Calisthenics is a form of exercise where you use the weight of your own body to build muscle. Despite what you may have been lead to believe, you do NOT need a gym membership or expensive equipment to build the muscle definition that you’ve always wanted.
Calisthenics is based on the 2 very simple principles of pushing and pulling and using these motions to increase strength, mobility and flexibility as a whole. True “old-school” calisthenics is built on the foundation of planks, sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, squats and dips. Performed the right way and with variations to decrease or increase difficulty, your body will learn to work not only on the development of big muscle groups but also smaller stabilizers through balance and coordination.
Proper calisthenics training will promote the growth of lean muscle mass, and increase your strength, mobility, flexibility, agility, and endurance. Calisthenics has been around for decades. It was used a lot in the 50’s and 60’s but has been making a serious comeback, with platforms like Youtube and Instagram showcasing its evolution. It has a brand new following where fans of this type of workout can show off their strength to the world in a fusion of urban fitness and freestyle calisthenics all combined with other bodyweight disciplines like gymnastics, yoga and breakdancing.
Despite this new modern wave of calisthenics, the “old” concepts of reps and sets still play a huge part at its core. What it has done is show how these basic exercises can be varied using bars as well as the ground. The new style of calisthenics has also given it a place in the industry – not only as a way of developing strength but also for competitions and as a sport in itself.
Your trainer can design the best calisthenics workout for your ability and ensure that you are maintaining the correct technique for optimum results, but if you want to try an introductory session to calisthenics then you can start with trying the following routine: Do all the exercises in the order shown, resting 30 seconds between exercises and 3 minutes afterwards. Repeat for 3 rounds.
1. 10 pull-ups
Do these with your palms facing away from you, hands just outside shoulder-width apart.
2. 10 chin-ups
Palms face toward you, hands shoulder-width apart.
3. 20 dips
Use parallel bars and lower your body until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
4 . 25 jump squats
Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor and jump as high as you can.
5. 20 pushups
Lower your body until your chest is about an inch above the floor. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels. Actively pull your ribs and pelvis toward each other, engaging your core—don’t let your lower back sag.
6. 50 crunches
Curl your torso up until your shoulder blades are off the floor.
7. 10 burpees
Stand with feet shoulder width and squat down to place your hands on the floor. Now shoot your legs behind you fast so you end up in the top position of a pushup. Jump your legs back up so they land between your hands and then stand up quickly.
8. 30 seconds jumping rope