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5 Exercises to Wed Your Yoga and Calisthenic Practices

By Berniegourley @berniegourley

5.) Anything plank (a.k.a. adho mukha dandasana / santolanasana): Who knows how long planks have been a feature of yoga? Plank postures are a fixture in Hatha Yoga, playing a role in most versions of Surya Namaskara (sun salutations), and being used to both to build core strength and to prepare for arm balances.

Planks have also gained immense popularity with calisthenic practitioners. In my gym class days, sit-ups and crunches were the go to ab exercises. No more. Now many bodyweight fitness practitioners are ditching sit-ups and crunches altogether for a number of exercises deemed more effective–include many variations on the plank.

5 Exercises to Wed Your Yoga and Calisthenic Practices

High plank (adho mukha dandasana)

5 Exercises to Wed Your Yoga and Calisthenic Practices

Low plank (chaturanga dandasana)

5 Exercises to Wed Your Yoga and Calisthenic Practices

Forearm plank variation with leg up

5 Exercises to Wed Your Yoga and Calisthenic Practices

High plank variation with alternating limbs extended

5 Exercises to Wed Your Yoga and Calisthenic Practices

Side plank (vasisthasana)

4.) Back bridge (a.k.a. Chakrasana): This is another yoga classic that’s being brought into calisthenics training in a big way. You may note a recurring theme in my selections for this post, exercises and postures (asana) that help to build shoulder joints that are strong, stable, and yet sufficiently flexible. This is a big challenge for bodyweight workout practitioners. One can get stability by bulking the muscles up, but if you don’t have the range of motion to achieve proper alignment, it’s not going to do one a lot of good.

5 Exercises to Wed Your Yoga and Calisthenic Practices

The back bridge (chakrasana, or “wheel pose”)

3.) L-sit (a.k.a. Bramcharyasana): Of course, the other recurring theme (besides building shoulder stability) is core strength. This exercise is both a yoga classic and is probably as old as gymnastics itself. Its Sanskrit name, Brahcharyasana, means celibate’s pose–but as far as I’m concerned that’s purely optional.

5 Exercises to Wed Your Yoga and Calisthenic Practices

L-sit (Bramcharyasana)

2.) “Supermans” (a.k.a. shalabasana [locust pose]): Another core exercise, but one that strengthens the back muscles.

5 Exercises to Wed Your Yoga and Calisthenic Practices

“Supermans” (shalabasana)

1.) Handstands and Handstand Preppers (a.k.a. adho mukha vrksasana): This practice isn’t just about looking impressive. As mentioned above, it’s hard to build shoulder joints that allow enough stability and range of motion to have the command of one’s body that one would like. Our shoulders are optimized to maximum mobility. That helped our ancestors to be awesome throwers of spears and rocks, but it makes it tough to support our weight in an inverted position. The handstand is a good way to build stability in the shoulders.

5 Exercises to Wed Your Yoga and Calisthenic Practices

Handstand (adho mukha vrksasana)

5 Exercises to Wed Your Yoga and Calisthenic Practices

If it’s too hard, use your legs to stabilize you (but still try to get that straight up-and-down arm position)

5 Exercises to Wed Your Yoga and Calisthenic Practices

If it’s too easy, start doing push-ups

By in Calisthenics, exercise, fitness, Health, lists, yoga on August 11, 2017.

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