There are 3 phenomenal calisthenic workouts that I’ve seen my clients do wrong rather frequently, and often, it’s a minor tweak here and there. Small tweaks are vital in fitness. They could be the difference between performing the exercise correctly, to putting yourself in a position to get injured.
Push-ups seem to be the most common exercise in which I see mistakes. Push-ups are phenomenal in so many ways. You’re basically working out your whole upper body in one move, and there are a lot of different ways to do push-ups that will get you the same results.
My preferred method of choice is super-setting between standard pushups (shoulder width) and diamond pushups. Both of these are effective exercises for building mass in the upper body. The other two would have to be pull-ups and dips respectively. Novice lifters tend to pull too much with the biceps on pull-ups and use too much deltoid on dips.
A slight modification completely changes the dynamic for how successful the exercise can be. For pull-ups, simply raising your chest and bringing your elbows to your side will eliminate the issue there, while leaning slightly forward on dips will dramatically improve the overall lift.
Modern people spend all day sitting, so their nervous systems and muscles become habituated to a limited range of motion.
“The body adapts to the movements you most frequently make. The corollary to that is that the body adapts to the movements you don’t make: It adapts by not making those movements anymore.” People who want more forgiving hamstrings or hip joints need to stand up, sit, squat, walk and change positions throughout the day.
Passive stretches may not be the most effective way of increasing flexibility, Although several studies found that passive-training regimens do modestly increase flexibility, it may be more effective to do something called proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), where people extend their muscles and then try to contract them from a lengthened position.
We’ve all heard that “Sitting is the new smoking” but keep this in mind, your muscles need motion throughout the day. The position they are usually at rest often is the position you’ve trained them to stay in.
Check out Alex Allison’s complete breakdown in the Winter 2022 issue of NY Style Magazine.