Based on my experience and observations, I believe there is a specific body type that’s most suited to calisthenics. Having this body type almost guarantees you’ll become great at calisthenics and achieve even the even most advanced skills faster than people with “unsuitable” body type.
Before defining this special body type, I must make a distinction. As I’ve previously mentioned, calisthenics is for everyone. People of all ages and abilities can get good at it and have fun regardless of their body type. When it comes to learning the most advanced skills, however, some will struggle more than others and possibly fail.
As it’s the case with other sports, your body type will affect your potential at calisthenics. Generally speaking, you must be tall to play basketball or volleyball professionally. The best distance runners are small and light, with slim legs. Elite swimmers and rowers are tall and muscular. The most advantageous body type for calisthenics is lean and short. The shorter and lighter you are, the easier it will be to do a handstand, planche, front lever or iron cross. Being short and light makes lifting, balancing and sustaining your own bodyweight much easier.
Don’t be disappointed if your body type is far from being suitable for calisthenics. There are some things you can try to increase your chances of unlocking a difficult skill faster. If you are tall, for example, work towards becoming leaner by eating less, even if it means losing a bit of muscle. If you are short but overweight, lose the extra pounds by eating low-calorie foods. If there’s nothing you can do change your body shape, work on your weaknesses, usually those small muscles that often get ignored, such as the forearm flexors, front deltoids and serratus anterior.