Calisthenics Exercises Encyclopedia

Ever wondered the different Calisthenics exercises existed? Cali-Fit has put together a complete list of heaps of movements to master so make sure you watch them all!

Calisthenics exercises are based around using your own body weight as resistance as opposed to just lifting big weights, so Calisthenics really does target the upper body, lower body and the core! giving you a full-body workout. 

Each exercise within Calisthenics whether it's basic or complex has its own progression so there's always a new challenge to conquer!

best upper body calisthenics  exercises

Muscle ups

Handstands

Push up progression

DIPS

Muscle ups

The Muscle-up is an advanced exercise within Calisthenics which involves the process of performing a chest to bar pull up that continues to raise the body over the bar in a dip like motion.

This exercise targets the Triceps, shoulders, back and chest making it a full upper body exercise. 

Follow the regressions below that will build the strength towards being able to achieve this movement.

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chest to bar pull ups

Chest to bar pullups are a variation of the strict pull up you typically see performed.

 

This time around you'll see that a chest to bar pull up is actually a lot harder to do and requires stronger upper body strength due to covering more of the body over the top of the bar.

 

Practising the chest to bar pull up brings you much closer to performing a full muscle-up as it builds the foundations towards brining the body fully over the bar. 

bar muscle up negetive

The negative muscle-up on the bar is the first step to developing the overall upper body strength of pulling the body over the bar.

Starting from the top of the bar allows you to do a number of full repetitions so that you can progress quicker towards coming from the ground up once your strength as increased.

Watch the video to see a demonstration of this exercise in half and full speed

bar muscle up negative level 2

The next thing you will work towards is a Negative muscle-up on the bar (level 2) which involves a similar style of bringing your bodyweight down under tension but actually brining yourself back up as apart of the repetition. This exercise brings you even closer to performing a full muscle up as you begin to develop the strength in your shoulders and triceps. 

handstands

Handstands are one of our most sought after skills, it requires balance, shoulder strength, core and coordination. It is a skill that anyone can start with especially beginners. 

 

To master this skill it is encouraged to start with wall handstands either by walking up the wall or kicking onto the wall whichever is more comfortable, engaging the core and glutes, opening the shoulders, pushing through the palms with straight arms and holding this position for 30 to 45s. 

This skill will improve wrist and shoulder strength, and teach the body balance. For beginners it is recommended to only practice this skill twice a week to avoid wrist strain and pain

Check out this video by Chris Heria explaining the steps required to achieving a full Handstand!

push ups

By far the most recognisable Calisthenics exercise the Push-up can be trained at all level of experience. Push-ups aren’t just great for high intensity and aren’t just used for maximum reps, the push-up can actually be scaled up into very challenging and targetted progressions for advanced strength building. The superman push-up and handstand push-up are just two of the huge number of ways this exercise can be upgraded for bigger and stronger triceps, chest and shoulders.

Check out this video by Vikas Choudhary demonstating how to do a superman push up

dips

Dips are an upper-body compound exercise which targets the shoulders, chest and triceps.

 

Within Calisthenics dips are a great way to form a solid foundation for other upper body exercises as dips themselves give you the upper body strength to move from one exercise to another.

 

At Cali-fit we have 4 types of dips from beginner level to advanced and below we show you the types of progressions used for Calisthenics.

straight bar dips

Straight bar dips are the first step to building the upper body strength for people who aren't quite ready yet to do full dips.

They are the most simple form of Dips as they allow you to have the stability of having both arms on the same bar and will build your stabilizers for when you're ready to go to Dips on the parallel bar. 

Watch the video to see Straight bar dips in full and half speed!

Also keep in mind that this exercise is used to develop the upper body strength for a Muscle up!

full bodyweight dips with parallel bar

Once you've developed the upper body strength from straight bar dips, chances are you're ready to take on full-body dips with the parallel bars!

 

Watch the video to see a full demonstration of how they work in half and full speed!

ring dips

Ring Dips are the next stage in the Dips progression faze with Cali fit. Once you've built up your upper body strength and your stabilizers you'll be challenged with overcoming Ring Dips which really put a challenge on your whole upper body but a little bit of core to keep your body still while performing the movement.

Once again this builds the foundations for other upper body Caslisthenics exercises including the muscle-up.

archer straight bar dips

Archer bar straight dips are the final progression at Cali Fit for dips.

Even though this Calisthenics exercise is done on a straight bar, you can see the difficulty in transitioning ones entire bodyweight from one side to another and makes this the reason its the final progression at Cali-Fit.

Watch the video to see this Calisthenics exercise in half and full speed.

best lower BODY CALISTHENICS EXERCISES

Pistol squats

body weight squats

Bulgarian split squats

box jumps

pistol squats

Unique callisthenics exercise also known as one-leg squat. This exercise builds focused strength into each leg and also helps teach balance. We use bands and rings when we learn the squat and eventually move to free pistol squats then weighted. Suitable for all levels and quite rewarding.

Check out this video by squat university explaining the progressions towards developing a good pistol squat!

body weight squats

A classic bodyweight movement designed to build strength and muscle in the legs. Great for all levels with progressions including weighted squats and jump squats.

Bulgarian split squats

Incredibly effective lower body exercises. This exercise aids in building balance and also isolating strength building of each leg. It can be done bodyweight to start with and increase with weight as they become easier.

box jumps

A critical exercise to building explosive strength and improving jump height.

 

This exercise is great for all levels of fitness and builds rapid leg strength when performed regularly.

upper body and core calisthenics exercises

Front lever

back lever

l sit

front lever

Great for back and shoulder strength. This exercise is quite advanced and highly sort after.  Beginners would usually start with a candlestick or tuck front lever progression.

  

we aim for holds up to 30 seconds once this is achieved we can move up to the next progression.

back lever

Back Lever is a difficult exercise but it can be trained at any level.

 

Beginners would usually start with a candlestick or tuck back lever progression. This Upperbody exercise builds strength in our Back, Core, Shoulders and Chest we aim for holds up to 30 seconds once this is achieved we can move up to the next progression.

l sit

A more difficult core exercises. These are perfect to build core strength quickly and can be added to a variety of bar and Parallette bar exercises such as L-Sit Pull-ups or Dip + L-Sit.

 

For beginners, it is recommended starting with feet on the ground, arms by the side and hips sitting dar back until you can feel the legs stretched and the stomach muscles engaging. We aim for 30s Holds

Check out this video by Tappbrothers demonstrating the L sit and it's progressions

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