Calisthenics is a great way to get an effective workout without the requirement of a lot of equipment and challenge your body to get better.
Calisthenics has its origin from two Greek words, ‘Kalos’ meaning beauty, and ‘Sthenos’ meaning strength. These two words sum up the overall objective of calisthenics exercises; to help develop a stronger and more aesthetic physical form. It is one of the most popular alternatives to spending hours at the gym and being dependent on dumbbells, barbells, machines, whey protein, and all the other baggage that comes with weight lifting at the gym.
According to the fitness experts at Live Strong, callisthenic training involves any exercises performed using no added weight, and is commonly referred to as bodyweight training. This can include a variety of exercises that involve using your own body weight against the force of gravity to help work your muscles.
The best part about calisthenics workouts is that it is suited for beginners, intermediate, and professional fitness enthusiasts. It provides a dimension of bodybuilding that goes beyond targeting specific muscles and provides a holistic workout to each and every part of your body. Another advantage is that there’s no such thing as calisthenics equipment. These calisthenics exercises can be performed by anyone anywhere. Some of them may require minimal equipment, such as vertical or horizontal bars, but these can usually be found in any normal park or recreational space. This has helped calisthenics evolve into a popular form of ‘street workouts’ which involve exercises being carried out in public, urban spaces.
Benefits of Calisthenics Exercises
Calisthenics exercises also have a whole bunch of health benefits, some of which go beyond the original Greco objectives of looking good and being strong. Some of the other major benefits of calisthenics workouts are:
Calisthenics workouts help boost your basal metabolic rate (BMR) which means that you will burn through more calories faster.
Less stress on joints
While weight lifters may suffer from joint pain due to excess stress on joints, calisthenics actually helps align the joints and make them stronger.
Improved mental health
Studies have shown that exercise can play a significant role in boosting mental health. This holds true for any form of exercise, but starting off with calisthenics is much easier for those just getting into a fitness lifestyle.
The primary focus of calisthenics is to tone one’s muscles, and one positive effect of it is increased flexibility. As you push your body to its limits, your body finds itself expanding to its limits as well.
These are just a few of the many benefits that calisthenics training has to offer. While it is easy to class this exercise form into other more popular forms such as body-building and gymnastics, the truth is that it stands out on its own as a unique way to boost your fitness levels. You don’t need anything to start except having basic knowledge of what to do and how to do it.
Calisthenics Equipments You Need
Calisthenics workout equipment can help you reach new heights. The good thing about these types of equipment is that you can use them anyplace, whether you're doing calisthenics workouts at homeor outside.
1. Workout Rings
Rings, often known as gymnastic rings, are popular for bodyweight training. New stimuli are added to the workout as a result of the greater body stabilization required. This means that not only one but typically several muscle groups are worked at the same time.
During training, many athletes have sweaty or slick hands. This is where chalk comes in handy. Applying chalk to the hands during any workout, whether on the bar, parallettes, rings, or the ground, provides a fantastic grip. Bouldering, CrossFit, gymnastics, and even weightlifting use it frequently.
Parallettes are among the most popular workout items in gymnastics, calisthenics, functional fitness, and CrossFit, with unlimited possibilities. They can be used for fundamental exercises and variants such as push-ups and dips and advanced skills such as the planche, l-sit, and handstand.
4. Wrist Wraps
Wrist wraps are divided into two groups, each with its own set of advantages. The Performance Wrist Wraps are designed to improve workout performance while also offering consistent wrist mobility. With a limited range of motion, the Power Wrist Wraps provide even better wrist stability.
5. Elbow Sleeves
The elbows typically begin to hurt after or during training, and the joint cannot cope with the tremendous load placed on it during functional exercise. This is countered by the elbow sleeves, which improve blood circulation and stability. They're also quite comfortable to wear and support the upper and lower arm muscle attachments.
6. Resistance Bands
You can use resistance bands to raise or decrease the resistance in your workout and learn new exercises like pull-ups or muscle-ups, or make routines like squats and push-ups more challenging. Similarly, resistance bands are great for stretching before and after a workout.
7. Workout Grips
Workout Grips, also known as Pull Up Grips, are used to prevent uncomfortable places in the palms, sweaty hands, and strain on the eye. Whether you're doing muscle-ups, pull-ups, or other comparable activities, you'll have the best grip possible.
Calisthenics for Beginners with No Equipment
Here is a list of 10 commoncalisthenics exercises for beginners and the instructions on how to do them.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Bend your knees and push the hips back as if sitting down on a chair.
Push yourself back to the normal standing position.
Begin by lying face down on the floor.
With the elbows towards the toes, place the hands flat on the floor, slightly broader than the shoulders.
Extend your legs backwards, toes touching the ground.
To hold the body in a straight line, tighten the core muscles.
To elevate your body, straighten your arms and push the ground away from you.
Lower the body by bending the arms and lowering the chest close to the ground.
Begin by lying down on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
Cross your arms over your chest.
Curl the upper body toward the knees while engaging the core muscles.
Before returning to the floor, hold the position for a few moments.
Lift the upper body while keeping the head and upper body relaxed.
Place your forearms flat on the ground in a pushup position.
To keep the body in a straight line, flex the core muscles.
Hold the position for as long as you can without allowing your hips to sink.
To begin, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Bend your knees and squat down until your palms are touching the ground.
Jump down into a plank position from the bottom of the squat, landing on the balls of your feet.
Jump forward from the plank posture, swinging the legs forward until the feet reach the hands.
Return to a standing position by jumping upward with your hands in the air.
To begin, stand tall with your feet in a neutral stance.
Step forward with the right foot, bending the knee at a right angle.
As the leg expands, the left knee should almost contact the floor.
Push up to a standing position with the heel of the right foot, bringing both feet together.
Carry on with the left leg.
Stand with your back to the pullup bar.
Hands at or wider than shoulder-width apart and in an overhand grip (palms facing away).
Pull the body up till the head is over the bar with the shoulder and arm muscles.
Slowly lower the body back beneath the bar.
8. Jump rope
Grasp the handle of the jump rope.
Maintain the exact width of arms with the body's center.
Swing the rope over and under your body by rotating it with your wrists.
Jump over the rope, letting it clear beneath the feet.
To protect the ankle and knee joints, maintain a slight bend in the knees and point the toes.
List Of 10 Best Calisthenics Exercises
Now that you have a clear idea of what calisthenics is all about, let’s get into the details of how you can start developing your very own routine without any calisthenics equipment. Here is a list of the top 10 balanced calisthenics workouts that can help you achieve all your body goals, with nothing but dedication, grit, and your own body.
One of the best compound exercises in the game, squats can do wonders for your lower body including key muscles such as your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and abs. The most basic form of squats is one of the simplest and most effective exercises around. All you need to do is find a place where you won’t be disturbed. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart, then bend your knees to bring your body down, while keeping your back straight and knees moving in a natural position. Bring your body down as low as you can and then go back to your starting position.
For starters, 3 sets of 10 reps is an ideal number to start with. As resistance increases, you can move on to other tougher varieties of squats.
2. Push Ups
What the squat is to the lower body, the push-up is to the upper body. This exercise helps work out your chest, arms and shoulders, helping you build strength and muscle. It is again, a very simple exercise. You support your body with your hands and toes while facing the ground, back straight, elbows bent. You then bring your upper body down keeping your back and knees straight until your chest is a couple of inches above the ground. Go back up and repeat. All you need is the push-up wheel grips to do this exercise.
For beginners, 3 sets of 10 reps are the ideal standard. Once your body strength increases, you can move on to more difficult versions of push-ups such as diamond push-ups, decline push-ups, and clap push-ups.
This is the ultimate shredder when it comes to calisthenics exercises. Even many of the best bodybuilders around are unable to lift their body weight using only their upper body. Pull-ups target many muscles such as your deltoids, pecs, traps, biceps, and forearms. The method is very simple. You grab on to an overhead pull-up bar with an overhand, wide grip, lifting your body off the floor. Then you lift yourself off the ground, going up till your chest is on the level of the bar. Then down and back up again.
This is a very difficult exercise, so beginners should be proud if they can even pull off half a dozen pull-ups at a go. The more advanced varieties of pull-ups include hammer grip, narrow grip, around-the-world, and muscle up pull-ups.
These are the three major freehand exercises, so let’s move on to other exercises now which can complement these three-
Helps build triceps. Grab two bars which are shoulder width apart with your body in between, lift your body above the ground, and bring yourself as low as you can.
An inverse pull-up that targets biceps and lats, take an underhanded grip and move in the same way as you would in a pull-up.
The best exercise for abs. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet firmly planted on the ground and use your core to lift your upper body above the ground.
Very effective lower body workout. Put one foot in front of the other, then bring down your backward foot till the knee hits the ground. The knee of your forward foot should bend naturally and your back should be straight throughout.
Handstand Push Up
The ultimate shoulder building exercise. Do a hand-stand against a wall, with the wall supporting your lower body, then go down till you head comes close to the ground and then lift up.
A powerful exercise to build biceps, this is like an inverse pull-up, with your back to the bar and you facing away. Pull back with your arms as far as you can and feel your biceps achieve maximum power.
The godfather of all calisthenics exercises, this exercise is only for professionals. It involves the Herculean task of raising your body into a horizontal position above the ground while keeping your hands straight and gripping a nearby pole.
These are some of the most effective calisthenics workouts for you to achieve the body of your dreams. Now that you know everything you need to do, we wish you all the best in your calisthenics journey.
Calisthenics Workout at Home
Here is a list of 10 common calisthenics workouts at home and instructions on how to do them.
1. Jumping Jacks
Standing straight with your feet together and arms at your sides is a good way to start.
Take a deep breath and jump while kicking your legs out wide.
Raise both arms overhead at the same time. You can clap or join your hands for good measure.
Jump once more and bring your hands and feet back together.
2. Prisoner Squat Jumps
With your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointed out, stand tall.
Place your hands behind your head, elbows raised and pointing to the opposite side.
Squat low and forward with your torso slightly. Maintain a straight spine and knees that are higher than your heels. Allowing your knees to overshoot the heels is not a good idea.
With your hands behind your head, jump as high as you can.
Return to a squat stance with a soft landing.
3. Lunge Jumps
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight. Look forward with your shoulders rolled back and your chest out.
Lunge forward with your right foot, bending both knees until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Make sure your knees don't go over the top of your heels.
With your left leg forward and your right leg behind, jump and land softly on the floor.
Bend your knees and lunge down until your left thigh is parallel to the floor. This brings us to the end of one repetition.
4. Bicycle Crunches
Lie down on a mat with your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor, and your lower back pressed against the mat.
Raise your head and look at your knees by placing your hand behind your head with your elbows pointing out. Do not tuck your neck inside your shirt.
Raise your legs from the ground. This is where you'll begin.
Extend your right leg and crunch up till your left knee touches your right elbow.
Bring your right leg back to the starting position. Extend your left leg and crunch up to your right knee with your left elbow. This brings us to the end of one repetition.
On a mat, lie down. Bend your knees, place your feet level on the floor, and extend both hands over your head. Lie down on the floor with your lower back.
Elevate your hands off the floor, engage your core, and then lift your head and upper body. Bring yourself to a sitting position with your forearms resting on your knees.
Exhale and slowly lie back on your back on the floor, hands over your head. This brings us to the end of one repetition.
6. Side Lunges
With your feet shoulder-width apart, hands together, shoulders rolled back, and chest out, stand straight. This is where you'll begin.
With your right leg, take one step to the right, bend your right knee, and lower your body to the right. Ensure that your buttocks are protruding and that your weight is on your right leg. The right knee mustn’t overshoot the right heel.
Return to the beginning posture by pushing your body backwards.
Carry on in the same manner on the left. This brings us to the end of one repetition.
7. Donkey Kicks
Get down on your hands and knees. Ensure that your elbow is directly beneath your shoulders. To engage the muscles, tuck your core in.
Raise your right leg from the ground. Without extending your leg, push your right foot to the ceiling.
Return it to the beginning position and kick it up once again. Continue to breathe normally.
8. Triceps Dips
Sit in whichever chair or bench you're using for the dips.
Grip the chair ends on your sides and push yourself forward off the chair, keeping your posture the same as if you were sitting in it.
This is the position in which you will perform the triceps dips.
Bend your elbows and descend as low as possible until your triceps are parallel to the ground.
Return to your initial position by pushing yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a Calisthenics workout?
The workout definition is using your body weight and gravity to perform workouts (some of which are quite extreme) utilizing the great structure. What's extraordinary is that it doesn't need an exercise center participation and could incorporate different exercises like vaulting, Pilates, running, squats rush for incredible legs, crunches, bouncing, and strolling, just to give some examples of workout exercise. A more normal term for exercises today is bodyweight training or HIIT programs.
2. How to start Calisthenics?
Calisthenics exercises should be possible without hardware; you can do it anywhere with adequate room to move. You use your body weight to pan out an activity in workouts, so you needn't bother about any uncommon hardware. You will, notwithstanding, need a pullup bar while doing pullups, especially those that require an adjustment of body position to alter the test of an activity.