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Mon, May 13, 2019 | Uncategorized

Top 10 Calisthenics Tips from Coach Quinny

Here are top 10 calisthenics tips from the master himself, Coach Quinny!

  1. Stretch your wrists. Learning an effective wrist prep routine and doing it before any session will go a long way to reducing injuries.

  2. Constantly try to Improve the ‘basics’ such chins and press ups. These are your building blocks. Building strength and skill here will transfer into so many other exercises.

  3. Learn to use drop-sets and TUT (Time under tension) effectively. Having more variables or training styles will mean more things to tweak and tune to help progressions and reduce the chance of stagnation.

  4. Work on straight arm strength. Most haven’t emphasised this style with ‘normal’ training backgrounds. Years spent doing lots of upper body isolation exercises (potentially coupled with poor technique) will not transfer too well into the demands of straight arm exercises such as handstands, levers and planche. Having well developed scapular control, mobility and strength is a must for continued progression in calisthenics and will also serve as a great base for all upper body training. This is another reason we include exercises that utilise this into our other Workouts at Starks. Deadlifts, Overhead Squats, Turkish Get-Ups and certain carries – all help build this important area.

  5. Place volume and focus on structural balance and Prehab. Lots of handstands means lots of shoulder protraction and elevation amongst other things. Add in plenty of horizontal rowing emphasising scapular retraction. We are not bulletproof, so spending some time on prehab exercises at the start and end of sessions will pay off in the long run, i promise! Search or ask others what sort of injuries are often caused by Calisthenics and get into a habit of doing things to help before you actually get injured. Most of the popular Cali moves take a lot of repetition and practice so can exacerbate existing weak points or previous injuries.

  6. Do Flexibility drills in your rest periods. Make them specific, measurable and progressive. The key here is to simply increase range and then strengthen the muscles within this new range. Trying to reduce the difference between passive(relaxed) and active (contracted) range will help to reduce injuries and unlock harder exercises.

  7. Document your progress. Use a training diary and videos/photos and keep an account of important milestones such as your first 10 second handstand or first full range German Hang. This will help with goal setting and remind you just how far you have progressed!

  8. Periodise your training. Emphasise different areas or specific skills. The main thing that brings me joy when coaching Cali is just how excited and determined clients get when they reach a milestone or simply realise how much they enjoy it! We all want to be good at every aspect now! Once some basic levels are achieved its a good idea to periodise and focus on improving one two areas. Once you have progressed, choose another one or two areas whilst trying to maintain what you have achieved previously. Cycling your focus in this manner will help you set goals and actually get faster results.

  9. Practice. Practice. Practice. If Cali is high on your priority within your goal setting then your weekly training volume needs to align with this. If for example the handstand is your main goal you need to ensure you program in a lot of handstand training! it sounds simple but i have found a lot of clients wish to improve it but only train it once or twice a week. Try substituting other upper body pushing movements out for handstand work or schedule in pure handstand sessions in around other sessions. Finding an extra 30 mins a couple of times a week to purely focus on handstands could be the plateu breaker that gets your first 10 second handstand or pushes your consistency to a higher level.

  10. Help and support each other and most importantly have fun!

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