be improving your wrist mobility and strength! A client once told me she didn’t have the time to work on wrist mobility, but this is just an excuse, not a reason! With this exercise, all you need to do is pull your wrists back into the extension and flexion positions and hold each for 20-30 seconds. You should feel the pressure on your wrists, and this will ease over time as they become more flexible. A basic but easy exercise to help with your calisthenics by increasing your maximum movement range.

Still Want More?

Check out this awesome page, 5 exercises to improve hand mobility, for more exercises and also check out this forum thread from Reddit for a huge section on grip training: Grip Training.

So what’s my key takeaway from these exercises? NO EXCUSES.

I’ve given you a range of exercises here – some you can incorporate into your routine and some you can do anywhere, so you have ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSES not to be working on your wrist mobility.

Wrist Injuries

If you’ve got an injury on your wrists DON’T be stubborn and continue pushing them harder with your routine. You’ll be using them everyday so you don’t want to do any serious damage to yourself and us gymnasts aren’t completely invincible (yet)! Make sure you see a healthcare professional first before you take any further steps, and seek their advice on what you can and can’t do. This article is no substitute for appropriate medical care and they may prescribe you certain exercises you must do.

If you’ve already injured your wrist, adopt some of the less pressurised exercises listed above to gradually bring strength back. You want to perform a range of exercises but in as much pain free repetition as possible. Once it’s healed be sure to adopt these exercises into your routine.

Try the Wrist Rotations to start as these don’t apply too much pressure and you can effectively test every area of your wrist. If you feel you can handle more then go for one of the more strenuous exercises, but DON’T attempt anything like a planche push-up that requires holding your whole body weight on your wrists, you’ll only cause yourself more damage!

I know you’ll be eager to keep up with your exercise, I definitely was when I injured myself! Luckily, the best advice is to not stop moving the wrist completely, simply continuing working on the areas that are pain free.

Once you’re ready, begin training for the movement that caused the injury and make sure you show that movement who’s the boss! (It’s YOU, obviously). Soon you’ll get to the point where you’ll be able to do that movement in your sleep and wonder how it ever caused you an injury in the first place!

The Do’s and Don’ts if You’ve Injured Your Wrists

  • DO seek proper medical advice first
  • DO continue to work on your wrist mobility in the pain-free areas
  • DO continue to exercise the injured area, but only with exercises you can manage
  • DON’T stop wrist exercises completely
  • DON’T push yourself further or ignore the pain or warning signs of injury
  • DON’T attempt the highly pressured exercises like a planche push up
  • DON’T GIVE UP! Once you’re ready, being to tackle the exercise that caused you injury

Injuries are only a minor setback – seem them as a learning curve.

Here’s a great guide on recovering from wrist injury.

Other Factors To Consider For Wrist Mobility

There’s More!

As if all this wasn’t enough to take in already, remember when using our arms not only do we use our wrists, but we also make use of both our shoulders and elbows, so it is important to also work on scapular and shoulder mobility as well as wrist mobility. I’ll cover these other areas in more depth in another post, but consider exercises like Standing Unilateral Chest Openers for shoulders and Scapular Wall Slides for scapular mobility.

Other Areas Of Your Life

While it’s important to factor in some of these wrist mobility exercises, be sure to look at other areas of your life where you could make adjustments or improvements to strengthen your wrists. For example:

  • Check that your keyboard and wrist position are both suitable for when you are typing, particularly if you have a job that involves working at a computer.
  • If you do a lot of driving, ensure you hold the wheel in a way that doesn’t hurt your wrists.
  • Do you have a heavy manual labour job? Think about your wrists and not pushing yourself further than you have to or being extra careful with heavy lifting.

Remember, your age will have an effect on your wrists as well. As you get older the strength in your wrists will naturally decrease. This doesn’t mean you can’t continue with calisthenics, just make sure you accommodate for this and know your limits!

Improving your wrist mobility will improve many areas of your life – from good hand-writing to heavy lifting. Some websites even recommended getting kids to practice good wrist extension from an early age so this is something you should incorporate into your life not just for your calisthenics routine but for your life as a whole. If that isn’t motivation enough then I don’t know what is!

Resources

To give you even MORE resources to kick-start your wrist mobility routines, here’s a couple of videos with extra drills and exercises:

Also, check out this document from The Monkey Gym on Wrist Mobility Exercises.

Wait, You Want Even More?!

I thought so!

Here’s a video on 5 wrist mobilisation exercises taken from Japanese martial arts, some we’ve already talked about here and some we haven’t: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii0J3Ye9NnA.

Be sure to do a mixture of exercises in your routine to keep it interesting and ensure you’re working every part of your wrists!

Conclusion

So, I hope this has given you some insight into just how important your wrists are for your calisthenics routines. If you don’t factor it into your routine, trust me you’re going to feel the PAIN! There are exercises that you can easily do at home, on the way to work or even in bed so there’s absolutely no excuses here!

Building up your wrist mobility, flexibility, stability and strength may seem basic, but it one of the MOST important factors in helping you to push yourself further and further with many calisthenic and gymnastic exercises.

Remember, NO EXCUSES!

I’d love to hear from you:

  • Do you have anymore questions about wrist mobility?
  • Have you got a wrist mobility routine you’d love to share?
  • Do you need help with working wrist mobility into your workout?

 

Thanks for reading, I’m looking forward to helping you guys have the most mobile wrists possible!

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!