Greasing the groove: how to practice calisthenics every day
Greasing the groove, put simply, is a term that comes from strength training, which effectively means; performing the movement, improves the movement. Greasing the groove allows the body to become familiar with a movement with less weight or strain, so that it can learn the form and engagement when weight is added. Think of it like muscle memory, allowing the body to learn what it needs to feel for you to complete that movement.
Calisthenics skills have plenty of progressions and regressions to allow us practice greasing the groove to improve our form and engagement down the road. You can split a pull up or push up into sections, you can train elevated skills with resistance bands or you can simply perform movements without pushing all the way to failure.
From a psychological standpoint, greasing the groove allows us to create solid and correct training habits. When correct engagement and form become second nature, the strength will follow a lot more quickly, and take up less of your mental acuity and focus. Meaning you can be present in performance of those movements, performing them safely and with less injury risk.
Using bodyweight training means you can work on those skills more often as your muscles and tissues undergo less strain on a consistent basis. You can mix it up and train strength one day and use bodyweight the next, to keep the body guessing which leads to adaptation and larger gains. Plus, it makes your training more time efficient as you can fit more in during a shorter time period. You can also use this methodology to incorporate mobility and flexibility training as well.
Calisthenics doesn’t just have to be skills though. Anything that allows you to move your body for your goals and aims is great, so don’t beat yourself up if you run out of time to do something. There’s always time to compensate, or time to enjoy your life. That’s not a crime by any means, it’s quite the opposite.
Having kit at home to train is always helpful. You may be boiling the kettle before going back to work. There’s a pull up bar in your doorway – you might think you’ll just squeeze in a rep or two. All these incremental gains add up, especially when it comes to greasing the groove. In sight, in mind as it were. With Gravity Fitness you can make this process a lot easier, as most of our kit can be used at home, or in a small space.
With any of these pieces of kit, you can setup a training space you can hop on at any time, allowing time efficiency and better training habits. This method of training in increments will also allow you more time to do the things you love, when you want to.
Once you have greased the groove enough, those skills and exercises will become easier, and you can start adding in progressions and weight to your training, to push yourself further. But remember to always practice the basics. So much of calisthenics training comes from the realisation of training in a slightly different way, even if it is across movements you are already familiar with.
Keep pushing yourself and building that mental strength too. Greasing the groove helps to unlock some serious potential by building a mind to muscle connection as well, which is a huge benefit when it comes to those more complex skills down the road.
We’d love to see you getting into your training at home or in a small space. Tag us @gravity.fitness on IG so we can see what you guys are training for!
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