How to Train ALL Muscles with Calisthenics

How to Train ALL Muscles with Calisthenics


Most of the bodyweight exercises are compound exercises. That means you use multiple muscles or muscle groups to perform them. Because of this it may be difficult to determine which exercise should you do to train the muscle groups you want to. Therefore in this video I will show you how to train specific muscle groups with my favorite bodyweight exercises, so you can create a training plan which focuses on your goals. Performing several exercises that target the same body part can be very useful exhausting the muscle and forcing it to grow. I will talk about muscle groups not specific muscles, as I don’t see the point in getting into details too much. Let’s start with the upper back. This part of the body has a lot of muscles and hitting it from many different angles guarantees its optimal development. The most common exercise is of course pull ups and grabbing the bar widely engages the lats even more. The next crucial exercise is rowing. Depending on your level you can do tuck front lever pull ups or australian pull ups which are easier, but as long as you pull in a plane perpendicular to your spine, you’re doing it right. Another important exercise for back development is tuck front lever raises and all its harder variations. This one greatly helps to build that wide back. You can see how the lats activate and deactivate when I get in and out of the inverted position. The last exercise is more of a bonus on that list, but I really like how these back flayers hit the muscles. It’s a great addition at the end of your routine, when you’re too tired for something harder. Now let’s move on to the biceps. Most of the pulling exercises engage it as well, but it’s good to give it some extra attention. Chin ups are not only great back exercise, but can help your biceps grow big too. When you cannot do anymore chin ups, it’s time to do some isolation exercises. Bicep curls can be done on many different ways: facing the rings or facing away from them. You can even use a bar if you can find one that has proper height. Make sure that the elbow joint is the only one that moves in these exercises. My last proposition for training biceps are pelican push ups on rings. I didn’t even bother to push up after each rep to focus on the biceps specifically. However this exercise is a compound one and it uses your chest muscles pretty intensively as well. As long as we’re on the topic of the chest, let’s go over those exercises. The first thing that comes into mind are of course push ups. Really great exercise that has a lot different variations. They can be done on the ground or on the rings to make them more challenging. Most of you know it all about push ups so let’s move on. Recently, this has been my favorite chest exercise: chest flyers on rings. I keep my elbows slightly bent on purpose, because I want to exhaust the chest muscles. With extended arms, I would fail sets because of the elbow, not chest muscles and that’s why this is the way to go for the muscle growth. My last proposition for chest are dips. Regular ones would work too, but if you want to focus on chest, you need to lean forward while doing them. This will transfer the weight from the triceps onto your chest and shoulders. Now if you want to focus on the shoulders specifically, here’s what you can do. Basically, most of the handstand exercises will train your shoulders, whether it’s walking in handstand, shoulders taps or handstand push ups However my personal favorite for the purpose of muscle growth are pike push ups, especially if you can find a spot where you can do them in the full range of motion. When it comes to training your triceps there’s a number of exercises to choose from. All the push ups will engage these muscles in some way, but diamond push ups are on the top of that list. As I already mentioned, dips are another great triceps exercise, especially if you lean backwards a bit by putting your legs in front of you. Box dips are slightly easier variation of the exercise that will allow you to burn the muscle even more. That’s because this exercise isolates the triceps better and all your effort can be focused on that muscle specifically. Another exercise that isolates the triceps very well is triceps extensions. You can do them on a bar or even a window sill, but rings are, as always, the best. Now, let’s have a look at the abdominal muscles training. In my opinion, the best exercises for that are all the knee and leg raises on a bar or dip bars. Each of these variations works a bit differently so it’s worth to switch between them often. Another great exercise that can build you a six pack is L-sit. You don’t necessarily have to do it on a railing though. You can do it on the floor or even dip bars, which will be easier, as you can hold your legs and bum lower. If you have rings, you can try doing ab rollouts. This is a really good exercise, but you have to be careful not to use your arms here, because it will diminish the effort of the ab muscles. Notice how the angle between my arms and torso doesn’t really change throughout the exercise. Hip joint should be the only one to move. Next, we’re gonna have a look at the lower back exercises. There aren’t many too choose from and nothing can compare to deadlifts. The best option in my opinion is doing lower back raises like this, where you can lower your torso all the way down with someone holding your feet in place. Doing this exercise by yourself on the floor works as well, but not as good. For the more agile of you, you can try doing headstand presses or even handstand presses. Although doing the latter just to train lower back is rather twisted idea, as the exercise is very difficult technically and works your shoulders pretty intensively as well. And lastly, let’s go over the leg exercises. Here we need to separate front of the thigh which are quads and the back which are hamstrings and glutes. The best bodyweight exercise for your quads is hands down sissy squats. A bit difficult technically, but can burn your quads out easily. When it comes to hamstrings and glutes there’s more to choose from. You can do regular squats, jumping squats, step ups. Generally everything that involves pushing down with your foot will do. Oh and I almost forgot about calves. The best exercise to train them are raises with one or both feet. Here, you should focus on trying to perform the exercise in the full range of motion. And just like that we’ve went through all the major muscles and muscle groups. his knowledge really comes in handy when you have inequalities in your body. Adding a couple more sets of an exercise that focuses on your weaker or smaller muscles will encourage them to grow and catch up with the rest of the body. That’s it for this video, thanks for watching and see you in the next one.

100 Replies to “How to Train ALL Muscles with Calisthenics”

  1. Excellent vid showing a ton of options for the whole body. As always, your production quality is incredible, and you are a great instructor. Thanks for sharing these with us.

  2. nice one. I'd apreciate other one giving example of set, progression and some ratios to avoid unbalanced muscle chains (althought it may varie a bit with individual)

  3. Awesome video like always . BUT IMO isolation exercises when doing Calisthenics is waste of time . sure you can do them once after 3- 5 workout days but not at any workout .beside mixing rings (basically gymnastic) with Calisthenics (basically bars) is misconception for the viewer here .

  4. Thank you very much !
    I am french so when you show what are the harmstrings for example, no need to look at the translation and return to video 👍
    And thank you for setting english subtitle as fast as you upload the vidéo 🙂

  5. Nice guide he good at Calisthenics. I love his Video.. Please guys I just started a Calisthenics channel for beginners pls Check it and subscribe.. Peace

  6. Nice guide he good at Calisthenics. I love his Video.. Please guys I just started a Calisthenics channel for beginners pls Check it and subscribe.. Peace

  7. Your "lats" activate. What lats? Oh okay, I watched it again and looked more closely and did see two tiny bumps on your sides.

  8. i watch a lot of calisthenics video's but this is definitely added to my top-5!! great video with a lot of different exercices!! new sub 😉

  9. Would you like to make a video about your job? You said, that you are a graphic designer as far as I remember, but what are you specializing in?

  10. Yet before going into push pull split, u need to have strong “basics”.
    I started calisthenics one month ago, my workout was focused on push-ups and ring rows.
    Now I’m practicing the supports holds, and doing Ring dips (1-3) pull ups, push-up and rows.
    Definitely recommended

  11. For the lower back you should do bridges just like in CC . I'm surprised you don't realise that bridges are the best lower back and posterior chain exercise and even better than deadlifts and are much safer too .

  12. Just sharing a tip. To properly train your calves you must train with an overload. Calf raises are just simulating walking. Your calves are already used to that weight.

  13. Brother I need help I only have fat on my lower abs everywhere else is lean with tiny a bit of fat on quads but thats it how to lose this lower abs fat I started eating healthy for 2 weeks but I lost a lot of top fat now I have my top abs but not lower abs I can do front lever and lsit and muscle ups even bentarmhandstand

  14. Awesome learnings as usual! Thanks for this! Out of topic tho, how's your Vivo shoes bro? Are they still as great as they were when you made a video about them? I really want a pair of that soon 😁

  15. Thanks for this. I've seen a few well intended videos for beginners, but yours is the best so far. Some great ideas for things I might actually be able to do.

  16. I wanted to say thank you! I've been recovering from a motorcycle accident that put me out of work for 2 months due to a foot injury. All your videos have been extremely helpful to keep me busy and motivated through this little journey! I can almost walk on my hands now so that I don't even need my foot anymore 😀

  17. Hey i'm just started calisthenic and after 12 hrs it is normal if i feel something like burning sensation inside my body?

  18. Awesome stuff Dave! I've never seen the pelican pushups before that you show at 2:27 – they look crazy hard.

  19. 3:36 leaning more forward actually focuses more on your shoulders, if you want to do a chest dip you have to move your legs foward and lean alittle.

  20. Don't you want to learn the flare? It would be a decent challenge for you. I'd like to see how long does it take to learn flare for someone who already achieved L and V-sit. ✌🏽

  21. Beautifully shot and explained. Dave, today I made my first muscle up on rings that you inspired me to two months ago! 😊 So happy to meet you on YouTube! ❤️

  22. Great video! Another 2 bodyweight exercises to target your entire lower body (more specifically glute medius, hamstrings and quads) are LUNGES and BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUATS. You can add different variables to make these 2 harder over time -foot placement, tempo, isometric contraction, alternating limbs vs non-alternating, explosiveness coming out the bottom, etc. Another benefit is that these moves are very athletic, so they transfer very well into the best full-body calisthenic exercise of all times: SPRINTS 🏃‍♂️

  23. How does one train to do the balancing exercises, like hand or head stands, and the other ones for example. Obviously you got to start off somehow with them but not all the way, as one can easily maim themselves accidentally from it.

  24. Hi I do like this video and you are really good. I suggest that you make other ones on singular muscle groups: for instance, a selection of exercises hitting both the upper and lower chest. You can do the same with shoulders, abs and lats. Thank you!

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