General Exercises

Intro
Here we’ve got a list of exercises you can do at home with exception to a few that would require a pull-up bar. If you don’t want to install one at home or pay for a gym membership then there’re several calisthenic parks around Contact us for more info.

The problem usually is that many exercises are either too difficult or too easy for us to do. So each exercise below has an alteration to make the exercise more or less challenging so you can build strength to the point where you can do the harder versions.

Exercise: Press-up
Muscles: Abdominals, deltoids, pectorals, triceps, forearms, biceps, stabilisers
Basic Movement: Have your hands about shoulder width apart, be on your toes with feet close together. Lower yourself to the ground keeping your elbows close to your body and your back straight by tensing your core. Lower yourself slowly until your chest is within a fist of the floor. Shoot back up quickly into the starting position with straight arms.

 

Make it Harder: Lower yourself slowly until your chest reaches the ground, take your hands off the ground, quickly put your hand back on the ground, and then push up to the original position. This forces you to go all the way down and up on each rep preventing you from cheating yourself. Because you’re stopping between each rep you’re forcing yourself to regenerate your momentum. To make the exercise harder still, elevate your feet.

 

Make it Even Harder: Do the press-up with one hand! You may need your feet slightly wider apart to maintain balance and your hand aligned with the centre of your chest.

 

Make it Easier: You can elevate your hands, or from the press-up position you can drop your knees to the ground and then continue to do the press-up movement with your knees on the ground.

 

 

 

 

Exercise: Squat
Muscles: Gluteus maximus, quadrecepts
Basic Movement: Start with your feet flat on the floor and shoulder width apart and have your arms folded across your chest. Lower your hips back and down bending your knees, putting your weight on your heels, and keeping your back straight. Keep lowering yourself slowly until you can’t go lower and then straighten your legs quickly. Be careful not to bounce on the bottom of the rep and using that momentum to make the exercise easier. Avoid this by lowering yourself slowly.

 

Make it Harder: Perform the squat holding a weight against your chest. To make it harder still perform a pistol squat. If you’re struggling to keep balance then perform the squat with a hand against the wall or grabbing a bar/post etc. Try to avoid pulling yourself up with your arm. You could perform the squat on a stool so your other leg can dangle somewhat without touching the ground but try to have you leg straight out in front of you as you lower yourself to practice making sure your foot doesn’t go bellow the stool. This way you can practice the movement required to achieve the pistol squat without the stool.

 

 

 

 

Exercise: Crunch
Muscles: Upper abdominal
​Basic Movement: Lie down with your feet flat on the floor and close to your arse. Avoid having your hands behind your head so you don’t try and pull your head to help with the crunch. Crunch upwards quickly until your elbows touch your thighs and then lower yourself down slowly until your shoulders touch the ground. Try to avoid jolting and throwing yourself upwards using your momentum. It’s recommended that you provide lower lumbar support to avoid hyperextending. You can do this by placing a pillow etc for your lower-back.

 

Make it Harder: Perform on an incline. To make it harder still, perform the crunch with a weight (like a kettlebell) on your chest. To make it even harder, perform the crunch with the weight held straight up above you with your arms straight (arms 90 to ground). As you crunch upwards; keep the weight directly above you with straight arms so your arms remain 90 to the ground.

 

 

 

Exercise: V-sit up
Muscles: Rectus abdominus
Basic movement: Lie completely flat and raise your legs keeping them straight as if you were doing leg lifts. At the same time make a motion similar to a crunch until you’re able to touch your ankles/toes. Do this quickly and then slowly lower your torso and legs without letting your heels touch the floor. It’s recommended that you provide lower lumbar support to avoid hyperextending. You can do this by placing a pillow etc for your lower-back.

 

Make it Harder: You can alternate between v-sit ups and leg raises and as your straight legs reach 90 to the floor on the leg raises you can do a reverse crunch where you lift your hips off the floor as far as you can and then lower them back to the ground. Make sure that the angle between your torso and your legs aren’t less than 90 for the reverse crunch otherwise the exercise is made easier.

 

 

 

 

Exercise: Bunny hops
Muscles: Gluteus maximus, quadrecepts
Basic Movement: Start by lowering yourself to the ground as you would with a squat. At the bottom of the squat you jump up and forwards such that you straighten your legs completely with air time. Upon landing, return to your original position (bottom of the squat) and repeat. Try to avoid touching the ground with your hands.
Make it harder: You could carry a weight with you against your chest but you could also just do more bunny hops. After 50 meters  the legs are burning.

 

 

 

 

Exercise: Commando pull-ups
Muscles: Biceps, lats, traps, core
Basic movement: Stand side-on to the bar and grab the bar with both hands with your knuckles facing opposite direction, and hands close enough such that they’re touching. Pull-up until your head completely passes the bar to the side. Do this quickly and then slowly lower yourself. The subsequent pull up should have your head passing the other side of the bar. Use your core to stop yourself from twisting to face the bar, Alternate which hand is closest to you on the bar between sets. Make sure your arms are straight before each rep. No half reps!

 

Make it Harder: You can wear a weighted rucksack or try doing the whole exercise with just one arm or both
Make it Easier: You can jump up to the bar so that your chest/chin is over the bar and then very slowly lower yourself until your arms are straight. Repeat

 

 

 

Exercise: Pull-up
Muscles: Lats, biceps, traps, core
Basic movement: Grab the bar shoulder width apart and pull up with your elbows pointing down until your chin/chest passes the bar. Do this quickly and then lower yourself slowly to the ground without your feet touching the ground. Make sure your arms are straight before each rep. No half reps!

 

Make it Harder: You can wear a weighted rucksack or try doing the whole exercise with just one arm or both
Make it Easier: You can jump up to the bar so that your chest/chin is over the bar and then very slowly lower yourself until your arms are straight. Repeat.

 

 

 

Exercise: Dips
Muscles: Pectorals/triceps (which one is targeted depends on how the dip is performed)
Basic Movement: Find a pair of parallel bars, go between them, grab one in each hand with knuckles both facing outwards, and lift yourself above the bars with straight arms. To work the pectorals; lean forward and lower your chest to the ground with your forearms remaining 90 to the bars. To work the triceps; try avoiding leaning forwards and lower yourself to the ground by bending your wrists and decreasing the angle between your forearms and the bar. Do this downward motion slowly until you can’t go lower and then quickly push yourself back up until your arms are straight. Throughout the exercise and the exercises to make it easier or harder, make sure that you do not raise your shoulders up your neck.

 

Make it Harder: You can wear a weighted rucksack
Make it Easier: You can either jump up so that you’re holding yourself above the bar with straight arms and then slowly lowering yourself to the ground. Repeat. Alternatively you can do chair dips were you place your hands on chairs on either side of you replacing the bars from before. Make sure your arms are straight and your feet should be touching the ground with your legs straight. Lower your arse to the ground slowly and then quickly lift yourself back up.

 

 

 

Exercise: Hand stand push-ups
Muscles: Anterior deltoids, lateral deltoids, triceps,
Basic Movement: Face a wall, bend over so that your head is facing behind you and your hands should be on the ground a little wider than shoulder width with your fingers facing the wall. Kick your feet up into a hand-stand with your heels touching the wall. Starting with straight arms, lower your head to the floor slowly and then quickly push back up until your arms are straight.
Make it Easier: You can do the above exercise but only slowly lower yourself to the ground. Then break out of the hand-stand push-up and repeat. You can rest your toes on a table with you hands on the floor with your fingers pointing away from the table. Slowly lower your head to the ground and quickly push back up.