6 Adorable Calisthenics Masters From The Animal Kingdom

Written By: Todd Kuslikis
March 31, 2016

Without question, animals can do some amazing things. You could waste an entire day at the office on YouTube watching some of their talents. Like the bird who can golf, for example. Or a monkey that should be in next year’s slam dunk contest. Before you know it, it’s the end of the workday and time to head home so you can finally have some free time.

As it turns out, some of those animals are also big fans of calisthenics!

We realize whenever we do a profile on an athlete, they are always of the human variety. Seems a bit narrow-minded, doesn’t it? Why limit the showcasing of amazing bodyweight athletes to homo sapiens? Our furry friends are athletes, too, and we think it’s about time they got their fifteen minutes of fame.

So we gathered the best clips we could find of the animal kingdom displaying amazing bodyweight control. Take a look and see if you don’t spot a few critters that have mastered some maneuvers you’re still working on. But it’s likely you’re much busier than most of these animals, so don’t feel too bad.

Red Panda Is A Muscle Up Champ

Pandas get stereotyped as being pretty lazy. Most people think they sit around all day and just eat bamboo, languish in the grass, and have their kung fu skills seriously exaggerated by Hollywood.

Red pandas really have it rough because they get lumped in with the more popular giant panda and its habits. Most people wouldn’t even know what a red panda was if they saw one. And if that weren’t enough of an identity crisis, another name for the animal is literally “lesser panda”. Was that really necessary, zoologists? How would you like it if we called all of you “lesser Jack Hanna”?

Well, one red panda decided enough was enough and shattered the all-pandas-are-lazy stereotype. Here he is doing muscle ups better than most human calisthenics athletes:

Look at that form! Kung Fu Panda do anything that athletic, and he’s not even real.

Giant Panda Doing Handstands

Well, speak of the devil. Looks like someone saw their little brother finally getting some recognition and had to redeem themselves, hmm?

Alright, enough picking on these guys. They’ve got some respectable calisthenics skills. Check out this full-grown panda doing a handstand:

Knee Health Score 2

All in all, it’s pretty impressive that giant pandas can do handstands, considering they technically don’t have hands in the first place.

The exercise is a means for male pandas to mark their territory: the panda that can urinate highest on the tree is seen as the most dominant.

Maybe they should take a look at our article on dangerous handstands for some inspiration. Can’t get much higher than a skyscraper, after all.

Lizard Executing Perfect Push-Ups

In this next video, we’ve got a pretty odd couple — a lizard and a chipmunk. Not exactly known to be the best friends of the animal kingdom, you have to wonder what they’re doing sitting together on a rock.

Then things get even weirder: as the chipmunk sits utterly unperturbed, the lizard decides it’s time someone on this rock started doing some push-ups.

Apparently, lizards do this to indicate their stamina level, so that if there are any potential challengers in the area, they will know this is not a lizard mess with . . . In other words, not too far away from why some humans do push-ups.

The only problem is that it didn’t seem to have much effect the adorable little chipmunk. Alvin goes right toward the lizard as the lizard finishes its first set. The lizard backs away, apparently yielding alpha status to his furry foe. Maybe the chipmunk did some muscle ups right before the camera got there.

Man’s Best Workout Partner

Oh, dogs — you know you’ve got nothing to prove. And yet here one is, showing that its athletic prowess goes far beyond the ability to fetch.

Because not even dogs should skip leg day, this pooch has partnered with his human companion to knock out somebody squats. And truthfully, the dog’s form looks a little better than the human’s:

Now, the fact that a dog is doing squats is impressive. But watch the full video and pay attention to the :22 mark. Was that a microwave timer going off?

Maybe someday, with some training, we could get our dogs to learn body squats. But there’s no way we could ever get them to not lose their minds when they hear a microwave timer. Hats off to this canine for not missing a beat.

The World’s Largest Plyometrics Athletes

Plyometrics refers to “jump training” but it never specifies it must be on land. And humpback whales are 66,000 pounds of proof.

There’s a lot of footage of whales breaching on the web, but this one is shot from the water, so it shows the humpback approach, breach, and fall back into the water in detail we’ve never seen before.

As the whale approaches the surface, you can see it’s gathering some serious momentum. To get some perspective, try this next time you’re in the deep end of a pool without kicking off from the floor. Then remember you weigh roughly 65,800 pounds less than that whale.

Frog Doing Pull-Ups

One house fly is a whopping 5 calories. And for a hungry frog, that can really add up.

Perhaps that’s why this little amphibian decided to hop off his lilypad and get a sweat going (do frogs sweat?).

Amateur photographer Hendy Mp found the frog in a friend’s garden in Indonesia and started snapping. Mp was able to capture the frog’s ten-minute workout with her camera:

Ok, so it looks like there may be some kipping in that one. Still, pretty impressive for a species not known for its strong calisthenics regimen.

The little guy finishes off with a one-arm pull-up:

Then mounts the stem for a little breather before his next workout.

Hopefully, this fitness trend continues in the frog community. It would be a shame to see those highly dangerous frog exercises from the 80s come back in style.

So many lives were lost. So many Game Overs.

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