Monday, 20 May 2024

Calisthenics, Fitness, Training

Calisthenics Shoulder Workout: Best Bodyweight Exercises

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man doing calisthenics shoulder workout with instructor

A strong and flexible upper body will help you to succeed in various athletic sports, like boxing and CrossFit. Adding calisthenics shoulder workouts to your routine will increase your shoulder strength, stability, balance, and flexibility.

If you’re trying to build muscular shoulders without equipment, then you’ll love this post. We’ll give you the low-down on calisthenics shoulder workouts and a list of some of the best shoulder exercises out there.

Calisthenics for Shoulders: Striving for the V-Shape

man showing off his V-shape

Calisthenics workouts offer an effective way to strengthen, tone, and enhance your shoulder stability using your bodyweight only. Not only that, but these exercises can help you to achieve the famous V-shape. Broad, shapely, and muscular shoulders that narrow down to a toned core and waist.

Although looking good is not the only reason you’ll want to build your shoulders, it is desirable to have strong shoulders for various functions, such as healthy movement and carrying activities.

Shoulder Calisthenics Workouts & Your Health

two ladies doing strong planks

Asides from aesthetics, shoulder workouts are also beneficial for your health. You can look forward to:

  • More functional arm movements
  • Being able to lift heavier weights
  • Less back pain and neck
  • An overall boost in your self-confidence
  • Improved upper body strength
  • Better posture

Your shoulder joints are the most mobile of the body joints. Our shoulders afford us the largest range of motion and as a result, are also the most frequently injured.

Due to their flexibility, these joints need support from the nearby muscles and tendons. Strengthening your shoulders can reduce the risk of injury and damage to your joints.

Before performing any shoulder exercises, check in with a medical professional. Especially if you have an existing shoulder injury or rotator cuff damage.

lady performing a side plank on yoga mat

Shoulder Calisthenics: Before You Start

Calisthenics workouts involve compound movements. This means that almost anything that works your upper body will automatically work your shoulders. Burpees and pull-ups are prime examples of compound movements that work numerous muscle groups.

But, the one thing you need to be aware of is that not every shoulder workout is equal. At times, we have to know and understand what is best for our bodies.

The best way to start is by assessing where you are.

What is your level of fitness?

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Choosing your fitness level has to do with you being honest with yourself. This is crucial because knowing where you are now will help you to figure out the steps you need to take to get where you want to be.

For example, can you perform a single push-up or pull-up? Are you able to do a handstand? By answering questions like this, you can figure out if you need to start with easier variations.

For example, you may want to start with an assisted handstand or negative push-ups before progressing to the standard push-up and handstand.

Once you know where you’re at and what your upper body can handle, you’ve taken the first step in gaining the best calisthenics shoulders.

Calisthenics Shoulder Warm-Up

senior citizen doing a plank at home

Before a calisthenics shoulders workout, you need to warm up and stretch. It may seem like a boring few minutes, but in the long term, it will save you a lot of pain and discomfort.

One of the most effective warm-ups is something we used to do as kids – crawling. Yes, that’s right. Crawling warms up all the joints and requires your entire body to move.

Crawling has several benefits:

  • It’s incredibly efficient
  • Improves coordination
  • Increases your stability
  • Enhances mobility
  • Activates your central nervous system

You also don’t need a gym or equipment to do it. You can crawl in the comfort of your own home. Try out the seal, bear, and leopard crawls as part of your warm-ups.

Shoulder Workouts & Calisthenics: Benefits

Calisthenics shoulder exercises are convenient for many reasons. Let’s take a look at some of their pros below.

No Equipment Needed

You don’t need equipment for these shoulder workouts. Calisthenics involves bodyweight exercises so you don’t need to use hefty gym machines or weights to perform them.

That doesn’t mean these exercises are easy. Moves like clapping push-ups, wall walks, pike push-ups, and pull-ups require a lot of exertion and coordination.

As much as equipment isn’t needed, you still have the option to include it if you want to. Add weighted vests or portable paralettes for more intensity and variety.

Adaptable Workouts

You can perform these shoulder workouts anywhere, anytime. Whether you’re on vacation, a business trip, or at home, clear some space on the floor and you’re good to go.

Even better, calisthenics is known for its progressions. As a beginner, you may want to start with negative pushups and bodyweight squats.

As you get stronger, you can adapt your workouts to continue developing your strength. You can progress to exercises like push-up handstands, pistol squats, and more.

Improved Posture

Many of us have jobs where we have to stay in a seated position for prolonged periods. This can lead to rounded shoulders and a hunched back.

Calisthenics shoulder workouts don’t just improve your strength. These help with your posture and body composition too. If you focus on form and practice mindfulness and consistency in your workouts, your posture will improve.

Lucky for you, it’s not just your posture that will be rewarded. You’ll also enjoy better endurance, stability, flexibility, and overall functional strength.

Best Calisthenics Shoulder Exercises

man trying to build muscle with cable flyes

Here is a selection of the best shoulder calisthenics exercises out there.


Regular push-ups work various muscles such as your pecs, triceps anterior deltoids, and your core. It’s an excellent exercise because it hits your shoulders as well as other important upper body muscle groups. It even activates your legs and glutes to a lesser degree.

To get the most out of your pushups, they need to be performed correctly. Visit our post on basic calisthenics for tips on how to execute a push-up with the correct form.

These are also workouts that you can do anywhere. Just clear some space on the floor and get to business.

Shoulder Taps

Shoulder taps improve your core and shoulder stability. You start in a plank position, but with a wider foot stance. You then raise one hand off the ground and touch your opposite shoulder. Lower the hand and repeat with your other hand.

As you do this, you’ll feel cross tension throughout your body. When you lift one arm off the ground, the muscles in the opposite arm automatically start to work harder to stabilize the shoulder joint.

The more reps you do, the more you’ll feel the burn in your shoulders and core. Take a look at the video below for help with form.

Wall Walks

Wall walks are a fun, dynamic exercise that activates your shoulder muscles, triceps, back, and core.

Wall walks will challenge your shoulders as they bear the brunt of gravity and your body weight throughout the exercise. Balance and mobility will also be called into action.

Wall walk steps:

  • Starts in a tall push-up with your feet against the bottom of a wall.
  • Slowly climb your feet up the wall while you move your hands backward.
  • Try and get as close to a handstand position as possible.
  • Then, walk your legs back down the wall.

Final Thoughts on Calisthenics Shoulder Workouts

man performing calsithenics shoulder workout outside on bars

Calisthenics shoulder workouts are designed to build bigger, broader shoulders. These exercises offer many benefits, ranging from better posture and at-home compatibility as well as health perks like a decreased risk of shoulder injuries.

With all these pros, nothing is holding you back from adding these exercises into your fitness routine. Ultimately, strong shoulders look and feel great, which will make you feel happier.

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