Despite often being labelled as a ‘beginners’ pursuit, many bodyweight movements are anything but easy, often requiring huge amounts of practice.
Unlike other forms of resistance training where you can simply nail the technique and progressively put more weight on the bar, calisthenics movements often prove a bit trickier. Oftentimes, you’re required to begin with regressed versions of your goal movement, that may bear little to no resemblance to the finished product.
Although frustrating at times, sticking to these adapted movements and ‘earning the right to progress’, is the most surefire way to hit your movement goals.
Hollie Bottrill’s got your back with 5 banded bodyweight regressions to assist you on your training journey.
1. PISTOL TO BANDED PLATFORM
Stretch a band across the J-pegs in a rack, around knee height, turn your back to the ground and lift one foot from the ground. From this position, bend at then knee and push your hips back, ‘sitting’ down and back onto the band. Continue descending until the hip crease of your working leg passes below your knee. Use the tension of the band to help you stand back up and repeat. Perform the desired number of reps before switching legs.
2. BAND ASSISTED PISTOL
Secure a band over a pull-up bar, door or any anchor point above head height. Hold the loose end and step back until you feel tension on the band. From this position, bend at then knee and push your hips back, ‘sitting’ down and back, whilst keeping your non working leg straight, with your foot off of the ground. Continue descending until the hip crease of your working leg passes below your knee. Pull on the band to keep your balance and help you stand back up before repeating. Perform the desired number of reps before switching legs.
3. BAND ASSISTED DIPS
Place a band around a set of parallel bars or dip handles. Lift yourself up onto the bars and bend your legs, lower your body until your knees are supported by the band. Bend at the elbows, using the tension of the band to help control your descent until your upper arms are parallel to the ground, or as deep as you can comfortably get. Push back up, the tension of the band assisting your rep. Repeat.
4. ASSISTED HANDSTAND HOLD
Stretch a band across the J-pegs in a rack, around shoulder height. Facing the rack, place both hands on the floor, shoulder width apart before kicking up into a handstand. Use the band to ‘catch’ your legs, helping you to balance. Try to bring your legs away from the band, getting familiar with a freestanding hold, but allowing the band to support you if your balance falters.
5. BANDED PULL-UPS
Secure a band over a pull-up bar, or any anchor point above head height. Pull the band down and step one foot into the bottom loop. Grab the pull-up bar with an overhand grip (or to preference), use the tension of the band to alleviate some of your bodyweight and help you to pull your chin over the bar. Lower under control and repeat.