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Calisthenics Workouts with Local Star Athlete Avern Montaque

Calisthenics is defined as a gymnastics exercise that helps you achieve your fitness goals with graceful movements.

Story by Kimberly Lawson + Photography by Mike Ritterbeck

When doing calisthenics, you use your body weight to help build stronger muscles, which means you can get a high-quality workout without using any expensive gym equipment.

It is likely that you have performed calisthenics in the past and didn’t realize it until now. You can classify everything from jumping jacks to sit-ups and push-ups as this form of exercise. When you practice calisthenics training, you are helping to promote healthy lean muscle mass while also improving the strength, flexibility, and mobility of your entire body. Calisthenics can also build your endurance; therefore, it could be useful to try a few squats or push-ups before you start your cardiovascular or weight-lifting workout.

Is a Calisthenics Workout Right for Me?

If you seem never to have time to work out, then calisthenics are a great choice for you. It only takes a few minutes to complete a set, and since there is no equipment involved, you can perform these exercises practically anywhere.

If you want to tone your muscles and increase your overall body strength, you should give these 10 calisthenics workouts a try.

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1. Pistol Squat This lower-body exercise, an advanced version of the classic squat, is a great exercise for seasoned athletes and those who have already mastered squats in their workout routine. To perform this exercise, stand with one leg off to the side. Extend your arms in front of you, and slowly lower to a squatting position as your opposite leg drops below your squatting leg. As your extended leg hangs down, it provides you with more leverage to fully complete the squat. You should stay in the squatting position for five to 10 seconds, and then switch legs.

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2. Superman Push-Up This advanced variation of the classic push-up is an upper-body exercise that requires plenty of strength. It could be one of the most difficult push-ups to complete, but the results can be outstanding. To perform a Superman push-up, start at the top of the regular push-up position, with your hands at shoulder width. Lower your body and push upward, throwing your hands forward as if you were flying. As your arms are up in the air, pull up your legs at the same time so that your body is airborne and parallel to the ground below. Before trying out this type of exercise, you may want to start by achieving the clapping push-up.

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3. Clapping Push-Up The clapping push-up is a variation of the standard push-up. While it can help you to develop strength, it can be quite challenging to perform, and incorrect execution can result in injury. To complete, you need to start in a standard push-up position with the body firmly locked into place. Lower your body until your chest is almost touching the floor. Then push forcefully through the palms of your hands, as though you are trying to push up into a standing position. Keep your force consistent with each rep. Allow your hands to leave the floor just as they reach full extension and clap. The timing is crucial, and if you time it right, you should feel like you are floating in mid-air for a moment.

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4. Side Plank Side planking, although often overlooked, is one of the best exercises for your abs. Start out on your side with your feet together and one forearm right below your shoulder. Contract your core muscles and raise your hips up until your body is in a straight line. Hold that position without allowing your hips to drop for an allotted time. Then repeat on the other side.

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5. Jumping Jacks Jumping jacks are a basic exercise that you probably learned to do in elementary school, and they’re also great for your heart and lungs. If it’s been a while since you’ve performed a proper jumping jack, stand up straight and relax your shoulders. Keep the natural curve of your neck by relaxing your jaw. Hold your arms to your sides and feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees slightly and then jump with your arms extended overhead and your legs open wide. Relax your joints throughout the movement for best results.

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6. Classic Squats There are a few different ways to perform the traditional squat. The most basic instructions are to stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your toes pointed outward. Bend your knees and lower your hips as though you are sitting down. Then, lower your hips until you are at a 90-degree angle at the knee. Keep your shins vertical and your knees aligned above your feet. Contract your abdominal muscles and push your body weight down into your heels. Push back up lifting your hips up and forward as you go, making sure you aren’t curving your spine.

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7. Step-Ups Step-ups are the perfect exercise to help you tone and strengthen your glutes. To do this, place your right foot on a bench or chair. Press through your right heel as you step onto the platform with your left foot. Return to the starting position by stepping down with only your right foot, and then your left. Complete this for 15 reps, starting with the left foot, then again for 15 reps starting with the right.

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8. Wall-Sits Wall-sits are another good move for building your glutes. Stand with your back flat against the wall and your feet shoulder width apart, about 2 feet from the wall. Slide your back down the wall and bend your legs until they are at a 90-degree angle. Your knees should be right above your ankles. Hold your position while you contract your abs. Stand back up slowly while leaning against the wall the entire time.

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9. Sit-Ups Sit-ups, also known as curl-ups, are another popular exercise that many people don’t realize are calisthenic. To perform a proper sit-up, lie on your back with your arms crossed on your chest. Keeping your knees bent slightly, raise your upper body off the floor. Touch your elbows to your thighs and repeat. You may need to have someone hold your feet down for you while doing this exercise.

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10. Jump on Box Box jumps are an impressive way to help you build up your muscles. To complete, you will need to stand in position with your feet shoulder width apart while you are at a comfortable distance away from the box. Drop quickly into a quarter squat and then jump; extend your hips, swing your arms, and push your feet through to the floor as you jump onto the box.

 

 

 

 


The right tools for the job.

1. Barbell An essential piece of equipment for strengthening that allows you to add weightedplates to build strength. 2. Medicine ball This is an extremely versatile piece of equipment that allows you to add difficulty to various exercises. 3. PLYO/Jump BoxThese vary in height which allows you to gradually increase the difficulty.