One of my favorite aspects of calisthenics is the element of creativity.
Take the handstand for example: Do you know how many ways there are to get into one? A lot! For most folks, it comes down to personal preference, but it’s good to mix things up, as each method has its benefits.
Here are some of my favorite ways to get into a handstand:
1.) Grounded Hands Kick-up: Starting with your hands already on the ground helps establish a firm grip and a gazing point to focus on before initiating the kick. This method is also useful, as it allows you to use your back leg to guide your hips into position above your shoulders. I usually prefer to look either in between or slightly ahead of my hands.
2.) The Dive: This can be intimidating for some because it involves basically diving into the ground from a standing position and trusting that you will be able to time your kick-up quickly. For others, this method can be more accessible than the grounded hands kick-up, as diving into the handstand allows for more momentum to propel yourself into position. A common mistake I see with beginners is diving too far ahead, which makes aligning the body for the balance more difficult. Instead, aim to place your hands only a few inches away from your lead leg.
3.) Frog Hop: This one’s great for folks who need more power from their legs to propel their hips over their shoulders. By initiating the launch from a frog squat position, you get more power from both legs. Remember not to place your hands too far ahead of your feet, and keep your elbows extended throughout the entirety of the movement.
4.) Crow Press: This is the most advanced of these four methods, and is typically an option only for those who have a good amount of handbalancing experience under their belt. This method involves beginning in a crow pose and then timing the pressing of your arms with the extension of your legs upwards. It helps to gaze a few feet ahead of your hands and stay focused on that point until your legs are fully extended overhead, at which point the gaze can move in between the hands.
Having the ability to do pull-ups has made me a more confident woman and calisthenics practitioner. It took a lot of practice and consistent training, but getting my first rep was an EPIC moment I’ll never forget!
Pull-ups are tough for women, but not impossible! You CAN do it!
Al Kavadlo and I are here to show you how to get your first rep, ladies!
I hope this tutorial helps inspire you to train for your first pull-up rep or improve upon your current personal record. Remember, it takes consistent practice, a positive mental attitude and patience to get your first rep, but it is totally worth it!
If you have hit a plateau in your training or need some tips for improving your form, I am available for in-person and online coaching.
What’s pop’n, ninjas? As many of you may know, yoga was my first introduction into bodyweight training. I credit my practice for introducing me into the world of handbalancing, as well as for helping me improve and maintain my flexibility.
However, I know a lot of ninjas are often too intimidated to step foot into a yoga class because they feel they are not flexible enough, or perhaps because they don’t think it will benefit them. If you’re one of these people, then Namastay right there, and read my latest piece for Bodybuilding.com. Learn to master this easy Yoga sequence and reap the benefits of a practice on your own!
Hope you enjoyed this article and take the time to learn this awesome sequence! Feel free to share with all your ninja friends!
What’s pop’n, ninjas? We just returned from a truly EPIC workshop at the most amazing gym in the world, The Commando Temple! We had a great group of 30+ ninjas that absolutely rocked it this past weekend. I wrote a quick recap of the event on the Progressive Calisthenics Blog! Ch-ch-check it out:
We have a few other upcoming workshops this year and I am looking forward to training with YOU!
What’s pop’n, ninjas? One of the best things about being a part of the calisthenics community is all the awesome people I’ve met. Folks that are drawn to this type of training are usually super down-to-earth, creative and really DIESEL! Thanks to PCC, I’ve had the honor of meeting and training with hundreds of these AMAZING people all around the world! It’s important to surround yourself with people who inspire and motivate you on a daily basis, like my girl Isa Bell from Headstrong Training. Every time she is in NYC, we always make sure to get in some serious training. Check out our latest video:
And of course, I spend plenty of time playing around at work in between clients at Momentum Fitness.
Notice that I used the word “play” to describe my training. A lot of folks have the misconception that in order for their workout to be legit, it has to be torturous and un-fun. I simply just can’t get behind that philosophy. If it was not fun to train, I would probably never be motivated to do it in the first place. If your current training regimen feels stagnant, boring, or you’ve simply lost motivation, you should hire a trainer! I am available for private and small group training! If you’re looking to get DIESEL for summer AND for life AND have FUN doing it, message me for rates!
Looking forward to working with you and helping you reach all your fit goals!
What’s pop’n, ninjas? I’m super stoked to announce the release of the Kavadlo Brother’s new book, “Get Strong!” This book is a 16-week transformation program for gaining muscle and strength using the power of progressive calisthenics! If you’re looking to get into shape just in time for the summer, you need to check this book out!
This book is 218 pages of a detailed calisthenics program that includes exercise descriptions AND full color photos of each movement demoed by Al and Danny Kavadlo. The book includes exact set and rep ranges for each exercise as well as a test you take at the end of each 4 weeks to measure your progress.
Dragondoor is also hosting a competition for the best transformation and if you win you are eligible for a number of prizes including $500 cash, one free RKC or PCC workshop, an interview, and dedicated PCC blog piece. Here are all the details:
Get Strong is available in paperback and E-Book and is on SALE TODAY! Get your copy today, ninjas!
What’s pop’n, ninjas? I love practicing all types of presses and pushing exercises, from handstand push-ups to dips and even kettlebell military presses. My latest obsession has been with a relatively esoteric lift known as the Kettlebell Bottoms Up Press. This lift may look more like a circus trick than a legitimate exercise, but don’t be fooled because there are lots of benefits to adding it to your routine.
The Bottoms up press builds strength in your shoulders, forearms and even trains your grip. This press can help you improve your overhead pressing technique and even rehab old shoulder injuries, too. Click the link below to check out my latest piece for Bodybuilding.com:
Also here’s a sneak peek of my latest Workout Wednesday routine I did with my hairdresser extraordinaire and friend, Rachel Phillips! This is a great mix of isometric, dynamic, and plyometric calisthenics exercises that you can try out next time you train!
What’s pop’n? Happy Spring, Ninjas! I’m really excited for the warmer weather so that I can start training outdoors again! There’s nothing I love more than going to Tompkins Park in the East Village for some calisthenics fun in the sun!
Although, I can’t complain too much since we got the Bodyweight Master Pull-up bar from Dragondoor set up in our apartment earlier this winter. It definitely makes working out inside way more fun! Here’s a few clips from my last two indoor calisthenics workouts:
Al and I have also been taking more yoga classes at a local studio, Bikram LES! In all my years of practicing yoga, I’ve never even thought about taking a Bikram class. Just the idea of practicing yoga in a 104 degree room really intimidated me. But living in New York City in the winter has definitely given me an appreciation for a super sweaty, sauna-like yoga session. One thing I can say about the practice is that it’s definitely improved my mood and flexibility in the span of just a few classes.
And finally, if you are interested in attending a Progressive Calisthenics Certification, you are just in luck! We have a lot of upcoming dates on the roster this year. The next one I will be at is at the Commando Temple in London on May 19th-21st. Al and I will also be returning to Australia this November for two workshops, one in Perth on November 11-13th and in Sydney on November 16th-18th! These workshops are for anyone interested in deepening their knowledge of progressive bodyweight training — movement enthusiasts, trainers, beginners and pros are all welcome! Taking this workshop completely changed my life! I’ve conquered moves that I never dreamed I would ever be able to do, like the V-Sit and many more!
Hope to see you ninjas at an upcoming workshop! Til next time, peace, love and ninja kicks!
What’s pop’n, ninjas? As you guys know, I am a big fan of Xero shoes. I just got my Lenas recently, then I found out about their new running shoe, the Prio, so I had to get those, too. Now my only problem is choosing which ones to wear, because I love them both so much!
The Lena is a more casual shoe which is great for walking around or working out. The Prio, however, is a straight up athletic sneaker. While still a far cry from most conventional running sneakers, the Prio is Xero Shoes most high-tech shoe yet.
Whether you’re going for a run, or doing some squats, these shoes are very comfortable, flexible and supportive.
The Prio is available for both men and women in a variety of colors. Watch the video below for more information!
Thanks for tuning in, ninjas! Til next time, peace, ❤ & ninja kicks!