What Is Calisthenics?
The word Calisthenics is a Greek word meaning strength and grace and Calisthenics training involves training the body for strength gain and physical improvement with the body as the main tool. This training involves minimal equipment.
Calisthenics training focuses on developing all the three aspects of physical fitness and not just building muscles. The three aspects of fitness are:
What Are The Benefits Of Calisthenics Training?
1. Time Efficiency
Getting time to go to a gym and train is one of the main barriers to physical fitness. Finding your way to a gym and then waiting around to use the equipment is a luxury that a lot of people cannot afford.
The beauty about body weight training is that you always have your gym with you and you do not need to have any major equipment with you to get your workout done. You can also workout in a minimal space so there can be no excuses for getting your workout done.
2.It’s more friendly to the joints
One common complaint among weight trainers is the prevalence of joint pain. Resistance training seems to come with a host of problems ranging from wrist problems to shoulder pain to hip ache and all sorts of joint troubles.
These problems are also exacerbated by the lack of proper warm up, chronic overtraining and sloppy form. On the other hand, bodyweight training such as calisthenics workout does not exert undue pressure on your joints as does resistance training when using dumbbells and barbells. This makes you less prone to injury as you rarely use resistance that is more than your body weight.
Circuit training involves doing one set of exercise in a routine before moving on to another set of exercises. The lack of equipment makes it convenient to move from exercise to exercise in a short amount of time while getting more work done.
Circuit training is one of the most efficient ways to exercise and it also enhances fat loss because it boosts your metabolism to burn calories quicker. You also build, shape and define each muscle in every part of your body as your body weight program targets your entire body.
4.It removes barriers
We always tend to find barriers to going to a gym: we don’t have enough time, the cost, we don’t feel comfortable exercising in front of others etc. The beauty about calisthenics training is that with only your body weight, you can undertake a vigorous workout as good as any weights-based routine and lose fat and gain muscle.
In addition, this can be done without extra costs including the gym and without any equipment, a bodyweight workout can be done anytime anywhere.
5.It works the core more effectively
Typically, when you’re exercising with equipment at the gym, your body gets locked into one position and this is mainly to allow you to position yourself to work on one muscle group. For instance, when doing a standard calf raise, the muscle group you’re focusing on is the gastrocnemius calf muscle.
On the other hand, when you’re doing the calisthenics version of a standard calf raise, your entire body has to work to balance itself as your perform the exercise. This helps you work on all your core muscles as they stabilise your lower body. Simple exercises such as push-ups activate the abdominals effectively turning every move into a core move.
6.No knowledge barrier
A great number of exercises at the gym involves technique and being aware of precise body movements to do it right. Learning the correct technique to do effective workout sessions can be a challenging process for most people and if not done correctly often leads to injury.
With calisthenics, most moves are simply second nature to us as they are simple to perform and do not require any specialised knowledge to do them. The lack of knowledge and perceptions of gym equipment is a big turn-off for a lot of people beginning an exercise program.
7.Burns a lot of calories
One major advantage of calisthenics training is that it combines resistance training with cardiovascular training which allows you to work both your aerobic and anaerobic systems. This is in contrast to most weight training exercises that mainly focus of resistance training.
Combining the two systems allows you to build muscle as well as lose fat as you constantly change your position as you workout, you keep your heart rate high while strengthening the muscles. A simple routine such as 10 sets of 10 squat jumps has been shown to improve muscle fiber strength in the quadriceps muscles.
8.It is accessible to everyone
Bodyweight training has the perception of appearing doable especially to elderly people and people who are overweight or are suffering from an illness and are daunted by using weight resistance training.
The simplicity of calisthenics training helps to combat weakness and frailty among the aged and the sick while building muscle strength and mass, independence and vitality.
9.Workout sessions are much shorter
There is a lot of downtime at the gym which arises as you change weight plates, walk from one part of the gym to the other to use a different set of equipment, adjust handles, weight for equipment. All these eat into your workout time in between exercises and there is less intensity for your muscles as the wait allows them to return to normal.
With calisthenics training, your body is your gym and you go right into your next exercise routine without any delays. This facilitates you to maintain and even increase the intensity of your exercise sets. This also shortens your workout sessions as you have far less downtime.
Bodyweight training and more so calisthenics training helps to overcome the exercise rut that a lot of gym goers find themselves in.
Calisthenics training offers an endless possibility to exercise wherever you want and when you want while developing all the fitness aspects.
Body Weight Skills Trainin
We have put together a bodyweight skills training guide for the most common skills when starting out calisthenics which includes:
Over time more how-to guides will be added to the webiste including a guide for the planche and front lever.