Calisthenics can change your entire approach to strength training. This has happened to athletes who have decided to switch to this sport. Is it really a good choice?
Kalisthenics – the basics
We’ll start, of course, with a brief explanation of what calisthenics really is. Probably more than once on Instagram or YouTube you have seen videos in which people easily perform the human flag, stand on their hands or jump on the bars, as if gravity does not exist? This is street workout – impressive and the most difficult stage of the described discipline. In fact, performing exercises at home, such as pull-ups, push-ups and sit-ups is already calisthenics.
Any workout that uses only your body weight as a load is already a strength training called calisthenics. The beginnings of this sport? Not very interesting, mainly prisons and city streets – that’s where men could not use special equipment, could not afford gyms, so they invented an alternative, which is now a completely separate discipline, not only a sport, but already a lifestyle. In fact, already in ancient Greece soldiers used elements of calisthenics in their training. Even the name comes from the Greek “kallos” – beauty and “sthenos” – strength.
Back to the roots of training
This is exactly how calisthenics can be described, where the only load is your body. You don’t need any equipment! This has its advantages – you do not spend on a gym ticket and additional accessories such as dumbbells, grips, benches or atlases. All you need is a positive attitude and motivation – then you can start. Surely you are curious what a calisthenics workout looks like, how it is performed and which exercises to include in your workout plan? There are several basic figures that are most often used in this discipline:
–pull-ups on a bar – a fundamental element without which calisthenics could not exist. A great exercise for strengthening and growing the muscles of the back, biceps and triceps. If you can’t do pull-ups, try starting with negative pull-ups. Jump up to the bar and slowly lower your body. You can also use an exercise rubber band, which will make pull-ups much easier. The most difficult variant of pull-ups is the muscle-up,
–push-ups – another element of calisthenics training that it cannot do without. You can start with push-ups on your knees to move on to regular ones later. More advanced, increase the range of motion by putting books under your hands, for example. You can also put an extra weight on your back. There are many variations – only your imagination blocks you. Push-ups expand and strengthen your chest. Ultimately, the most difficult stage of this exercise is handstand push-ups,
–dips (push-ups on handrails) – also an exercise for the chest, but the most important element strengthened in this exercise is the entire shoulder girdle and to a lesser extent the triceps. One of two variants (the first is pull-ups on a bar), for which you need additional equipment,
–squats – strengthen thigh muscles and buttocks. If regular squats are too easy, add extra weight. Then move on to (Pistol Squats), a variation performed on one leg,
–Bridge – a very important element of calisthenic training. The bridge performed in the correct way engages the larger and smaller muscles adjacent to your spine,
–leg raise – in this exercise you engage your abdominal muscles. The target is to reach the level of (Dragon Flag), which is lifting legs with simultaneous lifting of lumbar and middle part of the spine. You then rest only on your cervical spine and head.
Exactly 6 basic calisthenics exercises that will completely suffice. They were developed by Paul Wade, author of the book Condemned to Workout, which is worth reading and together with it start your adventure with this sport. It is worth remembering that calisthenics is really for everyone. The basic exercises are not difficult, and their subsequent variations allow you to diversify and make the training a little more difficult.
Featured photo: Pixabay