Calisthenics, also known as bodyweight exercises, is a type of physical training that involves using one’s body weight to perform various movements and exercises.
In other words, it is a form of strength training that does not require the use of external weights or equipment.
The word “calisthenics” comes from the Greek words “kalos” and “sthenos,” which mean “beautiful” and “strength,” respectively.
Calisthenics has been around for centuries, and its origins can be traced back to ancient Greece. The Greeks used bodyweight exercises as a way to train their soldiers and athletes for battle and competition.
The Spartans, for example, were known for their intense calisthenics training, which helped them become some of the fiercest warriors in history.
Calisthenics has become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly in the fitness community.
Many people are turning to calisthenics as a way to get in shape and build strength without having to go to a gym or purchase expensive equipment.
Calisthenics has also become popular among bodybuilders and athletes, who use it as a way to supplement their existing training routines.
One of the reasons for calisthenics’ popularity is that it can be done anywhere, at any time. All you need is a flat surface and enough space to move around.
It is also an effective way to get toned and build functional strength, as it works multiple muscle groups at once.
Calisthenics primarily works the muscles in the upper body, including the chest, back, shoulders, biceps, and triceps.
It also works the muscles in the lower body, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. In addition to building strength, calisthenics can also improve flexibility, balance, and coordination.
The health benefits of calisthenics are numerous
Regular calisthenics training can improve cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and help with weight loss.
It can also improve mental health by reducing stress and anxiety and increasing self-confidence.
To perform calisthenics, you first need to warm up your muscles by doing some light cardio exercises, such as jogging or jumping jacks.
Once you are warmed up, you can begin with some basic bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups, squats, lunges, and dips
Push-ups are one of the most popular calisthenics exercises and work the muscles in the chest, shoulders, and triceps.
To perform a push-up, start in a plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart. Lower your body until your chest touches the ground, then push yourself back up to the starting position.
Squats work the muscles in the legs, including the quadriceps and glutes. To perform a squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lower your body by bending your knees and pushing your hips back.
Keep your back straight and your chest up as you lower your body, then push back up to the starting position.
Lunges work the muscles in the legs and glutes. To perform a lunge, step forward with one foot and lower your body until your front knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. Your back knee should be hovering just above the ground. Push yourself back up to the starting position, then repeat on the other side.
Dips work the muscles in the chest, shoulders, and triceps. To perform a dip, find a sturdy surface, such as parallel bars or a bench. Place your hands on the surface and lower your body until your arms are bent at a 90-degree angle. Push yourself back up to the starting position.
In addition to these basic exercises, there are many other calisthenics exercises that you can incorporate into your training routine, such as pull-ups, chin-ups, handstand push-ups, and planks.
Pull-ups and chin-ups
Pull-ups and chin-ups work the muscles in the back and arms, while handstand push-ups work the shoulders and triceps. Planks are a great exercise for building core strength.
To perform a pull-up, grab a bar with your palms facing away from you and your hands shoulder-width apart. Pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar, then lower yourself back down to the starting position.
Chin-ups are similar to pull-ups but with your palms facing toward you. This exercise primarily works the biceps and is a good alternative for those who may struggle with pull-ups.
Handstand push-ups are a more advanced calisthenics exercise that requires a lot of strength and balance.
To perform a handstand push-up, start by getting into a handstand position with your hands shoulder-width apart. Lower your body until your head touches the ground, then push yourself back up to the starting position.
Planks are a great exercise for building core strength. To perform a plank, start in a push-up position and lower your body until your forearms are on the ground. Keep your body straight and your abs engaged for the duration of the exercise.
When performing calisthenics, it is important to maintain proper form and technique to prevent injury. Start with the basic exercises and gradually increase the intensity and difficulty as your strength and fitness levels improve.
Make sure you allow for proper rest and recovery between workouts to prevent overtraining and injury.