6 Types of Calisthenics Athletes

Posted on November 21 2018

6 Types of Calisthenics Athletes

    In the calisthenics community, nobody is the same. We have our own different styles, our own different types. You really can't categorize calisthenics or a calisthenics athlete into one single type of athlete. Today, we're going to talk about six different calisthenics athletes that you've probably seen but before we get into it, please don’t get offended by this at all. It's just some things that I have noticed around the community and on social media.

1. Military Calisthenics

These people only train usually push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups, and that's it. Literally, that is all. I say the military because according to what branch you're in, they're really big on those super basic movements. Some people only train those movements because of the military. Honestly, usually, it’s just military people who just do the normal push-ups, the normal pull-ups, and focus on the sit-ups and the running. Now, these people may lift on the side, usually, they do, and they really don't take calisthenics that seriously.

2. Static Calisthenics

Now, these people only focus on static skills, so they only train the planche, they only train the front lever; don’t get me wrong, it's not a bad thing. Usually, these people are insanely strong. I'm talking one-arm planches, one-arm front levers, can hold-a-planche-in-their-sleep type strong. One thing I do tend to notice about these people who train statics only is that they're usually very skinny. They're usually on the skinnier side. They don't have that much muscle mass, but I'm telling you, their strength is still crazy, crazy. In my opinion, these types of people should have a bit more variety in their training. I mean, if you want to be able to do one-arm planches, then, by all means, go for it, but I feel like we should always do our reps and sets, too.

3. Flashy Calisthenics

Why do is say “Flashy Calisthenics”? It's because I don't know; I feel like everything's for show or maybe they just do it for Instagram. These Flashy Calisthenics people, they do a lot of tricks on the bars, a lot of explosive work, doing back-flips, hopping up, clapping behind their back, diving. I'm not sure if it actually reaps benefits as to what it shows, because I can do a couple of Superman push-ups, but am I really working out? That's the question.

4. Playground Calisthenics

These people you see a lot up in New York or at the playground. It's very similar to the first one, Military Calisthenics, except for they don't stick with just the basics. They do kind of go on and do their muscle-ups and stuff like that. You'll see them doing a lot of muscle-ups for reps, a lot of diamond push-ups, wide push-ups for reps, a lot of dip variations for reps. You know, they tend to not go beyond that. Some people like this, for example, I can say are probably Frank Medrano, Bar Brothers people, in my opinion, definitely Hannibal For King. I call that style of training like Playground Calisthenics. Still doing high reps, but it's not as basic as the military style.

5. Flexible Calisthenics

These people, they usually train their static skills and are very good at it; these people are beasts at handstands. They tend to have a strong focus in flexibility and mobility training when they train the calisthenics. They might still do the typical calisthenics stuff, except for this time, half of their workout is stretching, doing loaded mobility work, focusing on joint movement and stuff like that. Like I said in the beginning, these people would tend to be very, very good at handstands, and having that perfect alignment, and their toes pointed. You know, one-arm handstands, you'll see these types of people doing it.

6. Aesthetic Calisthenics

In my opinion, this is the best way to do calisthenics. All the bodyweight bodybuilders stand up. Me, personally, this is what I classify myself as. Aesthetic Calisthenics, aka bodyweight bodybuilders, what does this mean? This person definitely does a lot of reps and sets, weighted calisthenics, and even training their static skills. This type of athlete trains like a bodybuilder, making the exercises progressively harder as they get stronger, and also being aware of their diet, how/when they can get the best results possible, not only in the performance but also in their body, too. Some examples of this athlete, in my opinion, is a Russian guy named Kowtyn Igor. Me, myself personally, that's how I've been training. That is my style.

Also, there are a variety of others that I'm sure you guys see all the time. Now in my program, The Bodyweight Bodybuilder, I do go into further detail on this style of training and why it is best for building muscle and strength with bodyweight training only. So if you do want to check out my program, it’s available here at workoutad.com.

    Those are the six types of calisthenics athletes that I usually see on social media. If I missed one, let me know down below or comment on which one you identify with. In my opinion, I feel like it's best to have a little bit of everything. But like I said, the sixth one, the Calisthenics Aesthetics, the bodyweight bodybuilder, in my opinion, is the best route to go to.


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  • Collin Ryan: August 16, 2020

    Hi Austin I am a big fan of your YouTube channel and I have been doing calisthenics for under 1 year and I would definitely consider myself a flexible calisthenics athlete because I do my mobility training first and I also train a lot of static movements and I plan to start freestyle calisthenics but I need to get a backyard pull-up bar so I can start learning the dynamic skills that elite street workout athletes do.

  • James ACSM: November 26, 2019


    Please, for the love of knowledge, don’t take this seriously. I almost dropped my phone when I read that “military calisthenics” consists of three exercises. I don’t believe this individual means any harm but please, please, PLEASE do not take this composition as knowledgeable.

    American College of Sports Medicine trainer

  • Robert : November 24, 2019

    Hi man, nowadays calisthenic is part of my life, I do it everyday in a square, and I consider myself the 4 one, “playground calisthenic”. Keep up the good work, thanks from Brazil.

  • Nilanjan Chowdhury: September 20, 2019

    Thanks Austin, Calisthenics is a new thing in my country,India. I’m a certified Yoga instructor. I always follow yours and FitnessFAQs videos. Here bodybuilding means gym going. From this article , I undertstand the varities in it. Most probably these variations develop according to the profession and purpose. Its a new dimension of looking at a thing.

  • Rusty: July 12, 2019

    I think there should be a category of calisthenics if people who train calisthenics but don’t really do movements like the muscle up or planche

  • Karim : June 14, 2019

    Very good article, but just missed the progressive calisthenics style.

  • Braaainz: May 23, 2019

    Yeah, there are 4 kinda of article writers.
    One kind, the grouper, creates subjective groupings; they then list the faults of all but one of the groups; finally, they laud the final group… the group that they list themselves as.
    The other kinds? Yeah, they’re just better writers.

  • Austin: April 30, 2019

    This is a very interesting article. I follow you in YouTube, and you always have good and helpful content. Thanks

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