What is Calisthenics

Everyone wants to be fit and healthy that’s where gym and fitness clubs ropes in with their plethora of fitness regimes including weight Training, Crossfit, Zumba and Pilates. Well, in case if you are obsessed with these fitness regimes and want to rejuvenate your fitness goals once again, there is another free form of exercise known as calisthenics, which allows toning our muscles with our own body weight. This free style form of exercise is an extensive physical training which focuses on exercising using minimal or no equipment.

This form of exercise is intended to increase your strength, fitness, and flexibility, through an array of movements such as pulling, pushing, bending, jumping, or swinging, while using one’s body weight for resistance. Besides all, performing Calisthenics is also beneficial for muscular and aerobic conditioning which on the other hand improves your psychomotor skills such as balance, agility, and coordination.

Some of the famous Calisthenics Athletes

  • Saleh Tarboun
  • Simone Etere
  • Browney
  • Austin Dunham
  • UzomaObilor

Benefits of Calisthenics

Performing Calisthenics has many benefits since it acts as a physique builder for more-strenuous sports or exertions.

  • Exercise without any equipment’s–It is the versatility of calisthenics that you can do it anywhere and anytime. You do not needanything except your body. Your own body will be the equipment, to carry out the motions and rhymes naturally for muscle strengthening.
  • Builds serious strength – Muscle mass comes from progressive resistance and performing Calisthenicswill help you to achieve the right goals and strength that you have set for your fitness.
  • Every single muscle hits – This form of exercise works on every part of your body. And with all gymnastic moments in Calisthenics, you will be able to enhance yourdaily physical workout requirements.
  • Enhances Joints and Connective Tissues–Any weight related training, if done with too heavy weights may cause injury to soft tissues in joints, ligaments, tendons etc. Resistance training like Calisthenics offers you a natural and free form of exercising without any fear of injury or extra stress.

Top 10 Calisthenic exercises

All Calisthenics exercises are rhythmic and progressive in nature. Without any possibilities of injury or pain, performing these exercises enhances your stamina, strength and flexibility. It improves and offers full control over your body and hence results in burning more calories.

All the mentioned Calisthenics exercises can be done at least 10-12 times. You can stretch it more depending upon your caliber and fitness level

  1. Jumping jacks

Jumping jacksBeing the foundation exercises in calisthenics, jumping jack is the best form of exercise that you can do to shed your extra calories. It is the most effectiveexercise to strengthenyour body,as it provides you with good cardio, allowing a better workout for your heart and lungs.

Steps to do Jumping Jacks

  • First stand in the erect posture with feet together and arms at your side.
  • Now inhale and jump in the air while kicking your legs out and wide.
  • At the same time, raise your arms overhead. For good measure, you can clap or join your hands.
  • Again, jump and bring your hands down and your feet back together.
  • Repeat this 30-50 times.
  • You can do this exercise at least 10-12 times and can stretch it more depending upon your caliber and fitness level
  1. Push-ups

push-upsPerforming Push-ups helps to work on the chest, triceps, and shoulders while strengthening the core in a plank. It provides greater emphasis on the shoulder and back muscles.

Steps to do Push-ups

  • First get down on all your four limbs; place your hand slightly wider than your shoulders.
  • Now straighten your arms and legs.
  • Begin to lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor.
  • Pause, and then push yourself backwards at the starting position.
  • Repeat the step at least 10-12 times and can stretch it more depending upon your caliber and fitness level
  1. Lunges

LungesDoing lunges allows buildingstrength and stability to your lower body and hence makes your thigh muscle strong.

Steps to do Lunges

  • First start by standing up tall.
  • Now step forward with one foot until your leg reaches a 90-degree angle.
  • After that lift your front lunging leg to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 10 to 12 reps on one leg, or switch off between legs until you’ve totaled 10 to 12 reps per leg.
  1. Burpee

BurpeeThis exercise is an ultimate fat burning move. It is a cardio-strength training combination exercise and does wonders for your heart.

Steps to do Burpee

  • First start standing in an erect posture with abs tight and shoulders back.
  • Now get down into a squat position and put your hands on the floor in front of your feet.
  • Now while balancing your weight on your hands jump and thrust your body back into a plank position.
  • Jump back into the previous position and stand up.
  • Repeat the move 15-20 times or you can even stretch it more depending upon your caliber and fitness level
  1. Prisoner Squat Jumps

Prisoner Squat JumpsThis exercise is an escalated version of squat jump. The positioning of the arms like a prisoner style helps to work on your chest and thus allowstightening the muscles in your upper back.

Steps to do Prisoner Squat Jump

  • First start with standing in the erect posture with your feet set apart.
  • Now put your hands behind your head with your elbows high and pointing out to the opposite side.
  • After this squat down low with your torso slightly forward. Keep your spine straight and knees above your heels.
  • Now jump up in the air while straightening up as high as you can. Make sure not to move your hands.
  • Land softly and repeat the move for 15 counts.
  1. Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle CrunchesThis is the best exercise for building strong abdominal muscles and the oblique’s. Doing this will help to shed extra flabs from your abdomen, thus making your abdominal muscles strong and sturdy.

Steps to do Bicycle Crunches

  • First lie down flat on your back with your whole body straight. Make your bellybutton sucked in and abs tight.
  • Second put your hand behind your head with your elbows pointing out.
  • Now raise your legs and bend your knees such that your thighs are perpendicular to the ground and your calves are parallel to it.
  • Lifting your head up and crunching those upper abs, touch your right elbow to your left knee and straighten the right leg at the time. Remember not to make your legs touch the floor.
  • At last touch your left elbow to the right knee while straightening the left leg.
  • Do it for 15-3 repetitions or you can even stretch it more depending upon your caliber and fitness level
  1. Planks

PlanksThis form of calisthenics exercise is derived from push-ups. The primary muscle involved in this exercise is the rectus abdominals, especially if a posterior pelvic tilt is maintained.

Steps to do Planks

  • Start with the plank position by facing down with your forearms and toes on the floor.
  • Make sure that your elbows are directly under your shoulders and your forearms are facing forward. Your head should be relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
  • Now start engaging your abdominal muscles, drawing your navel toward your spine. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
  • Make sure that your shoulders are down, not creeping up toward your ears. Your heels should be over the balls of your feet.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds and then release
  • Do it for 30, 45, or 60 seconds, depending upon your caliber and fitness level
  1. Chest Dips

Chest DipsThis particular calisthenics exercise is performed on parallel bars or on a pull-up and dip station. It targets the chest, triceps, and shoulders.

Steps to do Chest Dips

  • First step up on the dip station (if possible) and position your hands with a neutral grip.
  • Now initiate the dip by unlocking the elbows and slowly lowering the body until the forearms are almost parallel with the floor.
  • Control the descent to parallel and then return back to the starting position by pushing through the palms.
  • Repeat for the desired number of sets according to your capability.
  1. Pistol Squats

pistol squatsThis is one of the calisthenics exercises that does not use any support structures. Pistol squats helps to generate flexibility on your lower body.

Steps to do Pistol Squats

  • First simply stand up a with arms to your sides, then lift both arms in front of you, and slightly lift one leg up.
  • Now, squat using the other leg by making sure that your arms remain straight and that the leg you lifted is now fully stretched.
  • Remember to get the position right and to be able to do a full set without any losing balance or falling down.
  1. Pull Up

Pull UpPull-ups is ahighly beneficial calisthenics exercises that target your entire upper body. It offers strength and flexibility to your upper body and thus makes a toned look. This exercise works on your upper back and arm muscles, specifically the biceps, forearms, shoulders, and latissimusdorsi.

Steps to do Pull Up

  • First you need to grab the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart and your palms facing away from you.
  • Now use your upper-body strength to pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar.
  • Pause for a second and complete the exercise by slowly lowering your body back to the hanging position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of sets according to your capability.

Disclaimer:

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge before you choose to consume any product or perform any exercise.

Rajeev Biswas
Author

A journalist who has been grilling Health, Technology and Politics beat for years. He has compelling experience in Digital media and currently shelling out his expertise with Sportz Business Magazine as a Senior Sub Editor

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