Calisthenics is a type of workout that predominantly uses bodyweight to perform exercises. The term calisthenics originated from the Greek words “kallos”, which means beauty and “sthenos” which translates to strength. No equipment is required for the workouts but sometimes light handheld tools like rings and bars can be used. Lately, the increasing craze for fitness and lean body type has attracted people towards calisthenics.
If done consistently, calisthenics helps build strength as well as aerobic capacity; many athletic and military training programmes include calisthenics in their fitness regime. In 2017, a study published in Isokinetics and Exercise Science found calisthenics to be a feasible and effective training method to improve strength, posture and body composition without using huge or complicated gym equipment.
Calisthenics workouts may include exercises like jumping jacks, lunges, squats, push-ups, planks, inverted rows and burpees. If you’re a beginner, you should perform such exercises under the guidance of a trained professional for correct form.
Following are some benefits of practising calisthenics:
1. Can be practised anywhere
Calisthenics can be practised anywhere you desire as no specific setup like gym or field is required for it. As it can be done anywhere and with zero equipment, it is an affordable option - all of which makes it easy to maintain long-term consistency with this type of training, unlike some other workouts.
2. Works on multiple muscle groups
Every calisthenics exercise works on multiple muscles at a time and also challenges muscle groups to increase overall endurance. For example, a squat not only works on all the leg muscles but also activates the core muscles for stability and balance. This helps get better results in a shorter period of time.
3. Improves flexibility
While most people pick a type of workout that helps them either lose weight or build muscles, rarely do they make their choice based on what factors like flexibility. Calisthenics and flexibility are interconnected - doing the workout will help you become more flexible and becoming more flexible will improve your ability to perform calisthenics as well. Along with strength and flexibility, calisthenics improves mobility and balance by working on various muscles groups simultaneously and stretching your muscles to a larger extent.
4. Aids weight loss
Many studies have found calisthenics to be an effective method of losing extra weight, even in those who are obese. Calisthenics provides a balanced mix of high intensity, cardiovascular, balancing and endurance exercises. Therefore, it aids fat loss and promotes heart health.
For more information, read our article on Bodyweight exercises.
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