Calisthenics is a set of exercises that utilize your own body weight to strengthen your muscles and lose body fat. Since no outside equipment is necessary, calisthenics can be done in the convenience and comfort of your own home.
Calisthenics will normally give your body a leaner appearance than weight lifting because you are building muscle using only your body weight as opposed to working with weights that are much heavier than your own weight.
History of calisthenics
The idea of using your own body to become stronger has been around for centuries. It originated in ancient Greece. Athletes practiced calisthenics to be in shape for the original Olympic Games, and warriors used it as well to train their bodies for battle. Calisthenics were also used by Indian warriors and in China by Shaolin monks. It is a tried and true method of exercising your body and mind that has stood the test of time.
Getting started with calisthenics
Calisthenics work the entire body and there are many exercises to choose from. Not only will you look great, but you will feel confident with your newfound power and control over your body! Getting started is simple. Since all that is required is adequate space, you can essentially do calisthenics anywhere.
Almost anyone of any age can participate.
Since you do not need a gym membership to partake in calisthenics, you will save money and time. No more commuting to the gym and waiting for machines to be available, and no more annoying monthly fees! Did you know that most people end up not using their gym membership?
Calisthenics are very cost effective, so even if you are on a budget or pressed for time, you will still be able to exercise. You can get right into an exercise routine as soon as possible since you don’t need to invest in any at-home equipment either.
If you want a change of scenery from working out at home, you can go outside and do calisthenics at a playground, park, or even the beach! Since calisthenics can be done almost everywhere, you won’t have to stress about missing workouts. You have much more freedom and control over your physical fitness with calisthenics.
Benefits of calisthenics
According to former Navy SEAL and certified fitness author Stew Smith, calisthenics will increase your stamina and flexibility and pairs well with other easily-accessible exercises like running or biking. Calisthenics improve the circulation in your lungs and heart which decreases your chances of getting cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks or strokes. You may also get some relief from aches and pains when you perform calisthenics exercises.
Calisthenics helps you lose weight even when you are not exercising. Since calisthenics will increase your muscle mass, your metabolic resting rate will increase as well. This means that even during times of rest, your body is burning more calories than if you had less muscle mass. You will also have more energy during the day.
Complete body workout
Because calisthenics works out the entire body and trains you to become more balanced, you will see an improvement in your coordination and posture. The movements performed in calisthenics are natural and easier on the body than many of the exercises done in weight training.
Since you are working your entire body rather than isolating individual muscles, you will not have to worry so much about overworking one specific muscle group. Overworking a muscle can result in injury which impedes your ability to exercise.
You will not become bored doing calisthenics as there are hundreds of exercises available to do! The only limitation is your creativity. You could decide to learn some cool tricks like backflips or movements that seem to defy gravity. Coming up with new ideas for training is very engaging.
Apart from the physical benefits, there are mental benefits. Calisthenics have proved to be helpful in alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression. You are getting a total mind and body workout. Calisthenics will improve your overall health, happiness, and quality of life.
Sticking to a workout plan
Thanks to the convenient and efficient nature of calisthenics, it is easy to stick to a workout plan. The first step is to clearly define your goals. Is it a weight goal you have in mind? Do you want to be very muscular? You can adjust your calisthenics workout to suit your goals.
The next step is to make a schedule and stick to it weekly. Perhaps you can workout every other day, or 3 days out of the week. It is a good idea to choose exercises that are not too difficult so that you will be certain you can keep up. As your body gets used to the workout, you can increase the intensity. Read about calisthenics progression here.
Rest days are very important. Calisthenics will leave your body sore just like any other exercise. Giving your body time to recover is essential if you want to see results. Rest and recovery includes getting enough sleep, and providing your body with a sufficient amount of food and water.
Have fun! If you are not enjoying yourself, it will be difficult to maintain a regular workout regimen. If something is not working for you, there are plenty of resources on the internet to give you inspiration for new workouts. Right here I have several routines that might fit you.
It may also be helpful to join an online forum so you can share your journey with others. Online fitness communities are a great way to track your progress and stay accountable for your goals. I hope this article has answered the question: What is calisthenics? If you are looking for a simple way to begin exercising, be sure try calisthenics out! Be patient with yourself and you will surely see results over time.