Calisthenics – An Introduction from Motus Strength

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Calisthenics wasn’t something I had heard of before my friend told me about this event. And even though it’s still a word I have issues spelling, I now know what it is! Motus Strength were hosting an introductory class along with Motion Nutrition and Lululemon and I was very excited to try it out. I love trying new things!

Before I go any further, here is a definition of Calisthenics:

Calisthenics are in essence body-weight training exercises. They are intended to increase body strength, fitness, and flexibility, through movements such as pulling or pushing oneself up, bending, jumping, and using your body weight as resistance.

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I normally don’t write about warm-ups because they are all the same aren’t they? Wrong. In this case the warm up was all about getting your joints ready to move in certain directions rather than getting the heart rate up. Shoulders, elbows, wrists – all need to move in the correct way in order to prevent injury. This was very interesting since I never think of the rotation and flexibility of my elbows yet for calisthenics this is vitally important.

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This introductory session was split into four stations.

The first one was on parallel bars. This was the first station I was on and while I can lift my own body weight and pull myself out of a swimming pool or over a wall (all calisthenics) I had no idea what the proper form was. For instance, I almost never lock my elbows and almost always look down. In this session we learnt how important it is to make sure our elbows and arms are in a strong position at all time. And as we were told calisthenics is beautiful – our posture should be correct (so look up) and toes pointed.

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The second station was rings. You look at the trainers in Motus and the gymnasts on TV and while they don’t make it look easy I always thought I could do it. You know, because I am amazing. Wrong! There were elements I could do, like controlled pull ups using the rings, and elements I couldn’t, like actually lifting my body weight using the rings. I certainly did not look like the trainers!

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The third station was handstands and the one I was most looking forward too because handstands I can do. At least I thought I could! My handstands have no control and I can’t hold them. With calisthenics the aim is to have more control and more finesse.

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The fourth and final station worked on our cores strength and the perfect body shape and alignment we should have when trying any of these moves. The trainer spoke about the ‘hollow body position’ where your posture doesn’t hinder the work you’re doing.

I had such a brilliant time doing this and it really was a very good introduction into calisthenics. I have been trying very hard to improve my strength and while that’s all well and good, what I know now is how important it is to make sure that I go about doing this correctly, with the correct form.

Thank you very much Motus Strength and Motion Nutrition!

All images are courtesy of Motion Nutrition and Joseph Welstead – thank you very much for letting me use them!

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