While doing my online research I ran across an amazing video which led me to a movement I didn’t even know existed. My father was a gymnast when he was younger. I have seen pictures of him from back in the day and I have to say I was really impressed. Being a gymnast, he really didn’t have to lift weights. He would always mention the term calisthenics. I would just picture a group of people doing jumping jacks and roll my eyes. Boy was I wrong. There is a reason gymnasts look the way they do using nothing but their own body weight. Calisthenics is really hard! I thought I was pretty good at push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups. Then I watched Al Kavadlo and a guy they call Hannibal and I was definitely humbled.
Al K has a video where he does a dead hang one arm chin up. (Seen above) How hard can that be? Right! I tried. I thought I was going to pull my arm off just hanging there. And Hannibal!! Just watch his video. (Turn the sound down if kids are in the room as there is some offensive music in the background). His strength is unbelievable. This just goes to show that you can get really fit and REALLY strong using your body and a couple bars to hang from.
These links led me to something I didn’t even know existed. The Progressive Calisthenics Certification program. These guys do stuff you only see gymnasts do. No free weights required. Just find a park with a chin up bar and some room to move around. I even had my 12 year old daughter do the Century Test. 40 Squats, 30 push ups, 20 hanging knee ups and 10 pull ups done non stop. Being a former gymnast she was able to do it and she didn’t do knee push-ups either. She humbles me every day!
So, instead of just sitting and watching TV, do some air squats or one legged squats while you watch. Do a set of pushups during a commercial break. If you can, find a bar or beam to do a pull up. If this is too hard at first, cheat. Do the push-ups from your knees or belly. Combine a squat and a pull-up (that way your arms can help your legs and vice-versa). One push-up is better than none. You have to start somewhere. Just start. You WILL feel better in the long run. If you have health issues, just make sure you check with your doctor first to make sure it’s ok to start. If your joints or back hurt make sure you see me so I can get your joints moving first and possibly modify your routine. Most importantly, have fun! If you don’t enjoy it you won’t do it. But I will tell you one thing for sure. You will like the results.
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