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Build strength and muscle with progressive calisthenics

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Progressive calisthenics can help you to build strength and muscle at the same time. If you want to build real world's friend, those glossy and costly machines in the gym are not necessary. Calisthenics exercises generally does not require anything except the floor, a wall, a bench or a bar. It is possible to get extremely strong and build lots of muscle with a bodyweight training like calisthenics.

Let's find out how you can increase strength and muscle using progressive calisthenics.

Change your weight to limb ratio

It is possible to increase and decrease the resistance of many calisthenics exercises. That can be easily done by adjusting the distribution of your body weight. When you do a push-up with your feet on an elevated surface, there will be more weight in the chest, arms and shoulders and as a result of that it will be more difficult for you. It means you are increasing the resistance by performing push-ups. On the other hand, if you keep your hands on an elevated surface while doing push-ups, it will reduce the overall resistance you experience in comparison to push-ups you perform keeping all limbs on the same surface.

It is also possible to increase the resistance further by removing a contact point. If you are trying to perform a one legged squat, it will need more strength because of the higher resistance in comparison to a squat performed on both legs. You can eliminate one point of contact and there would almost double the load on the individual leg. There are different variations available which will help you to make different types of changes to the resistance and thereby help you to increase your strength and power and muscle.

Change the range of motion

If you want to progress in your calisthenics exercises, you can do so by changing the range of motion of the exercises. While performing a hanging leg raise, you can take your leg up to make it parallel to the ground. If you want to make it more challenging and thereby increase the resistance so that you can build more strength and muscle, you can simply take your toes all the way to the bar while performing a hanging leg raise. By increasing the distance a little bit, you can make a huge impact.

Initially when you start doing different calisthenics exercises, you can use half of the motion instead of the complete range of motion. You can keep doing it until you become comfortable in doing a full range of motion. Performing half squats until you can perform a full squat is okay because you can gradually progress from the half squat to the full squat.

Get some assistance

You can use the principle of self-assistance to move towards more advanced bodyweight exercises. This can be done by holding something while performing some of the exercises. If you performing one legged squat, initially you can back onto a bench because it will provide you with balance and stability in the bottom position. After you become expert in that, you can gradually eliminate the bench and try to do the complete exercise without any assistance. If you are working on some upper body movements, you can also use self-assist from the legs. While performing pull-ups initially when you cannot do it, you can use a chair and keep one foot on that chair while performing the exercise.


1. Build Insane Strength And Mad Skills With Progressive Calisthenics
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3. Increasing Lean Mass and Strength: A Comparison of High Frequency Strength Training to Lower Frequency Strength Training