Calisthenics are a type of exercise that makes use of only your bodyweight to resist various, and sometimes complex movements. Calisthenics have been proven to improve muscle, ligament, and tendon strength and endurance. Sounds amazing, right? As they have been done by humans for as far back as history goes, the benefits are obvious. The Ancient Greeks, and of course the famous Spartans depicted in the film of 300, also were believed to have trained in a very similar manner. Various exercises such as bending, pushing, pulling, hanging, walking, swinging, twisting, kicking, and in unison with numerous other diverse simple and complex movements, demonstrate that the possibility of training combinations are virtually endless. You can even make them up as you go. With this type of exercise, you will not need to use free weights, because the only piece of equipment you’ll ever use is your body, and maybe a yoga mat for more comfort. Ultimately, calisthenic workouts are fantastic for unlocking new and elevated potential in your training regimen. The consequences of rigorous training using calisthenics can yield impressive results. Let’s dive in!
Well with us under lockdown, we all find ourselves out of the gym environment. Some of us even think that the gym is the only way to get fit. The formula, according to so many people, is “gym + free weights = fit”. The lack of equipment is not a good enough reason to not workout. Anyone can work out with virtually anything that is readily accessible at any time at any activity level. The basis of calisthenics incorporate 3 elements:
- Your body
- The ground
There are a variety of calisthenics programs that can help men, women, the elderly, and the young because of their relative importance in emphasizing normal body movements that promote strength, flexibility, endurance, and range of motion. Do not underrate, however, the complexity of some of these workouts. In fact, for certain individuals, bodyweight workouts can be too much. Body position and technique can maximize the benefit and reduce the strain for certain individuals. It is fundamental that you speak to your health professional, albeit your physiotherapist, physical trainer, doctor, or fitness professional to get the most out of calisthenics. Also, there are so many types of calisthenics equipment available and may be incorporated in a training regimen to reduce resistance and/or physical stress with suitable strategies that allow the individual to regulate the exercise’s difficulty and build strength even in the weakest of individuals.
There are so many kinds of Calisthenic activities, such as:
- Martial Arts
- Walking & Running
- Core work
- Rock climbing
- Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Calisthenics
The most legendary of all calisthenics exercises is…. The Push-Up! This quick and easy calisthenics exercise activates many muscle groups, primarily focusing on those in the chest and but we can see significant myoskeletal activation in also the shoulders, back, abs, and legs.
Pull-ups in calisthenics is one of the most demanding exercises to do. The lats (latissimus dorsi) operate mainly for pulling the, but even the middle back and biceps
3. Jumping Jacks
In the past they were considered to be a “great warm-up”, but if incorporated in a strict regimen (i.e. circuit training), jumping jacks are a powerful tool to enhance endurance and burn fat as it gradually increases the heart rate, making it a great aerobic exercise.
4. Isometric exercises
Isometrics are a type of static-hold exercise that increases the muscle’s strength around the joint involved. For instance, when you are doing a plank, you engage the muscles around your abdominals, quadriceps, and the deltoid.
5. Plyometric exercises
In calisthenics, plyometric exercises are an inventive style of exercise that requires high-intensity, violent muscle contractions to exert maximum force in short intervals of time. This technique is used to develop muscle capacity, particularly strength and stamina, to maximize efficiency in different sports such as basketball, baseball, soccer, football, track and field, gymnastics, martial arts, etc. This is not considered to be calisthenics for beginners, but training should be considered to be a gradual progression with a series of goals and objectives motivating your way to a healthy and strong life.
This is an incredible exercise and if done right and consistently, you will see tremendous benefit in a short time. Almost like a whole-body workout, dips target virtually the entire upper body, including triceps, abs, deltoids, chest, and back muscles, such as the rhomboid and lats. Also dips can aid in decompression of the spin and have a range of added health benefits.
The lunge is a calisthenic exercise targeting the glutes, quads, and hamstrings (when performed without weights). Form is everything and lunges require attention to maintain this good posture and form while executing this exercise. Lunges will build muscle and add definition to your legs when done correctly and consistently, they activate a significant proportion of your muscles in your vertebral spine, hips, ankles, feet, and legs. More about lunges can be found in our article here.
The sit-up, probably the most famous core exercise that focusses primarily on your abdominal muscles to get that sexy 6-pack abs. It can be done in so many different ways and consistent use can strengthen the core of your body, giving rise to functional strength and aesthetics. When done correctly, sit-ups also support the hip flexors and spinal erectors. Sit-ups promote stability and balance, which is suitable for all and very important for any would-be athlete.
Crunches are another standard calisthenic abdominal workout. When done correctly, the lower back does not undergo stress as with sit-ups and keeps flat with the floor while doing the movement. It fully isolates the abdominals and does not engage the back muscles or the hip flexors while executing the movement.
One of the significant movements in developing overall body strength is the squat. Just as the push up is the winner of the calisthenic workout for the upper body, the squat wins the title as the strongest calisthenic lower body exercise. Squats work almost every specific muscle group in the lower body, including calves, elbows, gluts, quads, lower back, and abs. For info on how to perform squats, read our article on The Best Workout For Your Butt.
The most significant calisthenics benefit is that it quickly reveals any weak point in your physical and this helps in teaching you where to focus your efforts on.
- The synergistic benefits of calisthenics can be one of the greatest benefits that we can even begin to characterize. As a calisthenics beginner, you may assume that you only work the chest and arms when you do a push-up, but that is far from the facts. The back muscles and abdominals, and the shoulders and thighs, are all working in unison!
- Vigorous training with calisthenics can bolster both muscular and cardiovascular health, further improving your health score and motivating you to never quit!
- They are typically repetitive natural activities that, when performed with precision, can also strengthen psycho-motor skills such as balance and coordination.
As with all methods of physical training, calisthenics should be performed on a regular basis in order to achieve success. Workout sessions do not have to be too long so give yourself a few minutes between your exercises and sets! The duration time may be as much or as little as needed for beginners, but do not stress yourself too hard and remember to practice good form and be consistent AF!
A good number of people have a clear understanding of what a workout with calisthenics can be like. A real bodyweight calisthenics exercise program will assist a person in attaining true functional strength. The main aspect of calisthenics is that it should be a routine in progressive training. When you steadily train, you build up your strength over time.
Calisthenics are perfect for virtually any space. They benefits are profound and can really help you become healthy. There are a number of calisthenic gurus around, especially on Instagram and YouTube. Go and find a community of like-minded people who can teach you new and powerful techniques to master this realm of extreme fitness. Calisthenics can be done at virtually every level and it is important to know your level when you start. So start progressively and steadily and you will reach your objective. Living healthy is part of living long. Vitality and good mental health stem from your daily activities. Drop the unhealthy shit, and see what the possibilities are! Calisthenics can unlock an unfold potential in your health condition. Want to learn more about this? You can learn so much about calisthenics on YouTube.