The Big Three Exercises
If there were only 3 callisthenic exercises I could choose it would be the following:
-Handstand Shoulder Press
Both a mix of fun and functionality, I have found the handstand shoulder press is the key I have sought for the past year to bring my upper mid traps thickness out and deltoid growth! Not to mention all the stabiliser muscles start firing up, the triceps also get recruited. A great vertical plane push movement I couldn’t live without!
When it comes to legs, callisthenics in it’s most basic form sometimes just does not provide enough stimulation. I found box jumps and Bulgarian split squats to work sufficiently for a while, however outside of sprinting, nothing was giving me that feeling that I’d pushed it, until i started doing full range of motion pistol squats, after mastering all the progressions at a sensible rate, allowing all the smaller muscles, ligaments and tendons time to catch up and strengthen, I went into the final stage of pistol squats, and let me tell you, they are fantastic! The entire leg fires up and you feel like a beast pushing your entire weight with just one half of your lower body power!
Pull ups and dips only do it for a while, it’s great to go back to the basics once in a while, however muscle ups are the ultimate upper body explosive power movement, when you fly over the bar for the first time it feels magnificent. But that is only just the beginning, once you are able to slow the movement down, remove all kipping, it is a great sense of control and works both the chest/tri’s and back/bi’s/forearm muscles at the same time!!