What is Calisthenics? Basics and Benefits

All about calisthenics (Image via Unsplash/Kate Trysh)
All about calisthenics (Image via Unsplash/Kate Trysh)
Natalie P.

Calisthenics is a form of exercise that relies only on bodyweight movements. Yes, we mean squats, pull-ups, push-ups, lunges, dips, planks, and just about any other basic exercise you’re already familiar with. The best part about calisthenics is, you don’t even need a gym set up or any equipment to do it, and it’s a fantastic way to build strength. What’s a bigger flex than being able to lift your own bodyweight?

Calisthenics has always been around, often known as street workout. It gained popularity in recent years during the pandemic, when everyone was confined to their homes with minimal to no equipment to train with. Now, street workout enthusiasts can be found displaying a variety of mind-blowing skills using just their bodyweight.

If you’re looking to get into calisthenics, the only accessories necessary you would need are a pull-up bar and some parallel bars. Or you could head to the nearest public park to find an appropriate setup.

Benefits of calisthenics

Since calisthenics is so widely practiced among fitness enthusiasts around the world, there obviously must be some benefit to it, right? Let’s look at the numerous ways calisthenics is a great form of exercise for us:

Can be done anywhere and at any time

Possibly the biggest perk is how accessible this activity is. Since it relies on bodyweight and pretty much no equipment, finding time to squeeze in a quick workout shouldn’t be too hard.

Builds strength

Calisthenics is perhaps one of the best ways to develop raw strength. This means better quality of movements as well, making less room for injury. Pushing your weight against gravity is always an effective way to build strength.

Works multiple muscles at once

Multiple muscle groups are engaged while performing calisthenics movements. Plus, you engage your core constantly, which also strengthens your abs and back. This in turn helps improve stability.

Improves stability

The constant engagement of your core will help you learn how to balance better and keep yourself stable in more complex movements like handstands, pistol squats, clap push-ups, etc.

Improves coordination

Calisthenic athletes will tell you all about mind-muscle connection, and it’s no lie! Coordination of the body is important with complex movements in order to execute them well and safely. This helps sharpen your coordination skills.

Burns lots of calories

Calisthenics obviously requires lots of power. And to generate this power, you would need to expend more energy. That means more calories being burned in a workout session. Is this why calisthenic athletes are so well toned?

Improves endurance

This form of exercise is effective in improving your muscular and cardiorespiratory endurance. One workout session involves multiple repetitions of movements, putting strain on your muscles and your lungs.

Head over to your nearest public park or calisthenics facility for a quick bodyweight workout. Start with some HIIT moves to get your body warmed up. Don’t forget to stretch after your session to ensure your muscles aren’t too sore or cramped the next day. Be sure to practice safely and stay regular!

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Q. Have you tried out calisthenics?

I want to!

Looks scary.

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Edited by Sabine Algur


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