In my new Return of Kings article, I discuss the concept of progressive declining loads in calisthenics training, a concept that is as old as calisthenic training itself, although the name is my own invention.
Essentially, where weightlifting requires you to add small increments of weight in units of 5 or 10, calisthenics unloading requires you to decrease the weight born on your limbs as you do moves such as the one handed pushup or one-handed pullup.
…But just as musicians will repeatedly subdivide a bar of music to get the proper count and rhythm, and barbell manufacturers produce 1.25 pound plates, you too can subdivide calisthenics exercise—by using musicians will repeatedly subdivide a bar of music to get the proper count and rhythm, and barbell manufacturers produce 1.25 pound plates, you too can subdivide calisthenics exercise—by using your fingers.
Take, for example, the one-handed pull-up: A very difficult exercise indeed, and one that probably provided me with the most difficulty in the convict conditioning curriculum. A way of working up to the true one-handed pull-up that I discovered was to hang with the fingers of one hand.
Gradually removing fingers from the opposite hand into the true finger-tip pushup (With the aid of the medicine ball/basketball) was probably the most useful technique I used in achieving the true one-handed fingertip pushup.
Undoubtedly one could use this for even more calisthenic techniques such as the handstand pushup…but I will admit I have yet to achieve the two handed fingertip handstand pushup, to say nothing of the nigh-mythical single-armed variant.
Regardless of my failure to perform a skill that most people couldn’t imagine…I have still given you the tools to achieve slightly more believable bodyweight skills, in this and past articles. Go forth and use them.
You can read the full article here