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Calisthenics! The Basic Progressions

So what are calisthenics?  Well, the word originates from the Greek words, “kallos”, which means “beauty”, and “sthenos” which refers to “strength”. In the past, back in the ancient Greek and Roman times, the athletes trained their body through body weight training to develop proper strength, flexibility, and stamina. The Greeks stated that the practice of calisthenics would develop physique to the maximum natural potential and in perfect proportion with natural aesthetics. They knew this type of training would make them powerful enough for battle against the Romans despite the lack equipment.


Nowadays, our battle is against ourselves. If we can train our bodies to push the limits against of our physical limitations and gravity, we can achieve the most natural strength, mobility, balance, body coordination and mind muscle connection there is. 


Some basic fundamental movements for calisthenics are known as push ups, squats, dips, and sit ups. These are the primary bodyweight movements to build overall strength, mobility and balance for our body naturally without any source of equipment. With constant repetitions of these movements, we will continue to progress and improve our technique to advance to better strength. 


Today I will provide you some exercises that will help you progress from beginner to intermediate. The exercises along with the progressions and regressions are listed below. 


Push Ups (Regular)

Regression: Knee Push Ups

Progression: Diamond Push Ups 


Squats (Body Weight)

Regression: Box Squats/ Half Squats

Progression: Jump Squats



Regression: Dips (Gripping on a bench)

Progression: Knee Tucked Dips


Sit Ups

Regression: Crunches 

Progression: Sit Ups to Boat Hold


These exercises will help train the body to build the overall strength and balance to handle the resistance your body weight provides. I recommend choosing one exercise of each of the 4 categories to add to your workout to help you build better overall strength, mobility, balance and coordination. 

Stay Strong and I will see you next time.

  • Trainer Keric