A1 Kavadlo is a fitness trainer who not only recognizes the physical benefit of out In Stretching Your Boundaries you'll sense Al's deep understanding and love I want you to stretch your boundaries, but I want you to take your time doing so. Stretching Your Boundaries: Flexibility Training for Extreme Calisthenic Strength eBook: Al Kavadlo, Elliott Hulse: pabushobupchild.tk: site Store. Share. site App Ad. Look inside this book. Stretching Your Boundaries: Flexibility Training for Extreme Calisthenic Strength by [Kavadlo, Al] .
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Super Joints by Pavel Tsatsouline ALL GAIN, NO PAIN by Bill Hartman Stretching Your Boundaries by Al Kavadlo Relax Into Stretch by Pavel Tsatsouline. I am very excited to announce the release of my new book, Stretching Your Boundaries – Flexibility Training for Extreme Calisthenic Strength. Get the book, Stretching Your Boundaries by Al Kavaldo, to learn about flexibility and extreme calisthenic strength. Order Al Kavadlo books now at Dragon Door.
Though arm circles may be done one arm at a time, the shoulder roll is done with both arms moving in unison. Go very gently at first as this can be quite challenging for folks with a stiff upper-body. If you are tight, start out with your hands placed wide. As you warm up, you may gradually bring your hands closer. In time, your range of motion should start to improve. Shoulders, chest Toy Soldier The Toy Soldier is a great dynamic stretch for the hamstrings, hips and trunk.
From a standing position, perform a quick front kick while reaching your opposite hand toward the toes of your kicking leg. Focus on keeping your back straight while twisting through your trunk to reach your toes. You can perform this move on alternating legs while traveling forward or do them one leg at a time while standing in place. For an added challenge, try going up onto the toes of your standing leg at the top of your kick.
Excessive spinal flexion, lack of trunk rotation Primary Muscle Groups: Hamstrings, hips, sides of trunk Wrist Roll Wrist Rolls are one of the best way to prepare for push-ups, handstands and other exercises that involve bending back at the wrists.
Clasp your hands together with your palms facing each other and your fingers interlaced. Keep your arms loose as you begin to flex and extend your wrists in a circular motion. Stay relaxed as you roll your hands up, down, in and out. Alternate which hand is on top after several repetitions, as well as alternating directions. Favoring the dominant hand instead of doing both sides evenly Primary Muscle Groups: Wrists, forearms Spine Roll The Spine Roll is a gentle way to warm up your spine before more intense exercise.
Begin in an all- fours position withZy20psnd your hands and knees on the ground. Your knees should be directly under your hips with your hands directly under your shoulders. Take a deep breath and compress your spine by lifting your tailbone and pushing your hips out to create an arch in your lower back. Look up and press your chest forward while squeezing your shoulder blades down and back.
From here begin to exhale as you slowly suck your stomach in, round your spine and tuck your chin to your chest. Repeat for several repetitions. Unnecessary elbow bending, inabilttentiiton. The key to performing these moves is to utilize the breathing technique discussed in the last section along with the specific cues listed for each pose. You are going to be using the strength of certain muscles to stretch and activate others. Be patient with yourself and focus on the process.
Respect your level and do not become short-sighted. Take your time working toward the full expression of each pose. Some will happen quicker than others. Statue On first sight, the Statue pose may look like you are just standing there. In a sense, this is correct. There are many subtle details to a proper Statue pose.
Begin in a narrow stance with your feet close together and toes touching your heels should still be slightly apart. Squeeze your glutes and quads while spreading out your feet to grip the floor.
Keep your weight equal throughout the front, back and sides of your feet.
Stretching Your Boundaries
Breathe into your belly and feel your spine lengthen; visualize the top of your head reaching up toward the sky. Relax your shoulders and make your neck long. Let your arms hang down by your sides. Feel your belly fill up with air as your back straightens Exhale: Contract your abdominals and reach the top of your head upward Common mistakes: Shrugged or rounded shoulders, hyperextended lower back Primary Muscle Groups: Abs, glutes, low back, diaphragm Calisthenics Counterpart: Mountain The Mountain pose is a simple, yet potentially challenging opener for the shoulders and upper back.
Starting in Statue pose, reach your arms up over your head and clasp your hands together. Use a palm- to-palm grip, with your index fingers extended switch which hand is on top on alternating efforts. Hug your biceps close to your head, allowing your shoulder blades to spread apart and slide up your back.
Tilt your head back slightly and think about trying to press your chest forward while squeezing your glutes and hamstrings to prevent excessive arching of the lower back. For a deeper stretch in the wrists and forearms, you can interlace your fingers and rotate your palms outward. Reach your arms upward, lengthening the body Exhale: Squeeze your glutes and abs Common mistakes: Overly arched lower-back, bent arms Primary Muscle Groups: Shoulders, glutes, abs Calisthenics Counterpart: Handstand For a deeper stretch in the wrists and forearms, you can interlace your fingers and rotate your palms outward.
Practicing the Mountain pose can help with your Handstand. Starting in Mountain pose, reach your arms toward the right, while pressing your hips to the left.
Make sure your body stays straight and faces forward without bending or twisting to the front or back.
Focus solely on sideways flexion. Keep your legs engaged and reach your arms as straight as possible, keeping your biceps close to your head. Hold for several breaths, gradually easing in deeper with each breath, then switch sides. Reach your arms up and away from your body Exhale: Push your hips in the opposite direction of your arms Common Mistakes: Rotating the trunk instead of bending to the side, letting the arms come too far in front of the rest of the body Primary Muscle Groups: Obliques, lats, triceps, hips Calisthenics Counterpart: Start in Statue pose and clasp your hands behind your back with your fingers interlaced.
Press your chest out while squeezing down and back through your shoulder blades. Look up and gradually let your head drop back while slowly shifting your gaze back behind you.
Squeeze your glutes and continue to open your chest. For an added stretch, try rotating your palms outward while keeping your fingers clasped. Try to avoid bending your knees. Lengthen your spine Exhale: Squeeze down and back through your shoulder blades while looking farther and farther behind your back Common Mistakes: Shrugged shoulders, excessive knee flexion Primary Muscle Groups: Chest, shoulders, abs Calisthenics Counterpart: Starting in Statue pose, lean forward from your hips with a flat back and place your hands palmsdown on your thighs.
Slowly start pushing your hands against your legs while bending fiirther forward from the waist. Focus on keeping your back as straight as you can while pitching your chest forward as your reach your hips back.
Your legs and torso will wind up looking like the number 7. Bend your knees slightly if you need to in order to keep from rounding your back.
Lengthen your spine and lift your head Exhale: Hinge from the hips, gradually increasing the stretch in your hamstrings Common Mistakes: Excessive rounding of the spine, shrugged shoulders Primary Muscle Groups: Hamstrings, calves Calisthenics Counterpart: From the Half Forward Bend position, slowly relax your head, neck and spine to let your upper body hang down. Reach your hands toward the floor or to your heels.
You may keep a slight bend in the knees if you lack the flexibility to perform the pose with them straight. Hamstring flexibility is crucial for performing an L-Sit. Fill your belly with air, lengthening the spine Exhale: Relax deeper toward the floor Common Mistakes: Excessive upper-body tension Primary Muscle Groups: Hamstrings, lower back, calves Calisthenics Counterpart: L-Sit Standing Plow Beginning in the Standing Back Arch position, bend forward from the waist while rotating your arms away from your body to facilitate a deep opening of the chest and shoulders, while simultaneously stretching the hamstrings and calves.
Let your head drop and reach your arms as far from your body as you can. Though some degree of flexion may be unavoidable, do your best to keep your elbows and knees straight when performing this posture. Lengthen your spine and lift your arms farther up your back Exhale: Gradually push deeper into your forward bend Common Mistakes: Shoulders, pecs, forearms, low back, hamstrings, calves Calisthenics Counterpart: Stand facing a wall or other sturdy object and reach your right arm all the way out to the side.
Press the entire inside of your arm against the wall from your fingertips to the top of your biceps. Step your right leg in front of your left and begin twisting away from the wall while looking over your left shoulder. Repeat on the opposite side. Lengthen your spine and drop your shoulders Exhale: Twist away from the wall while pressing your hips forward and looking over the opposite shoulder Common Mistakes: Excessively shrugged shoulders, wrong leg in front Primary Muscle Groups: Front delts, pecs, biceps, forearms Standing Bent Arm Wall Stretch This pose is the same as the Standing Straight Arm Wall Stretch except the arm being stretched is bent to 90 degrees at the elbow fingers pointed up.
This changes the angle of the stretch, putting more emphasis on the chest while deemphasizing the biceps, forearms and shoulders.
Lengthen your spine and press your arm to the wall Exhale: Twist your trunk away from the wall and look over your shoulder Common Mistakes: Pecs, front delts Calisthenics Counterpart: Elevated Push-up Elevated Push-ups performed with a full range of motion require significant mobility in the chest and shoulders. From a standing position, reach one arm across the front of your body while grabbing along the triceps with your opposite hand. Keep your chest up and your shoulders down in their sockets as you pull the arm straight across your body Try to get your extended arm parallel to the ground without shrugging your shoulder or bending your elbow.
Make sure to stretch both sides evenly. Lift your head and lengthen your spine Exhale: Pull your elbow down and in toward your body, squeeze your shoulder blades down Common Mistakes: Shrugged shoulders, particularly on the side being stretched Primary Muscle Groups: Rear delts Calisthenics Counterpart: Meathook Though the Standing Rear Delt Stretch is recommended for beginners and folks of all fitness levels, the Meathook is an advanced move.
Still, the range of motion required for a Meathook can be achieved through practicing this stretch. Standing Triceps Stretch The Standing Triceps Stretch is a great opener for the entire upper-arm region, including the chest, shoulders and back.
From Statue pose, raise one arm in the air then bend it back at the elbow, reaching in between your shoulder blades. Now use your opposite hand to grab your elbow and pull the arm farther back. Stand tall, engaging your abdominals to prevent hyperextending your lower back. Try to avoid letting your chin get pushed down to your chest. You may find it helpful to use the back of your head for added leverage to press into your arm to deepen the stretch.
Repeat on both sides. Gently pull down on your elbow with your assisting arm and reach your free hand in between your shoulder blades Common Mistakes: Shrugged shoulders, tucked chin Primary Muscle Groups: Triceps, shoulders, chest, back Standing Triceps Stretch with Bind From the Standing Triceps Stretch position, remove the assisting arm and reach it behind your back from the bottom up. The objective is to clasp your fingers together behind your back, with your bottom hand positioned palm-out and top hand facing the body Remember to keep your chin up and back straight.
Beginners should start by holding a cloth in both hands, which will allow them to remain farther apart, gradually working toward bringing the hands closer together and eventually into a full bind over time. Repeat on both sides, bearing in mind that it is very common for one side to be tighter than the other.
Gently squeeze your hands closer together Common Mistakes: Triceps, shoulders, chest, back Warrior One Warrior One is a fantastic pose with many subtle challenges. From Statue pose, take a big step forward with your left leg, then bring your right foot to a forty-five degree angle so the heel of your front foot lines up with the instep of your back foot. Keep your hips facing forward and bend your front knee.
You should feel a stretch in your calf and your hip fZy20tandlexor on the right side. Reach your arms up overhead, but be carefiil not to shrug your shoulders. Lift your chest tall, but keep your shoulder blades depressed. Lengthen your spine and reach up with your arms Exhale: Press your back heel into the ground, while pushing your hips forward Common Mistakes: Shrugged shoulders, twisted hips Primary Muscle Groups: Hip flexors, calves, chest, back Calisthenics Counterpart: Pull-up bottom position The arm position in Warrior One is very similar to the position at the bottom of a Pull-up.
Though the arms are extended overhead in both cases, it is important to keep the shoulder blades depressed. Warrior Two Beginning in Warrior One, rotate your hips to the side, as though you were attempting to slide between a vary narrow passageway. Reach your arms straight out to the sides so they are parallel to the floor, again being mindful to avoid shrugging your shoulders. Suck in your stomach, tuck your hips under and squeeze your glutes.
Do your best to keep your front knee from bowing inward as you bend your leg until the top of your thigh is parallel to the ground. Turn your head to the side and look over your front hand. You may need to widen your stance from the Warrior One position. Lift your chest and tuck your hips under Exhale: Sink into your front knee, drop your shoulders and reach your arms all the way out to the sides Common Mistakes: Excessive inward bowing of the front knee, shrugged shoulders Primary Muscle Groups: Hips, hamstrings Triangle From the Warrior Two position, bend at the waist so your trunk moves closer toward your front leg, reaching your front hand all the way out to the side.
Continue flexing your trunk to bring your front hand to your ankle. Your opposite arm should be reaching straight up into the air. Though you may need to rotate your trunk a bit to get low enough, the eventual goal should be to perform this move as pure sideways flexion with your trunk staying in line with your legs.
Imagine yourself between two panes of glass. You may need to bend your front leg a bit to get down low enough.
Though I recommend working toward extending that leg over time, a bent front knee is perfectly acceptable when starting out. Lengthen your spine and reach your arms as long as you can Exhale: Gradually push further into sideways trunk flexion Common Mistakes: Trunk rotation in place of sideways flexion, excessive forward spinal flexion Primary Muscle Groups: Tree The Tree pose is a great introduction to postures that involve balancing on a single leg.
Begin in Statue pose then lift one leg off the ground. Use your hands to position your foot flat against the inside of your standing leg, trying to get it as high up on your thigh as possible. Keep your standing leg active by squeezing your quads and pushing your foot into the ground.
Gently bring your arms into a prayer position in front of your chest with your palms flat against one another and your elbows pressed out to your sides. Keep your chest tall with your shoulder blades pulled down and back. Return to Statue pose and repeat the same sequence, switching legs. Lengthen your spine while dropping your shoulders down and back Exhale: Squeeze your standing leg and press your palms firmly against each other Common Mistakes: Shrugged shoulders, unstable standing leg, arched back Primary Muscle Groups: Begin in Statue pose then lift your right leg, bend your knee and reach your right arm behind you to grab your ankle.
Squeeze your knees together and bring your heel all the way to your backside, keeping your back straight. You may hold onto an object for support or keep a slight bend in your standing leg if you need to. Lengthen your spine and tighten your glutes Exhale: Squeeze your heel toward your backside Common Mistakes: Knee flaring out to the side, creasing at the hips Primary Muscle Groups: Quads, hip flexors Calisthenics Counterpart: Focus on kicking your foot into your hand to create tension and get further into the stretch.
Just like the Standing Quad Stretch, feel free to begin with a wall or other object for support, eventually working toward performing the move freestanding. Lift your chest and reach your front arm forward Exhale: Lean forward and kick your back leg into your hand Common Mistakes: Rotating the hips sideways Primary Muscle Groups: Hip can be achieved through practicim hand flexors, quads, chest and shoulders Calisthenics Counterpart: Feel free to begin with a wall or other object for support.
Bound Eagle The Bound Eagle pose involves wrapping your arms and legs around each other to stretch the shoulders and hips. Start in Statue pose and reach one arm under the other, criss-crossing at the elbows in front of your chest.
Try to bend your arms far enough back to get your palms against one another.
The bottom of one palm should line up with the top of the other. Now bend your knees and cross your legs in the same fashion, wrapping your foot behind your opposite ankle, if possible. Make sure to switch arms and legs during alternating efforts in order to get both sides of your body evenly. Lengthen your back and breathe into your belly Exhale: Constrict your arms and legs, wrapping yourself up tightly Common Mistakes: Hunched back, shrugged shoulders, excessive knee torque Primary Muscle Groups: Rear delts, rotator cuff, hips Calisthenics Counterpart: Elbow Lever The ability to rotate the elbow far enough inside the hip is often a limiting factor for learning the Elbow Lever.
The Bound Eagle pose can be very helpful for facilitating a greater range of motion in this area. From Statue pose, reach your arms straight up in the air over your shoulders. Lift one foot off the floor and slowly tip forward on your standing leg by bending from your hip.
The idea is to reach your back leg all the way behind you with your back flat and arms extended straight overhead. Be careful to avoid rotating to the side on the way down. The position resembles that of a drinking bird toy. Slowly return to Statue pose and repeat on the other side. Reach your arms up and lengthen your spine. Hinge deeper into your hips, reach your free leg all the way back and press into the ground with your standing leg Common Mistakes: Single Leg Deadlift The peak concentric action of a Single Leg Deadlift is almost identical to the Drinking Bird pose Beginners may find it helpful to hold onto an object when attempting this pose.
Begin in Statue pose and lift one foot off the floor, bringing your knee as high as you can toward your chest. Slowly reach over and grab beneath your foot with both hands. Your fingers should be interlaced. Keep your standing leg locked with your trunk as upright as possible.
Lengthen your spine and drop your shoulder blades Exhale: Squeeze your standing leg and press your heel into the floor Common Mistakes: Bending the standing leg Primary Muscle Groups: Hamstrings, hip flexors Calisthenics Counterpart: Half Tuck Front Lever Though considerable upper-body strength is necessary to perform a Half Tuck Front Lever, ample flexibility in the lower-body is also required.
Begin in the Standing Single Leg Foot Hold and slowly begin extending your front leg as you lean forward. As the name implies, the objective is to touch your forehead to the knee of your extendedtating or twisting to the side.
Many of these poses share similarities to certain standing poses presented in the last section. Though you will find some of these exercises less demanding than those in the previous sections, they may challenge you in their own unique ways. Stay focused, train hard and have fim! Deep Squat Hold Holding the bottom position of a Squat as a stretch can help increase your active range of motion when performing Squats in your strength workouts.
Start by squatting down as low as you can with your feet flat on the floor. Keep your back as straight as possible, focusing on bending from your hips instead of your spine. From here, slowly slide your elbows inside of your knees and bring your palms together into a prayer position. Use your elbows for leverage against your inner thighs to get deeper into the stretch. Be careful to keep your knees in alignment with your toes.
Holding the bottom position of a Squat as a stretch can help increase your active range of motion when performing squats in your strength workouts. Fill your belly and lengthen your spine Exhale: Sit down deeper into your squat, using your arms for leverage to open your hips Common Mistakes: Excessive hunching, heels coining off the ground, knee torquing Primary Muscle Groups: Hips, hamstrings, groin, calves Calisthenics Counterpart: Begin in a Deep Squat Hold and reach your left hand behind you, like you were reaching for your left back pocket.
The back of your left wrist will rest on the outside of your left hip. Slowly bring your left elbow inside of your left knee, using the leverage of your leg to gently squeeze the elbow closer to your body. Repeat on your right side, doing each arm separately. Sit back into your squat and lengthen your spine Exhale: Use your leg to gently squeeze your arm in toward your body Common Mistakes: Overly hunched back, knee torquing Primary Muscle Groups: Rear delts, hips, hamstrings Noose The Noose pose takes the Deep Squat With Internal Shoulder Rotation a bit farther while adding a degree of trunk rotation to the picture.
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From the previous position, release your hand from behind your hip, instead reaching it around your shin and knee. Look over your opposite shoulder and begin twisting your trunk while bringing your free arm behind your back to bind your hands. As with all binds, you may need to start by holding a cloth in your hands before you will be ready to clasp them together.
Squeeze your hands together and lengthen your spine Exhale: Sit your hips down and twist through your trunk Common Mistakes: Rushing toward the full bind before your body is ready Primary Muscle Groups: Shoulders, chest, hamstrings, hips, spine Calisthenics Counterpart: Clutch Lever Much in the same way that the Bound Eagle pose can prepare your shoulders for Elbow Lever practice, the Noose pose can help you get a feel for the shoulder and arm positioning in the Clutch Lever.
Downward Dog Downward Dog is a great pose for building flexibility in the entire posterior chain. Begin on your hands and knees with your toes curled under your heels.
Slowly lift your hips into the air while pressing your chest toward your thighs. Try to keep your back and arms as straight as possible while pressing your hands into the ground and reaching your hips into the air.
Point your elbows toward your knees with your heels flat on the floor. Try to keep both your arms and legs straight. In time, work toward straightening the legs and pressing the feet flat. People with tight calves may find it helpful to bend one knee while straightening the other, alternating sides. Reach your hips into the air Exhale: Press your chest toward your thighs Common Mistakes: Overly rounded back, bent elbows Primary Muscle Groups: Hamstrings, calves, shoulders, back Calisthenics Counterpart: Wall Dog The Wall Dog is a nice variation on Downward Dog that may be more appropriate for beginners or those who are particularly tight.
Stand a few feet from a wall or other sturdy vertical object and bend over from your waist, placing your hands on the wall just above hip height, fingers pointed toward the ceiling.
Press your chest toward the floor while pushing your hips away from the wall. Lengthen your spine and extend your knees Exhale: Press your chest toward the ground Common Mistakes: Excessive rounding of the back, bent elbows Primary Muscle Groups: Upper back, shoulders, hamstrings Calisthenics Counterpart: Next bend your front knee while keeping your back leg as straight as possible.
The heel of your back foot will come off the ground while your entire front foot remains flat. Your front knee should remain directly above your front ankle with the thigh parallel to the ground. Place your palms on the floor alongside your front foot or on top of your thigh. Hold for several breaths. When you are ready to switch sides, you can step your leg back while leaving your hands on the ground.
From here you can return to a Statue pose and repeat on the other side, or try to lunge the other leg forward from the Downward Dog position, placing the foot in between your hands. You may also add a sideways twist over your front knee for an added challenge. Extend your back leg, pushing through the heel Common Mistakes: Excessive bending of the back leg, torquing of the front knee Primary Muscle Groups: Hips, hamstrings, calves Calisthenics Counterpart: Walking Lunge Calisthenics Counterpart - Walking Lunge Keep your back leg as straight as possible to get the most from this stretch.
Cobra Cobra is a gentle way for beginners to work on spinal mobility. Lie face down on the ground with your legs straight behind you and toes pointed. Your arms should be bent at the elbows so your palms are flat on the ground beneath your shoulders.
Keep your elbows tucked in by your ribs as you lift your chest and look up while gently pressing down with your hands. Be careful not to press too hard or allow your shoulders to shrug. Engage your lower back and squeeze your glutes while pushing your hips into the ground, keeping your legs and feet together.
You should feel a stretch through your abdominals and some light compression in your spine. Lengthen your spine and lift your chin Exhale: Squeeze your shoulder blades down and back, lift your chest and tense your glutes Common Mistakes: Shrugged shoulders, excessive triceps activation Primary Muscle Groups: Abs, back, chest, neck Calisthenics Counterpart: Sphinx Similar to Cobra, the Sphinx pose allows for a deeper stretch in the abdominals by moving the hands in front of the shoulders.
Your elbows will wind up under your shoulders instead of by your ribs. This creates a deeper stretch through the upper back. Begin with your forearms on the ground and work toward straightening your arms without shrugging your shoulders. Keep your fingers pointed forward with your elbows close to your torso and pointed back. Lengthen your spine and look upward Exhale: Abs, back, chest Calisthenics Counterpart: Back Bridge The Cobra and Sphinx poses are good ways to prepare your spine for various bridge holds.
Just like Cobra, in Updog your hands are under your shoulders, only your elbows are fully extended with your hips remaining low to the ground.
Remember to keep your shoulders retracted and depressed and lift your chest while pushing down through your hands. Lengthen your spine and lookup Exhale: Shrugged shoulders, excessive wrist flexion Primary Muscle Groups: Back Bridge Updog entails deep spinal compression, much like a lull Back Bridge.
Begin by kneeling on the ground, then slowly sit back until your buttocks rest on your heels. Open your knees while keeping your ankles close to each other, then lean forward from your hips. Walk your hands all the way out away from your body so that your chest winds up in between your thighs with your arms resting on the ground straight in front of you.
Slide your hips back toward your heels to deepen the stretch. Lengthen your spine and reach your arms away from your body Exhale: Press your hips back and your chest down Common Mistakes: Excessive elbow bending, knees too close together Primary Muscle Groups: Hips, hamstrings, upper-back, shoulders Calisthenics Counterpart: This will give you greater leverage to press your chest down toward the ground, further opening your upper back and shoulders.
Lift your hips and reach your arms away from your body Exhale: Press your chest all the way to the ground Common Mistakes: Hips too low, excessive elbow bending Primary Muscle Groups: Upper back, shoulders Calisthenics Counterpart: Back Bridge The Inchworm stretch is very helpful if you are limited by a tight thoracic region during bridging.
The Wheel pose requires harmony between all the muscles of the posterior chain as well as adequate flexibility, particularly in the upper back and shoulders, where many of us are prone to tightness. Be careful with this move, especially if you have particularly tight shoulders or issues with your lower back.
Lift your hips, lengthen your spine and push your body away from the ground Exhale: Press your chest up and out while squeezing your glutes and hamstrings Common Mistakes: Insufficient extension through the thoracic spine, uneven distribution of weight through the hands and feet Primary Muscle Groups: Shoulders, back, abs, hip flexors Calisthenics Counterpart: Lie face down on the ground with your arms stretched out to the sides, then engage your lower back and glutes to lift your chest off the floor.
Now bend your knees toward your backside and reach your arms behind you. Try to grab the inside of your ankles with your hands, while keeping your shoulder blades pinched together and thumbs pointed up.
Squeeze your knees together, kick your feet into your hands and press your chest forward. Lengthen your spine and lift yourself away from the ground Exhale: Kick your feet into your hands while squeezing your glutes and legs Common Mistakes: Insufficient extension through the thoracic spine Primary Muscle Groups: Back Bridge The Upward Bow is another fantastic bridge variant. Day 5 - Rest, repeat or active recovery Camel Similar to the Upward Bow, Camel pose is another useful stretch for the trunk and spine.
Kneel on the ground with your feet pointed straight behind you or toes curled under if you prefer. Your legs should be hip distance apart with your knees bent to 90 degrees. Slowly begin arching your spine while looking behind your back. Lift your sternum and reach your arms behind your body, pinching your shoulder blades together.
Rotate your arms so your elbows are facing inward and palms are facing outward. Grab the heel of your foot with an open palm grip, drop your head all the way back and push your chest out. Lengthen your spine and push your chest out Exhale: Drop your head while squeezing your shoulder blades down and back Common Mistakes: Shrugged shoulders, holding the breath Primary Muscle Groups: Chest, shoulders, abs, hip flexors Calisthenics Counterpart: Sit on the floor with both legs extended straight in front of you, knees facing upward.
Lift your chest and reach your arms overhead. Slowly hinge forward from the waist, reaching your hands toward your feet. If you cannot reach your feet, rest your hands on your thighs or grab your shins and gently pull yourself forward. If you can easily reach past your toes, aim toward getting your face to rest on your shins. Lengthen your spine and lift your chest Exhale: Fold forward from the hips while reaching past your toes, taking as much of the stretch as possible in your hamstrings Common Mistakes: Excessive rounding of the spine, external rotation of the legs toes flaring out to the sides Primary Muscle Groups: Hamstrings, calves, lower back, hips Calisthenics Counterpart: L-sit Just like the standing version, the Seated Forward Bend can be very helpful toward building the requisite hamstring mobility to perform an L-sit.
Half Straddle The Half Straddle is another great pose for beginners. Al's passion for human performance radiates in this beautifully constructed book. Whether you're stiff as a board, or an elite gymnast, this book outlines the progressions to take your body and performance to a new level.
He's created yet another incredible resource that I wish I had twenty years ago. Finding great material on flexibility training that actually enhances your strength is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. But look no further, because Stretching Your Boundaries is exactly what you need. Page 1 The 3 "must-have" qualities that transform your stretching results from mediocre to golden Page 1 "Different strokes for different folks" is mission-critical for an effective personal stretching program.
Page 1 When certain stretches can spell disaster—and perhaps for you. Check here for the full scoop Page 2 How and why a lack of mobility could be sabotaging your true athletic potential Page 5 How to achieve a full, healthy range-of-motion in all your joints Page 5 The pitfalls of "aggressive" goal-setting—and the better alternative for longterm success as a physical culturist Page 5 How to unify body and mind in your practice this is essential for serious progress Page 7 When, why and how movement can be your best medicine for aggavated muscles and conditions like tendinitis Page 19 What is the greatest barrier to achieving your true potential?
Page 21 Why mobility matters so much—if you wish to pull off high-level calisthenic moves Page 21 This muscle is usually sadly ignored—and yet its proper exercise has a vast impact on your core strength.
Stretching Your Boundaries: Flexibility Training for Extreme Calisthenic Strength
Are you making this mistake? Page 30 The relationship between correct breathwork and bodyweight mastery Page 30 Could this be THE key to total body control—and extreme calistenic strength? Page 31 How to master your Stretch Reflex for safer, more effective stretches Page 39 Get exact descriptions, common mistakes and the primary muscle groups affected by this series of dynamic stretches Pages 41 and on The Toy Soldier—a great dynamic stretch for the hamstrings, hips and trunk Page 44 The perfect stretch to prepare for push ups and handstands Page 45 The Egg Beater—great for building active mobility in the hips Page 47 How to use the strength of certain muscles to stretch and activate others Page 49 Standing Static Stretches—correct breathing, common mistakes, primary muscle groups targeted and the Calisthenics counterpart Page 49 and on Explore the "Mountain"—a simple yet potentially challenging opener for the shoulders and upper back Page59 How the Standing Plow can give you greater flexibility for extreme moves like Skinning the Cat Page63 Do you have incorrigably tight shoulders and pecs?
This could be your golden fix Page 73 Investigate the Tree—your one-legged balancing act will thank you for it! Pages This extremely famous Yoga move is fantastic for building flexibility in the entire posterior chain. Do you know it?
Do you do it right? Pages Is too much tightness making a mockery of your Pike Push-Ups? Save face by practicing this moveHold for several breaths. Try to avoid letting your chin get pushed down to your chest. From a standing position, perform a quick front kick while reaching your opposite hand toward the toes of your kicking leg. You can perform these routines as warm-ups or cooldowns, or do them on separate days from your strength training altogether.
Lists with This Book. You have to put your plan into action to get any benefits.