Calisthenics are an effective, free-weight bodyweight exercise that can be performed almost anywhere and anytime to develop functional strength and an aesthetic physique. While it is easy to focus on core and arms workouts, building strong shoulders should be a priority for anyone looking to get stronger. The shoulder muscles are made up of three parts – anterior (front), medial (middle) and posterior (back). Each needs to be trained for balanced development. Shoulder calisthenics can help build the necessary muscle mass to strengthen the upper body and improve shoulder stability, posture, balance, and power.
There are a few basic and advanced calisthenics shoulder exercises that can be used to hit the different shoulder muscles. The standard push-ups are a great starter and a prerequisite for the more specialized pike and handstand push-ups. The plank to down dog position and the wall walk-ups are also good for building shoulder strength. For those who already have some experience with the basic push-ups, they can progress to assisted dips or even try planche holds and dives.
For beginners, the pike push-up is an excellent calisthenics shoulder workout for beginners as it targets the pectoralis major and anterior deltoids. The wall walk-up is a good shoulder exercise for beginners as well, but it demands more balance and endurance than the basic push-up. The planche hold is a difficult but highly effective exercise for developing the shoulder muscles. For this, you need to start in a normal push-up position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Then, crawl up the wall to form an inverted V shape with your feet on a bench or plyo box and continue to crawl back down until you are back in the standard push-up position.