Calisthenics training remains to be a popular form of resistance training among fitness enthusiasts. It involves a wide range of movement and exercises with minimal equipment, so it comes as no surprise that many people prefer this method of training over going to a gym. (1)
What is Calisthenics?
Calisthenic training uses bodyweight exercises to master functional strength of the core, as well as the upper and lower body. Calisthenic training is a stand-alone workout or as a warm-up before weight training. (2)
Learning to effectively and efficiently build your physique using calisthenic training is a demanding experience that will test your limits. You don’t need weights to give yourself a grueling workout. The best part about calisthenics is you can get a workout done in practically any situation. (3) Go to the city park and exercise in the fresh air or just hit the gym and take a class. Calisthenic drills can be done anywhere you are and at any time of the day.
Here are a few examples of calisthenic exercises you will notice in the gym or at the park.
Excellent for building the chest, shoulders, upper back, lats, and triceps. Change your hand positioning to narrow for the triceps and wider for the chest and shoulders. Clap pushups, T pushups, and handstand pushups are advanced techniques you can use when you need a challenge.
The last back exercise you will ever need. Pull-ups are a compound exercise that involves strength from both the core and the upper body. Build a strong back, with sweeping lats, round rear delts, and firm trapezius. Pull-ups will also build your forearms and increase your grip strength.
Another compound exercise that engages the quads, hamstrings, glutes, core, and lower back. Remember to sink deep into your squat movement while keeping your back straight and your shoulders square. Adjust your foot position and work your adductors and abductors. For the ultimate challenge try out some Tabata squats. Do as many repetitions as possible in twenty seconds. Rest for ten seconds and then complete this for eight rounds.
Also known as pistols, this solo-leg version of the squat increases independent strength in the legs, and improves your balance. As you descend with the movement, try to extend your opposite leg out in front of you to maximize the movement and its effects.
Full Body Exercises
A few sets of this exercise will leave you gasping for air. Start in the pushup position, explode and bring both your legs to your chest, then jump up and reach for the ceiling, landing in the squat position.
An incredibly demanding calisthenic exercise, the dragon flag engages the core muscles as no other abdominal exercise can. Lie down, grab a rail or fixed bar behind your head and raise your legs to the ceiling. When you reach the top of the movement, extend your torso up towards your feet, so your shoulders are in contact with the ground.
You can do calisthenic training every day, but it’s best to build up to three to four days a week if you are a beginner. Remember to recover fully between workouts with proper rest and nutrition. Once you master the basic movements, there is a lot of room to progress, so be patient and enjoy the process!
Not sure about calisthenics? Read our article about the awesome benefits of bodyweight workouts here.
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