Man showing calisthenics skills

Have you always dreamt of being able to do all the crazy calisthenics skills? Getting strong with calisthenics and being able to hard exercises like one arm pushups, human flag or planche is not easy, but possible. It requires discipline , proper technique and patience to maximize results and avoid injury. If you want to avoid mistakes and get the most out of your training, you must follow these 5 rules to master calisthenics.

1st rule to master calisthenics: Choose the right progression

Man showing the right progression calisthenics

If you want to increase your strength, you shouldn’t use a progression that’s too hard or too easy. For example: If you want to learn one-arm pushups, it’s almost pointless to increase your regular pushups fruther and further. Believe it or not, but it makes significant difference whether you can do 30 or 50 regular pushups if you want to learn the one arm pushup. The right option would be to integrate a more difficult version of the regular pushup that is still easier than the one-arm pushup.

In this case, you could try side to side or archer pushups. It’s the same thing when it comes to skills like the Front Lever or Planche. It’s almost useless for your strength development if you can’t hoild these skills with good shape for just a few seconds. So start with easier progressions and once you’re comfortbale with them make them harder step by step. For Example: Tucked Frontlever -> Advanced Tucked Frontlever -> One Leg Frontlever -> Straddle Frontlever -> Full Frontlever (easy to hard).

2nd rule to master calisthenics: Rest longer

Man resting during workout to master calisthenics

The second rule is to choose longer rest periods between sets. If you train for strength, you have to choose longer rest times. This can be very boring, but it works. If the exercise is really difficult and you can only do 3-5 reps (dynamic exercise) or just hold it for 10-15 seconds (static exercise) choose a rest time of 3-5 minutes between the sets.

3rd rule to master calisthenics: Focus on your goals

  • Points of a bad program for your workout
  • Points of a good program to master calisthenics

This means that you should choose the correct selection of exercises. Variation is key, but at the same time you should structure your training sessions according to your main goal. Lets’s say you want to design a workout session just for the Planche. In this case you choose your current static planche progression and simply hold it (15-25 seconds for 5 sets with 3-4 minutes rest in between) Of course, you can vary your Planche workout from time to time, as long if the movement and the used muscles are very similar. So in one workout you just do a static planche progression (Tucked Planche Hold), and in the next one you choose a dynamic variation (Tucked Planche Press). Of course it is also possible to add some support exercises after the Planche training, but make sure they will help you with your main goal instead of focusing on totally different abilities.

4th rule to master calisthenics: Structure your workout correctly

Man training with a structure to master calisthenics

If you train for strength or skills, avoid any kind of circuit training and focus on strict sets. Circuit training is not optimal because you constantly switch between the exercise. So instead of focusing of the hardest movement and finish all of its sets first, you waste a lot of strength and energy on other exercises that are probably easier to do and even hit total different muscles. Here’s an example how you should not to do it. 1. Muscle Ups – 1 set 2. Dips – 1 set 3.Pull ups – 1 set 4. Push ups – 1 set 5. Body Rows – 1 set. Repeat this circuit 3-5 times. Rember we’re talking just about skills and Max. strength training. A circuit is still a valid training method if you train for strength endurance or just want to get a quick workout done with basic excercises.

The best way to train for skills and Max. strength would look like this: 1. Muscle Ups for 5 sets 2. Dips for 5 sets 3. Pull Ups for 5 sets 4. Push ups for 3 sets 5. Body Rows for 3 sets. Here you can put all your focus and strength into the most difficult exercise at the beginning (Muscle ups) and continue your training with the easier ones.

5th rule to master calisthenics: Be consistent

Man training with consistency in calisthenics

Skill training can get pretty boring over time, but to get better, you have to train repeatedly. It’s also very likely that you hit a plateau and stay on a similar level for quite some time. Don’t worry, this is quite normal and is part of the Calisthenics journey. Remember: Workout Progress is not linear and sometimes it can take months to reach the next step.

If you want more than these 5 rules to master calisthenics and need a well-structured routine for a full-body workout, visit our website and our training programs.

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