World of Barefoot

8 September 2021

Get started in Calisthenics, with five essential tips

Get started in Calisthenics, with five essential tips

The chat at Vivo has been all about the amazing moves the calisthenics athletes pull out of the bag. But, how-on-earth – and WTAF? These people aren’t actual Marvel characters, even if their moves make it look like they might be. How do real-life humans get started?

Juan has been building his skills since he first joined Steel Warriors in 2020 – and now he’s creating a platform – Calliseum - for calisthenics athletes of all abilities to showcase their talent, skill and personality. We asked him to share five top tips to help people get started…

 

     1.Focus on one move at a time

It all starts with a specific goal. Calisthenics is a broad discipline covering strength and flexibility. Try and take it on all at once and you’ll get de-motivated. And you don’t want that! I started off keeping things clear and simple, focusing on one move at a time. It might be a pull up, or a push up. Breaking exercises down gives you a faster sense of achievement – then you build to the next level and more complex moves. My first big buzz was when I felt my balance for the first time in a handstand, after practicing for over 3 months.

 

     2.Calisthenics is not body building.

You’ll develop muscle – but mobility is vital and gives you strength that helps you move. 60-70% will focus on flexibility, this will stop you developing bad technique that’ll cause problems as you progress.  We break the body down into a ‘3 Body Chassis’. This is the shoulders, spine and hips. Stretch these areas thoroughly to keep yourself fluid and aimed squarely for the top of your game. My favourite move is definitely handstands, but my dream move is the Full Planche... which is my 2022 goal!

     3. Drill solid foundations.

Push ups, pull ups, dips, body weight rolls or plank… these are Calisthenics’ bread and butter. No one landed that flash move by skipping out of developing the basics. When drilling these foundations always look for balance – equal out pushing reps with pulling reps. Balance a plank with a back bridge, pulls up with dips – and so on. That way you’ll develop all round stamina and won’t overwork one muscle group.

 

     4.Developing complex calisthenics skills takes time

Give your body a break. Enjoy the ride and take your time. That’s why those small goals are so important. Listen to what your body is telling you and build a mind-body connection. No one trains when they’re injured, so listen out, respect your limits but know that you’ll overcome them by chipping away. A low point for me was getting a shoulder injury and not being able to train for 2 months. It was thanks to guys in the community like Christian Dippo, Kai Ried, Shaks, Mickey, Goku who encouraged me to work on other areas that I stayed motivated and recovered. They helped me push through the disappointment and keep going.

 

     5.Calisthenics is a community

We inspire, grow and support each other. Don’t forget - everyone started as a beginner. What’s the worst that can happen if you go to your local bar park? The scorn is in your head – you’ll likely meet cool people who have taken the same journey you’re on. My most memorable day was the last Calisseum event 27/08/21. We had a 15 year old pull off a trick that only 3 people in the UK can do. It sent a park of over 80 people into total eruption. The energy and absolute passion that we all felt was undeniable. At that moment I realised I am 100% in the right place in life. I felt so alive.

 

That’s it – still reading? Then you’ve already started! Get out there and connect.