You can improve your fitness levels very effectively with any calisthenic workouts. Calisthenics must include exercises that work to balance not only your abdominal muscles but your hip flexors as well.
You may not be aware that the majority of basic calisthenics exercises that people use to strengthen their abdominal muscles in fact work the hip flexors.
This can cause you to over-train your hip flexors and not train your abdominal muscles at all.
Now, it's important to remember that you need to properly train your hip flexors and abdominals for complete core balance.
The problem however is that if you concentrate on basic calisthenics that focus too much on your hip flexors, you will run into lower back problems.
It's been noted that over working your hip flexors during any calisthenic workout may change the curvature of your spine and place added stress on the front of your vertebral discs.
Most fitness training experts agree that the majority of lower back problems that athletes in various sports experience is directly associated to the hip flexor exercises they perform as part of their basic calisthenics training program.
The strength of your hip flexors is an important part of any basic calisthenics training program but you need to remember and balance hip flexor exercises with good quality and effective abdominal exercises.
Before starting any calisthenic workouts you need to determine which basic calisthenics exercises are the best for each muscle group and the individual muscles themselves. Include them all in your calisthenic workouts to avoid any muscle imbalances.
Calisthenic workouts need to involve some type of flexibility exercises as well.
Basic calisthenics exercises that raise your feet or legs up off the floor will tend to focus more on your hip flexors rather than your abdominals. During these calisthenic exercises your torso and upper abdominal muscles will stabilize your pelvis.
If you exercise your hip flexors before your abdominals they will become fatigued and therefore when you do your abdominal exercises, it will only be your ab muscles doing the work – which is what you want.
If your muscles do not have the strength to perform the exercise you are doing properly then other assistor or stabilizer muscles will be used. In some cases this can lead to injury if the stabilizers are called into a situation they’re not meant to be in.
As an example: if you are performing basic calisthenics exercises that are over-stressing your lower ab muscles your hip flexors will start to help. If you have stronger hip flexor muscles than ab muscles you will tend to have a stomach that pushes out, leading to lower back problems.
Sit ups are not done today as they were years ago. They have changed a lot over the years because if not done correctly, they can lead to many different lower back problems and injuries. If you use sit ups in your calisthenic workouts then make sure you know how to do them properly.
When doing sit-ups, bend your legs at approximately a forty five-degree angle at your hips. Place both of your feet flat on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Your legs should be turned outwards a wee bit. Do not pull your head forward with your hands.
You need to focus on using only your ab muscles during all parts of the exercise. A good tip is too keep your eyes directed straight above you staring at the ceiling. This will reduce the tension on your neck.
When in the proper position, you will be able to slightly raise your torso up to a point where your shoulder blades come off the floor. This will cause most of your abdominal muscles and muscle fibers to become activated.
If you start your sit-ups from the extension position you won't be able to perform as many reps per set. But of course, your main goal when performing these types of calisthenic exercises is the quality of the reps not the total number you can do.
Once you get to the point in your calisthenic workouts where your muscles are strong enough that you are able to do more than fifteen reps per set, you can make the exercise more difficult by changing the variables of the exercise.
You can add weight, do the exercises on a slight decline, change the position of your arms, etc. Here are some ways to change your arm position in order to make the sit ups more challenging:
If muscle endurance is your goal during your calisthenic workouts, make sure you're not using too much weight as to not be able to do over fifteen reps per set.
If your main goal during your calisthenic training sessions is muscle development and improving your strength you need to use enough weight to keep your reps from reaching fifteen or more per set. After you have built a proper muscle foundation you can then begin to improve your muscle endurance.