Your strength isn’t complete without some form of bodyweight training which has been popularised as Calisthenics. Simply put, calisthenics refers to workouts that utilize bodyweight as resistance to build strength, flexibility and overall fitness. If you’re getting started with calisthenics, then here is a basic guideline of what you should know.
Related: Best Shoes for Calisthenics
Getting Started With Calisthenics
What is Calisthenics?
The term calisthenics refers to a myriad of workouts that are performed with minimal or no equipment at all. Unlike weight training, calisthenics entail using your own body weight as resistance to enhance your fitness. Some of the most common calisthenics include, push-ups, squats, sit-ups, burpees and so on.
They are basically whole-body strength training workouts that target the most useful muscle groups in your body. Thus, calisthenics are make a very beneficial component of an athlete’s training routine. You can also use calisthenics for general fitness.
Benefits of Calisthenics
1. You Don’t Require Equipment
Unlike weight training, most calisthenics workouts can be performed without having any equipment at your disposal. All you requires is your body and safe surface. Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, it’s possible to perform burpees, lunges, squats, push-ups, sit-ups and so on.
Besides, no specialized training courts are required to perform calisthenics workouts. They can be done in small spaces at home, backyard and away from home.
2. It’s a Whole Body Workout
A typical weight training exercise will only workout certain groups of muscles at a time. That means, you’ll have to engage different weightlifting styles to achieve whole-body fitness.
However, most calisthenics involve movements that engage major muscle groups which results in whole-body fitness.
3. Enhances Balance, Coordination, Flexibility and Agility
Since calisthenics involves numerous movements and bodyweight resistance, it results in enhanced balance and coordination. This is especially beneficial to runners since it lessens the risk of injuries on the ankles, knees and hips.
Calisthenics movements also lead to lengthening and shortening of various muscles and connective tissues thus making them more flexible. This reduces the risk injuries especially when running.
4. Boast Your Strength
Just like weightlifting, calisthenics are strength training workouts designed to enhance your strength by building muscle. They provide an effective way of strengthening and toning leg, chest, arm and abdominal muscles. They’re also beneficial your glutes and obliques.
5. Good for Women Too
Contrary to popular myths, calisthenics provide an effective way for women to enhance their fitness. Not only does it help women lose weight, but makes them stronger and heightens their performance in athletics.
Some of the best calisthenics for women include, burpees, squats, plank push-ups, crunches, obliques, mountain climbers and so on.
Common Calisthenics Exercises
With push-ups you normally push off the ground against your bodyweight. It’s a typical calisthenics workout for training your shoulder, chest and triceps.
For you to achieve optimal benefits from push-ups, ensure you do it correctly.
While on your fours, face down and body straight, touch the floor with your palms. The hands should be positioned slightly outside the shoulder length. Push up and down as many times as you can, each time allowing the chest to come into contact with the surface.
Repeat the process and remember you’re not in a competition.
Burpees aren’t plyometrics as they are sometimes thought to be. They are rather bodyweight workouts designed to train your leg, arms, chest and back muscles. There’re many variations of burpees including push-up burpee, side burpee, star jump burpee, superman burpee and so on.
Sit-ups are mainly intended to train your adnominal muscles where muscles are toned and strengthened. They help you strengthen the core muscles including the abdomen, lower back, pelvis and hips. This results in improved balance, coordination and stability.
Depending on your experience, you can do sit-up variations including pulse sit-ups, butterfly sit-ups, V sit-ups, and weighted sit-ups among others.
Squats together with their advanced variations provide an effective way of training numerous muscles especially those on the lower body.
Normal squats are intended to tone and strengthen the glutes, hamstrings, calves, hips and quadriceps.
By incorporating squat variations, they can also train upper body muscles including the core, chest, shoulders, back and arms.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Weighted Calisthenics?
Weighted calisthenics refers to the incorporation of additional weights on your body when doing normal calisthenics. The additional weight, gives you greater challenge thus heightening your strength and endurance.
If you need more resistance, then you can include weighted calisthenics in your training. There’re different types of equipment depending on whether you want to train the upper or lower body.
The most commonly used weighted calisthenics equipment include weight vests, ankle weights, and dip belts among others.