When people start with calisthenics, they want to progress as fast as possible, planches, front lever, and human flags preferably as soon as possible. However, this is actually a big mistake a Calisthenics beginner can make. In your starting phase, you should mainly focus on getting stronger and getting comfortable with the basics of calisthenics, such as pull-ups and push-ups. Nevertheless, there are a few easy calisthenics skills you can learn besides your regular training. These calisthenics skills/party tricks will look impressive to everyone but are, in fact, pretty easy to do.
#1 The Elbow lever
One of the first skills I learned when I got started was the elbow planche. This exercise looks so impressive because it is very similar to the real planche. Only the elbow lever requires very little strength. The hard part is actually the balance that is needed.
Understanding the elbow lever is very easy. When you take a look at the picture, you can see the person is not really using any shoulder strength like in a real full-planche. The person is just leaning on his elbows. By placing your elbows on your hips and leaning forward, your hands will be the center of mass. Now you can lift your legs, which gives this gravity-defying look.
#2 Back clap push-ups
The next calisthenics skill was, in my opinion, the coolest skill when I got started. It looks so badass and effortless when I saw people doing these explosive push-ups on youtube. But the same as with the elbow lever, the back clap push-up looks more impressive than it actually is. There is just a little trick you need to understand.
As you can see in the video, the person uses his hips to create momentum, which gives you more air-time to clap behind your back. To learn this skill, you first need to have enough mobility to clap your hands behind your back. Also, learn to do it as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you will bump your head into the ground. The next part is to be more explosive in your push motion. Practice with traditional clap push-ups. The more explosive your push, the better and easier this move will be. Lastly, focus on throwing your hips in the air as soon as you push yourself off the ground. At first, this can be a bit difficult. But after some time practicing, you will get the hang of it.
#3 The L-sit
The L-sit is one of the most basic calisthenics skills, but a skill I think every beginner should master. It builds up the needed core strength you need for a lot of other calisthenics exercises. It is called the L-sit because you basically sit in the shape of an L.
If you struggle with the L-sit hold, practice the L-sit progression with bend knees. If you get comfortable with this variation, then slow build-up to the real l-sit hold.
#4 Archer pull-ups
If you want to appear like a king at pull-ups, invest some time to learn the archer pull-up. It is a slightly more advanced version of the normal pull-up. It is basically an easier version of the one-arm pull-up.
You start off grabbing the bar as wide as possible. Pull yourself up to one side until your chin is over the bar. You use your other hand for assistance. Lower yourself and repeat the process with the other hand.
Mix the archer pull-up with some type-writer pull-ups, and you will look like an absolute beast.
#5 The free-standing handstand
The last and probably the hardest skill on this list is the handstand. Learning the handstand can be quite a challenge because it requires a lot of time and practice before you master it. The handstand is not even that difficult because you need so much strength. No, you really need a lot of balance. It will probably take you a couple of weeks to master it but believe me it is worth it. A solid straight handstand is really beneficial in calisthenics.
I made a whole article dedicated to learning the handstand, so click here if you are interested in learning this impressive skill.