Hi guys, Nicolas here at Online Calisthenics.
Today, we're going to discuss the six main calisthenics movements for beginners.
If you can't do a pull-up yet we have alternatives that you can work on and practice until you become strong enough to do them!
Let's start with the Australian rows or inverted rows.
To perform this exercise, you'll need a low bar like a parallel bar or a pair of gymnastic rings if you don't have access to a low bar. You can also use a tree branch or any pole in the park. Ensure the bar or rings are low enough to mimic a lower bar. First and foremost, focus on your grip and grab the bar properly while keeping your wrists up. This is crucial for a proper pull-up form.
Next, you'll want to work on your body alignment. Create a hollow body position by tilting your pelvis, tucking your rib cage in, flexing your toes up, and staying on your heels. If you're unable to do this initially, you can keep your feet flat on the ground and bend your knees slightly for more support. Work your way up to flexing your toes and staying on your heels.
Pay attention to the wrist position, toes up, and the pelvis tilt, which ensures your body stays aligned from head to toes. The movement involves a forward shrug, so remember to pull from your shoulders, not just your arms. This engages the right muscles and is a common mistake beginners make.
Keep pulling with your forearms to go as high as you can, ideally bringing your chest to the bar. Emphasize speed on the way up and control on the way down, focusing on the negative part of the movement to build muscle and improve over time.
The next movement we'll discuss is the Superman and Scorpio drill, which is an excellent alternative to pull-ups. These movements are suitable for those without bars or rings and can be done on the floor. While it may seem easy, it's more challenging than it appears. Even if you can't reach the height shown in the video, it's still valuable practice. This movement helps take you to the next level and contributes to significant progress.
To perform the Superman and Scorpio Drill, lie on your chest and thighs. Lift your feet and chest off the ground while keeping your glutes squeezed and lower back engaged. Maintain the balance between your feet and arms to engage your core. The key is to keep going, maintaining a forward gaze, and not letting your chest drop too much. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, transitioning from the Superman position to a higher position, and then lowering back down. This drill strengthens your back structure over time.
Remember, if you can't do a movement yet, keep practicing. Everyone starts as a beginner, and with practice, you'll improve.
The next movement we'll cover is Knee Push-ups. This classic movement is an alternative for those who can't perform full push-ups yet. Another option is an elevated incline push-up, starting from a higher position. However, it's ideal to start from the ground and work your way up.
When performing knee push-ups, go all the way down until your knees, toes, and hands touch the floor. Then, lift yourself up. Lift off with your knees and, once you feel less pressure, raise your knees by tilting your core. This helps maintain the hollow body position necessary for calisthenics movements. Focus on a straight line from your head to your knees and engage your core throughout the movement. Keep your elbows tucked close to your body and avoid flaring them out. This helps to target your chest, triceps, and shoulders effectively.
As you progress and become stronger, you can gradually transition to regular push-ups by raising your knees off the ground and performing them on your toes. Remember to maintain proper form and control throughout the movement.
Moving on to the next exercise, we have the bench dips, which are a great alternative to parallel bar dips for beginners. To perform bench dips, find a stable bench or chair and sit on the edge with your hands placed beside your hips, gripping the edge of the bench. Extend your legs forward, keeping your heels on the ground.
Next, lower your body by bending your arms until your elbows reach a 90-degree angle, or slightly lower if you can. Then, push yourself back up to the starting position. Keep your chest up and shoulders back throughout the movement. Focus on using your triceps to lift your body weight.
If you find bench dips too challenging at first, you can start with bent knees or use a higher surface to reduce the resistance. As you gain strength, you can progress to straightening your legs and using a lower surface for a deeper dip.
The fifth exercise we'll cover is the Bulgarian split squat, which is an excellent alternative to weighted squats for beginners. This movement targets your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, helping to develop lower body strength and stability.
To perform the Bulgarian split squat, you'll need a bench, step, or any elevated surface behind you. Start by placing one foot on the elevated surface, positioning it far enough in front of you so that when you lower down, your knee is directly above your ankle. Keep your torso upright and engage your core.
Lower your body by bending your front knee and lowering your back knee toward the ground, keeping it just above the floor. Push through your front heel to return to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions and then switch sides.
Remember to maintain proper form throughout the movement, with your knee tracking in line with your toes and avoiding any excessive forward movement of your front knee. If you find it challenging to balance, you can hold onto a wall or a sturdy object for support until you become more stable.
Lastly, we have the hollow body hold, which is a fundamental core exercise in calisthenics. It helps to strengthen your core muscles and improve body control and stability.
To perform the hollow body hold, lie flat on your back with your arms extended overhead and your legs straight out. Engage your core and lift your head, shoulder blades, and legs off the ground simultaneously, forming a "banana" shape with your body. Keep your lower back pressed into the floor and avoid arching your back.
Hold this position for as long as you can while maintaining proper form. As you progress, you can extend the duration of the hold or make the exercise more challenging by adding movement, such as flutter kicks or scissor kicks.
Remember to focus on quality over quantity and maintain a strong and stable hollow body position throughout the hold.
Go for 3-10+ reps x 3-5 sets for each movement and adjust as needed depending on your level.
Practice those six main calisthenics movements for beginners consistently, gradually progressing in difficulty and intensity, and you'll build strength, improve your body control, and work towards more advanced calisthenics movements.
Keep pushing yourself, stay consistent, and enjoy the journey of calisthenics training!