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Calisthenics Training: Full Body Fitness Part 1

Calisthenics Training: Full Body Fitness Part 1

by Reko Rivera

No, it’s not called calAESTHETICS, but you will be LOOKING GOOD if your workout program involves some good old fashioned callisthenic body weight training!  

Gymnasts, wrestlers, and break dancers are all masters of their body. Their muscles and tendons are strong, which in turn will make their mental game strong! The same type of workouts these guys and girls do are some of the same things I do to prepare my body for any obstacle race I come across. 

Pushing and pulling.
Pushing exercises are just as important as pulling exercises. Variations of push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups are the best kind of Callisthenic workouts you can do! If you don’t push equally to your pull you can develop what is known as muscle imbalances.  

Muscle imbalances occur when one muscle is stronger than its opposing muscle. For example, if you sit all day at a computer or overwork your ‘show’ muscles (chest and abs), your shoulders are most likely pulled forward making a strength imbalance between the front and back of your body. 

First, work on your push-up form. The proper traditional push-up form should have arms a little wider than shoulder length apart with your palms in line with your chest with starting position in the same angle as a plank. Your back should be straight all the way down to your feet and do not life your butt in the air.

You want a nice straight line engaging your core. Then you will lower yourself to the ground, preferably touching your chest to the ground. If you only go half way then you are cheating yourself out of a workout! You already showed up to the gym now you might as well workout correctly!

For beginners, if you can’t do a single push up in a plank position you can start on your knees. You just want to activate the muscles and tendons that you may not have used in years, safely. 

Remember quality over quantity! Full extension, all the way down all the way up.  If you aren’t focused on form, your workouts can be a complete waste and even worse, could trigger an injury! For push-ups I like to do the following pyramid routine: 

  • 50 Push-Ups  
  • Rest for two minutes 
  • 40 Push-Ups 
  • Rest 
  • 30 Push-Ups
  • Rest 
  • 30 Push-Ups 

Sometimes, I will start with 30 and go in reverse to 50 from there to switch it up. If you are just starting out you could always start with smaller amounts and build up to it. For example, you could start with 5, 10, 15, 20 and then increase the reps once it starts to get easier.

Find what is comfortable for you and push a little bit past that comfort level to get to the next level! You will see with in a week or two your numbers start to grow and you will be feeling stronger everyday which in turn will make the rest of your workouts even better!   

This is just part 1 of a series of Callisthenic workouts I will be sharing with you, so I encourage you to get out there, get started, and don’t wait for tomorrow! Today is the day that could change your life forever!