Global Technique Considerations for Calisthenics
All exercise variations have differences, both subtle and overt, but there are overarching principles of technique that one should strive to follow. It is never a good idea to consistently practice with poor technique. Poor technique may be an indication that an exercise is too difficult, and this can often lead to injuries. But it’s important to remember that ideal technique is a progression in and of itself, so do expect that when moving on to harder variations, it won’t be achieved right away. This is OK, as long as one works to consistently improve their technique, and is willing to regress a given exercise, if necessary. Here are some general considerations regarding technique:
- Tense the body and contract the core
- Maintain focus and be aware of your surroundings
- Keep the back straight and scapula retracted
- Understand limb placement and function
- Control the neck
- Generally, speeding a technique up will make the exercise easier due to momentum, while slowing it down will demand greater endurance and so increase difficulty.
- Always be willing to regress an exercise to build greater strength
Bearing the above principles in mind will hopefully encourage a keener understanding of your movements during exercise. Greater attention to technique offers more efficient muscular recruitment and will maximize strength in the least amount of time.
The above photo is an example of a very common technical error with the pushup. The sagging of the back is an indication that the core isn’t engaged, or strong enough to stabilize the body during the pushup. Tightening the technique, or regressing to an easier variation to further strengthen the core, is recommended.