With the growing fitness hype trending towards bodyweight training, many people are exploring calisthenics and street workout related exercises as a supplement or substitute to their personal workouts. Most beginners find these movements rather challenging due to a lack of joint stability and upper body strength.
Growing populations of fitness enthusiasts have found street workout inspiration on Instagram or YouTube but often the videos they discover only display the difficult dynamic movements such as muscle ups, or static movements such as front levers and planches. These exercises require a tremendous amount of strength and stability, making them near impossible to perform for novices.
An important component of these bodyweight movements is “muscle memory”, which roughly means, that to master the exercise you have to practice the movements numerous times and lock in the correct form. This is quite difficult, especially if you are unable to do a single rep!
So how do we learn these advanced exercises?
To perform a muscle-up, you must be able to do a pull up and a straight bar dip. To do a pull up, you must be able to hang on the bar motionless for at least 10 consecutive seconds. There is a clear progression ladder for each movement, so you will need to perform “A” before moving on to “B” and so on.
The most efficient tool for rapid advancements in strength and making gradual improvements in technique for these movements is the bodyweight training resistance band.
Exercise resistance bands offer a significant advantage compared to training with only your bodyweight; you are able to remove “x” amount of pounds [or kg] from your own body weight, while still performing the same core movements. This in turn means, that you will teach your neuromuscular system the correct body mechanics and which muscles to activate during the movement progressions.
Lets break down the muscle up:
You will have to perform an explosive pull up to hoist your bodyweight up and around the bar into the transition phase. The transition phase is the crucial [and most challenging] point where you advance from the top of the pull up to the bottom of the dip. In order to nail this part, you must get your shoulders over the bar so you have leverage to push yourself up through the top of the muscle up.
Our calisthenics resistance bands are helpful for navigating you from the pullup through the transition phase by providing elastic assistance during the pull up as you ascend up and over the bar. The bands should help you perform multiple reps, thus helping you lock in you muscle memory quicker.
The journey towards mastering the calisthenics and bodyweight movements is long; fortunately it's fun as well and keeps you humble. Many of our competing athletes will attest that resistance bands were/are perhaps their most useful tool for the as they accelerate along their calisthenics journey. There are nearly endless ways to use bands to ramp training gains. Check out our exercise library for a closer look.
Enjoy the training and good luck in your calisthenics journey. Click here to snag your personal set of calisthenics bands.
*This article was written by @henrik_deleuran. Henrik is a master personal trainer who travels internationally offering seminars and health workshops on lifestyle interventions, diet planning, fitness, and anatomy and physiology. Check out his Instagram for more information.