Calisthenic Movement’s BRAND NEW Mobility Program Has Landed (Phase 1 Review!)
For the last 8 weeks I’ve been using Calisthenic Movement’s hot new mobility program. With the amount of previous success I’ve had with their programs it seemed nothing other than sensible to give what’s supposed to promise better mobility, healthier joint function, handstand press and V-Sit prep, along with work for the front and middle splits.
If you’re a fan of CaliMove and have been watching their recent videos on YouTube you’ll have seen the scope of their content heading more and more towards mobility and flexibility over the last few months. As a team and company they’re very much students of the body and their practice; calisthenics. They pay high regard to movement prep and structural integrity.
As a former fat boy with hamstrings stiffer than train tracks, I’ve always been fascinated with flexibility and haven’t been naturally flexible by any means. Thanks to a new found respect and awareness (and teaching regular Yoga & Pilates classes) I’ve improved my overall flexibility to above average for a young, fitness loving male. But if I want to get to the levels I want to within calisthenics, I know I need much more loosening up.
Passive stretching can be boring and I’ve never historically done well without a plan of some kind to follow. When I wrote my review of CaliMove’s Level 4 workout program I had very little confidence writing my own plans, but some 18 months on I can say I’ve used many self made routines with good gains since. Nevertheless, would I rather let someone more advanced, experienced and intelligent than me program for me? You betcha!
I could write paragraph after paragraph about phase one but it wouldn’t mean shit without the money shots – the pictures.
Before the very first session I snapped unwarmed up photos of my flexibility in numerous key movement planes. They are as follows:
- Standing forward fold (with a rounded back; also known as a ‘pike’)
- Standing forward fold (with a flat back)
- Standing overhead reach (stay hollow & avoid lumbar extension)
- Standing ACTIVE shoulder extension (lifting against gravity)
- Cossack squat hold (each leg separate)
- Deep squat & reach hold (Ido Portal style)
If these mean very little to you by name, the following pics will show you all you need to know.
Before & Afters
No real noticeable change here but this has always been my Achilles heel with flexibility and there’s not a huge amount of pure overhead mobility work in phase one of the program.
Shoulder extension (necessary for the transition phase of a muscle up). Before:
Noticeable difference here – both visually and internally. My muscle ups do feel better and whenever I take my arms behind my back it feels a lot less ‘sticky’.
Pike fold (rounded back). Before:
A subtle difference. Although I have noticed my cold pike, as in my pike right out of bed, has got a LOT better and I need less of a warm up to fold nice and deep.
Flat backed pike (isolating the hamstrings). Before:
A definite improvement here! It is much harder to touch your toes with a flat back and I used to find this very hard to do and could only really get there on my stellar days. Nowadays, it’s still a stretch but I find the position easier and can get it without any extensive warming up.
Cossack squat holds (big tests of both ankle & adductor mobility). Before:
(note: the cossack squat pics were taken recently as I lost the file with these images)
Deep squat & reach (both sides shown). Before:
Probably the biggest improvement. There are 2 limiting factors with this move: thoracic mobility and ankle mobility. There is a lot of ankle mobility work in phase one which definitely paid off with the squat and reach.
How user friendly is the program?
The demonstration video is easy to follow and imitate, and the workout table provided is also easy to digest. The sequence flows nicely and doesn’t take longer than 20/25 mins – and that’s only in the last 2 weeks when the volume increases.
The equipment needed is minimal with the exception of a broomstick/bar/dowel rod and something to hang from, like a pull up bar. Some free space (floor space) also helps for the flow and animal movements but again, it’s not a particularly large space needed.
There are 3 phases in total. Each of them 8 weeks long. I’ve began phase 2 and will post a review at the end of each phase to see how much progress I make! It’s exciting because looking at what’s ahead, I can’t see how I won’t get more mobile as things definitely seem to get more complex from phase to phase, which is exactly how it should be.
Get your copy of the 3 phase program HERE
Stay tuned for reviews of phase 2 & 3!
UPDATE: Since writing this post I have uploaded my review of phase 2 which you can read HERE.
CaliMove now have a BRAND NEW transformation workout bundle that includes nutrition, warm ups & loads of exercise progressions which have been divided into the following categories……..
These could work well alongside their mobility program or ran separately once you’ve ‘graduated’ from the mobility program. Check it out!
If you want to see where my mobility is at of May 2019 be sure to read my fresh review of CaliMove’s Advanced Mobility Program (after you’ve read phase 1&2 of course ;))
JR @ Straight-Talking-Fitness View All
The 'brains' behind StraightTalkingFitness, a site all about discovery that leads to strength in all formats; fitness, mental, emotional and spiritual. Everything starts from within and projects outwards. Master the body, master anything and everything.
Nice improvement !! I’m curious is the level 1 is really for beginners ? In some programs for beginners first step is too dificult.
In your review you don’t mention – is there a money back guarantee or not ? You lost two photos – before and after – Seated forward fold (back rounded) 😉
Yes the first phase is very user friendly. There are no advanced moves and the sequences are basically flows. I don’t think there is a money back guarantee that I know of, but I’m sure CaliMove themselves would help you with things like that.
Good spot on the pike mention. I’ve edited the article now. I left out the seated pike for space reasons as well as the similarities between standing and seated.
Thanks for your comments and questions! If you have any more, fire away 🙂
Hey , Arjun here from India , i was thinking of purchasing the mobility program from Calisthenics movement , i just saw your review of phase 1 , I’m curious about your experience with phase 2. Would be quite helpful to know. Thanks.
I can say I completed phase 2 and am currently working on phase 3. I’ve not uploaded my review of phase 2 yet due to working on other projects but you’ve given me a nudge to get it done 🙂
Phase 2 was notably harder than phase 1 as things progress quite a bit and the sessions take longer but I can confirm I saw further improvements in my mobility after phase 2!
Keep an eye out for my phase 2 review………coming soon 🙂
Thats great 🙂 , I’m currently doing my own mobility training based on stuff I’ve learnt over the years through yoga classes and also various flexibility videos on youtube and ever since I’ve dedicated entire sessions towards mobility , I’ve seen a marked difference in my flexibility gains and i was hoping that this program would help me take it further.
That’s awesome! What type of stuff have you been doing? Active, passive, loaded etc??
Do you have any specific mobility goals?
I do a mix of Both active and passive , usually i do 30 mins of warming up which includes 10 mins of cycling followed by active stretches and then i follow those up with some some poses ,which i learnt in my yoga class and found quite effective , for about 20mins and finally i end with some static stretching for about 25 mins or so.
My specific goal is to be injury free while playing sports , and also while doing sprints and other forms of HIIT and just feel light on my feet overall.
Sounds like a good routine for sure! Just wondered if you had any gymnastics based goals like splits etc or just wanted to be all round more flexible. Just remember to pay attention to structural balance as well as mobility for injury prevention.
So I actually play Cricket and I’m a fast bowler so I’ve had more than my fair share of injuries , so this has forced me to change my outlook on the way i train and how to improve my body so that it can withstand the strain that fast bowling does to it. Thats actually my main goal, to be bowling again without fear of injury.
Makes sense. What were the injuries related to, a certain area or?……….
The injuries were mostly related to my hamstrings and quads and also a very nasty groin strain once. All of the above probably originated from having very tight hips and just overall stiffness in the lower body.
Hallo, thank you for reviewing the mobility program. It give an early insight for me considering the cost of that program is pretty high. It would be a waste of time and money if I am not suitable for the plan. Noted that the plan starts from absolute beginner stage. Would love to know the phase 2 as well. I have always wanted some form of stretching program to increase my flexibility as I am suffering injury frequently from my weekly running and badminton games. I have stopped all of these exercises and move to swimming instead. Unfortunately, swimming requires flexibility and agility to improve. Would seriously consider enrolling for this mobility program after this good review from you. Hope it will help a middle aged guy like me in increasing my agility. Have a good day and do update if you have further review on the phase 2. Merry Christmas!
My pleasure! I’m pleased to inform you I’m currently in the midst of editing my review of phase 2, so keep an eye out for it or subscribe via email if you haven’t already. The reason the program costs what it does is due to the shelf life of the program being so long – it’s 24 weeks of work in total. Plus the progressive nature of all 3 phases. I do think phase 1 is very beginner friendly and even if phase 2 is tough, take a week off and rerun phase 1 again or use some progressions from phase 2 where you can. If you use it this way, there’s no reason it can’t last even longer than the proposed 24 weeks.
Let me know what you decide to do. Merry Christmas to you too and thanks for getting in touch 🙂
So what exactly does the program consist of? You mentioned animal movements? How are those structured and are there progressions for those?
Obviously I cannot reveal the contents of the program in detail as this wouldn’t be fair to Calisthenic Movement. Yes there are animal movements – ostrich walks to name one of a few! The structure is simple: they gradually increase the volume and intensity over time.
Thanks for the reply anyways. Do the locomotion exercises progress throughout each phase and are they on a separate day than the mobility routines? I’m asking because their website provides little information regarding the program.
The locomotion exercises are all within the same session and get progressively challenging from phase to phase, yes.
thanks for the comprehensive reviews. I’am thinking about to buy one or more programs of them. Maybe you could help me with your decision since you reviewed quite a lot of them:
I’am tempting to buy their mobility program and also their Calisthenics Program. My questions:
1. Is it possible, or does it make sense to run the Mobility Program plus one of the Calisthenic programs simultaneously? How much time would that take each day? I wonder if i should start off with just the mobility program since I have a mild impingement in my left shoulder.
2. Which Calisthenic level is suited best for a intermediate person? I have like 5 years of weight/powerlifting training experience and started doing only calisthenics about 5-6 months ago (12-15 Pullups, 15 sec L-Sit, 15 sec tucked front lever etc.).
Thanks in advance
1. I’d say it’s doable but maybe not optimal? I tried to do that at one point (although I wasn’t running any of their strength routines at the time; it was my own program) and struggled to fit both in per day. I had to separate the two – one in the am, one in the pm.
As for the shoulder, I’d say it depends on the severity of it. If it’s a bad impingement many of the moves in the program (pull ups, dips, push ups etc) will potentially aggravate it. If it’s a mild impingement it may not be too bad. I had an impinged shoulder for 18 months (search the site for my articles on it) and still trained Ok, but not optimally obviously.
2. I’d say based off those stats level 4/5 is good. Sometimes it’s good to go in a level early and build the base up slowly, as I’m sure you already know anyway. One mistake I’ve always made and still do, is peaking all the time and going balls to the wall. So the 4/5 bundle could be a good option!
Hope that helps?
Thanks for commenting 🙂