Overall aims:

To give students an awareness of the underpinning principles of calisthenics that will establish sound foundations for their own training as well as giving them a wider appreciation of bodyweight exercise. Students will be able to apply knowledge of the basic training principles, fundamental exercise techniques, and tools for progression/regression in order to develop effective bodyweight training programs for themselves and their clients.


Learning objectives:

The philosophy of bodyweight training, its benefits and applications


We as humans require a tri-factor of strength, balance and mobility. Our body is a lot of weight to handle but naturally, we are designed to be able to have full control. Progression with body weight is rapid and by limiting isolation movements, we sync and become more human. 


The basic principles of bodyweight training such as mind-body connection, whole body tension (activation)


Syncing our movement pattern (both physical and neuromuscular) create a whole new, better version of ourselves. By activating multiple muscle groups we not only become stronger as a whole but can adjust resistance/tension with the simplest of adjustments (hand placement/angles)


The coaching points for the fundamental exercises such as pull-ups, push-ups, dips, plank, squat


Practice does not make perfect. PERFECT practice makes perfect. Learning how to perform proper form and knowing when to stop means never being under the wrong stress, thus causing our bodies to recruit other muscles which in turn, create bad form


Explanation of how these exercises can be progressed/regressed by altering level length, changing the line of pull/push, asymmetrical loading, using tools such as resistance bands


Every exercise has multiple progressions and regressions. Changing angles, resistance, hand placement we can adjust all workouts to suit every one. Essential as a fitness professional


How workout and training program can be developed


Knowing and understanding what does what and how we can adapt means any fitness professional can create a training program specifically for their clients goals




Working with bodyweight and understanding lever length, grip, body positioning and using simple tools such as power bands exercises that can be made easier or more difficult to suit everyone.


Exercises involve multiple muscle groups; either contracting to perform the movement or by stabilizing the body. This is an excellent example of functional movement and supports the shift away from working muscles in isolation.


Training can be adapted to develop traditional goals such as strength, building muscle or developing muscular endurance but exercises and their progressions are a form of skill mastery. Mastering new physical skills, especially as an adult, is immensely rewarding and helps to maintain motivation.


Bodyweight training works well as a standalone form of exercise, as well as alongside other forms of training. Training can be performed anytime, anywhere, with limited space and minimal equipment – perfect for fitting in with today’s busy lifestyles.


Imagination is your only limitation. 


Exercises often involve a combination of muscles working in the front and back of the body e.g. pull and push with the lying band row (lats pull while triceps push)


Lots of exercises (particularly more advanced exercises such as flag or front lever) require whole body tension. Give plank and glute activation example.


Need to be able to engage the large muscle groups as these are most efficient and effective way of performing the exercise. E.g. pull-ups – engaging the lats rather than biceps


The coaching points for each of the fundamental exercises (the most regressed form?)


How exercises can be progressed/regressed by altering level length, changing the line of pull/push, asymmetrical loading, using tools such as resistance bands. 


How each fundamental exercise can be progressed/regressed. We will get you to think about your own versions of each exercise and explain whether it is harder or easier than the last one presented, and why (based on the different principles).


Present the various progressions that can be used to perform the full versions of each of the fundamental exercises.


Workouts that incorporate all of the basic exercises and explanations how programs are designed