Do you want to get strong and agile – for free? Daniel explains how calisthenics workouts are taking the world by storm, and what this body-weight training is all about.
I first started calisthenics when a friend finally convinced me to join him instead of going back to gym. As soon as I tried it, my entire exercising life immediately changed. This new way of working out was way more fun and way more social.
What is Calisthenics?
Calisthenics is essentially about getting a workout while using only your own body-weight. You use movements like pushing and pulling, bending, swinging, jumping, and stretching, while focusing on using your body for resistance. In a calisthenics workout, you train strength, balance, agility and flexibility. It’s often also referred to as street workout.
The Core of a Calisthenics Workout
The fundamentals of calisthenics can be broken down into push-up and pull-up exercises. Various forms of push exercises can range from knee-pushups to dips to handstand push-ups, whilst the pull exercises can be anything from assisted pull-ups to one arm muscle-ups. One of the major focuses of calisthenics exercises is core strength, as all other strength and balance comes from the core. Core workouts are often integrated into the pulling and pushing exercises. Legs are trained with a variety of lunges, squats and box jumps of varying difficulty.
The Budget Way of Exercising
One big reason to try out this form of exercise is the simple fact that it’s so readily available to you, since it’s free and requires almost no equipment. You can do the exercises using the floor, chairs, any bar or ledge above a door, or against a wall. So not only are these types of workouts an incredible way to get strong and agile, but they don’t cost you anything (apart from commitment and some sweat).
The calisthenics workout provides a great way to train practical, applicable strength incorporated with balance and flexibility. This practical strength is a direct result of using body weight as resistance instead of weights and of focusing heavily on core strength. It’s no wonder that the calisthenics way of working out is quickly starting to rival conventional gym sessions, since you don’t need to worry about paying a monthly gym membership. It’s definitely one of the most budget friendly exercises out there.
Calisthenics is interesting in that it works on a progression basis and therefore caters to people of all strengths and abilities. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a straight-up beginner, or already advanced, and there is no limit to the difficulty of the exercises – you can forever build up on your existing abilities.
Seeing notable improvements by progressing to more advanced exercises is very motivating and satisfying.
Cool & Useful Apps
There are plenty of smartphone applications that provide calisthenics workout tutorials as well as programmes you can follow. Here are some of the favourite body-weight workout apps:
Learn from YouTube Videos
Apart from going out there and giving it a bash yourself, one of the best ways to learn how to train with your body-weight is by watching video tutorials. The following videos explain some calisthenics workouts for people of various training levels and abilities.
For the Advanced
Give it a Try – Freshen Up
Calisthenics is super dynamic and interesting, which makes working out less of a chore and more of a very welcome study break. If getting to gym and having to pay for a membership is too much for you, then definitely consider this form of exercise as an alternative.
Aside from the obvious health benefits of exercise, getting your blood pumping during a study break leaves you feeling refreshed and can definitely help you improve your overall academic performance and productivity.
I can, with 100% sincerity, say that working out with calisthenics is something I look forward to every day. Getting my head out of work for an hour or two has definitely helped to improve the efficiency of my own study sessions. It makes me feel completely rejuvenated.
Give it a try, as it may do the same for you.
If you’ve already signed up for a long-term gym membership, you can still rock out some calisthenics at the gym. Use the wall bars, pull-up bars, and other similar contraptions that require you to use your body weight for the workout. There is an abundance of video stash out there to give you tips and ideas on how to make the gym your calisthenics heaven.