How to do hefesto calisthenics | progressions & tips

In this article you will learn what hefesto calisthenics is, its progressions and tips

What is hefesto calisthenics?

The hefesto is an advanced calisthenics movement that, just like muscle up, uses both pushing and pulling muscles. It’s a compound movement that works every muscle group in our body, especially biceps, and requires great shoulder and wrist mobility.

To perform hefesto start in german hang and pull yourself over the bar.


Hefesto is an advanced calisthenics skill that requires a solid foundation before starting. Otherwise, you won’t see much progress and you can even get injured. I would suggest these prerequisites before starting with hefesto:

  • muscle ups – 5 reps
  • back lever – 5 seconds hold


4 progression to help you master hefesto calisthenics.

Skin the cat

Skin the cat is a transition from passive hang to german hang, which is a starting position of hefesto. It will improve shoulder mobility and build strength in the muscles involved.

Korean dips

Korean dip is an upper part of the hefesto, therefore mastering korean dips is necessary to achieve hefesto

Hefesto negatives

As with any calisthenics exercise, negatives are great progression. Negatives are the downward half of the movement, where you lower yourself from above the bar. Start in the top position of the hefesto and slowly lower yourself down with the slow and controlled movement

Band assisted hefesto

Attach a resistance band to the bar and put it on the feet. With the assistance of the resistance band, the movement pattern is the same but the exercise requires significantly less strength.


 Few tips to help you progress faster

grip width

The grip should be wider than the shoulders, but how wide it depends for everyone. Try different grip widths, and find the one that suits you best. Generally the wider the grip the harder it will be.

Scapula position

Proper scapula activation plays a very important role in hefesto calisthenics. While doing hefesto focus on scapula activation. Learn how to properly control your scapula.

Prevent injury

Hefesto requires great shoulder mobility and puts on them a lot of stress. Be careful while training it. Remember to always warm up before training and to fully recover after.


If you have already mastered the hefesto you can try these advanced variations.

Back lever hefesto

As the name says it’s hefesto with the back lever as starting position.

Entrada de angel

Much more difficult exercise, although it looks similar. It’s wide grip hefesto with elbows turned inward, which completely changes the difficulty level.

Here you can see the actual difference between wide grip hefesto and etrada de angel

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