Are you a fitness junkie and feel you are still a stranger to the term calisthenics? Well, you are in the right place. This article has the answers to all your questions about a calisthenics workout. Firstly, if you love working out and exercising is a regular part of your routine, then it is highly likely that you have performed calisthenics exercises a lot of times. Truth is calisthenics in an important part of every person’s fitness regime. No fitness routine is complete without this form of exercise.
What is Calisthenics?
Calisthenics exercises are probably the oldest form of exercise and it is probably the first you ever learned. It is a type of workout that requires minimal or no equipment. In simple words, it is bodyweight exercises, wherein individuals’ bodyweight is used to provide resistance against gravity. The aim is to increase strength, build muscles, and improve flexibility and agility. Jumping jacks, push-ups, pull-ups, squats and lunges, burpees, jumping ropes, and plank holds are classic examples of a basic calisthenics workout.
It is an ancient form of a workout since the term Calisthenics was derived from the ancient Greek words “Kallos”, meaning beautiful and “sthenos”, meaning strength. In ancient times, calisthenics was used to build an impressive physique. Have you heard the term “Greek god”? It is often referred to as an extremely good-looking man.
Today, Calisthenics workout plans have gained immense popularity among fitness experts. Fitness routines of athletes, bodybuilders, military personnel and more usually involve calisthenic movements that contribute to building strength, endurance, and coordination. This form of workout has proven to be useful for people with obesity or struggling to lose a massive amount of weight.
Reasons to Perform Calisthenic Exercises Daily
Calisthenics is the most basic form of workout that must be mastered by anyone who is a beginner, struggling to lose weight, stay fit, improve strength, or building muscles. Here are a few benefits of basic calisthenics workout to consider.
- Calisthenics focuses on the fundamentals including basic movements that are essential for a majority of exercises.
- Calisthenics exercises involve a variety of basic gross motor movements like running, pushing, pulling, balancing and standing. Hence, it is a great way to improve body flexibility and balance.
- Calisthenic movements involve the majority of the muscles and work on the entire body. Hence, it is a full-body workout.
- It is an effective method of losing weight. A good calisthenics workout will involve most of the important muscles, which means the body is able to burn more calories than usual.
- It pushes the heart and lungs to meet the increased oxygen demands during the workout. Therefore, calisthenics exercises for beginners and beyond is beneficial for the cardiovascular and respiratory system.
- Since there is no need for equipment, it is an inexpensive training program.
- It improves joint movements and delays the aging process of the bones.
- It is a natural way of working out, which forces the body to use its maximum potential.
- It is a convenient form of workout. Basic calisthenics workout can be performed anywhere and anytime. It can be effectively practiced at home or even in a hotel room. So, you never have to skip your fitness routine.
- A good calisthenics training plan has the ability to improve the way you perform daily tasks and physical endurance that is required for your everyday work or routine.
Ultimately, calisthenics exercises improve physique, strengthens the body, boosts confidence and enhances the personality. In addition, it reduces stress and relaxes the tension in muscles. It improves sleeping patterns and facilitates sound mental health. The bonus point is that there is a huge range of calisthenics workout for women and men to choose from. Thus, it never gets boring.
Calisthenics Workout for Beginners at Home
Now that you are familiar with the term and the importance of calisthenics workout in our daily lives, it is important to master a few calisthenics exercises. Mentioned below are a few calisthenics exercises for beginners.
This is one of the most common beginner calisthenics workouts. It basically trains the lats, forearms and the upper body.
Technique: To perform pull-ups, you require a sturdy pull-up/chin-up bar. Begin at the standing position facing the bar. Keeping your back straight, grasp the bar by maintaining a shoulder-width grip. Slowly lift your body up, to the level where chin goes above the bar. Slowly return to the starting position. For a beginner, perform 10 repetitions.
Among the many fundamental calisthenic exercises, this one is the best. It involves almost the entire body and works on major muscles of the upper and lower body. Also, it engages the core.
Technique: Begin in a lying position, facing the floor. Place your palms firmly on the ground, maintaining shoulder-width. Extend your legs completely and push the weight in your toes. Now, slowly lift your body above the ground and lower the body by bending elbows until the chest touches the ground. Eventually, come back to the plank position. In the beginning, practice 20 pushups.
3. Triceps Dips:
An excellent full body calisthenic workout must include triceps dips. It is a great way to train your arms, especially triceps.
Technique: Find yourself a sturdy bench, bars or a box which can take the entire weight of your body. Sit in the middle of the bench and place your hands on the edge of the chair, on both the sides. Slowly push the weight in your arms and lower your body, move away from the seating plank, and straighten your arms. Come back to the original position. A Calisthenics beginner routine must include at least two sets of 10 dips each.
4. Squat jumps:
This calisthenic movement is an incredible workout for the lower body muscles and improves balance.
Technique: Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your feet parallel and toes slightly outward. Lower your body slightly, until the legs are at a 90-degree angle, then come back up and explode in a jump. For beginners, 20 jump squats are enough.
Basic crunches are an awesome abdominal exercise in any calisthenic training plan. Besides strengthening the core muscles, it is great for anyone suffering from lower back pains.
Technique: Lie down on your back on the floor. Keep your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands behind your head and keep your chin from dropping to the chest. Squeeze your abdominals and slowly curl your knees and bring your upper body forward as if you were to touch your chest to the knees. Hold that position for a moment before moving back down. In the beginning, perform at least 20 crunches.
6. Jumping Jacks:
This is the most basic exercise, yet an efficient full body workout. It gets your heart racing and works on your glutes, quadriceps, and hip flexors.
Technique: Begin at the standing position with your arms at your side. Take a jump and spread your feet wider and bring your arms above your head. Take another jump and lower your arms and bring your legs together. Perform at least 50 jumping jacks daily for good results. You can even try the variations like Squat jumping jacks and rotations jumping jacks.
These are a few basic exercises that must be a part of a calisthenics beginner routine. You can even include lunges, burpees, plank holds, Superman and leg raise in your daily calisthenic workout.
20-minute Calisthenics Workout Program for Beginners
One Minute Plank Hold
In this full body calisthenics workout, perform three sets of each exercise with prescribed repetitions. Take 90 seconds of rest between each round. Begin with a simple warm up. You can perform jumping jacks as your warm-up exercise.
Tips for a safe and effective calisthenic training plan
- Never skip a warm up session.
- Learn fundamental movements before moving to the advanced variations.
- Pay attention to your breathing during the workouts.
- Wear proper shoes that will provide support and good grip.
- Stay hydrated at all times.
- Allow yourself a cooling period.
- Give your muscles at least 24-hours of rest to recover before you repeat the routine.
- For beginners, start slowly and increase the intensity gradually.
- Be gentle on your joints and allow your body to ease into the process of exercising
- Keep a watch at the changes in your body. Do not force yourself and if you are feeling sick or exhausted, just stop and rest it out.
Calisthenics exercises are the best way to stay fit and healthy in the most natural way. Incorporating a few variations in your daily workout regime will prove to be beneficial in many ways.
Disclaimer: All exercise should be done under the supervision of certified professionals or if any medical condition exists, please do seek the advice of the physician to proceed with this exercise.