The origin of Calisthenics and Street Workout

Part 1. The true origin of Street Workout

The “Thug Workout” was born between the years 1990 and 2000 in New York, and more precisely in parks located in New York neighborhoods known to be underprivileged, including Brooklyn, Harlem, and the Bronx.

In the beginning, the workouts were aimed at training the body with little equipment (pull-up bars and parallel bars) on the street, without the need to enroll in a gym. The practitioners started by mixing different exercises and training techniques derived from bodybuilding and gymnastics, they filmed these videos as “Ghetto workout” on DVDs, a few years later, and thanks to their uploading to YouTube in 2005, their videos quickly met with great worldwide success, notably that of “Hannibal for King” in 2008.

At the time, the teams were starting to come together, Ruff Ryders Workout, BarStarzz, and BarTendaz, there were small competitions to show that they were the strongest and most performance. However, in this post, I will tell you about the conception and vision of two people, Hasaan Yasin Giant and Dr. G founders of BarTendaz because, in my opinion, they saw the potential of this sport, so they used it as a tool for social cohesion in their neighborhood, the Bronx, their goal was to create a sports group, in order to bring people together to break down existing prejudices against the African American community in the United States.

Calisthenics as a social movement

Giant and Dr. G encouraged their comrades, athletes, former prisoners, to organize and structure an association to carry out social projects such as workshops in schools, free training, seminars, and the creation of the clip using Hip-Hop as a means of expression against injustices. Imagine the example of a group that has succeeded in sharing social values ​​to keep young people away from drugs, violence, and in general bad habits, in order to create a healthy, supportive and active community.

Well, BarTendaz is the true origin of the socio-sport movement called Street Workout. 

We will continue in the following post with the origin of the Calisthenics! If you have any documents or your opinion feel free to share in the comments.

Mueller, A. (2016). Building the street workout, doing the genre: Ethnographic snapshots on identity DIY undertaken by “street fitness” practitioners. Social Sciences and Sport, 9 (1), 47.

Del Río R, Díaz A. Calistenia: volviendo a los orígenes. Revista Digital deEducación Física 2015; (33): 87-96

Sr. Sandro García Agustín, Fragoso Carro, Sr. DA, & Nieto Godoy, Sr. JA (2017). Calistenia y Street Workout: El entrenamiento con el peso corporal. The base of todos los deportes. : El entrenamiento con el peso corporal. The base of todos los deportes. (Independently published).

Kaiser, S., Engeroff, T., Niederer, D., Wurm, H., Vogt, L., & Banzer, W. (2018). The epidemiological profile of calisthenics athletes. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Sportmedizin, 2018 (9), 299304.

Sanchez-Martinez, J., Plaza, P., Araneda, A., Sánchez, P., & Almagiâ, A. (2017). Morphological characteristics of Street Workout practitioners. Nutrición Hospitalaria, 34 (1), 122.

Bennett, BR (2017, March 14). Raise Up: The World is our Gym [Urban culture, Music, Sport]. Beast, Ed Checo, Zef Zakaveli, Hannibal for King, Giant.

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