Top 5 killer calisthenics ab exercises for faster results

Top 5 killer calisthenics ab exercises for faster results

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!

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.

WANT A PERSONALISED TRAINING PROGRAM? TAKE OUR ASSESSMENT!

READY TO GET ON THE JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME?

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.”
GET A LIFETIME ACCESS TO THE CURRENT CALISTHENICS ACADEMY AND NEW MOBILE APP

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

TODAY $97 ($399 AFTER)

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.

How?

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

LOWER BACK PAIN

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

NECK AND SHOULDER 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

WRIST STRAIN

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

TIGHTENED HIPS

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!

READY TO GET ON TEH JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME?

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.”

GET A LIFETIME ACCESS TO THE CURRENT CALISTHENICS ACADEMY AND NEW MOBILE APP

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

TODAY $97 ($399 AFTER)

Beyond Pistol Squat with Momir Iseni

Beyond Pistol Squat with Momir Iseni

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!

While pistol squat performed in sets of 10+ repetitions is an impressive achievement in its own right, it is far from limits of what can be achieved with one-legged squats.

In my leg training, I’m using nine different variations of one-legged squats, each one more progressive than previous. These variations not only make training more fun and interesting but, as the movements become more complex, they require control and development of ever more muscle segments and groups.

Steps For Your Pistol Squat Variations

SHORT BARREL PISTOL

The first step towards advanced one-legged squats is simply bringing hands closer to the body. The easiest way to do this is by bending your arms, crossing them in front of you and touching your shoulders with fingers of the opposite hands. Because the arms are bent, I call this version the short-barrel pistols.
Though this adjustment is almost insignificant you will, as you start performing your one-legged squat this way, immediately feel new kinds of forces challenging you. First thing that you’ll notice is the need to bend to the front, due to the new, added challenge to your core. The way to fight and eventually overcome this need is to additionally tighten your core muscles – the degree of contraction required for basic pistol squats will no longer be enough.

In order to extract the maximum of this movement adjustment, strive to focus on few key things:

– Keep your chest high – that will automatically bring your shoulders back and your spine straight.

– Try to keep your upper arms parallel to the floor. Actively strive to keep your elbows from falling below parallel. Keeping your arm muscles (and especially triceps) tight, will be of great help.

As I’ve already said, the need for embracing your core muscles wil be greater here than with pistols. The key muscles here are side abdominals and spinal erectors. I have found that contracting the upper back and rear delts adds stability to your posture.

The rest of the important things (looking slightly down, keeping legs close together, actively pressing the ground through the foot of the working leg, breathing pattern, etc.) are already covered in previous article about basic pistol squats.

Do not feel discouraged by the fact that you are unable to do as many of these squats .as you do pistols. Be patient and work diligently. Focus on quality repetitions – if that means just two or three before you start bending over and losing control, so be it. Don’t exhaust yourself, but enjoy the process of mastering this new movement. Work slowly towards more and more reps.

Than, when you are able to perform more than, say, ten reps with full control, you may move to the next step

PRISONER ONE-LEGGED SQUATS

While the previous version was, in comparison to pistol squat, slightly more challenging, the prisoner one-legged squat is a lot more serious movement that will noticeably raise the degree of difficulty.

To perform a prisoner one-legged squat you need to, as in the basic prisoner squat, descend with your hands clasped behind the back of your head – but while squatting on only one leg.

This movement will, because your hands and elbows are now behind your head, be a lot more challenging to master and perform fluidly. Because of the lack of balance offered by arms extended in front of you, you will need to engage your core, back, shoulder and arm muscles a lot more than in the previous steps. All this means that your concentration and focus will need to strengthen accordingly which, of course, is a great thing.

To perform the prisoner one-legged squat, stand with your hands on the back of your head, with your fingers interlocked. Before your first repetition, make sure that:

– Your forearms are thoroughly squeezed, and your fingers tightly interlocked.

– The muscles of your upper arms are tight, as well as your whole shoulder girdle, especially rear deltoid and trapezius muscles.

– The whole upper back, including lats, is squeezed and completely under control, and core muscles – front and (especially) side abdominals and lower back muscles – are fully engaged.

Although this seems like a lot of things to focus on, in time you’ll be able to almost instantly reach that state. Don’t be dispirited if you cannot reach it immediately – work patiently and with awareness, and step by step you’ll get there, all the while adding repetitions to your sets.

As you start to descend under full control, apply all the steps you already new from earlier forms of one-legged squats, with few additional points:

While descending on your working leg, don’t allow your shoulders to roll forward and your elbows to move to the front of the plane that goes vertically sideways through the middle of your ears. Your body instinctively tries to get into an easier position by rolling the shoulders – don’t allow it to succeed. Actively maintain tight squeeze in your arms, shoulders and upper back. Workout by workout, week by week, you’ll gain control and add rep by rep. Don’t be fooled into a blind rep game – look for quality and the feeling of full muscle engagement.

Make sure to lower all the way down to the deepest position. Start your descending from the hip and move back, while simultaneously lowering yourself down. Descend in a slow, controlled fashion, and make sure to stop for a moment at the bottom point. While there, and still tight, asses your position in space – try to gather all the spatial information and feedback possible. Then, thinking about pushing the ground away from you, start moving up. In time you’ll be able to completely feel the engaged chain of muscles, starting from glutes, through hamstrings, to thighs.

If your leg workouts were until now entirely based on pistol squats, now you have more options. If still unable to do many reps of these new versions of one-legged squats, I advise that, after warming up with a set or two of about ten slow narrow two-legged squats, you do acclimatization set of only 3 pistol squats on each leg. Then, do 2-3 sets of one of these more difficult versions. If you can only do a couple of correct reps, do 3 sets of 2, then, in time, 2 sets of 3, 2 sets of four, etc.

In the beginning, while still learning to do the movement properly, do not exhaust yourself. Do your sets of slow reps and then finish your leg training with few sets of classic pistol squats in more repetitions.

In the next article, we’ll continue our progress toward more engaging versions of one-legged squats. Until then, feel free to ask questions and offer your suggestions and, as they say, always keep your squats low and your standards high.

READY TO GET ON THE JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME?

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.”
GET A LIFETIME ACCESS TO THE CURRENT CALISTHENICS ACADEMY AND NEW MOBILE APP

(+ 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.”

SPECIAL LAST CHANCE OFFER! CLOSING SOON

GET A LIFETIME ACCESS TO THE CURRENT & NEW CALISTHENICS ACADEMY 2.0

COMING OUT SOON

TODAY $97 ($399 AFTER)

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

SPECIAL LAST CHANCE OFFER! CLOSING November 30th 2017!

GET A LIFETIME ACCESS TO THE CURRENT & NEW CALISTHENICS ACADEMY 2.0

COMING OUT LATER THIS YEAR

TODAY $97 ($399 AFTER)