Top 5 killer calisthenics ab exercises for faster results

Top 5 killer calisthenics ab exercises for faster results

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When we hear the word abs, the first thing that pops in our minds is Zac Efron’s rock solid, beach-ready abs. No? Just me? Fine, but one reason he was able to attain those are from the most important ab exercises.

But wait, Ab exercises have too many benefits.

These are not only for aesthetics. Benefits are well spread into function. Having strong abdominal muscles assist in providing good posture, balance,  translates into your sport and provides power for your compound movements. It’s overall good balance in our system.

Especially in calisthenics, the number of skill work requires you to have superb ab muscle strength and endurance. But why do it on a bar?

Hanging on the bar requires you to work your abs even more.

If your form is correct, the simple act of hanging already puts stress on your abs. Your core works to stabilize you on the bar and part of the core is the abdominal muscles. Gravity is not your best friend for these types of exercises. Plus, you’ll have stronger grip and forearms for hanging around.

Bar ab exercises are challenging and will definitely build your towering 6 pack. Just remember that form is everything and shift to an easier progression or similar exercise first if you can’t do the proper form yet.

Top Exercises to Maximize your Ab Gains

If you’re going to train your abs, might as well use the top exercises to maximize your ab gains in no time! Here they are:

KNEE UPS

This is the entry point in your bar journey. The easiest in this list but still a contender among all of the ab exercises. Your lower abs will do most of the work and contraction so prepare for upcoming pain the next day.

How to Perform

1. Grip the bar with hands slightly more than shoulder width apart.
2. Make sure your arms are straight and shoulders, back, hip, legs fall in a straight line.
3. From this position, bend your knees and lift your knees up towards your chest. The closer to chest, the better.
4. Come down slowly to the first position.

Coaching Pointers

1. Contract your abs and hip flexors from the starting position to the end.
2. Let your lower back slightly round as your lift your knees.
3. Throughout the exercise tilt your hips forward to engage your core.
4. Don’t use momentum. Lift and comedown slowly as possible.
5. Resist the rocking motion you’ll feel when your doing the movement.
6. Please Don’t forget to breathe. You’re still a human.

LEG RAISES

This is like the harder version of the previous exercises. Instead of bent knee, keep the legs straight. Aim to reach the top of the bar with your toes. The increased leverage puts more stress on the abs. Your upper and lower abs will work together to execute the movement. You should also perform mobility exercises prior to your attempt since mobility is required for the exercises. Don’t be lazy now!


How to Perform

1. Grip a hanging bar with hands placed shoulder width apart
2. Make sure your arms and back are straight.
3. Keep your legs straight and close. Keep your feet off the floor.
4. From this position, lift your legs straight up till the feet touch the bar.
5. Come down in a controlled manner.


Coaching Pointers

1. Contract your abs and hip flexors from the starting position to the end.
2. Let your lower back round as your lift your legs.
3. Throughout the exercise tilt your hips forward to engage your core.
4. Don’t use momentum. Lift and come down slowly as possible.
5. Resist the rocking motion you’ll feel when you’re doing the movement.
6. Perform mobility exercises so you can reach the top portion of the movement.
7. Please Don’t forget to breathe. You’re still a human.

WINDOW WIPERS

This is an advance and quite a challenging ab workout. Lower and upper abs will do work but your obliques will also come to play as you move your legs side to side. You can train this movement on the floor if hanging is too difficult for you. This is a difficult exercise, but don’t leave it be because window wipers can wipe your way to a strong and complete rock solid abs.


How to Perform

1. Grip a hanging bar with hands placed shoulder-width apart.
2. Make sure your arms and back are straight.
3. Keep your legs straight and close. Keep your feet off the floor.
4. From this position, lift your legs straight up till the feet are above the bar.
5. The back is rounded and almost parallel to the floor
6. Now twist your lower back such that the legs move slowly towards each side as much as possible.
7. Feel the side abs, back rotators, upper and lower abs tense while lifting and moving the legs.


Coaching Pointers

1. Contract your abs and hip flexors from the starting position to the end.
2. Let your lower back round as your lift your legs.
3. Throughout the exercise tilt your hips forward to engage your core.
4. Don’t use momentum. Lift and come down slowly as possible.
5. Resist the rocking motion you’ll feel when your doing the movement.
6. Perform the movement with control.
7. Please Don’t forget to breathe. You’re still a human.

WINDMILLS

Another excellent core building exercise that targets your abdominals, obliques and hip flexors. This is like a leg raise but instead of going straight up, it moves side to side.


How to Perform

1. Start by hanging from bar with overhand grip.
2. Make sure your arms and back are straight.
3. Bring legs up by creating a circle starting from left around to the right, then returning to side you started.
4. Repeat bringing legs up from the right circling to the left.


Coaching Pointers

1. Contract your abs and hip flexors from the starting position to the end.
2. Let your lower back round as your lift your legs.
3. Throughout the exercise tilt your hips forward to engage your core.
4. Don’t use momentum. Lift and comedown slowly as possible.
5. Resist the rocking motion you’ll feel when your doing the movement.
6. Perform mobility exercises so you can reach the top portion of the movement.
7. Please Don’t forget to breathe. You’re still a human.

KNEE RAISE KICK OUTS

It basically what it is named. As you knee raise, you kick out. This additional movement to the knee raise brings additional stress to your abs, making the move a lot harder than it already is. Bring this to your work out when knee raises becomes too easy.


How to Perform

1. Grip the bar with hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
2. Make sure your arms are straight and your shoulders, back, hip, legs fall in a straight line.
3. From this position,bend your knees and lift your knees up towards your chest. The closer to chest, the better.
4. Extend your legs away from your body to create an L position for a brief moment.
5. Come down slowly to the first position.


Coaching Pointers

1. Contract your abs and hip flexors from the starting position to the end.
2. Let your lower back slightly round as your lift your knees.
3. Throughout the exercise tilt your hips forward to engage your core.
4. Don’t use momentum. Lift and come down slowly as possible.
5. Resist the rocking motion you’ll feel when you’re doing the movement.
6. Please Don’t forget to breathe. You’re still a human.

Now that you have an arsenal of exercises for your abs, plan and set out your routine.

 

Treat your Ab Workout like any other Workout.

This means that you don’t have to do your ab workout everyday and only with high reps. Just like other parts of your muscles, the same principles apply to your abdominal muscles when creating a routine. Train with proper rep ranges, sets, difficulty and rest periods..

And if you’re aiming for that luscious 6 packs, eat well as you train. That goal relies more on your caloric deficit. But no worries, we got you covered regarding your eating.

Try it out and let us know in the comment section below what you think.

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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.

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Tricking Your Mind into Weight Loss with Katelyn Travers

The mind is a powerful thing.

When motivated, you can convince yourself of almost anything. “Yes, I do need to spend $200 on a new gym bag. No, I don’t need to wash my hair as long as I have dry shampoo.

When you’re highly motivated, you can get your body to play along with your brain, like in Phantom Limb Pain when there is pain in a limb that has been amputated, False Pregnancy when women who are not pregnant begin to develop many pregnancy-like symptoms or with the “Placebo Effect” that reports up to 70 percent of participants in clinical trials see an improvement in their symptoms simply from a placebo.

Although the conditions above are not favorable, you can also use this power for good. In this case, to make weight loss easier.

People spend lots of money on supplements that are supposed to suppress appetite to help lose weight. Although some do help a little, others are not yet proven to be effective…yet they’re still on the market!

What if I were to tell you that there is a cost-free strategy to naturally suppress your appetite, increase your metabolism and encourage your body to be lighter and leaner?

This strategy follows a training plan that focuses heavily on bodyweight training and gymnastic-type movements, such as handstands and pull-ups.

calisthenics weight loss

Think Like a Gymnast

Gymnasts are famously known for being lean, muscular and nimble.

This is obvious because they are required to propel their body weight over obstacles, balance and walk on their hands and perform feats that would be much more difficult if they were holding onto excess body fat.

If you’ve ever gone on vacation, gained a few pounds and returned to your workouts only to find they feel much more difficult, you know that extra weight doesn’t make running, pull-ups, or really any exercise, easier.

Hoisting five extra pounds up to the bar on a pull up or inverted row is no small feat for the muscles of your back. For someone weighing 140 pounds, that’s an extra 4% of their weight.

This brings us to the reason that bodyweight and gymnastic training can be so powerful for weight loss. If you are rigidly following a training program that requires you to practice handstands, plyometric movements and pulling around your bodyweight, your brain knows that these moves are easier when you are lighter.

The concept of neuroplasticity states that the brain reorganizes itself throughout your life. With training, “every movement of the body provides sensory feedback for the brain to process and adapt to.” Meaning, while you are practicing, your brain will work with you to make adaptations to improve your ability.

Your Hormones need to work with you

There’s also a little-known benefit that inverted positions, like the handstand, have on the body. Research shows that handstands help to stimulate your endocrine system and reduce Cortisol, the body’s major stress hormone. When Cortisol levels are high, weight loss is not likely.

Lower your cortisol and increase your capability for weight loss.

Furthermore, “the inversion [with handstands] brings blood to the thyroid glands to help regulate the production of T3 and T4 [metabolism controlling hormones], which also affects metabolism.”

So not only will you be building the strength of the muscles in your upper body, abs and improving balance, you will have increased blood flow, decreased Cortisol and increased metabolism.

calisthenics weight loss

Don’t look at the Scale

In addition to the hormonal and physical benefits of bodyweight training, focusing on these performance-based movements redirects your focus away from the scale. I enjoyed seeing my developments in strength with this type of training and used my nutrition as a means to enhance performance.

My focus wasn’t on the number on the scale, but at being able to improve my skills. This impacted my portion sizes and the choices I made.

Another benefit, of course, is that when you practice these movements, you increase your neural connection to the muscles and build more lean mass.

More neural connection = more body awareness and control.

More lean mass = better use of the food you eat to fuel and build your muscles rather than storage as fat.

There is also a convenient check and balance in this system. If you go totally off the rails with your diet over the weekend, your workout on Monday will remind you to reel it back in over the week because you don’t want to keep making the workouts harder and harder.

calisthenics weight loss

Prioritize Performance-based Goals

Finally, an often underestimated trick of bodyweight training or performance-based goals is the confidence and diligence you build while working towards these goals.

I still remember being able to do my first unassisted pull-up, a stark comparison to the middle school girl who achieved ¼ of a rep on her pull-up test. The satisfaction and confidence will empower you to continue making healthy decisions and stick to your training program.

So start small, but pick a goal or a training plan that involves a lot of handstands, pull-ups, sprints, plyometrics and push-ups. See if you can trick your mind into losing weight by enhancing the mind body connection and requiring it to be light, leaner and more nimble for your bodyweight movements.

A sample-workout to get started

 

Circuit One

  • Burpee to Pull Up
  • Handstand
  • Bulgarian Split Squat Jump
  • Inverted Row
  • Hanging Straight Leg Raise

Circuit Two

  • Pike Push Up
  • Pistol Squat (or assisted pistol squat)
  • Jump Rope
  • Eccentric Pull Up
  • Hollow Body Hold

Perform all exercises for 45 seconds with 15 seconds’ rest between exercises and one minute rest between rounds. Perform Circuit One for 4 rounds before moving on to Circuit Two for 4 rounds.

Have you noticed better weight control or weight loss with incorporating bodyweight movements into your training routine? Leave a comment a below or post in the Facebook group with your experience!

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How To Start Your Own Calisthenics Community With Lex Lauron

Start your own calisthenics/parkour community and empower the people to take charge of their own health!

If you have ever wanted to make a positive impact on your local community, try implementing the bodyweight exercises and parkour, and teach people how to do it. It’ll bring them together – regardless of their age, gender, religion, sexuality, social status and fitness level. Imagine a gathering of people from all walks of life and ages engaged in physical movement purely for the abundance of health benefits, and they’ll be having so much fun that they won’t realize they are working out.

That is how to start a workout community. And the journey towards building it can be amazing and rewarding. Your community can grow each day by welcoming new and different people. It will create a unique set of characteristics and routines. Community brings people together, makes them take care of themselves and people around them and everybody can learn so much from that experience.

But why would you be the one to build it – you may ask yourself.

Why you should create your local workout community?

There is no greater feeling than having a positive impact on individuals and your community

When was the last time you had a positive impact on someone? Giving that one advice that helped your friend so much, teaching a child how to socialize with other kids or stand up to a bully, helped your parents switch to a healthier nutritional regime by going with them through it. Isn’t so fulfilling, right?

Imagine what can happen when you spread that positive impact and change to a community that shares your same goals and values. You can actually do a great deal for all of those people.

How would it impact your life if it’s on a larger scale?

The positive impact on your own life will be stronger than ever, it will make you achieve your full potential and reach your main goals.

Here are some reasons I’d like to point out:

REASON 1 – People will learn that exercise can be fun and free for everyone



I have been working out for over 4 years 3-4 times a week and I have never had a gym membership or a personal trainer. Calisthenics and parkour never require anything but your own body and can be done indoors or outdoors.

You can start with a simple workout plan that will engage people, encourage them to do the exercises together, and help each other out. They won’t realize that they are working out!

When your community develops a mutual connection and gets in physical form, you can start creating workout variations and more challenging workouts.

REASON 2 – People inside a group will feel less self-conscious and motivated

When you get all these different type of people working out together, all the differences will be gone. People will forget about their own insecurities and start working harder if they see someone who is working harder than them.

The best thing is that people will feel way more motivated to not only exercise but to push themselves harder.It’s been scientifically proven. We tend to put more effort because we are in an unspoken friendly competition with others and ourselves, so there will always be someone to shout out a word or two to increase the motivation level.

calisthenic community

REASON 3 – We are all influenced and influencers

By creating a positive space for people to gather together and exercise, have fun, connect and work towards a common goal we’re creating a community – one with a profoundly positive impact. When you talk to, see or engage with someone who eats healthy you most likely are  inspired and motivated to eat healthy.

This influence can happen with good or bad actions. When I workout at the park people walking by or hanging out try exercises I am doing. I became aware of this influence a few years ago before calisthenics, so I figured our society can always use more positive influencers.

You can be that positive influence on your family, friends or strangers.

Now, when you know why – let’s talk about how to actually successfully build your own workout community, step by step:

calisthenic community

How I successfully built my workout community and you can too

1. I chose a name that motivated me a lot!

When I decided I wanted to start a community, I wanted to come up with a name that personally pumped me up, and something anyone could connect to. I named it Train like Gods!

2. I used social media to share events

Social media was the fastest way to get the word out there, so I began a YouTube channel. I made videos of my training and made sure to share that I’m looking for other people to train with, where I trained at and my  an email address to contact me.I used Facebook and Instagram to share events I created.I started a Facebook page to share my videos and meet events. In the events I made sure to include that it’s free and open to anyone. I would invite everyone, share it on relatives and a few friends page.

3. I made it as simple as possible

To create an event, all I did was choose a day, time, and  place. Most of the time I held the events at the  parks or schools. Once in awhile local gyms would let us train there, but I still preferred  the outdoors way better.

4. I interacted with as many people as possible

I would talk to and invite people I would see at parks exercising. Tell them about the community I’m was creating. I would also invite people from my job site.

5. Then I turned to Instagram

I used my Instagram to share my trainings clips and events. These sports happen to be more enticing to a younger generation so this helped spread the word quicker.

You’d be surprised how easy it is to make friends with the people you meet at the park.

calisthenic community

Now it’s your turn to build YOUR workout community

When you create a community around exercise, you’re not only working out, you’re asking what each other’s fitness goals are, you’re sharing diet tips and ideas as well as injury prevention, and eventually about work, school and other more personal questions down the road.

It’s important to not only care about how much muscle everyone is gaining or pounds they have lost. It’s called cohesion. When you talk about goals people have in other areas of life, and support and encourage them in reaching those goals and do things other than train together.

Now create a name you will love, make a Youtube channel, Facebook page, Instagram and any other social media account you like. Choose a day, time and place, make events share it with everyone you can. Have fun no matter if it rains or shines. Start making your community and our world a little more empowered, peaceful and more connected place.

Have you created a community of your own? We want to hear about them. Share with us your stories in the comments.

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Following a terrible injury, Hans was told he’d never exercise again

And then he found Calisthenics…

Hans

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

This is story of Hans, – Calisthenics Academy

Hans, a 39 year old company coach from Belgium, has had to face some pretty extreme physical challenges in his life. When he was xx, he experienced terrible consequences from a momentary physical action.

“As the result of a quick and unexpected movement, my neck turned sharply away and I heard a snap. The next day I literally had to drag myself out of bed by the hair. Since the hernia was pressing against my spinal cord, it needed quick fixing, so a week later I was in surgery.”

It took him a very long time to recover from that accident, and he was repeatedly told that he’d never be able to work out again. “Bit by bit I proved them wrong. Actually, the more (sensible) I [work out], the less back pain I have.”

So how did Hans defy medical expectations and face his physical challenges? Calisthenics! Hans is also a big proponent of holistic living and plant-based nutrition and Calisthenics Academy is a program that allows him to incorporate these principles into his exercise routine while protecting his neck prosthesis and his back.

“[Our body] is a great device we get at the beginning of our lives, and there is so much potential we don’t (or forget to) use in terms of mobility and flexibility.”

Hans believes that life is meant to be lived holistically. He’s been in search of the kind of exercise that would allow him a true exploration of his body, and would help him move towards a greater, long-term goal. It was during this search that he discovered Calisthenics Academy.

“There is no limit to what the body can achieve at any given age, given the right time, the right training and the right goals.”

“As most people I started out with the intention of doing a human flag as soon as possible. But now the mindset has changed to mastering the current exercise sets. and then progressing to the next, and the next. All thanks to Calisthenics Academy”

The 3 benefits Hans gained since starting calisthenics

His body doesn’t hurt him anymore

Following Hans’ terrible accident and spinal surgery
he was repeatedly told that he’d never be able to work out again. “Bit by bit I proved them wrong. Actually, the more (sensible) I [work out], the less back pain I have.”

“I’m no longer troubled by back pain which helps my self confidence a whole lot—those who have suffered from back pain, they surely know what I mean.”

He’s in a state of constant learning and self-betterment

Hans believes that the body is constantly improving and learning. But it needs to be motivated to do so. He’s gained that motivation thanks to Calisthenics Academy. “We are never finished, we are becoming. And that is represented in your program.”

“The real gain for me are the thank yous I get from my own body.”

The principles of calisthenics translate into a code of ethics into his work life

Hans, along with Philippe (whose story you can find here), is a company coach, offering support in the design of organisations. “We help organisations in adaptive challenges. We create progression paths with them in order to see which steps they can take in a continuous change path.”

He sees a correlation between his work and the principles behind calisthenics. Once goals are hit, either in business or calisthenics, then what?

“We are never finished exploring and building, that is why the way forward is more important than the end product.”

“I’m more focused on the updating process of my body than in the final product. As long as I keep moving forward, keep learning, I’m on the right path. Within our organisation progressiondesigners.com, we try to integrate a few concepts such as Biomimicry, lean concepts (continuous improvements) and calisthenics/gymnastics.”

“Discovering calisthenics was the result of a few converging principles in my life.”

Holistic, plant-based living

Holistic principles follow the idea that you must look at your life as a whole: the mind affects the body, the spirit affects the mind, the body affects the spirit and the environment affects it all.

“I believe in a holistic approach to life, living a plant-based life, having a respectful approach to all living things, with my own body as a good example. Respecting my own body is something I found translated very well in calisthenics and The Movement Athlete Manifesto. I read your Manifesto and got hooked.”

“Secondly, I have a prosthesis in my neck and a mild back issue. So weight lifting is not only extremely boring but also quite tricky for me.”

When looking at life from a holistic standpoint, Hans simply doesn’t see the value of training at the gym following traditional weight-lifting programs.

“I’ve always asked myself the question what the attractive goals in weightlifting are—keep on lifting more and more until your body collapses? That’s a road to nowhere for me.”

Calisthenics is holistic exercise

Calisthenics doesn’t only focus on the body. In fact, if you read the Calisthenics Academy’s second edition of its ebook, you’ll get to learn about the importance of focusing on both your diet and your mindset in order to successfully reach your calisthenics goals.

“In our professional life we’re also approaching things systemically and holistically, and that translated for me in a search for a movement method that doesn’t isolate muscles and integrates flexibility/mobility, strength and skill.”

Train anywhere

Calisthenics training requires so little material that you can virtually do it anywhere.

“You can do the training everywhere, so it becomes part of your daily routine easily. “

“The hardest part was/is discipline in following up to mastery skills with the exercises. I’m prone to experimenting with new things and like to try out new things, so here the Calisthenics Academy app was a great tool to straighten out my program.”

Calisthenics is more than just training – it’s a lifestyle

“This quote from the original Calisthenics Academy ebook did the trick for me:”

“Soon, calisthenics became so much more than just a training program for me. It became a way of life. I will teach you the rules and lessons I have learned over the years. You will learn how to set your own goals and how to work out, but there is just one thing I want you to keep in mind: we are each a work in progress. Be in the moment. There is no competition. Train hard, move, eat healthy food, and love life! Go get it!”

“As most people I started out with the intention of doing a human flag as soon as possible. But now the mindset has changed to mastering the current exercise sets. and then progressing to the next, and the next. All thanks to Calisthenics Academy”

Here’s Hans’ advice to anyone curious to try calisthenics out

“There is no limit to what the body can achieve at any given age, given the right time, the right training and the right goals…Learn to listen to your body. Why? Because I think these are the basics to keep progressing.”

“Calisthenics Academy has really helped me in streamlining my movement routine for the rest of my life.”

The most important lesson Thomas learned with calisthenics

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

This is story of Thomas – Calisthenics Academy

Thomas is a banker living and working in Frankfurt, Germany. He was a paying member at a gym he never attended for several years before setting his sights on bodyweight training and running.

“Moving continuously in the right direction is more important than speed which you may not be able to hold and that eventually makes you stop.”

At 44, Thomas began to pay more attention to his fitness, even taking a friend’s bet to take on a daunting goal.

“My friend challenged me to finish a half-marathon. I had never finished a run of this length before.”

He’s been a regular runner ever since, although it wasn’t enough for him.

“Now I focus on bodyweight training. I still go running but only as additional cardio-training twice a week. Even now, I still have enough stamina to participate in half-marathons.”

Tom wanted a different body than a runner’s body, which is why he’s focused his attention on calisthenics.

“The body I am aiming for is more athletic than a runner’s: between a swimmer and a gymnast with well-defined muscles and low bodyfat.”

“After looking at several websites and programs I found that Calisthenics Academy is closest to my preferences: It offers a structured approach and clear path to defined goals (the eight exercises). Small steps to continuously progress strength and skills and simultaneously considering that the body (the joints) needs time to adapt to the growing challenge and so to reduce the risk of injury.”

The 3 main benefits Thomas has gained since joining the Calisthenics Academy community

He no longer struggles to be consistent

When it comes to his exercise routines, Thomas is a man of extremes. He will either be training intensively or doing little to nothing at all. “My biggest challenge is to train consistently. I have a pattern of training very hard for a few months and then swinging to the others extreme of working out very little.”

Since joining Calisthenics Academy, Thomas has succeeded in finding the right balance between consistent and fixed timeslots to train and his sometimes changing schedule.

“I pencil my training days in four weeks in advance. I then plan my other dates around the training. If there is a collision with dates I still have the flexibility to move the training to other dates.”

He has become more patient with himself

Because of his challenging schedule and his all-or-nothing tendencies, Thomas has often felt very impatient with himself. His flexibility in setting his schedule has given him the chance to rethink his view of exercise in addition to understanding “consistent training” a little differently.

“I have become more patient with myself considering my training and my progress: Even if I have to miss scheduled trainings due to the circumstances (e.g. business travel, sickness/flu) I am not blaming myself for not taking training seriously enough or losing faith in reaching my training goals.”

He no longer feels guilty, which gives him a healthier mindset about his training. It’s a lifelong journey, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up for missing a day.

“As long as I move towards my goal and do not lose sight of the goal, there’s no drama when I have to miss a training session.”

He feels supported through the entire experience

Tom has found a training program that fits his needs perfectly. Calisthenics Academy is as personalized as it can get without paying a trainer to constantly monitor your progress. “Calisthenics Academy promises and delivers. After looking at several programs I consider it currently to have the best platform and approach.”

But more than that, Calisthenics Academy is a community of athletes and trainers who are all working towards a common goal: getting fit, getting healthier and gaining amazing new skills in the safest possible way. We all want to support each other in our efforts, pick each other up when we’re down and push each other forward when we might need a nudge.

Thomas has experienced this support first-hand from the Calisthenics Academy team.

“The Academy staff is very devoted to bringing its members to success and are sincerely interested in receiving feedback to continuously improve the quality of their service.”

Finding Calisthenics Academy

Thomas searched the internet for different training programs. He was already familiar with bodyweight training, having used other programs in the past. However, none seemed to fit his needs as well as Calisthenics Academy.

“After looking at several websites and programs I found that Calisthenics Academy is closest to my preferences: It offers a structured approach and clear path to defined goals. Its small steps continuously progress strength and skills while giving the body time to adapt to the growing challenge and so to reduce the risk of injury.”

“The changing demands of my professional schedule and the structured approach of the Calisthenics Academy are the best fit I have seen so far. I am glad I found you”

Tom’s advice to anyone curious about calisthenics

“Don’t be too hard on yourself when training does not always go the way you want (e.g. you cannot train as planned; you feel too exhausted to train although you have planned it; you do less repetitions compared to the last training), but stay consistent and alway keep coming back to your training.”

“Moving continuously in the right direction is more important than speed which you may not be able to hold and that eventually makes you stop.”