calisthenics, Muscle Building, workout

Beyond the Basics: 5 Advanced Calisthenics Movements You Need to Try

Advanced Calisthenics

If you’ve already mastered the basics of calisthenics, such as push-ups, pull-ups, and squats, it may be time to challenge yourself with some more advanced Calisthenics movements. Here are five advanced calisthenics movements that you should try:

1. Muscle-Ups:

This advanced Calisthenics movement combines a pull-up and a dip, and requires a great deal of upper body strength and coordination. Start by doing a pull-up, then use the momentum to transition into a dip, finishing with your arms fully extended above the bar.

Here’s how to progress towards achieving a muscle-up:

a. Pull-Up Mastery:

Strengthen your pulling muscles by focusing on variations of pull-ups, such as wide grip, close grip, and commando pull-ups. Gradually increase the number of reps and improve your form and control throughout each movement.

b. Transition Training:

Practice the transition from the top position of the pull-up to the dip by utilizing resistance bands or assistance. This phase helps you develop the necessary coordination and muscle engagement to smoothly transition through the muscle-up movement.

c. Dip Strength:

Strengthen your triceps, chest, and shoulders by performing dips with proper form. Incorporate variations like deep dips, ring dips, or weighted dips to progressively build the necessary upper body strength.

d. Muscle-Up Progressions:

Begin practicing the muscle-up movement using a low bar or a set of rings. Start by focusing on the pulling motion, pulling yourself as high as possible while keeping your elbows close to your body. Gradually work on transitioning into the dip portion of the movement.

e. Full Muscle-Ups:

With consistent practice, gradually integrate the pull-up and dip into one fluid movement, performing the complete muscle-up. Strive for controlled and smooth execution, emphasizing proper technique and engaging the necessary muscle groups throughout the entire movement.

2. One-Arm Push-Up:

The one-arm push-up is an excellent exercise to develop unilateral upper body strength, targeting the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core. To work towards performing a one-arm push-up:

a. Push-Up Progression:

Master the standard push-up with perfect form, ensuring proper hand placement and alignment. Gradually increase the difficulty by progressing to decline push-ups or diamond push-ups.

b. Uneven Push-Ups:

Introduce uneven push-ups by placing one hand on an elevated surface, such as a yoga block or a medicine ball. This exercise helps to shift more weight onto one arm, preparing you for the one-arm push-up.

c. Assisted One-Arm Push-Up:

Use a resistance band or a suspension trainer to assist with the one-arm push-up. This allows you to gradually reduce the assistance as you gain strength and stability.

d. One-Arm Negative Push-Ups:

Focus on the eccentric portion of the movement by performing controlled negative one-arm push-ups. Lower yourself down slowly with one arm while maintaining proper alignment and stability.

e. Full One-Arm Push-Up:

With consistent practice and progressive overload, work towards performing the full one-arm push-up. Maintain proper form, engage your core, and ensure balanced shoulder and chest activation.

3. Pistol Squats:

This is a one-legged squat that requires a great deal of leg strength and balance. The pistol squat is an advanced bodyweight exercise that targets the leg muscles, particularly the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, while also challenging balance and stability. Follow these steps to progress towards a pistol squat:

a. Assisted Pistol Squats:

Begin by practicing assisted pistol squats using a chair or a box for support. Lower yourself down with one leg while the other leg is extended forward, gradually increasing the depth of the squat as you gain strength and control.

b. Balance and Stability:

Work on improving balance and stability by incorporating single-leg exercises like single-leg deadlifts, Bulgarian split squats, or lunges. These exercises help strengthen the stabilizing muscles and improve your overall pistol squat performance.

c. Controlled Negatives:

Focus on the eccentric portion of the pistol squat by performing controlled negatives. Lower yourself down slowly with one leg while maintaining balance and stability throughout the movement.

d. Full Pistol Squat:

Progress towards performing the full pistol squat, lowering yourself down and standing back up with control and stability on one leg. Maintain proper alignment, engage your core, and ensure equal weight distribution between your heel and midfoot.

4. Front Lever:

This is an advanced static hold that requires a great deal of upper body and core strength. Begin by hanging from a bar with your palms facing down, then lift your legs and torso until your body is horizontal and parallel to the ground. It involves suspending your body horizontally while gripping a bar, keeping it parallel to the ground. To progress towards a front lever, follow these steps for advanced Calisthenics:

a. Core and Scapula Strength:

Strengthen your core muscles and scapular stabilizers through exercises like hanging leg raises, L-sit holds, and scapula pull-ups. These exercises will improve your core stability and upper body strength, which are crucial for the front lever.

b. Tuck Front Lever:

Begin by practicing the tuck front lever, where you tuck your knees to your chest while maintaining a horizontal body position. Focus on engaging your core, lats, and scapular muscles to hold the position.

c. Advanced Progressions:

As you build strength and control, progress to the straddle front lever, where your legs are extended in a V-shape position. Eventually, work towards achieving the full front lever, maintaining a straight body position parallel to the ground.

5. Planche:

This is another advanced static hold that requires a great deal of upper body and core strength, as well as good balance and control. Begin in a push-up position, then slowly shift your weight forward until your feet lift off the ground and your body is parallel to the ground.

The planche is a static hold where the body is suspended horizontally while the hands are planted on the ground, supporting the entire body weight. This exercise primarily targets the shoulders, chest, triceps, and core. Mastering the planche requires a systematic approach and consistent training. Here’s how to progress towards achieving the planche:

a. Developing Upper Body and Core Strength:

Before attempting the planche, it is crucial to build a solid foundation of upper body and core strength. Focus on exercises like push-ups, dips, handstand push-ups, and core-strengthening exercises such as planks and hollow holds.

b. Tuck Planche:

Begin with the tuck planche, where you support your body weight on your hands while keeping your hips and knees bent and tucked towards your chest. This variation reduces the leverage and intensity compared to the full planche, allowing you to develop the necessary strength and control.

c. Advanced Tuck Planche:

As you become comfortable with the tuck planche, progress towards an advanced tuck planche. In this variation, strive to straighten your legs and extend them behind you while maintaining the tucked position of your hips and knees.

d. Straddle Planche:

Next, work on the straddle planche, where you open your legs into a wide “V” shape while maintaining the planche position. This variation increases the demand on your core and shoulders, further developing your strength and stability.

e. Full Planche:

With consistent training and progression, aim to achieve the full planche position. In the full planche, your body is parallel to the ground, supported solely by your hands, while maintaining a straight body line from head to toe. Focus on maintaining tension throughout your entire body and engaging your core and shoulder muscles to achieve stability.Advanced Calisthenics

Planche Progression Exercises:

To support your planche training and enhance your strength and control, incorporate the following exercises into your routine:

a. Planche Leans:

Practice planche leans by gradually shifting your body weight forward while in a push-up position, with your hands slightly beyond your shoulders. This exercise helps strengthen the relevant muscles and teaches your body to distribute weight effectively.

b. Pseudo Planche Push-Ups:

Perform pseudo planche push-ups by shifting your body weight forward, positioning your hands closer to your hips, and maintaining a forward lean. This exercise builds shoulder and core strength and helps you develop the necessary stability for the planche.

c. Planche Negatives:

Focus on planche negatives, where you slowly lower yourself from the tuck planche or advanced tuck planche position to the ground. This eccentric movement helps strengthen the muscles required for the planche while improving control and body awareness.

d. Planche Holds:

Incorporate planche holds into your training routine. Start with shorter holds and gradually increase the duration as you build strength and stability. Focus on maintaining a proper body position and engaging the relevant muscle groups.

e. Scapula and Core Strengthening:

Strengthen your scapular muscles and core through exercises like scapular push-ups, scapular shrugs, and core stabilization exercises. A strong and stable core and scapula are essential for maintaining the planche position.


These advanced calisthenics movements require a great deal of practice and dedication to master. Begin by practicing the progressions for each movement and gradually work your way up to the full movement. Remember to always prioritize proper form and technique to prevent injury and maximize your results.

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