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Calisthenic Movement’s ADVANCED Mobility Program Review!

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Having ran all 3 phases of CaliMove’s Mobility program I moved on to other goals and endeavors. Although I have since found out this was a premature move as I’d overlooked their promised ‘Mobility program for the splits, V-sit & Press to handstand’!

When I realised I’d had that sitting under my nose for so long, untouched, I quickly snapped to action and began getting my backside into gear. This was over 2 months ago now.

I have been religiously working on the V-sit/press handstand & front split programs every other day without fail. And recently I’ve started working on the side splits too -although I’d say I’m only about a week or 2 in.

Before we go further it’s advisable to do your homework and have a read of my previous 2 reviews of CaliMove’s mobility phases just so you can get an idea of my starting position in terms of general mobility across different movement patterns.

Calisthenic Movement’s BRAND NEW Mobility Program Has Landed (Phase 1 Review!)

Phase 2 Of Calisthenic Movement’s New Mobility Program Is Done (REVIEW).

As the work is now more specific I haven’t included all previous movement patterns from the foundational mobility phases. Instead, I’ve included anything relevant to what I’m currently doing. Where possible I will show comparisons from then to now though.

What’s the general aim of these programs?

The V-sit & Press handstand work is paired together for good reason as the main component of these impressive skills is your compression; the ability to actively compress your legs towards your chest, along with the need for good shoulder mobility & function.

V-Sit April 2019 (Porthmadog)

My V-Sit hold (April 2019) 

The program targets both passive and active hamstring/pike flexibility as well as active shoulder flexion (overhead) and extension (behind the body).

Both split programs focus on familiarising the body with the split position as well as strengthening relevant muscles (hip flexors in the case of front splits & adductors in the case of side splits).

What I like about these so much is they’re pretty short sections of work and can be done on rest days or training days – I’ve done them on either and had some nice results, as you’ll see……

My current level of flexibility…..

The following photos are without any real warming up or pre stretching, they’re just a simple try of different patterns. As I said earlier, I will include any before or afters I have from past program phases or even general photos.

Front Split 

Right leg forward front split (March 2018)Right leg forward front split (May 2019)

The top photo is from March 2018 after a big warm up and quite a bit of pre-stretching. The bottom pic was taken in May 2019 with no warm up at all. What limits me here is hip flexor mobility, which is so common; nearly every front split you see is a ‘hamstring dominant’ one – where the hips are twisted to the side to compensate for a lack of hip flexibility.

Side Split/Pancake

These 2 images are just my completely cold current mobility level for these patterns. Even after a mere 2 weeks of working on them though, I can feel a difference!

Standing Pike/Jefferson Curl 

Out of all the patterns I’ve covered I would say my forward fold/pike/Jefferson curl has seen the biggest improvement. The left image is from May 2019 and the right image was shot in January 2018. Keep in mind I’ve not worked directly on my mobility until quite recently (even the earlier CaliMove mobility phases don’t have much direct hamstring work but instead, more of an overall approach).

Seated Pike

Calimove AFTER PHOTOS seated pikeSeated Pike (thumbs touching May 2019)

Echoing the sentiments of the Jefferson Curl, the seated pike has also seen some pretty amazing gains. The top pic is from July 2018 and the pic below is May 2019. In the pic on the right my head is on my knees and my thumbs are touching in front of my heels/feet.

Active/Standing Shoulder Flexion 

Cali Move Mobility Program results DECEMBER 2018 Overhead mobilityActive shoulder flexion May 2019

The first pic is December 2018 and the second is May 2019. As I’ve written many times before, overhead mobility is one of the slowest patterns to open up. Needless to say this has improved noticeably as you can now see even less of my head behind my upper arm. You’ll also notice the improvements here in the upcoming handstand shots too!

Active/Standing Shoulder Extension

Calimove AFTER PHOTOS shoulder extensionActive shoulder extension May 2019

The first pic is July 2018 and the second is May 2019. To the glancing eye it may appear as though there are no real differences but if you look closely you’ll see the angle is in fact better in the second photo. Also, it’s worth noting I can clasp my hands behind my back and draw the wrists and palms completely together now with relative ease – a range I’d lost for a while thanks to increased muscle development through my back and upper body.

German Hang Flexibility 

The pic on the right is May 2019 and the left pic is January 2019. There is a noticeable improvement in the angle between the arms and the torso, AND, if you look at the turned out position of the hands in the first photo, you’ll see I’m almost able to ‘inlocate’ and turn my hands back on themselves, which is a actually a side goal of mine.

Handstand Line (floor)

The pic on the left is current/May 2019 and the one on the left is February 2018. It’s as clear as day to see how closed my shoulders were, despite having a seemingly ‘OK’ line. They’re now much closer to 180 degrees and my handstand itself is a world apart from how it used to be. I used to have to snap the image at just the right time because I’d be wavering and ‘banana-ing’ all over the place! Nowadays I’m able to stay completely straight and still.

Handstand Line (parallettes)

The pic on the left is from March 2018 and the right is current day/May 2019. Almost identical to the floor handstand, the parallette version used to be even harder as the neutral hand position demanded more lat flexibility. Nowadays I agree with the general consensus that suggests parallette handstands are easier than floor handstands, which is clearly a byproduct of improved overhead mobility.

So, what next?

The journey will forge on with more enthusiasm than I started with, because like they say, when you get results it becomes addictive. The aim is a full front & middle split and a nice head to shins V-sit which should accompany a press to handstand.

I’d also like to say I’ve enjoyed the advanced series more than the general one as I’ve found the specificity to be great for me.  But with my amount of experience I think I have to have a fair amount of specificity to make progress.

Stay tuned for another update as I near these iconic mobility goals and don’t hesitate to drop me a line below for any questions or general chat!

For more on Calisthenic Movement’s Programs, check their website where they have transformation plans, level specific plans, mobility plans, nutrition plans and even the option of online personal training.

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.

20 thoughts on “Calisthenic Movement’s ADVANCED Mobility Program Review! Leave a comment

  1. Hi, I’m training at the gym and got some good results with weights but my overall flexibility is HORRIBLE!
    So I’m looking out for a good program to increase my flexibility. Would you recommend this one for me? I want to do it in the morning before my Gym training session but I’m not sure if it is a good addition or will I get problems with soreness from the Gym etc?
    Thanks in advance for your answer!

    • Hey,

      Great that you’re realsiing the importance of mobility, it really does matter more than people think! I would say CaliMove’s level 1 is a great starting point for you, even if you’re ‘really tight’.

      The early phases would serve as a nice warm up actually (they’re quite dynamic & flow-like) and don’t take too long. Although in general the best thing to do to start getting mobile is to start moving more and working on your deficits consistently.

      Let me know what you go for in the end!

  2. I’m starting Level 2 right now but thinking of giving level 1 another round…
    My flexibility is really bad. But I think the increased volume in phase 2 could also help me so yeah might be better to continue with that and go through all levels once again at the end of the 3 phases. How can I regress the Archer Squat Routine in level 2 ? I feel I shouldn’t drop on the floor even with the help of my hands because once down my back is all rounded and I literally can’t move anymore!

    Also until now I was doing it as a warm-up but now with level 2 it’s a bit more intense so I might do it after my workout or a few hours before.

    • Level 2 really does step up from level 1, doesn’t it? I also used level 1 as a workout warm up but found I no longer could in level 2 due to the length and difficulty of it.

      For the archer squats I’d say only work in a range you can CONTROL. So if that means keeping the hips much higher than El Eggs demos, so be it! Another good point would be to try and figure out what the weak link may be in your archer squat…… it tight ankles? Tight adductors? Both? And then work on that as well.

      I’d need to know more about your workout itself to suggest any ideas on scheduling.

      • I think tight hips and adductors are what limits me most.

        As for my workout I follow Cali move transformation Pro program. For now it is 3 full body session a week and then it will switch in between 4 to 6 workouts depending on the phase.

      • Once you know your limitations, I’d work on them specifically outside of the program for best results.

        Oh I see! That’s their new one, how are you finding it? It could be tricky to work it all in time wise if you’re on level 2 as like we said, it’s longer, but I think you could make it work even if you reduced the frequency of one of them for a certain period.

  3. It’s really an excellent program. The goal is to primarly build muscle but they really have an holistic approach to it. The first phases make you work in various rep ranges, you’ll have workouts dedicated to strength, hypertrophy or endurance or workouts which include all of these. Every phase lasts 4 weeks and then you have a deload week during which you’ll have different tests day. During those you’ll have to choose the progressions you use in the next phase. For example a 10-15RM pullup progression. Then 4 weeks later you’ll test it again and choose a different progression if you’re now going pass the required rep range with that progression.
    Only downside until now is the lack of posterior chain work altough I might have a poor understanding of how to build a routine. Most programs I’ve seen try to include deadlifts along with squats for example. I find it weird they didn’t include deadlifts. I don’t know if they included anything for the posterior chain. Squats, lunges may be sufficient.

    As for mobility I’m going to follow your advice and work specifically on my hips. I saw Antranik seems to have a nice program dedicated to it.

    • I’ve seen the program and the template you’re using and it’s very in depth for sure…… stone unturned! I take it you’re using the nutrition calculator too?

      I don’t doubt the reason for the lack of deadlifts is the sheer risk/reward factor associated with them. I’ve written about this before ( I do think when done correctly, squats and lunges could be sufficient for the posterior chain as well.

      Great idea, work on the hips as well as overall mobility and let me know how you get on!

  4. I’m considering buying this program as well to increase my bad flexibility. One question: once completed could be started over and andapt to the current level any times?

    • Technically speaking it can be done over from scratch but if you get to the stage where you’re advanced – i.e. splits, pancake, pike presses etc, the lower level work would simply be a warm up/light mobilisation for you.

      That said, with a little know how, it’s definitely possible to make the lower level moves demand more flexibility.

      Hope that helps!

  5. Hi, thanks for writing these great reviews on the CaliMove programs. I just bought the program and began working the preparation week. I am recovering from a fractured rib so I can’t do my normal workouts and rock climbing and I want to take this down time and build my mobility. I am curious though about rest days. In the early portion of the program, did you feel you needed the rest days? As you say in some of the comments above, you were using the level 1 programs as a warm up routine for other workouts. I know everyone will respond differently but did you feel the rest days were necessary in level 1? level 2? and level 3? It sounds as though it gets much harder in level 2.

    Since I can’t do the deep squat I am separately training my ankle flexibility (which I think is my limiting factor with the deep squat) and my ankles feel a little sore the day after when I do some hard training. In those cases, I think rest is necessary but that soreness is a result of the other training, not CaliMove’s program. As I’m not able to do much other exercise while recovering from my injury, I’d like to be training using this mobility program almost every day and that’s why I am asking. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    Again thank you for the great review! Your review was the reason I decided to go ahead with their program :).

    • Glad the reviews helped, Matt!

      In regards to rest days, I didn’t feel they were necessary at least for the first two levels. Level 3 becomes more intense but if you know your body well enough and have experience with movement, it shouldn’t be an issue to do daily. It was more the lack of time that stopped me sometimes as I had a pretty heavy physical schedule.

      I can’t remember off the top of my head but I’m pretty sure there’s an outlined frequency guide in the program? Follow that and throw in some extra ‘limbering’ drills on days you feel the official routine might be too much. Essentially this is the perfect protocol for maximum mobility improvements!

      • Just to follow up, I ended up doing the program according to the recommended training schedule. As my rib healed and I was able to start working out again, I agree with your comment about the volume. I’m now a week and a half away from completing level 1 and will probably continue doing it every other day as suggested in the program. Week 7 and 8 definitely ramp up the volume enough to make it too long for a warmup routine and it looks like level 2 will increase the time required even more.

        Anyway it seems worth it so far!

      • Thanks for the update, Matt! I did tell you haha, the 2nd and 3rd phases are pretty intensive for warm ups unless you’re only training one or two moves/skills. I ended up using it completely separate as I’d be dead if I did both together!

        Looking forward to your thoughts on the next two phases!

  6. Hey!
    These reviews that you make are so thorough, well-analyzed and very entertaining. Really appreciate it!

    So. I’m about to start level 1 of the complete calisthenics program. I’ve also bought the mobility program, and I am planning on doing them simultaneously.

    How did you structure the mobility program? My initial plan is to use the flow as a warm-up for the levels workouts. After this workout day, I will have a “restday”, on which I intend to do the mobility program by itself, going through each and every exercise and executing them seperately. Please do tell me if you think that there is an easier way to follow the programs at the same time, without focusing more on one or the other.
    And again, great content man! Appreciate it.

    • Hey Jonas,

      Thanks so much for the kind words and support, sir!

      Good stuff, they should work well together! I like your approach with the mobility plan being a warm up. This should serve you well until the demands of the strength program goes up, and when the mobility routine advances in terms of complexity. When that happens you might find it tough to do both, simply in terms of the time demand from them both.

      Generally speaking, you’ll get better results from higher frequency with the mobility work, especially in the lower levels. So if you can do them both as a warm up on training days AND on of days, you’ll limber up much faster for sure!

      I think it really comes down to how much you can handle running the routine over and over. Some people get bored super easy with our ADD mindsets nowadays haha.

  7. Hi
    First of all i just wanted to compliment you on your very detailed and helpful reviews.THANKS! I was thinking about starting the cali move mobility program but i saw that it has some hanging exercises. At the moment i have don’t have access to any pull up bar and can’t do hanging exercises at home. Would you recommend this program even without the hanging exercises? Is it still worth it?
    Thanks very much

    • Hey Luca,

      Thanks for the nice words about my articles. I’m pleased you enjoy them! As for the issue of not having hanging access, as far as I’m aware you only need to hang for one exercise which can be substituted a few ways…….

      1) Using a surface like a table or kitchen ledge to do the stretching side of the move – not the most optimal but you can still enjoy the all other benefits of the program!

      2) Invest in a home pull up bar. They’re cheap and durable and then you can get everything you could ever want from the plan.

      To summarise, only one movement needs a pull up bar and while it’s not as optimal to not have one, the program will benefit you overall massively.

      Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more queries 🙂

  8. Hi, firstly you have really good content.
    The thing is I want to purchase the Calimove Body Transformation Program.
    Would you have any idea if it’s worth the buck?
    Thanks in advance,

    • Hi,

      Thanks for the compliment! I’ve not used the program myself but I have seen all 3 templates and it looks very thorough. They cover nutrition and many other things. It’s a high volume program and it’s intended to be used relatively long term (6 months to a year).

      So it all depends on your budget and ability/willingness to commit long term to a process. The only way you can get great results in fitness is by thinking of long term timescales.

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