The coolest freestyle calisthenics exercises
Have you been doing calisthenics for a while and are you curious about the many freestyle exercises that can be seen on social media? On this page we have listed some well-known freestyle calisthenics exercises for you. In fact, a freestyle calisthenics exercise can be any exercise. However, these exercises are often referred to as the dynamic tricks. Below you will find a list of the most famous dynamic calisthenics tricks which are often performed on momentum and explosiveness.
We think it is important to mention that freestyle calisthenics is not suitable for beginners, to prevent injuries! Furthermore, we absolutely recommend using good crash mats when learning every freestyle trick.
Swing Tornado grip
The swing tornado grip is one of the first dynamic exercises that you can easily learn. Basically, the swing tornado grip is switching hand grips while swinging from a bar. When you’re at the back of a swing, slide one hand in a little and put the other underhand with your arms crossed. The result of this is that the subsequent swing will automatically make your body do a half turn, which can be the starting position of another trick or transition to another bar.
180 over the bar
With a 180 over the bar you must first be able to get on top of a high bar, this can be done by means of a pullover or a muscle-up. From here you throw your legs up and loosely twist your body over the bar with your hands so that you end up on the other side. You can then catch the bar again and catch your fall in a controlled manner. The fall of this exercise is heavy! This is why we always recommend learning a proper muscle-up before attempting this trick.
Barhop and Switchblade
The bar hop is a well-known exercise in freestyle calisthenics in which you throw your legs over the bar from a supporting position on a bar and then turn your knees backwards. A bar hop is initially quite scary to do, but by repeating it a lot you will be able to perform the trick more and more easily.
A switchblade is basically a 180 over the bar + a bar hop. You throw yourself from a supporting position on a bar first with a half turn to the other side, and then throw your legs over the bar so that you turn your knees backwards on the other side. The switchblade is a very cool trick to watch and nowadays fewer and fewer athletes master this trick.
A swing 180 is the first free spin an athlete learns while swinging on a high bar. When you throw your hips over at the front of a swing at dead center and release your hands, you can grab the bar again and swing back forward. The swing 180 can be learned relatively quickly and safely if someone has been doing calisthenics for a while.
The muscle-up 360 is a full twist from a supporting position on a high bar. By initially practicing this on a low bar, you can already learn the turn without falling from a great height. You do a muscle-up 360 by first doing a muscle-up, and then throwing your legs and hips up while rotating. Because you now let go of the bar completely, you turn a full circle in the air and if you do this fast enough, you can grab the bar again and catch the fall. The muscle-up 360 is a pretty tricky exercise with a hard fall! Again, we highly recommend mastering the muscle-up before you begin this trick.
Swing 360 and Swing 720
A swing 360 is now one of the most famous dynamic calisthenics exercises in which you turn from a hard swing, at the rear, a full round around your axis and catch the bar again. The swing 360 is easiest to learn after you’ve learned the muscle-up 360 because it already teaches you how to turn and catch. With a swing 360 you go less high than with a muscle-up 360 and you are also further away from the bar. It can take an athlete a while to learn the 360 swing, mainly due to the explosive power that must be built up in the wing muscles. In addition, every failed attempt results in a fall, which you have had enough of after a few times.
The swing 720 is a fairly new dynamic calisthenics trick, which was only done for the first time in 2018. The swing 720 is the same in all respects as the swing 360, but you do not turn one but two rounds before you catch the bar again. A swing 720 requires a very hard swing and enormous explosiveness, in addition to mastering a quick turn is required to do the trick.
Swing 540 and Swing 900
A very cool dynamic trick that is done a lot is the swing 540. With a swing 540 it is the intention that you turn yourself around your axis for one and a half rounds at the front of a swing, and then catch the bar again. It helps enormously to make a kicking movement to the side with your legs. It is also beneficial to already master a swing 360, so that you already master turning and catching from a swing. A swing 540 can take a long time to learn as you have to swing very hard and have very good turning technique.
The swing 900 is the farthest swing among the dynamic calisthenics tricks to date. A swing 900 is the same as the swing 540 in every way, except that you now have to turn two and a half rounds before you catch the bar again. Only a few athletes around the world have managed to master this trick and when a swing 900 is performed at a competition, there is always a big cheer and applause.
Giants or also called the giant swing is a well-known exercise from gymnastics. With a giant you swing with a stretched body all the way over the head around a bar. Giants in calisthenics are rarely performed in the usual way. In freestyle calisthenics competitions, giants are often used to transition to another trick. The variant of a giant that you often see in calisthenics is the baby giant.
With a baby giant you actually turn completely over the head, but your arms and / or legs are not completely straight. Athletes are, as it were, taking away the shortcut, which may create even more transition opportunities. In addition, the baby giant looks rawer and more powerful, which is exactly the difference between dynamic gymnastics and freestyle calisthenics.
The shrimp flip is a well-known dynamic exercise from freestyle calisthenics. The trick looks cool and is done a lot at calisthenics competitions. With a shrimp flip, the intention is that you swing your legs and body between your arms from a swing backwards and then pull yourself out, release the bar and catch it again. In fact, the shrimp flip is similar to a somersault in that you flip over completely. The difficult thing about the shrimp flip is that you first have to master the mobility to turn well between your arms when you hang from a bar. In addition, very precise timing of turning, extending, releasing and catching is required to catch the trick.
the alley hoop is a trick that is often used by freestyle calisthenics athletes and also looks very cool. In an alley hoop, you throw yourself backward from a swing, in a sideways sitting position, all the way over the bar and catch it on the inside again. An alley hoop goes hard, high and fast and requires good pinch strength and explosiveness in your wing muscles to do. Furthermore, it is imperative that you can let go of any fear of falling, as your body will block with fear and refuse to let you do the trick. Practice makes perfect as with any calisthenics exercise!
The geinger is one of the tricks where you actually do a real somersault. To do a geinger, at the end of a forward swing, let go of the bar, do a back half screw, and catch the bar again. The trick looks crazy and is also quite difficult to learn. It is best to start with a backflip from a forward swing. Then you need to twist slightly in this somersault, which you can stimulate by releasing one hand later than the other. When you can do a spinning backflip it should be possible to catch the bar again.
The Frisbee is a cool trick for advanced athletes that has not been known for very long. You do a frisbee by doing a side flip at the end of a backward swing and then catching the bar again. The trick looks cool and is also somewhat scary to learn. It helps enormously to be able to do a side flip (on a trampoline) before you try it on the bar. By getting started with good crash mats and overcoming your fear of falling, it should be possible to learn the Frisbee as well.
Another real somersault and nowadays a very well-known freestyle trick for advanced athletes is the frontflip regrab. During a swing backwards, you make a forward somersault at the dead center and catch (regrab) the bar again. Many athletes find that the trick works best with your hands in a supinated grip (turned inward). To learn the frontflip regrab, it is best to start your somersault before you reach the dead center of the backswing. This allows you to learn to determine the distance well and you can slowly let go later and later. Once you have the bar within reach after the somersault, you can catch the trick. The difficult thing about this trick is that almost every athlete at some point lets go of the bar too late, so that you hit the bar with your heels or ankles and fall on your back. Obviously this can hurt a lot, which is also the reason why not very many athletes use the trick in competitions.
Cast flips are a category of tricks which are basically all kinds of final jumps. By launching yourself to the ground with a form of a somersault, a combination of tricks is concluded very spectacularly. The different variants of this are enormously extensive, yet there are characteristic aspects that allow us to list the most famous ones for you:
Knee Backflip – From a seated position on the bar, land on the floor with a backflip
Frontswing backflip – landing on the floor from a front swing with a backflip
Frontswing frontflip – landing on the floor from a front swing with a front flip
Frontswing screw – coming to the ground from a forward swing with a screw (twisting somersault) (forward or backward)
Backswing backflip – landing on the floor with a backflip from a backswing
Backswing frontflip – landing on the floor from a backswing with a front flip
Backswing screw – landing from a backswing with a screw (rotating somersault) (forward or backward)
Standing Backflip – To land on the floor with a backflip from a standing position on top of the bar
Standing Frontflip – From a standing position on top of the bar, land on the floor with a front flip
Standing screw – from a standing position on top of the bar with a screw (rotating somersault) (forward or backward) to the floor
Airwalking is one of the coolest and most famous styles that you will only encounter in freestyle calisthenics. By walking through the air in different ways and from different exercises, an athlete’s performance suddenly looks particularly spectacular and impossible. Airwalking can be done perfectly to the beat of a music, which greatly enhances the show element of a performance.
Learning to airwalk requires two things: the exercise you want to airwalk in and coordinating your steps. Once you’ve perfected your footstep coordination, powering up the exercise you want to airwalk in is next. Because you put your focus on walking with airwalking, it cannot be the case that you still have to have all your focus on the exercise itself to be able to perform it properly. This is why you know that an athlete who can airwalk in, for example, a frontlever, already masters the frontlever very well.
A good start is to airwalk to the hanging L-sit while hanging from a bar. You can also practice airwalking in an archer pull-up or typewriter pull-ups. When airwalking has become your second nature, you can apply this in frontlevers, backlevers, human flags, dragonflags, planches, etc. The variation in style of this is also endless, which is exactly why it is so cool to see!
One of the signature aspects of freestyle is the transitions from bar to bar! Because there are endless possibilities in the ways in which you can move from bar to bar, this is a very fun way to play during your workouts. Almost any spinning trick can be used to move to another bar, yet there is a certain build you can start with. First you need a calisthenics park where several bars are placed at an angle to each other.
The easiest way to get off to a good start is to try a 90 degree transition on the back side of a swing. Then you can try a 180 degree turn on the back of a swing.
For example, another easy-to-learn transition could be straight forward to the next bar. If you are already practicing a swing 360, you can also try a 270 degree (three-quarter) turn on the back of a swing as a transition. In addition, it is of course also possible to rotate 450 degrees (one and a quarter) to another bar. Did you know that there are even athletes who jump to the next bar with somersaults and twists?! As you can imagine, the possibilities are truly endless, which is exactly why freestyle calisthenics is so much fun to do.
Finally, we have the many duo exercises that you can perform with two. Many of these exercises are recognizable from acrobatics, but there are still some typical calisthenics variants that you often see at competitions. Below some inspiration!
Basic calisthenics exercises
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Advanced calisthenics exercises
Would you like to read more about calisthenics exercises for advanced users? Then press the button below.
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