Lately, I've been getting into advanced calisthenics (body weight exercises like the front lever, planche, L-seat, human flag, handstand). Why? The competition Ninja Warrior. This TV show is centered around a ridiculous obstacle course and requires contestants overcome some seriously difficult obstacles, often while also hanging above the ground.
In 2011, Ninja Warrior made its way to the US. To get on the show American contestants had to demonstrate that they had enough physical strength and agility to make it through all 4 grueling stages. Some of the videos these contestants submitted would make even the most athletic person feel like a slouch.
So as I watched one submission video after another, my interest in advanced calisthenics was piqued. Since I usually only lift weights, I decided to try some of what I was seeing on the show. I started out trying the handstand and then moved on to the one-arm push-up, front and reverse levers, planche, and human flag. Although the training was (and still is) VERY difficult, it is also seriously fun!
Of course, I didn't have a clue how to do any of these exercises when I started my training. Because I don't believe in re-inventing the wheel, I started doing research for exercise tips. This is when I came across the exceptional Beast Skills website, which has several tutorials for the advanced calisthenic exercises I was attempting. Here is a list of a few of these tutorials:
- The Handstand
- The Muscle-Up
- The One-Arm Pull-Up
- The One-Arm Push-Up
- The Front Lever
- The Flag
- The L-Seat
The site also has videos of other exercises and a blog portion that discusses various fitness topics (one topic on his blog talks about training for some seriously crazy exercises like the 90-degree push-up).
I challenge you to go to the Beast Skills website and choose one of the exercises in the tutorials section to master. It doesn't matter that you can't do it now; take the time to train for it. Before you know it, you'll find yourself doing something that you may have thought impossible just a few months before. To me, that's the real fun of a good life-long exercise program.