Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Calisthenics

Calisthenics  [kal-uhs-then-iks]

1. (used with a pl. verb) Gymnastic exercises designed to develop muscular tone and promote physical well-being:

2. (used with a sing. verb) The practice or art of such exercises: 



Or what I affectionately call , the Nigger Workout.

Basically, the PT that we do at home or in the park are all calisthenics exercises. Calisthenics workout does not require and special equipments or weights. The only 2 pieces of equipment you might need would be the pull up bar and the dip bar. If those arent available, use you creativity to substitute this equipments.

People that always carry weights and hit the gym dont usually like the idea of just using bodyweight to workout. In the gym , you'll be able to see your weights increase or not. But for cali its not as tangible.
However calisthenics will build up your functional strength and your ability to control it.

This dude here only does calisthenics and look at how ripped and lean he is!

Why I love calisthenics exercises so much is because I dont have to hit the gym . I can do it at home since I have a pull up bar and have ample space at home to do push ups. Which Im sure everyone has that kind of space, even if you stay under the bridge or something. Your workout routines can also very fun to do with a bit of creativity.



The real basics would be push ups, pull ups, handstands,crunches , sit ups, v-ups the list goes on.
Sounds easy right? Of course it is! For me I have been doing it since I was a primary school kid.
If a primary school kid could do it so the you now can do it. 

Push ups
The normal push ups that we do is just the basic movement . The whole exercise is a very simple and stable one.

Instead of placing your feet on the floor, stick it to the wall instead. This removes the stability of the whole exercise and will give you a good core workout as well.
Personally, when I do push ups, I do it fast and explosive. Push yourself off the floor,  push the floor hard and explosively. This trains your explosive arm strength
Explosive power is stronger than brute strength, and for cheer you would need a lot of explosive strength.

Another fun push up exercise would be the tucked planche.

This exercise is slightly more advanced compare to the ones above.
Before try to do push ups in this position, try holding it in is proper form.
Locked out elbows, torso parallel to floor and knees tucked in tight.

Be creative, your hand placement while doing push ups will train different muscle groups.
Do it with one leg , or just one arm. Variate it . Remove the stability factor of this exercise, I promise you it would be one hell of an exercise.

Pull ups!
Pull ups is one of my favourite exercises, it is also a good gauge of how strong you are to your body weight.
Heavier people will always say this
 ' You so light of course can do more than me ma!'
They are not wrong, but they are not right either.
There are a lot of heavy people that can do many reps.
So weight isnt an excuse.

For pull ups there are 3 basic grips
  1. Overhand ( Palms facing out)
  2. Underhand ( Palms facing you)
  3. Neutral ( Palms facing each other)
Personally I prefer the overhand grip, because only the over hand grip can progress to a muscle up.
Which many people find impressive.

A normal pull up will just involve you pulling yourself up and many already find trouble doing it properly.
Do it everyday religiously, if you pray every night, go do pull ups before you pray or something.
I promise you, if you do it every single day , your reps will increase.
When you feel comfortable doing 10 today, do 11 the next, keep pushing your limits.
Someday 20 pull ups will feel like doing 20 push ups.

After you reach your desired rep, stop doing pull ups that reach your chin, that is for children.
Even babies can do that. Evidence below VVV



By now you should at least have some decent strength, make your pulls up faster, pull fast and hard.
Instead of your chin, pull to you chest. At least your nipples , unless your nipples are right at the top x.X
Just keep doing that , pull fast and make sure your chest passes the bar.
Your muscle ups will come, do the same thing and turn your elbows upwards and push it up
BAM! Your first muscle up!

Variate your pull ups as well, to work your core, hold a pike position and do you pull up.
If you got used to it , try alternating your legs .
Again be creative, the amount of variations is limitless..


Squats
Remember my previous post which mentioned squats?
Body weight squats are exactly the same. The form and execution is exactly the same. Just that there is no bar on you.
Go down slow and go up fast. Explosive squats is good for your toss and your jump.

If normal body weight squats are too easy. Try the pistol squat.


That is how it looks like, it is exactly the same as a normal body weight squat.
However, its executed with just one leg and the lack of stability will work your core as well.
Always remember that your knees should never cross your toes.


Abs
Everytime when you want to get your 6 pack the first thing that comes to your mind would be sit ups
Which is useless, a six pack is your diet not the exercise you do !
There are many many different exercises for abs .
My personal favourite is the Mason Twist.

Basically its just twisting you upper torso. Like this photo >>>
Do this for just one minute properly, your whole core would burn
So sit on the floor, lift your legs off the ground
and twist your upper body, thats how this exercise is done!


If you have a accessible pull up bar , do hanging leg lifts as well
Its similar to leg lifts lying on the floor but this would be a more comprehensive core workout.
Hang on the pull up bar, lift your legs up straight and touch the bar if possible.
Lower legs in a controlled manner.
If you cant lift it straight up, try with tucked in legs, it would be much easier!





At this point in time my sentences are not flowing properly already.
Calisthenics is just physics and utilizing your biomechanics to its fullest.
Think of your body as a lever.
So Work Done = Force X Distance from pivot
Force would be your weight, which the only way to increase would be to gain weight (WHICH IS HARD)
Extend  your body, straightening your legs, putting your arms over your head  etc
All of that would make your workout even more shiong
If you just started , start easy, get more basic strength before moving on to advance exercise.


Stumbled upon this video on youtube.
This is a YiRen from Rexas.
If another cheerleader can do it, so can you!


Mad Respect.

I hope you all find this post informative.
If you want to know more just come talk to me during training :)
I wont bite. ^^v

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