For people who want to jumpstart their fitness, they wouldn’t automatically consider calisthenics. They would probably go for equipment-assisted workouts or really trendy ones like spinning or aerial yoga. This is because calisthenics is often associated with juvenile gym classes so there is this misconception that it won’t get you to your fitness goals.
Most of the hesitation however are caused by people not really understanding what the calisthenics concept is all about. Many people are probably unaware that popular workouts like CrossFit and Tabata use many calisthenics moves.
To better understand the calisthenics concept, let’s answer the basic questions every beginner usually asks: What where, when, who, and why.
What is Calisthenics?
The origin of the word “calisthenics” is from the ancient Greek words kálos meaning “beauty” and sthénos, meaning “strength”. Calisthenics is considered as the art of using bodyweight as resistance in developing one’s physique.
The list of calisthenics exercises is endless because every single move can have many different variations. The more familiar exercises are jumping jacks, push-ups, squats, sit-ups, and lunges. Exercises that are becoming more popular in recent years are mountain climbers, planks, and burpees.
Where and when do you perform calisthenics?
One of the best things about calisthenics is that you can perform it anytime and anywhere. Unlike exercises that require special equipment, you only need your body to work out. What this means is that whether you are at home, in the park, in a hotel room, or outdoors, you can always follow your routine. Calisthenics exercises also require very minimal space. There are even exercises which you can do while in place such as jump squats, planks, and knee taps.
Calisthenics workouts are also flexible when it comes to the time involved. You can fit it into your schedule depending on your free time. Even if you only have a few minutes, you can complete a round of high-impact calisthenics moves and benefit from that workout. This is because most calisthenics exercises are compound exercises that target multiple large muscle groups simultaneously. This makes this work out a very time-efficient one because you can train your entire body in just a short time.
Who can do calisthenics?
There are two opposing misconceptions about calisthenics. The first one is that exercises like push-ups, squats, and lunges are too elementary to achieve their fitness goals. The other contrasting idea is that calisthenics is too difficult for average people to do because of muscle-ups, headstands, and chin-ups. So is calisthenics too easy or is it too hard?
Calisthenics exercises can be considered both depending on who’s asking. Instead of that being a disadvantage, it is actually the reason why calisthenics is suitable for everyone. Whatever your fitness level is, whether you’re a beginner or an athlete, you can select the calisthenics exercises that will suit your goals. This makes calisthenics a very accessible workout for everyone.
If you are a beginner, you can start with foundation exercises to build your strength. You can then gradually progress to more advanced moves as you get stronger. The variations are actually unlimited because there is a variety to choose from.
Why Practice Calisthenics?
There are many benefits to practicing calisthenics. Here are some of the top reasons why you should consider trying out this workout.
Many people hesitate to get into a fitness routine because of the expense associated with it. Gym club memberships and fees to group classes are not cheap after all. Add to that the cost of transportation, gym snacks, clothing, and shoes.
With a calisthenics workout, you can do it without living the comfort of your own home. It does not matter if you only have your basic t-shirt on or if the sneakers you’re wearing are not on trend. You can work out and get in shape without shelling out any cash.
Calisthenics delivers many benefits to your body. Practicing regular calisthenics will help you build strength and muscle. You also get to improve your mobility, flexibility, balance, and coordination. Another advantage is that you will find it easier to perform functional movements in your day-to-day activities.
Lower risk of injury
Practicing calisthenics can also help you reduce the risk of pain and injury. Because of your increased mobility or range of motion, you can perform movements with less risk of injury like tearing a muscle or getting into accidents. This also makes you more efficient when it comes to playing sports or doing physically-straining activities like hiking, climbing, and manual labor.
Special Thanks to the Author for Sharing Her Expertise with Me!
Rebecca Smith is a content writer at Bodyweight Training Arena. She started calisthenics at age 26 as a means to lose weight and tone her body. After completing her first successful muscle up, the amazing feeling inspired her to train further and become a full-time calisthenics instructor. Rebecca also holds a Management Degree and a Diploma in Nutrition.