Advanced Calisthenics Progressions

Calisthenics is a form of exercise that utilizes bodyweight movements to build strength, flexibility, and endurance. While basic calisthenics exercises like push-ups and squats are great for beginners, advanced practitioners often seek more challenging progressions to continue pushing their limits. In this article, we will explore some advanced calisthenics progressions that can take your workout to the next level.

1. Muscle-Ups

One of the most iconic and impressive calisthenics moves is the muscle-up. It combines a pull-up with a dip, resulting in a fluid movement that showcases upper-body strength and coordination. To perform a muscle-up, start by hanging from a pull-up bar with hands positioned slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Pull yourself up explosively, using the momentum to transition into a dip position. Finish the movement by pushing up and extending your arms until you’re fully locked out at the top. The muscle-up requires a significant amount of upper-body strength and core stability.

2. Handstand Push-Ups

Handstand push-ups are an excellent progression from regular push-ups as they target your shoulders, triceps, and upper back muscles more intensely. Start by kicking up into a handstand against a wall, ensuring that your body is fully extended and core engaged. From the handstand position, slowly lower yourself down, allowing your head to lightly touch the ground or an elevated surface, and then push yourself back up to the starting position. If you want to challenge yourself even further, elevate your feet on a stable object to make the movement more difficult.

3. Pistol Squats

Pistol squats are a unilateral lower-body exercise that demands strength, stability, and flexibility. Begin by standing on one leg, with your other leg extended straight out in front of you. Slowly lower yourself down by bending your supporting leg, ensuring that your heel stays in contact with the ground. Once you reach a deep squat position, push yourself back up to the starting position. Pistol squats require excellent lower-body strength, as well as ankle and hip mobility.

4. Planche Progressions

The planche is a jaw-dropping calisthenics move that involves balancing your body horizontally with only your hands touching the ground. It requires tremendous upper-body strength, stability, and core control. There are several progressions to work towards the full planche, including tuck planche, advanced tuck planche, and straddle planche. Each progression focuses on gradually moving your center of gravity away from your grounded hands, increasing the load on your shoulders and core muscles.

5. Front Lever Progressions

The front lever is a challenging move that requires you to hold your body horizontally while gripping a bar or rings. This exercise heavily targets your core, back, and shoulder muscles, promoting a strong and stable upper body. Progressions for the front lever include tucked front lever, advanced tuck front lever, and straddle front lever. Each progression aims to gradually straighten your body and increase the leverage on your upper body muscles.


Advanced calisthenics progressions offer new and exciting challenges for individuals seeking to further enhance their strength, flexibility, and overall fitness. Incorporating these advanced exercises into your workout routine can take your calisthenics practice to new heights. However, it is essential to ensure proper form, progress gradually, and listen to your body to prevent injuries. As always, consult with a fitness professional before attempting any advanced calisthenics progressions.