Starting out in fitness may seem overwhelming. It’s easy to get lost with all the trendy fitness programs and intimidating gym equipment. But you can through the noise with one of the basics of exercise—calisthenics.
What is Calisthenics?
Calisthenics is what you call exercises that use your body weight against gravity. Think planks, push-ups, and sit-ups—moves that you have most likely done or at least are familiar with. Those are only a few examples of the low-resistance exercises that are used to challenge and build your muscles. These movements are relatively quick and involve moving most or all of your body. They’re done with many repetitions (at least 10-12 times) while improving how long the exercise goes.
Although it has been around for a millennia, calisthenics has recently gained attention as one of the best ways to get a well-muscled yet lean physique. But the benefits of calisthenics training doesn’t stop at helping you achieve your ideal body, it extends to convenience and overall fitness too.
The Benefits of Calisthenics Training
- It’s inexpensive.
Cashing out for a gym membership isn’t a requirement. You can do the basic exercises with pretty much just your body, and as you progress with more movements, investing in equipment like parallettes and dip bars still saves you more money.
- It’s effective.
The lack of bulky equipment doesn’t mean lack of results. Researchers have found no significant difference in results between men who did calisthenics push-ups to those who trained with barbells. Calisthenics improves functional strength, plus it allows you to gain strength like traditional resistance training. It can help you improve your posture and body composition without the use of any major training equipment.
- It’s safe, with quick recovery.
Your load is pretty light as you’re only using your weight, which your body is equipped to handle. It limits your risk of injury too. Compare this to weightlifting where if you’re lifting heavy, recovery takes a while as it does take a toll on your central nervous system.
- It’s flexible: anyone can do it anytime and anywhere.
Adolescents can do calisthenics as well. This type of training isn’t limited in location either, and the equipment is portable, giving you the freedom to train anywhere you desire.
Here Are Some Calisthenics Exercises
There are various options available. If you’re a complete beginner, it’s best to start with these 6 movements first:
- Push-ups: Strengthens your core while you work your chest, triceps, and shoulders
- Sit-ups: Strengthens your core by working your upper body
- Planks: Builds stability and strength in parts all the way down your chest area until your glutes
- Lunge: Builds strength and mobility in your lower body
- Half-burpees: Getting down and up from the floor, but with no push-up nor jump
- Squats: Challenges your balance, mobility, and leg strength
Not long enough you’ll soon be ready for more. Here are a few ideas:
- Pull-ups: Strengthens your core while you work your back and biceps
- Trunk twists: Stretches your upper torso and back
- Chin-ups: Strengthens the muscles that stabilizes your spine
- L-sits: Builds shoulder stability, and strengthens your core and upper body