Calisthenics are exercises that use your bodyweight for resistance and are designed to strengthen and tone your muscles and increase muscular endurance.
While many trainers dismiss calisthenics as only being suitable for beginners or the less fit, I always believe that this type of no-frills exercise can be a valuable addition to just about any training program for absolutely EVERYONE!
The Benefits of Calisthenics
Bodyweight exercises such as lunges, press ups, jumping jacks, squats and step ups can be performed just about anywhere. This means that you never need to miss a workout just because you are unable to make it to the gym. Also, because calisthenic exercises require no setting up time, you can transition from one exercise to the next quickly and easily which makes your workout effective and efficient.
Calisthenic exercises teach you to master your own body. They teach coordination, balance, proprioception and self awareness. Unlike resistance machines that guides your movements, performing bodyweight exercises effectively means you must control your limbs and maintain proper body position.
It’s very easy to adjust the difficulty of calisthenic exercises according to your fitness and strength levels. For example, a press up can be as easy as a wall press up with your body only slightly angled to very demanding – such as a handstand press up. No additional equipment is required – simply change your body position.
Calisthenic exercises are easy on your joints. Exercises such as leg extensions and machine chest presses are safe enough but for some exercisers, these movements can be hard on your joints. If you have a long history of hard training or are over forty and beginning to experience the onset of joint pain, calisthenic exercises are one of the best ways to keep your joints moving while minimizing any discomfort. As many martial artists and ex-military personnel have proven, callisthenic exercises are suitable for older exercisers looking to maintain a high level of fitness despite worn joints.
Size & Strength?
There have been a good many articles on Prison training that I have seen in the past couple of years, that all seem to incorporate calisthenics. Its true that cons have a lot of time to spare in prison and often a lot of them crack on with their training with limited equipment. On 3 square meals a day you should see some of their strength stats! It just goes to prove that you don’t need to be lifting heavy to make serious strength or muscular size gains.