Starting a new exercise routine can be a trial unlike any other. While calisthenics is no different in terms of difficulty, the many benefits that you gain while beginning and following through your introductory period make up for the hardships you endure.
So, what kind of benefits can be found in engaging in calisthenics, you ask?
- There is no need for equipment
- Improving your health
- Gaining some muscle mass and strength (depending on how long your sessions are, of course)
- You’ll become more mobile
- All of your muscles are hit during the exercise
- Your brain and body connection is improved
- The joins and connective tissues become better
These are just a few to note. In this article, we will be diving much deeper into these subjects down below.
What Is Calisthenics?
Every road begins somewhere, so let’s start from the beginning with a question some of you might just be asking yourselves. That question is, what is calisthenics anyway?
By definition, calisthenics is a form of strength training. You engage multiple large muscle groups in your body with a myriad of movements like pushing, pulling, standing, and the like, with minimal to no extra equipment.
Without equipment might be alarming, but the workout utilizes what you already have (your own body) and focuses on repetition and variety of the movements to be the workout.
That may range from you doing push-ups, pullups, lunges, planking, almost anything that doesn’t involve extra equipment more than likely falls under the umbrella of calisthenics.
The origins of calisthenics themselves date back to ancient times. One such recording is a solid facet of training in Alexander the Great’s armies and the legendary Spartans. Some of us may know better from the movie “300”.
References and callbacks aside, it is easy to see how using your own body as the primary form of resistance to train itself can make sense.
This is especially true if you are not too keen on shelling out cash for a gym membership or deluxe training equipment for your own home. So, let us find out what some of the benefits are to training with calisthenics.
Benefits Of Calisthenics
As we briefly mentioned above, some of the most significant benefits that calisthenics offers come with a low cost to start. It provides an excellent health boost you get simply by adding it to your day-to-day life, but let’s break things down in more detail below.
1. You Don’t Need Equipment
Assuming you do not intend to spend money on any specific plan or regimen to learn it in-depth, you can begin training in calisthenics-free. One of the ways to do this is simply by doing something as basic as going to YouTube videos for guidance. Here is an excellent channel for you to follow:
That means no dumbbells, unique mats, anything, just making use of what you were born with to become the pinnacle of strength and fitness you can see yourself being!
While it is certainly tempting to go at it alone, there are several glorious programs you can go with that will help you. These programs will;
- Give you a better form.
- Provide understandings of nutrition.
- It helps you become accountable that you can only find by going with a paid program.
2. You Can Build A Lot Of Strength
You can make some serious “gains” and sculpt yourself into an adonis despite not utilizing any traditional equipment. This is all done with a simple understanding of what you are doing.
Depending on your exercise, if you are using your body as the resistance, your weight is how much you are effectively pushing, pulling, or even lifting. This is especially effective considering it doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman; calisthenics can efficiently work for you.
Some of you might be more physically inclined and know a thing or two about building yourself up and come to the understanding that there is a limit or wall you hit after getting to a certain amount of muscle mass. Nevertheless, fear not because there is a solution!
While you can hit that boundary, spicing things up and thinking outside the box will allow you to break that barrier and continue on your calisthenics journey. To do that, you need to consider angles, inclines, and variety.
Here is an excellent example of building strength with your body:
Instead of doing a traditional push-up, do push-ups on the stairs to challenge your body more in different areas. Doing this exercise on the stairs will increase the challenge and stimulating your muscles to grow even more significantly than the traditional way!
3. You Will Become More Mobile
While you engage yourself with some of the more strenuous methods of calisthenics, you are going to feel the benefits of it in your day-to-day life. If you weren’t the healthiest person before starting, the weight you lose would allow you to feel immense relief and energy just walking about from place to place.
Suppose you already were more of a lean athlete. In that case, the mastery over your own body and understanding of how it functions will allow you to move with more grace and agility in your favorite sports or pastimes. This is especially true if you are someone who enjoys a good run.
4. Every Muscle Will Be Hit
Unlike traditional gym equipment, calisthenics targets entire muscle groups instead of hitting one muscle incredibly hard. The scope depends on the length of your workout and how often you are practicing. But, there won’t be any gaps of definition like some gym-goers suffer from.
This is doubly true for certain people who like to shun leg day, arm day, or gym day in general. After you initially begin, it can almost become addictive to seek higher and higher goals while admiring the results of your efforts!
5. Brain & Body Connection Are Approved
In much the same way, you will become more fluid in your movements by understanding how your body works. The connection between your body in mind will meld as one to an even more profound effect.
You are honing the motor skills required to perform the physical feats you’ll be practicing almost daily in your calisthenics workouts. You will be more in tune with what your body needs.
6. Your Joints & Connective Tissues Become Better
Some of the most valuable benefits you gain from calisthenics workouts come from the overall improvement of how your body functions. It allows you to and the strength you gain in your joints, ligaments, and tendons.
Traditionally if you overwork your body in the gym, or even calisthenics if you aren’t careful (think using the poor form or an improper start to a new workout method), you will be straining, or worse, damaging those parts of your body.
However, with practice and time, you will be more masterful over your movements, which in turn will lead you to avoid overly exerting yourself unnecessarily.
What Calisthenics Should I Master?
Truthfully, this is an umbrella term because you genuinely want to become a jack of all trades. Mastery over these initial concepts will only serve as a platform to elevate you to greater heights in your quest for physical ability.
In most cases, the push-up is somewhat the starting point for everyone. Push-ups primarily focus on working your triceps, chest, and shoulders with the bonus of working your core depending on how long you hold planks in between them.
Please note: If you’re out of breath while doing push-ups, catching your breath while holding a plank form allows you to prep for more and gives you an even better workout as opposed to getting entirely, catching your breath, then beginning again!)
2. The Plank
While this method of calisthenics was once a meme in today’s society, it holds its place firmly in the world of fitness (get it?). Planking builds essential strength in your glutes and lower body. It allows you to gain additional stability for the more complicated exercises that are to come once you’ve attained mastery over this.
A burpee is a total drop from a standing position into a push-up form. Followed by doing an entire push-up, do a squat, then raising your arms above your head after fully coming back to a standing position.
The exercise in itself has a wide array of benefits. Still, because it engages so many muscle groups simultaneously, it’s easy to see how the addition of burpees to your routine will foster results. As an additive bonus, they do wonders for your heart as well!
A lunge is essentially where you extend one leg in front of your body with the knee bent forward and the foot flat on the ground. In contrast, the other leg is placed directly behind you for extra stability and resistance.
Lunges aim to target your legs, hips, and back and give you the necessary leg strength required to get into the more advanced calisthenics. Making lunges will help you overcome what you want to do in the future.
Calisthenics is a tried and true method of obtaining a body you can be proud of. It allows you to not only master your body but attain a better lifestyle for yourself using what you’ve always had since the day you were born, yourself.
The understanding will promote peace of mind and improve your ability to overcome harsh instances in life with the willpower and dedication you’ve fostered in your pursuit of greatness in calisthenics. This will all take time, but the more you practice, the better off you will be!
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