Full Maltese

Full Maltese


The Full Maltese is an advanced gymnastics and calisthenics exercise that demonstrates exceptional upper body and core strength, as well as balance and body control. Primarily targeting the chest, shoulders, and core muscles, it involves holding the body in a straight, horizontal position while supported by the arms on gymnastics rings or parallel bars. The arms are extended out to the sides, forming a wide angle with the body, resembling the shape of a Maltese Cross. Due to the high level of strength and skill required, the Full Maltese is typically performed by elite gymnasts and experienced calisthenics practitioners.

Muscle Group

Equipment Required

Full Maltese Instructions

  1. Set up gymnastics rings or parallel bars at a height that allows you to perform the exercise without touching the ground.
  2. Stand or kneel between the rings or bars, positioning them at your sides.
  3. Grab the rings or bars with a pronated (overhand) grip, ensuring your hands are firmly and securely placed.
  4. Engage your core, chest, and shoulder muscles to press your body upwards and enter a support position with arms fully extended and locked, and legs straight.
  5. Slowly and carefully begin to lower your body by widening the angle between your arms and torso, maintaining a straight line from head to toe.
  6. Continue lowering until your body is parallel to the ground and your arms are extended out to the sides, resembling a Maltese Cross.
  7. Hold the Full Maltese position for as long as you can, focusing on keeping your body straight and stable.
  8. When you are ready to exit the position, carefully lift your body back into the support position by engaging your chest and shoulder muscles.
  9. Lower yourself down to the starting position and rest before attempting another repetition or set.
  10. As this is an advanced exercise, consider practicing progressions and building strength in related movements before attempting the Full Maltese.

Full Maltese Form & Visual

Full Maltese

Full Maltese Benefits

  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Strengthens leg muscles
  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Increases flexibility in hips and lower back
  • Engages core muscles for stability
  • Can be done with minimal equipment
  • Can be modified for different fitness levels
  • Provides a low-impact workout
  • Can be done indoors or outdoors

Full Maltese Muscles Worked

  • Pectoralis major
  • Deltoids
  • Triceps
  • Abdominals
  • Obliques
  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes

Full Maltese Variations & Alternatives

  • Half Maltese
  • Quarter Maltese
  • Maltese Cross
  • Maltese Twist
  • Maltese Push-Up