The Best Calisthenics Exercises For Pain From Desk-Damaged Physique

The Best Calisthenics Exercises For Pain From Desk-Damaged Physique

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!

Is your desk work causing you physical discomfort lately? Are you experiencing pain, or yet a desk-damaged physique?

If you have it, this means you might be doing a bad posture for so long. A desk-damaged physique can be because of that slouch position while working in front of your computer, or even because of sitting all day long. We are all guilty of this every once in a while, but office workers are much more prone to this due to the nature of their job. However, it’s not yet too late to correct that posture.

Learn how to restore desk-damaged physiques with calisthenics!


What is Calisthenics?

Calisthenics is a type of exercise which improves the overall body strength of a person. The said exercise originated in Ancient Greece and was used as strength training. Others also call it as bodyweight training.

However, compared to bodybuilding to which it is often confused with, calisthenics or bodyweight training does not require any equipment since it involves gymnastics exercise. You can perform the exercises by simply following step-by-step forms and guides.

If you want to know how to restore desk-damaged physiques with calisthenics, you should know that this particular exercise is also found in other art forms. These include pole dancing, martial arts, street workouts, etc. These art forms incorporate the movements from calisthenics and turn them into something new and much more dynamic, providing more options for you to choose from.

Read Also: 10 Top Reason why you should start calisthenics


Benefits Of Calisthenics

How can calisthenics help you? It has a lot of medical benefits for those who practice the said exercise. There are hundreds of benefits you can get from doing calisthenics, but here are the top three most noticeable ones:

1. Improve overall strength and endurance

Since calisthenics is a body strength training, it improves the overall strength and endurance of one’s body. The effect is even said to be similar to cardiovascular exercises, such as running, jogging, and so much more. At the same time, doing calisthenics can provide relief, especially if you are experiencing aches and pain due to your desk-damaged physiques.

calisthenics exercises for pain

2. Full Body Activation

As compared to bodybuilding exercises which involve the use of barbells and dumbbells, calisthenics ensures that you work all of your muscle groups at the same time. With just minimal exercises of calisthenics, you are already working out most of your body parts!

3. Eliminate Bad Posture

Whether it is ditching that dreadful slouch you acquired from desk work or simply getting back in shape, calisthenics can surely help you with that. Practicing calisthenics can help you to improve your form as well as eliminate bad posture habits.


Calisthenics teaches you to control specific muscle groups from doing various calisthenics movements. By developing that control over your body, you are correcting the lousy unconscious posture you acquired over the years. Moreover, with continuous practice of Calisthenics, you will develop body balance that will prevent bad posture habits from coming back.

How can calisthenics help you? It has a lot of medical benefits for those who practice the said exercise. There are hundreds of benefits you can get from doing calisthenics, but here are the top three most noticeable ones:

calisthenics exercise for pain

How To Use Calisthenics In Restoring Desk-Damaged Physiques


When you are experiencing lower back pain from your desk job, you can rock your pelvis back and forth, tilt your hips up, and round your back. This movement will only help in the short term. However, performing calisthenics exercises such as crunches or other abdominal exercises will strengthen your core and reduce lower back pain. Do it at least two times every week, and you will see a difference in your posture.
calisthenics exercises for pain


When you are seated all day behind your desk, it is inevitable to have neck and shoulder pain. You can do some chin tuck, neck retraction or even tilt your head from side to side for short-term relief.

To fully address this problem permanently, you can try pulling movements such as pull-ups every once in a while. Stick to a schedule in which you can do calisthenics at home. If you are too busy, find a space in your office and practice basic shoulder movements such us pushing the wall or overhead press.

calisthenics exercises for pain


An obvious factor on why you have a wrist strain is because of bad posture. If you hunch your shoulders forward, this will decrease the flow of your blood into your arms, thus causing soreness. You can stretch your arms or rotate your wrist clockwise once in a while.

You can even do a Buddha stretch where you do a prayer stretch by putting your fingers and palms together, placing it on your chest pointing upward. Keep your palms together, and your elbows moving out, lower your hands further so you can feel a good stretch.

calisthenics exercise for pain


When you sit all day, your hips lockout and tightens. Standing up and tilting your hips sideways can offer a bit of relief, but sometimes it’s just not enough. You can try doing lunges or squats whenever you start your day. Take a break from your desk job once in a while and try doing calisthenic poses, such as twisting your hips sideways for a good couple of seconds.

These exercises and quick fixes can offer relief, but being able to develop good posture through calisthenics is the key to a long-term fix.

calisthenics exercises for pain

Calisthenics On-The-Go

For office workers, it is very hard to get back into shape, especially if you spend your time behind the desk all day. Well, get ready to know how to restore desk-damaged physics with calisthenics. There are several programs you can follow. Whether you are just a beginner, intermediate, or on an advanced level, rest assured that there is a program fit for you. To determine which level you are at, take the free assessment test of Calisthenics Academy.

Since the hassle of work might be a hindrance to your road to fitness, you can now just access calisthenics fundamentals at the very tip of your fingers! Calisthenics Academy offers two programs as of the moment, which is: Calisthenics Academy Fundamentals, and the Calisthenics Academy 2.0, which was made convenient since it can be accessed through mobile and a web application.

TMA app

With modern technology, you can now access a wide range of calisthenics programs with easy-to-follow step by step progressions. Guaranteed that these programs are crafted and made only by experts and coaches who offer their expertise to professional athletes and beginners. Even though you are not an athlete, you can now get a hold of these programs which are proven to give real results!


Calisthenics in your home or office

Since it does not require any equipment (even the use of barbells, dumbbells or any other weight equipment), calisthenics can be practiced and performed in the comfort of your home or office! Make sure you have enough space so you can move around and you are good to go.

Make sure that you also have a comprehensive step-by-step guide, such as Calisthenics Fundamentals, on how to start practicing calisthenics. You can do the basics first, and then eventually progress by challenging yourself to do harder and much more complicated routines.

Not only will this help you achieve a better body, but this will also help you get rid of bad habits and develop good ones. You can now finally say to yourself that you are ready to learn how to restore desk-damaged physiques with calisthenics!  Through performing calisthenics exercises, you can ease that tension and relieve your aching hips and back. Start exercising today and see the results for yourself!


See what our users are saying:

“Would you rather have the ability to boast of bench pressing 300 pounds or to do a one-arm pull-up? To me, pulling my entire body up with one arm is much more impressive. – Michael – Calisthenics Academy User”
“Calisthenics Academy is not the kind of program that demands you to be this physically fit to be able to perform. Instead, it caters to your own strengths and capabilities and keeps track of your progress.”
“Stick with it! It is hard at first, especially if you are stuck on a lower-level, high rep exercise. But persevering is worth it! Finally reaching each goal is so exciting.”


(+ all the future updates and help us build the product you will love)

TODAY $97 ($399 AFTER)

Front Lever vs Back Lever Exercises

Front Lever vs Back Lever Exercises

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!

Some exercise routines appear seemingly easy. You are so motivated to just do it at the start, but when you’re two minutes soaking sweat into the routine, you find yourself sighing in defeat. Your struggling muscles and aching body are screaming “too much struggle!” and they make you want to quit.

Front and back lever exercises are good examples. Sure, trained gymnasts can do it with their eyes shut. But a regular person? Nah. You better hustle and train hard if you want to achieve those movements and reap the benefits.

Also, these “easy” but “difficult” exercises are not only good for you but they also have some insane benefits. But first, research time! Read on to find out more about the front and back lever exercises!

Getting strong lats or latissimus dorsi (a.k.a. the largest muscles in the upper body) and phenomenal core strength is no easy task. You’d have to take on the immense and the grueling challenge to train, and dedicate precious time really working to enhance your skills.

What is the best way to achieve it, you say? Simply incorporate front and back lever exercises in your Calisthenics trainings!

Here is a simple table to help you visualize the important muscles being activated for front and back lever:

Front and Back Lever Exercises: A Fundamental Gymnastics Strength

The interesting thing about front and back lever exercises is that these are rated A in the Gymnastic Code of Points. That’s right, A. If you’re not familiar with Gymnastics, their scale goes from A to Fwith A being the easiest and F being the most difficult. Simply put, they consider it as a basic strength which just shows how difficult the sport really is. It’s not just prancing around or twirling elegantly in the air. The proof of superhuman strength is the training and the gymnast’s skills.

In fact, there’s a meaningful reason behind having this as their basic exercise. Instead of lifting weights, gymnasts work through progressions where they manipulate the leverage, range of motion and momentum.

But of course, you need to be equipped with the right knowledge to do the proper forms.

What is front lever exercises? 

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again! These “easy” but “difficult” exercises have some insane benefits.

A front lever exercise is a kind of Calisthenics movement that probably looks like an easy resting position, but is actually designed to build and develop your core strength. With the help of your back muscles, such as the lats, rhomboids, and spinal erectors, as well as your abdomen, you can maintain the proper posture during the movement.

However, make no mistake. A front lever is both difficult and cool-looking. It’s a common gymnastic move wherein a static hold is performed on still rings or a pull-bar, and the person is lowering his or her body from an inverted hang until the body is completely straight and horizontal. With this position, it seems like the person is floating on air, or is in a rigid plank.

Training for the front lever is considerably safer for your joints than learning some of the other high-level strength skills because you don’t have to work on locked elbow joints.

However, the front lever exercise is easier said (and seen) than done. It requires a high degree of back and core strength before you can do it. If you think it’s something you can achieve, then stay with us, and we’ll show you the proper progressive steps in attaining this exercise!

Perfecting the Front Lever

The front lever exercise is simple, but requires personal commitment, dedication, and focus to master. The steps to complete the exercise are done in a progressive manner to build the necessary strength to advance and to avoid unnecessary confusion from complicated and ineffective shortcuts.

Here’s how you can perfect the front lever:


This will be the first or the basic position as you advance in the training. To do this posture, grasp the bar within overhand grip. Pull your legs and hips up while you are leaning back. Your back should be rounded and your body tucked up like a ball. Try to keep your back approximately parallel to the ground.


Begin with the tuck front lever position. Once your body is up, straighten your back (instead of a rounded one) and see that it forms a line parallel to the ground. At the same time, pull your shoulder blades back in retraction. You may open your legs slightly so that your thighs are perpendicular to the body.


From your tuck front lever, extend your bent leg out so that it seems like it’s floating in the air. The lower leg will be perpendicular to the ground with your hip opened up completely. If your leg feels wobbly or tired, don’t worry. You may alternate legs between practice.


A more advanced technique than the bent leg is this one! Front the first position, while extend one leg out completely straight. That means your back, hips, and extended leg all make a horizontal line, parallel to the ground. The other leg, whichever side it is, will be tucked in hard to the chest.


From the tuck front lever, extend one leg completely straight, and the other partially untucked and away from the chest. The foot of the untucked leg will be in line with the knee of the extended leg. Keep your back and straight leg parallel to the ground! This “halfway open” form is designed to increase the leverage dramatically. Alternate legs.


Starting from the tuck lever position, keeping both legs together, gradually extend them out at the hips and knees, until they are completely straight. Your entire body should be a one straight line that is parallel to the ground. Pull down hard with the hands and the lats, as well as working the pulling-apart action to assist in stabilization.

“With the progression of holds, you can definitely achieve this!

What is back lever exercises?

Now let’s move on to the counterpart of front lever- the back lever exercise, which is on another level of awesome!

This whole-body exercise places an emphasis on your back and core. It also requires strength and flexibility in the shoulders and arms in a typically untrained position. It would be good to have a spotter (just ask a friend to help you out) who can assist you in case you fall.

The back lever can be an awkward position, and because you are somewhat inverted, you may feel like you don’t quite know where your body is in space. Have your spotter friend also point out if you’re doing the correct form or not! You don’t want any injuries.

How to do the back lever? 

Before you even try doing this exercise, you must first skin the cat

Don’t worry! We don’t mean it literally. The Skin the Cat is a preparatory exercise you should do to get your muscles warmed up. It mostly focuses on the shoulders, so that it builds flexibility, as you use it for a full extension later on.

To do Skin the Cat: Raise your legs up from a hanging position. Now, thread your feet under the bar, and lower down as far as you can behind you. Reverse the movement to come back up, and practice several times. Slowly but surely.

Now that you’re done with your preparatory exercise, here are the steps on how to do a back lever:


First, start by grabbing the bar in an overhand grip, jumping, and then tucking yourself into a ball into a Skin The Cat manner. After that, lower yourself (slowly) until your back is parallel to the ground. You can stay tucked up tightly, with a rounded back. Or you can slightly open your legs.


Start from the first form. From there, straighten your back instead of having it rounded up. By doing this, your hips are opened, increasing the leverage of the exercise. To ensure that your back is really straight, ask your trusty pal spotter to check on you.


Begin by doing the tuck back lever. As you complete that form, pull yourself up until your head is directly facing the ground, and your legs overhead. Next, Straighten out your hips, but bend your knees. Spread the legs at the knees as wide as you can. If you feel like it’ll cause you to lose balance or grip, then just spread it a little. Keep this alignment lower until you are parallel with the ground. Practice this patiently because it will help you lower into the back lever easily than extending into it once you’re horizontal. It’s all about the progression.


Next, pull yourself up until your head is facing the ground and your legs are overhead. Straighten the hips out, but keep the knees bent. This time, keep the knees together. Hold this position.


You need to pull yourself up until your head is facing the ground with your legs overhead. Straighten your legs at the knees and hips and spread your legs wide into a straddle position. Stay low while holding this form. The tip in here is to widen the straddle so it’s easier.


Again, pull yourself up until your head is facing the ground with your legs overhead. Straighten out the legs at the knees and hips, and make sure to keep the legs together. Your body must form a one straight line through your legs. Keep this alignment lower until you are parallel with the ground, and hold.

Don’t think I can do it, should I stop?

Remember, you can’t build your strength overnight. In the same way, you can’t practice all the steps right away just because you want to. The simple progression may take months, depending on how you train your body; hence, you have to be patient. Work through the steps and you’ll get there. Practice your willpower, so you can overcome this physical challenge.

Unparalleled foundation

Mastering the front and back lever exercises are a great way to build a foundation for Calisthenics trainings. Why?

1. These are essential calisthenic strength movements that will provide incredible stimulation for total body strength. You can’t get that from any ordinary exercise.

2. Training with these bodyweight exercises will motivate you to train harder and achieve more advanced skills.

3. These exercises already provide you with the basics. When you advance in your Calisthenics training, you can always return to these fundamental concepts to attain other progressions.

If you want to get started but don’t know how to work with the progressions, you can check out Calisthenics Academy and do their free assessment to gauge where your skill levels at. Once you know your calisthenics fitness level, you can slowly develop your strength to do front and back lever and other crazy calisthenics movement with the in-depth training progressions from Calisthenics Academy.

Don’t hesitate to work more and be more! These front lever and back lever exercises are the keys to training Calisthenics easily.

You still want that powerful and toned body, don’t you?


See what our users are saying:

“Would you rather have the ability to boast of bench pressing 300 pounds or to do a one-arm pull-up? To me, pulling my entire body up with one arm is much more impressive. – Michael – Calisthenics Academy User”

“Calisthenics Academy is not the kind of program that demands you to be this physically fit to be able to perform. Instead, it caters to your own strengths and capabilities and keeps track of your progress.”

“Stick with it! It is hard at first, especially if you are stuck on a lower-level, high rep exercise. But persevering is worth it! Finally reaching each goal is so exciting.”


(+ all the future updates and help us build the product you will love)

TODAY $97 ($399 AFTER)

Learning calisthenics skills for maximum results, holistic health and fun.

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

Hey tribe! As you know the Team at Calisthenics Academy has been hard at work to bring together a brand new app – a gamified platform for skill-based training that will not only bring fun and a new dimension of motivation to your training – but all the more will take you on the journey to be healthier, stronger, leaner and more mobile.


As we are getting ready to launch the app publicly, we are starting a blog series showcasing some of the features, answering all your questions and showing you why this new training is unlike anything else.

Today we want to talk about what moves you will be learning inside the app and how are they structured.


Note that the way training works is that you are working towards certain skills and they represent a specific level of strength, mobility and flexibility you achieve. But at the end, it’s just a more effective way to reach your goals of losing fat, building muscles and getting insanely strong.

And we have over 100 new moves you will be learning with the app all organised on a big map of movements. 

Before we go into that though – we just wanted to remind you that there is still time to snap a lifetime access deal. If you are interested in joining us in building an amazing product and have a lifetime access to current (over 100 moves) and ALL the future updates – check it out. If you buy today you will get access to beta and you will be considered a part of our team forever. 

Back to the moves!

“If you want to live a good life in your older years, start training now.”

Deconstructing the moves

As you know, we approach the movement from a very scientific point of view. Our team of coaches and physios deconstruct each move understanding what goes into it – what muscles, flexibility, mobility, strength, skill and then create a step by step path that can take anyone from zero to performing that move (we will talk about deconstruction in next blog post). 

We think about our physical potential as a journey- you start with simple moves, build the foundation, learn the basics, make sure your joints, your muscles and your tendons are ready to handle higher loads and more complex moves and once they are we lead you towards the harder and harder moves. 

Turning movement training into a game you can’t lose

Think about it as a map of treasures and quests – just this time the moves are the quests. The system carefully guides you through all those little important things through a personalised training plan. Step by step helping you unlock harder and harder moves.

Note that we are just getting started and even though we have over 100 new moves in the app the library will be growing as we go along as well as offered assessment and complexity of the app. 

Taking you safely from zero to advanced moves


So how do you safely take someone from zero to planche? muscle up? front levers? backflips? You lead them, constantly assessing where they are on those different attributes and adjusting training daily making sure that the progress is effective and safe. 

With our team, we created a whole map of moves – all interconnected where we map exactly what you need to develop to safely move forward. 

We also categorized the moves based on complexity ensuring that we keep the playfulness, feeling of constant progress and holistic approach to overall body development. 

Below is an outline of how the moves are divided and what moves you can expect to learn in current app. 

100 calisthenics moves you can start today


The moves you will be learning are divided into different categories.Just like in the game we have:


“Main Missions are the main moves in gymnastic and calisthenics. They require lots of preparation and progressions and usually take a ong time to achieve

Main missions are divided into fundamentals and advanced. They are very important as a make a base for all the advanced moves.

Once you achieve the  fundamental moves you unlock harder & harder moves – so

Back Fundamental unlocks Back Lever and Bridges Progression,

Wall Handstand unlocks – Handstand Pushup and Free Standing HAndstand and so on…

The way system is structured is that not only it makes sure that you develop all the attributes that are prerequisites for a given move – keeping you safe. But also that every single day you are making effective progress towards your goal.  Once done with fundamentals that are obligatory you are able to choose what you want to be working on.

Some of the advanced moves that you will see in the app are

– Human Flag

– Back Lever

– Front Lever

– Handstand Walk

– Handstand Push-Up

-Handstand Press

– Bridge

– Sitting Press

– Planche

– Muscle Ups

– Ring Dips

… and more.


“Side quests are additional moves that still require progressions but they are not a core of your program. They are usually small and fun moves that help you develop strenght and skill”

Just like any move in our program – these moves also have prerequisties and are unlock as you go along.

Some of the side quests in our new app are:

– Cartwheel

– Backwards Roll

– Butterfly

– Elevated Bridge

– Headstand

-Freestanding Handstand Pushup


“Single moves don’t have progessions. They include everything from one off moves eg a corow, variations of particular exercises, to connecting two different exercises (transitions) to connecting multiple exercises – what we call flow”

Some of the single skills that you will be learning inside the app:



-Pushup Variations eg. Aztec Pushup, X Pushup, Superman Pushup, Decline One Arm Pushup,

– Cartwheel Variations 

– Pull Up Variations 

– Handstand Variations



– Forward Roll to Handstand, Front Lever to Back Lever, Handstand to Planche, Handstand to Bridge etc



– Combining Handstand to Bridge to Walk Over etc


– eg Crow, Knee Scale, Grapevine, Bear Walk, Pike Jump

We are opening moves library to experienced trainers to create a filled with creativity library of different moves you can be learning

As you can see, the structure is there to keep fun and light approach while helping you safely push boundaries, stay playful but at the same time effective in your training. 


See what our users are saying:

“Would you rather have the ability to boast of bench pressing 300 pounds or to do a one-arm pull-up? To me, pulling my entire body up with one arm is much more impressive. – Michael – Calisthenics Academy User”

“Calisthenics Academy is not the kind of program that demands you to be this physically fit to be able to perform. Instead, it caters to your own strengths and capabilities and keeps track of your progress.”

“Stick with it! It is hard at first, especially if you are stuck on a lower-level, high rep exercise. But persevering is worth it! Finally reaching each goal is so exciting.”

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(+ all the future updates and help us build the product you will love)

TODAY $97 ($399 AFTER)

Workout In Small Spaces – Arya’s “No Space Workout”

No Space? No Worries!

You may think you have to be in a specific place to exercise, but it’s not necessary. Common exercise spaces are definitely motivating, but aren’t the key to a successful or consistent routines. You can still workout in small spaces.

The lack of access to these spaces, such as gyms, parks, or even specially-designed calisthenics are also a common excuse to avoid or put off exercise. Once you start to find reasons not to exercise, you’ll only blame those same excuses for holding you back. Believe me, I’ve been there….until I found the “no Space” Workout.

It can bury all my excuses six feet under. So whether you’re on a trip, stuck in the hotel room, or have a really tight schedule, I have a routine that will work for you.

What Is The ‘No Space’ Workout?

First things first, don’t misunderstand the meaning of “No Space”. It means you can exercise with very little space, even if it’s only 2m x 2m. It’s still enough space to work out. I came up with the term to trick myself, so I can’t make up excuses to avoid exercise.

Now, the beauty of bodyweight or calisthenics exercise is that your body is the limit. This means you can express your body with basic movements, as well as variations of that movement.

READ MORE: 3 Power Packed Breakfast Options You Will Ever Need

‘No Space’ Exercises

There are a lot of ‘no space’ exercises you can start out with. The movements that are ideal for small spaces include Push-Ups, Dips, Squats, Lunges, Crunches, Leg Raises, Sit-Ups, High Knees, Jumping Jacks, Mountain Climber, and Burpees. You name it, calisthenics has it, and uses it regularly to help athletes master movement.

And in case you don’t notice, all of those are the most basic exercises that don’t need for any equipment too!!!

So why don’t you make a workout program from those huge lists of exercises?

“Wait, I already have a program I must follow…is it ok?”

The idea of a “no space” workout is to keep you exercising when you have no place to do it. You can use the basic movements to create a workout program that isn’t restricted by space. This won’t take away from your typical program. Instead, this helps you keep a routine even when you’re traveling or busy and need to workout in small spaces.

In fact, in my experience, it will help you to get some variation in your exercise and keep you away from the boring feeling of only following your program.

READ MORE: 7 Methods of Progressing in Calisthenics

How To Create Your Own ‘No Space’ Workout

You could follow the standard, basic workout, with 3 sets of 10 push-ups, 3 sets of 10 squats, 3 sets of 10 dips, etc.

What I suggest, though, is to make it more efficient by using full-body exercises, while training in a shorter amount of time and doing a circuit.

All you need is a timer. You can use a timer app, your basic mobile phone timer, or even your watch.

Now pick your kind of exercises. I personally always pick 4 different kinds of exercises. My favorites are Jumping Jacks, Push-Ups, Squats and Mountain Climber. And as you can see, my pick already consists of Cardio, upper body, and lower body exercises.

Here’s My Personal Routine:

1. 20 seconds of Jumping Jacks

2. 20 seconds of Push-up (any progression you can do)

3. 20 seconds of Squats

4. 20 seconds of Mountain Climber

5 – 10 rounds, with a rest-time of up to 2 minutes between rounds. If you catch your breath before the 2 minutes are up, then you can go for another round.

Next-Level Workout In Small Spaces

If you feel that these exercises are too easy for you, then feel free to change and take it up a notch.

Here’s my next-level routine:

1. 20 seconds Running High Knee

2. 20 seconds Explosive Push-up

3. 20 seconds Jumping Lunges

4. 20 seconds half burpee

Now you can see how easy it is to workout with very little space.

Don’t Forget To Keep Perfect Form

You should maintain perfect form for each exercise, so it’s not necessary to go as fast as you can in 20 seconds. You have to do as much as you can in perfect form, that’s what will make your exercises count and bring the result you always want. As long as your form is good, it doesn’t matter that if you exercise in gyms, parks, or workout in small spaces.

There you have it.

Now, when you think you can’t find a place to work out, you’ll immediately remember the “no space” workout thing.

I bet you have a lot of ideas pop up. Then why don’t you try this “no space” workout and share with me how it feels and what kind of exercises you do?

Be Strong.

“Whether you’re on a trip, stuck in the hotel room, or have a really tight schedule, I have a routine that will work for you.”

“You can exercise with very little space, even if it’s only 2m x 2m. It’s still enough space to work out.”

How Busy Auto Technician Fought Stress With Calisthenics

with Matthew Higgins

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 Matt’s Calisthenics Academy Story

Matthew is a very busy man. He’s a full-time student by day, a part-time auto technician by night, and also a husband and a father. Despite all of his responsibilities, he is still able to do his Calisthenics training and generate maximum benefits from it.

“Everything you do should bring some type of joy and fulfillment to your life. If you are considering training and you are not, then get out of your head and take action. Start now.”

 matt calisthenics transformation

Badass Training Program For Badass Auto Technician

It’s definitely a real struggle to manage finishing a degree while at the same time having a family to support. But Matthew didn’t only finished his degree in automotive diagnosis and repair and fulfill his duties as a husband and a father, he also worked part-time jobs at night as an auto technician.

Can you imagine how busy his schedule must be? He’s probably tired after a full day at school and work at night. So how did Matthew manage to fit calisthenics training into his crazy routine?


How Matthew Fit Calisthenics Into His Busy Schedule

“I made the decision to follow Calisthenics Academy because I didn’t have enough time nor energy to get to my traditional bodybuilding routine.”

Because of his busy schedule, he can’t keep up with his bodybuilding training at the gym. It was very challenging for him to get a workout done with all the studying, working and having to be present to his family. That’s when he stumbled across Calisthenics Academy. He signed up right away.

It was the first program of its kind that showed sound training programming and progression, so I quickly signed up and began diving into the training programs.”


Better Endurance, Better Athlete

“Endurance was my biggest struggle, I had a hard time completing the recommended sets and rep ranges for push-ups, and pull-ups. To overcome these challenges, I just kept telling myself to focus one rep at a time and put in the reps, the more I do it the better I will get. So, it was a mental game for me.”

Matthew was a total newbie in Calisthenics. He only had the skills for powerlifting before he started training for Calisthenics. Hence, he needed to develop his endurance physically and mentally to be able to perform bodyweight movements. Since his desire to workout fuels his mental prowess to keep going on the movements, he was able to reach the progress that he was aiming for.

At first, he was wondering whether he can do the calisthenics movements because he is a bigger guy.  But after trusting the process of Calisthenics Academy, he was able to build on his endurance, improve his strength and even enhance his mobility.


“You don’t have to train like a bodybuilding to build a great looking physique.”

3 Main Benefits Matthew Gained from Joining Calisthenics Academy

Train Anytime, Anywhere at His Own Time

For Matthew, time is very precious. He has so many things to do and working out is not a top priority for him. But after starting with Calisthenics Academy, his stress levels for having to fit a gym time in his schedule completely disappears.

With Calisthenics Academy:

  • He has instant access to his training programs anywhere at any time.
  • He doesn’t have to use all that fancy equipments to be challenged in each session.
  • His bodyweight is sufficient to provide him challenging workouts every time.

Developing a More Balanced Shape

Another added benefit of working on his bodyweight is that Matthew is able to address his weak points that he developed during  his bodybuilding days.

“My pain threshold has dramatically been challenged and I believe that there has been a fundamental shift in my mentality. I can keep going with my workouts a lot more than before. Physically, I see my body taking a more balanced shape.”

Not only did he improved significantly in his weak points, but he was also able to break through strength plateaus with smaller muscle groups” like his triceps and biceps.

Fun Training Program For A Beginner

Matthew’s training before to maintain an active lifestyle is bodybuilding. But after doing it for an extended period of time, the thrill of it slowly died down. Plus, the hassle of squeezing in a gym time in his busy schedule is not really attractive at the moment for Matthew.

Through the Calisthenics Academy training, “I have some fun with the new training program that I am a complete beginner. He is a complete beginner that really had hardships in performing several calisthenics movements. That is why this training program is so effective for Matthew.

“Calisthenics training breaks through barriers that hold people back from going to a gym because you can train anywhere and no one else really sees your weaknesses. It’s just you and your training.”

“Not having the time to workout is a matter of prioritizing it. If it’s important to you then make it a top priority.”

Matthew’s advice to anyone curious about calisthenics:

“Everything you do should bring some type of joy and fulfillment to your life. If you are considering training and you are not, then get out of your head and take action. Start now.”

If you are not happy with how active your lifestyle is right now, consider making a change. Do not overanalyze every step of the process. If you want an active lifestyle, start your training NOW. No more hesitations. No more excuses. No more holding backs. Just like Matthew, you just have to make it happen. The fulfillment that you will achieve after putting in the work and effort will surely be priceless.

Get out of your head and take action, NOW.

“A badass progressive program that coaches your through your fitness journey.”




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8 Challenging Push-up Variations To Spice Up Your Calisthenics Training

8 Challenging Push-up Variations To Spice Up Your Calisthenics Training

When it comes to working out, push-up is probably one of the most common movements that every athlete has performed inside or outside the gym.

Push-ups are done in your yoga classes, pilates classes, boot camp classes, crossfit and many others. Soldiers even perform push-ups in their training.

The are the also the fundamental calisthenics pushing movement that is absolutely required if you want to build towards some of the more advanced movements.

The problem is – when you think push-up you probably think normal, generic push up on the floor but there are hundreds of push-up variations that you can use in your training.

Wether you are looking to add variety to your training, challenge yourself, have a bit of fun, follow some variations tried by calisthenics masters – we’ve got you covered.

In this article we will cover the benefits of push-ups as a fundamental horizontal pushing movement, how to use it to progress in your training and we will show you 8 fun variations to try to get your training to the next level.

Why you should start doing push-ups now?

A push-up requires literally nothing but your body weight, yet it has the power to activate almost every muscle in your body. It may appear to be very simple, but once you press your hands against the floor, you’ll know why a PUSH-UP is something that EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW AND START DOING.

There are many movements that you can incorporate into your workout regimen. PUSH-UPS should definitely be one of those movements for all the exciting benefits it can provide your body. Your training will be so much better with push-ups.

Strengthens Your Muscles

Push-up is a simple workout that brings a myriad of miracles to the body. Doing push-ups stretches your whole body and strengthens your muscles, particularly those located on your chest, shoulders, triceps, abdomen, and the wing muscles under your armpit called serratus anterior. It also helps with the growth of your muscles as this exercise increases the production of the Human Growth Hormone (HGH), which is responsible for muscle growth.

Improves Your Health

Push-ups also help improve your health. This exercise improves your cardiovascular system as it makes your heart work harder to pump blood to your muscles. Moreover, studies have shown that push-ups help prevent osteoporosis development for both men and women.

Prevents Injuries

In addition, push-ups are also a great way to prevent unwanted injuries. By stabilizing your muscles through push-ups, not only can you strengthen the vulnerable parts of your body such as shoulders and your spine, but also improve your posture, too!

What is a push-up?

The push-up movement is one of the most simple and inexpensive movements that activates all your muscle groups, as discussed by Michelle Hobgood, MS, of Daily Burn.

In addition, Calisthenics Academy discussed that “push-ups are one of the best ways to strengthen the upper body, shoulders, triceps and chest. They also stress the core muscles throughout the movement.”

How to do a PUSH-UP?

Basically, a standard push-up is performed by:

  • Place your hands shoulder width apart on the floor. Make sure the arms are straight.
  • The upper back is slightly rounded. Keep the abs tight.
  • Keep the legs straight and close together with the toes resting on the floor
  • From this position lower your body down by bending the elbows to more than 90 degrees till the body is two inches above and parallel to the floor. The elbows stay close to the body.
  • Come to initial position by tensing the triceps and chest muscles.
  • Keep low back and abs tight throughout the movement.
push ups variations calisthenics

This is how you should look like in the starting position.

pasted image 0 8

push ups variations calisthenics

REMEMBER: Maintain a neutral straight position while pressing yourself on the ground.

Now, that you have an idea on how to do a push-up, or  your memory has been refreshed on doing one, let me share how this one simple movement can influence dramatically your training for Calisthenics and Gymnastics.

Pushing Movement Modalities to Improve Calisthenics and Gymnastics

Pushing movements such as push-up, handstand, pull-up and other bodyweight exercises are very important in building up overall strength and control over your body.

The gymnastics modality comprises of body weight elements or calisthenics, and its primary purpose is to improve body control by improving neurological components like coordination, balance, agility, and accuracy, and to improve functional upper body capacity and trunk strength. – The CrossFit Training Guide, 2006

Before you can do crazy gymnastic movements such as handstand push-ups, pull-ups, or even back flips, performing standard push-ups to get better is a good start. If you already got the hang of performing push-ups, there are always modifications and variations that you can do to spice up your training.

Advanced Push-Up Variations That You MUST Try

1. Typewriter Push-Up

Muscles worked:

  • Upper back muscles like rhomboids and middle trapezius
  • Triceps
  • Chest (pectorals major and minor)
  • Shoulders
  • Core

Why you should try it: 

This specific variation challenges the athlete to engage the core during the whole duration of the movement. The athlete is not only focused on the up and down motion of the movement, rather the sides are also accounted for.

How to perform it:

  • Place both hands two feet apart and with elbows straight.
  • Keep the upper body rounded and abs tight.
  • Legs are straight and should be placed hip width apart with toes resting on the floor.
  • Lower your body towards the floor, by bending both elbows fully, till body is approximately two inches above and parallel to the floor.
  • Now shift your body towards either side a few time by straightening the opposite elbow. The body should move from side to side by alternate bending and straightening of the elbows – imitating a typewriter
  • Come up to initial position by tensing the triceps, shoulders and chest muscles.
  • Repeat.

push ups variations calisthenics

push ups variations calisthenics

push ups variations calisthenics

You should look like this while performing this movement!

2. Muay Thai Push-Up

Muscles worked:

  • Chest
  • Triceps
  • Abs
  • Shoulders

Why you should try it:

This may be one of the most difficult push-up variations that you would want to try. This movement would require tremendous strength and balance in your core and upper body. If you already graduated from doing clapping push-ups, this can be your next challenge.

How to perform it:

  • Get down into the push-up position with arms straight.
  • Drop down to the ground to perform a standard push-up and explode up out of the push-up.
  • While in the air, clap your hands behind your back and place your hands back down on the ground as you drop down into the next push-up.
  • Be careful not to lose your balance and momentum from transitioning in the clap back to the ground.

Here’s a sample video of someone performing muay thai push-ups:

3. Triple Clap Push-Up

Muscles worked:

  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Abs
  • Triceps

Why you should do it:

Can you do one clap push up? That’s good! How about two claps push-up? That’s impressive. But if you can do a triple clap push-up, you are a beast. This is definitely a challenging push-up variation that once you have done it, you’ll feel extremely strong.

How to perform it:

  • Get down into the push-up position with arms straight.
  • Drop down to the ground to perform a standard push-up and explode up into the air.
  • Clap your hands in front of your chest, then clap your hands behind your back and finally clap your hands again in front of your chest. Use the momentum from that explosive push off the ground to perform the three claps.
  • Place your hands on the ground and drop down into the next rep.

This is how fast you should be able to perform the three claps successfully:

4. Two Fingers Push-Up

Muscles worked:

  • Index finger
  • Thumb
  • Triceps
  • Chest
  • Core
  • Shoulders

Why you should do it:

Are you a Bruce Lee fan? You definitely would want to work your way to perform 2 fingers push-up. This can be really challenging since you have to develop strength on your fingers to be able to do this movement.

Building strength on your fingers is not an easy job for sure. Hence, this is not advisable for beginners. Doing push-up variations with your arms can be easy enough for you. But, this one can bring back spice to your push-up movements.

How to perform it:

  • Start from the standard push-up position.
  • Adjust your position so you can balance on one hand. Make sure that your arm is well-balanced and your legs evenly apart from one another.
  • Put all your weight on your index finger and thumb. Try to hold your weight firmly on those two fingers. Engage your core and maintain a straight spine to complete a push-up.
  • If your fingers are not that stable, do not attempt to continue with the movement to avoid injury.

Are you curious if this variation is even possible? Check out this video to be amazed:

5. Planche Push-Up

Muscles worked:

  • Triceps
  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Core

Why you should do it:

If you want to be extremely challenged, developing strength to perform this push-up might be the perfect regimen for you. To be able to do this movement, you must have already mastered the basic push-up movements. It may take weeks for you to master this, but ain’t that an exciting challenge?

How to perform it:

  • Lie on your belly on the floor and extend your arms by your hips.
  • Put your palms on the floor directly below your abdomen. Rotate your fingers out to the side of the room.
  • Press against the ground to perform a push-up by leaning your weight forward into your chest and shoulders.
  • Squeeze your legs together and engage your core to lift both your feet and legs off the floor.
  • Move into a planche position in which only your palms make contact with the ground.
  • Bend your elbows to lower your chest to the floor while keeping your lower body elevated the entire time.
  • Extend your elbows back up to complete one repetition.

Watch this video to visualize the full range of motion for this movement:

Also, check out this planche progression to help you build on your strength.

6. One Arm Push-Up

Muscles worked:

  • Chest
  • Triceps
  • Shoulders
  • Core

Why you should do it:

One arm push-up is one of the most common variations of push-ups. However, it is still complicated to perform and requires extensive training. It is one of the fundamental movements in Calisthenics.

Some people who attempt in doing this push-up resort to use the shortcuts which is not really performing the proper one arm push-up. Nevertheless, being able to do one arm push-ups is a big accomplishment!

How to perform it:

  • Shoulders are parallel to the ground.
  • Feet are not wider than shoulder width.
  • Body is straight when viewed from the side.
  • Twisting in the body is minimal.
  • At the lowest position, there are no more than 10 cm between the chest and the floor.
push up variations calisthenics training

Be mindful that your posture must be very similar to this in performing one arm push-up.

If you are still working on your one arm push-up, it would be better to take the assessment test on Calisthenics Academy.  You will be able to determine at which level you are in. At the same time, you can also focus on the areas in which you need to improve on the most with the proper professional training and coaching.

7. Handstand Push-Up

Muscles worked:

  • Shoulders
  • Chest
  • Deltoids
  • Triceps
  • Traps
  • Serratus Anterior (muscles at the side of your ribs)

Why you should start doing it:

Handstand push-up is a very effective movement to IMPROVE  your upper body strength and balance. Also, being in an inverted position entails added health benefits such as better blood circulation and lesser back pain.

Moreover, you would definitely look cooler and stronger being able to do a push-up in an inverted position. If you are not convinced enough, read more of the reasons here as to why you need to start doing handstand push-ups now.

How to perform it:

  • Make sure that before you do your first handstand push-up, your handstand form is well-executed.
  • Your hips must be fully extended with your shoulders fully opened up.
  • Maintain a full elbow and wrist extension before going into the dip.
  • Neutral spine must be observed all throughout the full range of motion.

push up variations calisthenics training

This is how you should look like in the start of the handstand push-up. If you are not quite there yet, make sure to look into this progression to develop your balance and strength for a handstand push-up.

The 45 degree angle during the handstand position before you do the press is VERY IMPORTANT for a SUCCESSFUL HANDSTAND PUSH-UP. This angle will help you to stabilize while pushing yourself towards the ground.

push up variations calisthenics training

push up variations calisthenics training

To tackle this move we strongly suggest building up to a wall handstand pushup FIRST then moving to a freestanding handstand and then trying a freestanding handstand push-up.

What’s important is that you build  proper strength and mobility before attempting one.

Challenge Accepted! It’s time to show off your beast mode.

You’re looking for a challenge? Tired of the everyday normal push-ups? Then, here you go…

Get ready and puff your chest to try and test your strengths with these advanced push-up variations. Some might be really intimidating for you. But, you can never conquer a land unless you try it. Make sure to memorialize your every attempt so you can look back to your struggles and celebrate your achievements.

We look forward to seeing your results of dominating these variations! Make sure to comment on this post and share your photos and videos of you attempting these movements.

calisthenics assessment




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