For some reason, people spend more time figuring out how to get the results they want with weight training than with a calisthenics workout. Weight lifters come up with complex calculations of weight, sets, reps, rest periods and nutrition, to gain an edge on getting superior results faster. But when it comes to body-weight workouts, it seems like the “one size fits all” method rules.
This stems from the mentality that body-weight exercises are only good for moderate improvements and general fitness. Since it is believed to be a “mediocre” training method, it is only given “mediocre” attention. This is a big mistake, and I’m going to show you why you should strive to make your body weight workouts the best they can be.
Don’t Rely On A ‘One Size Fits All’ Calisthenics Program
You’ll commonly see calisthenics used as a warm up for other forms of resistance training (weight lifting) or to improve general fitness. Basic body-weight exercise like push-ups, crunches, and squats come to mind. But this doesn’t even scratch the surface of the power of body-weight workouts.
Here is the truth. Body-weight calisthenics can be just as effective as weight training to improve performance, burn off fat, and build a muscular body. Therefore, just as much care and planning should be used to design your body-weight only workout program as you would a weight training program. A one size fits all, “mediocre” workout program just won’t do.
Use Multiple Calisthenics Workouts To Reach Your Ultimate Goal
Basically, there are three types of calisthenics workouts you should design. One targeted to general fitness, one to fat loss, and one to strength and size. Why these three focuses? Because these are the three areas most people need to work on in order to reach their fitness, fat loss, and physique goals.
In the weight lifting world workouts are often split up along these lines. They should also be used in a body-weight only program. The trick is to design the programs so they focus on a specific goal, without neglecting all other goals.
Blur The Lines Between Strength Training And Cardio Conditioning
The biggest mistake I see both body-weight exercisers and weight lifters do is insisting on splitting up their resistance training and cardio training. They divide their training so much that they don’t get the best benefits.
In the real world, activities require the combined effort of all the muscles in your body, heart and lung power, and mental toughness. Activities must be performed in a fluid manner switching between all three. You must blur the lines between your resistance training and cardio training.
Body-weight calisthenics workouts make this easy. By using body-weight exercises combined with fast paced calisthenics exercises, you can get a great workout that results in more real world benefits. If you want you body to respond in the face of real sport, work and life challenges, you must train it properly by challenging the entire body as one complete unit.
A calisthenics exercise program should be planned just as carefully as any other type of physical training. Design different workouts with different goals in mind. Push the limits by combining your resistance training and cardio training. You’ll be happy with the results.
Health Benefits of Calisthenics Training for women
Who would have thought that the perfect calisthenics exercise would be as simple as jumping up and down? Calisthenics will never go out of style because they are cheap and they can be done anywhere – even at home or on vacation.
Pull-ups hit every muscle group in your upper body with an emphasis on back and biceps. Try to do them slightly different every time, ex. overhand, underhand, wide grip, close grip, etc.
Begin this exercise by standing straight and placing your hands on your hips. Then slowly move your hip in clockwise direction and then in anticlockwise direction.
Squats and pull-ups
These are the typical exercises associated with calisthenics. You can certainly get started with strength training with these kinds of exercises. However, it gets to a point where endurance is the name of the game, and not strength. While 100 push-ups is quite a feat, it is much more impressive to perfectly do a set of ten one arm push-ups. Low repetitions are necessary for strength training, as the muscles develop faster. Make sure you increase the difficulty of body-weight exercises with low rep sets. Fortunately, all you need is your body-weight in order to make a great calisthenics workout.
Holding onto a suspended bar, with your hands about shoulder-width apart, and your palms facing forward, pull yourself up until your chin is at level with the bar. When you lower yourself back down, keep a slightly bent in your elbow. Straightening your arms fully stresses the joints more so than it does the muscles and can cause injury. The affected muscles are those of the upper back and forearms. The underhand grip variation (with the palms facing you) target the biceps.
Hanging from a bar get into an L-Sit. Now dip backwards, so that your legs become vertical. Then start moving your legs from side-to-side; twisting your core while trying to reach as far as you can. Your range of motion will increase with practice as well as balance. This calisthenics exercise is great of obliques.
A lot like a one-arm push-up; but instead of having your body weight distributed between your feet and arm, your mainly relying on just one arm. If you’re really really short, then perhaps a good sturdy desk will do, otherwise go find a wall! Maybe do a few regular dips to get into it, and once your ready use only one hand. It may help to lean forward a bit so that your arm is directly bellow your chest, and pivot as you lower and raise yourself back up.
You’re a bat! Do you need a better description? OK. Keeping your knees slightly bent, hang from a pull-up bar using only your heels for as long as you can. This exercise will really test your lower posterior chain muscles. Pick a lower bar, so that you don’t fall as far.
Calisthenics utilize your own body weight through a series of stretching exercises. More advanced levels of calisthenics routines incorporate the use of weights or resistance bands. A typical calisthenics session would usually include a series of exercises such as dips, push-ups, pull-ups, leg raises and squats to target different muscle groups of the body. These exercises are combined to create a routine that is done by an individual three times a week.
Kelly is the founder of RegularityFitness, where she and associates blog about the best fitness exercises, weight loss methods, diet, muscle building. That will help you get a good shape and healthy. You can also connect with Kelly on Twitter.