Work On Your Sides

core Jul 31, 2023

Work on your "sides" for a strong core!

Use this calisthenics scissors core exercise, to target your obliques and transverse muscles.

The goal is to stand in the starting position of a dip, then lift your legs up straight one after another. With each leg you must bring it OVER the bar, then BELOW it, and bringing it back in the middle, without ever touching the bar.

If you can't do it yet, without touching, start by just lifting one leg over the bar and bring it back before it touches the metal.

Keep your legs straight, point your toes, avoid swinging. Keep the leg in the middle as immobile as possible while you are lifting the other leg above the bar.

Watch the video here!

Go for sets of 5+ repetitions per leg. You can perform 3 to 4 sets of this and mix it up with knee raises and static floor holds for a great core session.

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Simple Calisthenics Ab Workout

online calisthenics Jul 29, 2023

I use this as a calisthenics workout finisher.

This is a great move that will fire your entire body (lats, serratus, core, glutes, legs).

Lie in a hollow body position on the floor. Place a resistance band under your lower back/glutes and pull both ends up with your arms straight up, palms facing up! 

Lift your legs up, straight, pointing your toes in front of you a few inches from the floor.

Hold from there.

Alternate hollow body holds and leg flutters. Go for 5 rounds of 30 sec to 1 min each.

Use a resistance band that challenges you enough so you can hold it for 30 seconds.

Hold a water bottle in each hand or any weighted object if you don't have bands.

Increase resistance, reps, time as you progress.

Pair this exercise with some superman holds and/or scorpio raises.

Your abs are going to burn!

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Become An Expert at Pull Ups

pull ups workout tips Jul 26, 2023

Become An Expert at Pull Ups!

Do pull ups. All day, everyday. For the rest of your life.

It doesn't mean you have to do the same workout everyday. But the back is very often over looked and under trained!

So practice pulling in all forms and shapes as much as you can. 

Lifting your body off the ground and the ease at which you do it, is one of the best fitness and strength test out there.

I have seen many great pro athletes struggling with pull ups. 

My point is that this is a hard skill for just EVERYBODY. 

That doesn't mean dont' do it. This means train more and get good at it!

Become a Pull up expert!

Here is how:

  • If you are starting your calisthenics journey, use easier variations such as Australian row, pull ups with band assistance or high bar shrug pull ups.
  • If you are progressing into more advanced variations, add more reps, use harder moves such as typewriter pull ups. Use pyramid and ladder training to apply progressive overload.
  • If you are...
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How To Know if Your Handstand is Straight

handstand skills Jul 26, 2023

How To Know if Your Handstand is Straight?

It is sometimes tricky to know if we are straight when being upside down.

Using a wall or bar is a great way to use support to train hip and shoulder extension. 

Here are a few pointers:

  • Sit against the wall and check where your feet are. This is where you will place your hands for the exercise. 
  • Face and "walk" the wall until your legs are parallel to the floor.
  • Extend rib cage through an external shoulder rotation and bring one leg up while pressing the other to the wall.
  • It should feel as if the rib cage is extending (use the full serratus muscle group, anterior and posterior) while the pelvis is tucked back and hips are "pulling" the legs up with pointed toes.
  • Aim for a 90 degree angle between both legs and try to hold for 5-10 sec each leg. Repeat cycle 3 to 5 times.

Focus on “feeling” the alignment while holding. This will build body and spatial awareness as you practice.

Then use this feeling while...

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Train Your Abs Like Bruce Lee

core workout tips Jul 25, 2023
 

Train Your Abs Like Bruce Lee!

The dragon flag is the first cool looking calisthenics movement I practiced. 

It was made popular by Bruce Lee, and builds amazing core strength.

It’s the best movement to train for the front lever. 

You need to use your full body including core, lats, arms and legs to keep your feet off the ground. Also engage your lower back!

Here are some detailed pointers:

  • The goal is to lay on your shoulders and hold your legs in front of you. Avoid the common mistake of putting to much pressure on your neck. There should no pressure at all there. The weight is on the shoulder blades
  • From there lift your feet up at a 45 degree angle and hold your legs straight in the air. 
  • If you can’t hold your legs straight yet, start with the tuck version of the movement where you bring your knees to your chest. From there focus on extending your knees little by little.
  • If you are more advanced, then lower your feet as much as you can and hold it...
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Love The Process

mindset Jul 24, 2023

Love The Process.

In a world that promotes instant gratification, pushes for short cuts and quick success, it's good to remember that hard work beats talent. 

Everyone is quick displaying skills and physiques that take years to achieve, so it's important to remember the effort it takes to accomplish certain things. 

Some may be faster than others, but real, tangible results can only be achieved with proper dedicated time. 

So don't believe the hype and the bullsh*t quick results that are being shown and sold on social media.

As an example, it took me 3+ years to get a clean muscle up, coming from the regular gym training at 10 “OK” pull ups. 

It took me 4 years to hold a front lever and a decent back lever. 

Took me 5 years to get an OK flag, more like 6 years to get it decent. 

I have been practicing handstands for 7+ years and am barely OK.

I'm still learning everyday.

Embrace the struggle, don't put a timeline on your goals, love the...

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Defy Physics: The Human Flag and its Ab-Sculpting Benefits

core human flag skills Jul 23, 2023

Defy Physics: The Human Flag and its Ab-Sculpting Benefits!

The Human Flag is a challenging calisthenics hold.

A full flag requires strong anti-rotation strength, which signals deep rooted and stable core muscles.

It also builds great physical, mental strength (patience, dedication, consistency) and mobility as we practice it.

Like handstands and other isometric poses, there are countless little things to adjust in order to hold a "clean" version of the humanflag. 

One of the most thing has to do with anti-rotation work during the hold, to prevent the hips and torso from pivoting upward. 

This bias naturally occurs since it is an "easier" way to hold the pose.

Here is a very simple and good way to train for anti-rotation to activate obliques and other useful muscle parts.

It’s called the “side way deadhang” hold from a high bar.

You would start in a normal dead hang, shrugged up (aka lats engaged) and straight legs, toes pointing down.

Hold the...

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Why You Need To Flex Your Ankles

lower body mobility Jul 21, 2023

Why You Need To Flex Your Ankles!

Flexing your ankles maters.

When you do a squat for example, "flexing your feet up" activates the whole posterior muscle chain in a very active and efficient way. It will help you fire your calves, hamstrings, glutes and back on each repetition.

Here is how to get started on better ankle dorsiflexion 

-Self myofascial release on the foam roller: Roll up and down your calf and Achilles’ tendon for 1 minute. Focus on tender spots for 15-20 sec when you hit some.

-Plantar muscle release: use a PVC or wood stick or ball to roll your feet. Step on it one foot at a time. Roll as needed. 

-Wall knee flexions: start in narrow lunge position with your front toes about 1 inch from the wall and aim to make contact with the wall with your knee while keeping your front heel anchored to the floor. 

If your front heel comes up then move your foot forward a bit and adjust the distance between your toes and the wall. If it feels to...

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Why You Should Flex Your Serratus Muscles

core workout tips Jul 21, 2023

Why You Should Flex Your Serratus Muscles!

Strong functional muscles play a major role in your overall progress, mobility and health.

A strong serratus muscle group is a key to thoracic mobility which turns into the ability to hold a proper hollow body position.

This will translate into good form in most calisthenics moves such as handstands, muscle ups, pull ups, push ups, dips, levers and more.

The muscle is divided into three named parts depending on their points of insertions: 

-the serratus anterior superior is inserted near the superior angle

-the serratus anterior intermediate is inserted along the medial border

-the serratus anterior inferior is inserted near the inferior angle.

All three parts described above pull the scapula forward around the thorax.  The muscle is an antagonist to the rhomboids. The inferior part can pull the lower end of the scapula laterally and forward and thus rotates the scapula to make...

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Prioritize Your Back Muscles

pull ups workout tips Jul 21, 2023

Prioritize Your Back Muscles!

The most important things are often the ones you can't see.

A common illusion was set by the over marketed fitness industry, letting most people wanting big chests, big biceps and square abs. All of these are fine, besides the fact that this needs to start with a shredded back.

Back muscles are usually underrated and underworked. However they are the most important muscle chain in the upper body.

Besides all the functional benefits from having a solid back (this would require an entire bio-mechanic blog post), this muscle chain is also in charge of keeping your spine happy, which holds your skull, which contains your brain. 

Needless to explain further why a strong back matters.

Here is how to make pull ups and pulling variations a staple component of your workout routines!

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