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7 steps to structure your calisthenics workout

Updated: Aug 19, 2022

How to structure your training

Three-Part System

  • Strength

  • Mobility

  • Athleticism/ Explosiveness

Make sure your workout incorporates total body to keep balanced functionality for longevity, a balanced physique and performance balance. You can either train total body workouts daily or use splits (Training one or a few different body parts/sections on different days of the week).

7 step Process to your workout

1. Blueprint

Create a daily blueprint for your training which includes the exercises you will do for the day, what order you will complete these exercises and how many sets and reps you plan to perform on a given day. These exercises should align with your greater goals.

Eg. If you want to lean the handstand, you have a specific section of your training that includes Handstand progressions.

2. Warm Up

A warm up to get the blood flowing is a mandatory to calisthenics or athletic training. We don’t want to train cold or stiff. Injury prevention should be a top priority while training. Siets have shown that warming up significantly lowers injury risk.

Warm up example: 10 min of Jump rope (2 min intervals)

3. Active stretching

Active stretching is another injury prevention method that should be implemented in all training systems. Active stretching is not what you typically think about when you think of stretching. The purpose of active stretching is to warm up the joints so they are ready to be worked during your resistance training session.

Active stretching examples: 5 min of shoulder rotations and 5 min of leg swings

4. Skill training

Skills are typically our main calisthenics goals. If you are athletic training your goal could be to achieve a 40-inch vertical leap. This could be considered a skill as well. We should train the most difficult progression of the skill on the front end of our workout in order to ensure performing the best possible sets.

We need to devote the most time and energy to skill/goal training. Training the skill movement (eg. font lever) or skill progression (eg. tuck front lever raises) should take up half of our training time.

Skill training example: Handstand training

Exercises: Wall handstand holds and Pike Push Ups

5. Most difficult compound movements/ explosive movements

Most calisthenics programs have an element of reps and sets and most athletic training has a similar dynamic with exercises that are more hypertrophy style sets. (eg. Muscle Ups and Explosive lunges) Both calisthenics and plyometrics is dominated by compound movements that work multiple muscle groups at once.

Exercise Example: Pull-ups (5 sets of 10) and Box jumps (5 sets of 8)

6. Easier compound movements

The back end of your workout should consist of mostly stabilizer, and balance movements that are done to balance out functionality or physique. These movements typically require less effort but can be key in injury prevention or simply to make sure one aspect of our physique doesn’t look overly dominant.

Exercise example: Glute bridges or bicep curls

Isometric holds are also a great finisher exercise

7. Mobility

Mobility work is the most underrated and underperformed aspect of most athletes' training systems. Not only will mobility work (static stretching) increase longevity, but it can also increase athletic performance by giving us more range of motion in our joints and being able to contort our bodies into positions only reached by pushing the limits with post-workout stretching.

Custom Programs

If you need help structuring your calisthenics workouts you can purchase a custom12 week program here:

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