Use Your Spine to Guide Your Calisthenics Technique

In Leg Training, Playground Workouts, Suspension Training, Uncategorizedby Matt

Please Share:


In a previous post, I talked about how you can only progress your exercise so far with volume or intensity. Keep piling on the sets or weight and eventually things will start to go south.

Improving your technique however is an endless fountain of potential progress. You can spend years improving your technique and still have plenty of room for growth.

The challenge is knowing how to improve your technique.

Adding volume or intensity is pretty easy and strait forward, but improving technique requires more effort and introspection.

The best place to look for improving your technique is your spine.

Your spinal position or movement is the canary in the coal mine. It’s movement will reflect and control every aspect of your teqnique for every calisthenics exercise.

The falicy with a lot of weight training is the fact that pads or supports stabilize the spine. So even if your technique is off, it’s tough to know because your spine is still in the same position.


With calisthenics your spine is almost always free to move as it may. It means you must pay attention to its position and use durring all exercises.


Lunges- Be sure your spine doesn’t have much, if any, forward movement as you lunge. Your shoulders should stay directly above your pelvise with each step.

Pull ups- the position of your spine will influence what back muscles are being used as you pull yourself up. Keeping it strait up and down will involve your biceps more. Slightly arching backwards will involve the back  bit more.

Push ups- keeping your spine rock solid still is the hallmark of a good push up. Don’t let it sag or bend as you lower yourself down.

Squats- pay attention to any lateral movement in your spine as you squat down. Also be careful to not let it round forward if possible to engage more muscle in the spinal electors and lower back.

The bottom line is that almost all movement must go through your spine. This includes both movements you want and movements you don’t want. So look to where your spine is moving during each exercise. If need be have someone record you with a simple video camera. It can be very enlightening to see what happens to the back side of your body.