One of the great things about Taigoki is that you can duplicate almost any free weight or machine movement with a body weight equivalent.
Hand stands are similar to over head presses. Push ups are similar to bench pressing. Pull ups are like pull downs. Plus you can do any sort of focused isolated exercise imaginable with a set of suspension straps.
The glaring omission is the action of pulling a heavy weight off the ground like with dead lifts and power cleans. So the question is, is there a body weight version of the dead lift or are you seriously missing out by not doing dead lifts?
The answer is a mix of yes and no.
Yes, you certainly can build a strong posterior chain through body weight exercise. No you can’t duplicate the exact same benefits without the dead lift or power clean.
Remember the S.A.I.D principal. (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand.) It teaches us that the strength and capability we gain from an exercise is due to the specific demands of that exact exercise. It also teaches us that all exercises have a finite scope of effect. You can be strong and capable at anything, but there isn’t an exercise that makes you capable at everything.
Which means that the dead lift, and similar exercises, is great but they are not everything. They have their strengths and limitations, just like every other mode of training.
The question to ask yourself is if being strong at the dead lift or power clean is important to you. If it is then by all means practice that exercise. However, if you don’t care about that exercise but you still want to have a strong posterior chain there are plenty of calisthenics exercises that can strengthen the hell out of your posterior chain.
Some of those exercises bring similar benefits like the dead lift. Other’s bring different benefits that the dead lift can hardly touch.
I’ll cover some of these exercises in the next post, but for now here’s the important take away:
No- you can’t get the exact same benefits of the dead lift from any other exercise. This is also true for every other exercise comparison.
Yes- You can build a strong posterior chain with body weight training and you can become stronger in the name of picking up heavy stuff.