Are you tired of going to the gym daily? And still, want a toned body and a flat tummy? Then try calisthenics. Calisthenics is the classical exercise type that uses your body weight as resistance. It doesn’t require any equipment or expensive gym memberships. You can do these exercises in your bedroom, lawn, kitchen, backyard, office, anywhere, anytime.
Calisthenics is a form of workout that uses your weight as resistance to build muscles and stamina. It is a form of strength training in which you can target specific body muscles.
Calisthenics exercises are simple and basic, which you may have done at your school. These include plunges, push-ups, chin-ups, lunges, etc.
Calisthenics has lots of benefits. Some of them are
- Whole body workout
- Improves flexibility
- Tones muscles
- Reduces depression and anxiety
- Builds muscle mass
- Develops a strong core
- Burns calories
Along with these benefits, the best thing about calisthenics is that it is best for beginners. It can be quickly started from jumping as a fun activity and can be taken to advanced levels for targeting specific muscles.
Another exciting feature of calisthenics is that it doesn’t require any specific and fancy equipment. These are very simple to do exercises and can be taken to advanced levels to improve results.
According to a study published in 2017, Calisthenics training is an achievable and successful way to improve your posture, build strength and shape your body without investing in significant exercise equipment.
Let’s discuss some of the calisthenics exercises one by one that may help you get a toned and muscular physique.
It goes without saying. warming up is a must before exercising!
It may take two or three minutes to a max of 5 minutes. Warm-up is very helpful as it prepares your body for strenuous exercise. It includes walking or jogging in place and simple stretches.
Warm-up exercises increase your heart rate. It improves your flexibility. And drag you out of your comfort zone, preparing you for the workout.
Squats are a straightforward calisthenics exercise. It works on your lower body, especially your buttocks and thighs. Squats may be started slowly, and then you can get the most out of it by slightly increasing the difficulty level. And if you are uncomfortable, you can ease it by lessening the effort.
- Place your feet a few inches wider than your hips, with your toes slightly pointed outward and your arms hanging down by your sides.
- Keep your back straight, tighten your core, and shift your weight to your heels.
- Now Inhale and squat down until your thighs become parallel to the floor.
- Pause briefly and evenly balance your body weight on the heels of your feet. Also, keep looking straight ahead.
- Now exhale and stand back slowly.
- Repeat 1 to 3 sets with 12 to 15 reps.
To make it easier, place a chair to stand from a seated position.
And if you want to improve your stamina and make it more challenging, do a jump after squat position.
Planks are excellent for core strength. Core muscles strengthen your back and abdomen. A strong core reduces the risk of back injuries and other abdomen-related issues. Planks are also very useful in improving leg strength, as per a recent study.
- First, lying on your stomach with your elbows tucked close to your sides, in line with your shoulders. Positioning your palms towards the floor is essential.
- Now while maintaining your body straight, and keeping your elbows and forearms connected to the floor, push your body up with the support of your arms.
- Stay in the same position for a few seconds, and repeat.
Now let’s make it easier by performing the plank on your knees.
And if you want to go to the advanced level, try executing the plank on your forearms. You can also improve your stamina by holding the plank for a few more seconds.
But two main things are important to remember while performing a plank.
- Your body needs to be stiff and straight during the plank performance.
- It is better to breathe slowly, don’t breathe heavily or fastly while performing a plank.
Another straightforward and effective exercise among calisthenics is the lunges. This exercise targets your butts, hips, thighs, and lower abdomen. Incorporating walking and jumping forward lunges into training sessions can benefit young soccer players by improving hamstring strength and running speed, as stated by a study published in 2009.
- When you stand, make sure to have your feet hip-width apart. You can either have your hands on your hips or your arms straight down by your side.
- Now keeping your back straight, take a step with your right leg. While doing this, shift your weight forward so your heel hits the ground first.
- Your left knee must point towards the ground, whereas the right knee is just above your foot.
- Return to your standing position slowly by pressing your weight to your front foot.
- Repeat three sets of 12 to 15 lunges.
Make it easier by performing reverse lunges. To execute reverse lunges correctly, alternate legs as you take a step backward with each one.
However, perform lunges by holding weights in your hands for an advanced technique. You can also make leap lunges in which you can leap between lunges.
One of the most popular calisthenics exercises is push-ups. It is done all over the world with lots of variations. It is the most beneficial technique you can add to your workout regime, giving visible results in less time.
Push-ups target the upper body muscles, mainly the shoulders, chest, and arms. A study published in 2018 showed that push up was much more effective in increasing muscular strength and thickness than bench press.
- Begin by getting down on the floor on all fours. Your palms need to be flat, your fingers pointing forwards. Place your hands shoulder-width apart. Ensure that your shoulders are directly over your hands.
- Then engage your core and lower yourself by keeping your body as straight as possible. Bend your elbows to the level your chest is about to touch the floor.
- Now push yourself up by pressing your palms until you return to your starting position. It is essential to keep your body straight during this step too.
- Repeat 12 to 15 times in 3 sets.
If you are a beginner or want to simplify your push-ups, try doing it on your knees.
And for advanced levels, try performing push-ups by placing a chair under your feet. You can also make it difficult by clapping your hands after pushing yourself up.
Burpees are calisthenics that target all body muscles from head to toe. It involves upper body muscles as well as lower body muscles. Burpees include different calisthenics exercises like squats, push-ups, and planks. So it increases your heart rate. This is why burpees are an excellent cardio exercise that improves endurance.
A 4-week study conducted on young adults in covid times in 2022 showed that burpees are a feasible method to improve heart rate and cardiovascular health.
- First, stand straight, chest out, arms hanging by your side, keeping your feet hip-width apart.
- Drop yourself squat, bending over your knees and lowering your butts.
- By keeping your feet flat on the ground, place your hands in front with palms facing down.
- Going back into the plank position, kick your legs back straight.
- Lower your body towards the ground and bend your elbows just like you do in push-ups.
- Extend your arms straight, so go back to the planks position.
- Land your feet on the ground near your hands and jump your legs ahead and return to the squat position.
- Push yourself up with your legs and jump. Arms straight towards the ceiling. Land on the floor with your feet at a hip-width apart.
- By doing this, you have completed a burpee and now repeat this performance in a set of 3 with 12 to 15 repetitions.
You can make it easier by skipping the push-up and placing your hands on the chair to perform the plank.
You can turn it into an advanced technique by doing a knee fold and jumping in the air. Fold your knee again after the push-up.
The sit-up is a classical calisthenics exercise that is very famous worldwide. You can target your chest, abdominals, and hip flexors using the correct technique.
Sit-ups are much more beneficial than crunches because it targets more muscles, as per a study conducted in 2003. Sit-ups help improve core strength, balance, and flexibility.
- Lie on your back, bending your knees and keeping your feet firmly on the ground.
- Place your hands at the base of your skull and tuck your chin to your chest.
- Lift yourself towards your knees while exhaling.
- Inhale when you get back to the starting position.
- Repeat in 3 sets of 12-15 reps.
If you want to make it easier, try elbow-to-knee sit-ups by lifting your bent knees and touching your knee with the elbow.
And if you want to check your stamina, try performing ball sit-ups by placing a stability ball under you.
Pull-ups are an excellent calisthenics workout if you want an impressive-looking chest. Most people confuse pull-ups with chin-ups. However, both of these exercises differ in the position of hands.
During pull-ups workout, the palms of your hands face away from you, while in chin-ups, your hands are positioned toward you. However, pull-ups are more challenging than chin-ups. You can add variations to change the intensity level of both workouts.
Pull-ups target the upper half of the body, including the chest, shoulders, upper back, and arms. To perform a pull-up, you need a pull-up bar. You can easily get one installed in your home.
- First, grip the bar tightly with the palms of the hands positioned towards you.
- Start pulling your body up with the help of shoulder and back muscles.
- Keep pulling until your head is over the bar and your legs hang down freely.
- Return to the starting position to complete one pull-up.
- Repeat 3 sets of 12-15 reps.
Now if you are a beginner or want to ease the pull-ups use the resistance bands. By standing on resistance bands, you don’t have to put all your energy into pulling yourself up.
And if you want to make your workout challenging, try doing pull-ups with one hand or using weights with weight belts or vests.
The Bottom Line:
Calisthenics is the best exercise suitable for all age groups, whether you are a kid, an adult, or an old individual. By using variations in the technique, you can make it easier or harder as per your choice and level of fitness.
A person who exercises regularly is more fit and active than one living a sedentary life. By regularly doing calisthenics, you can achieve longevity and more muscle mass rather than fat.
In short, calisthenics is the most convenient and highly effective form of workout. It doesn’t require any equipment or expensive gym memberships.
Now if you want a better self, you need to stick to a routine and can surprise your buddies.
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