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Review and summary of complete Calisthenics The ultimate guide by Ashley Kalym

My review and summary of the book Complete calisthenics

Review and summary of complete Calisthenics The ultimate guide by Ashley Kalym

Review - Complete Calisthenics: The Ultimate Guide to Body weight Exercise by Ashley Kalym.

As it says in the title, this book is a well-put-out piece of documentation on calisthenics - meaning it is useful for people with different levels of experience in calisthenics. Say, beginner, intermediate, or advanced level readers will learn a lot.

This aspect of the books is both good and bad at the same time.

This complete set of exercises means this could be the only book you need to go from beginner to intermediate or even advanced. But that also means beginners will find this book intimidating because of the sheer number of exercises.

Updated version of this book - Amazon,Flipkart

Also, many difficult exercises in each category. To solve this problem, the author introduces 5 different programs based on the level of the user. But still, I don’t think it is a beginner-friendly book.

From beginner to very advanced calisthenics included in this book.

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Author Profile - Ashley Kalym.

The author believes gymnastics is the pinnacle of calisthenics.

When he was young, the author had some experience in rugby and bodyweight training. Then joined the military after a few years. Joined gymnastics & experienced the power of bodyweight training.

He became an expert and decided to write this book to share what he learned with the world.

Introduction to calisthenics - Summary.

In the introduction part of the book, the author explains what is calisthenics

Widely used in military, sports since ancient times. Calisthenics use bodyweight for fitness. The gym equipment was too far away from the ancient way of life.

Why gymnastics is a pinnacle of calisthenics, it is overall - strength, agility, power, flexibility mobility, etc. But the author believes it is not practical for a regular person.

Summary - Complete Calisthenics: The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Exercise.

This is a big book that explains a lot of stuff in a very detailed way. Following is just a quick summary of the different topics discussed.

Advantages of Calisthenics.

Easier - can start with very low varients. Not easy to injure yourself - not too much weight or strain or overtraining. Difficulty can be adjusted according to level. Is useful for other sports. Best for exercises where the muscle does not move.

Disadvantages of Calisthenics.

Lack of lower body exercise options. No weighs can be added - can make it more challenging but not easy as adding a weight. Not great for bulking - lean and muscular.

Unique benefits of Calisthenics.

  • Hand strength.
  • Focuses on Core health.
  • Balance & stability and shoulder muscles & joints - can perform amazing poses.
  • wesome strength on locked arm position and back.
  • Hand-eye-body coordination improves
  • No equipment
  • Location = can perform almost anywhere

Bare minimum essentials for doing Calisthenics.

Pull up bar, dip bar, parallels. Clothing, chalk, foam roller, training partner, nutrition, rest and recovery, protein-rich food, water.

Food examples.

Egg, milk, nuts, fish, vegetables, chicken, peas, potatoes.

Chance of injury and recovery tips.

Sleep, take special care of arms, joints take more time to recover.

Getting ready for calisthenics workouts.

Warm-up - very important for calisthenics, cardio warm-up & stretching.


Upper body mobility - scapula movements, scapula push-up, scapula dip, scapula pull-up, scapula one-arm push-up, scapula foam rolling, armpit foam rolling, rotator cuff stretch, chest and shoulder stretch, shoulder dislocates. Core mobility - spine foam rolling, side leans.

Lower body mobility - it band foam rolling, adductor foam rolling, piriformis foam rolling. rollovers into straddle sit, knee circles, mountain climbers, frog hops, hip flexor stretch, deep squat position.


Relax, make lengthened muscle stronger, Be consistent. Upper body stretches - chest and soulder stretch, upper back stretch, chest stretch, forearm / wrist stretch 1, forearm / wrist stretch 2. Core stretches - standing side stretch, cobra stretch, cat stretch. Lower body stretches - quad stretch, hamstring stretch, straddle stretch, groin stretch, hip flexor stretch, glute stretch, calf stretch.

Other factors.

Range of motion. Using momentom. Cheating on the exercises.

Starting - exercises.

Push up - Normal, wide & narrow pushup explained with clear instructions & images. Deep push up, pseudo planche push up, fingertip push up, wrist push up, one arm push up, one arm leg push up, and polymetric push-up, variations like clap push up, back clap push up, double clap push up, triple clap push up, lalanne push up, wall push up, archer pushup, spider pushups.

Pull up - Rows, chin-ups, negative chin ups, static holds, pull up, wide grip pull up, close grip pull up, behind the neck pull up, inline pull up, rock climber pull up, L pull up, horizontal pull up, finger pull up, rope towel pull up, clap pull up, typewriter pull up,

Dips - box dip, triceps dip, front dip.

Muscle-ups - Normal muscle up, false grip muscle-up.

Handstands - wall walks, freestanding handstand, wall supported handstand, wall supported handstand - kicking up, wall supported handstand balancing, recovering from a handstand, floor handstand,

Parallelet handstands - using parallets with wall support, with no support.

handstand push-ups - Handstand push-ups with the hands on the floor and using the wall as a support. Freestanding handstand push-ups with the hands on the floor. Handstand push-ups with the hands-on parallets and using the wall as a support. Freestanding handstand push-ups with the hands-on parallets. Ninety-degree push up.

Levers - Front lever, Back lever, Half lever, Human flag.

The planche - finger facing forwards, backward, using parallets, lean planche, frog stand, flat back planche, single-leg planche, straddle planche, From a tuck planche, Forward pull, Kick throughs, From a handstand, full planche, planche push-ups.

The front lever - vertical pulls, tuck front lever, flat back front lever, single let front lever, straddle front lever, from a tuck, front lever, pendulums, full front lever, front lever pull-ups,

Back lever - german hang, tuck back lever, flat back lever, single leg back lever, straddle back lever, full back lever.

Half lever - tucked half lever, angled half lever, half lever, floor half lever, half lever extensions, half lever bicycles, half lever swimmers.

Human flag - vertical flag, straddle flag, human flag.

Floor core exercises - plank, side plank, crunch, dish, v-up, sit up, lying leg extension, extended plank, arch, rear support, dragon flag, The candlestick, the tucked dragon flag, the single-leg dragon flag, the negative dragon flag, the dragon flag

Leg raise exercises - hanging knee raise, hanging leg raise, window wipers.

Lower body exercises - squat, lunge, bridge, single leg bridge, calf raise, single-leg squat, Assisted single leg squat, Single-leg box squat, Single leg squat, Weighted single leg squat.

Conditioning - how to do conditioning introductory examples. star jump, jumping squat, jumping lunge, squat thrust, mountain climbers, burpees, bastards, sprints, bear crawls,

Setting goals -

  • Increased strength.
  • Increased muscle size.
  • Increased muscle tone and reduced body fat.
  • Increased mobility and flexibility.
  • Increased athletic potential.
  • Increased health benefits.
  • Stress reduction.
  • Social reasons.
  • Improving sports performance.
  • Rehabilitation and injury prevention.

Sets, repetition & hold times - Detailed instruction on reps, hold times, and sets.

Over and under training - How to identify whether you are under training or overtraining. Issues and solutions.

Creating your own movements -How to create your own movements and workout based on your limitation/strengths.

Programs 1 2 3 4 - this book includes 4 different workout plans. Including a plan for beginner, intermediate, and expert level workouts.

Creating your own program - how to create your own program.

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Written on June 27, 2021
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