Top 5 Benefits of Calisthenics Exercises
You Don’t Need Fancy Equipment to Get Fit
You might remember calisthenics from your elementary school gym class. Jumping-jacks, push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups are some examples. Does that help to paint a mental picture for you? Well, your gym teacher was right and you just might be surprised by all the benefits you can achieve by following their lead to perform calisthenic workouts. Today you’ll hear your gym teacher’s workouts called by a different name, bodyweight workouts. Referencing the fact that you rely only on your body and not other equipment to achieve results. Just like you did at school.
Many people don’t understand the benefits of calisthenics or body weight workouts demonstrated by the brisk equipment sales that started when gyms closed due to the pandemic. Fitness enthusiasts scrambled, purchasing weights, benches, treadmills and other equipment trying to duplicate the experience they achieved at the gym. Well, while weightlifting and training equipment can certainly help you build and tone muscle, it's not the only way. From our military elite, to first responders, to top athletes or that ripped guy or gal you see at the gym pulling themselves up over a bar, people who need to be in top condition, all have recognized the power and benefits of calisthenic workouts.
The Benefits of Calisthenics
Many of the fitness professionals we work with at TriadXP have built their reputation on showing people how to build muscle and strength with calisthenics. Al and Danny Kavadlo, Stew Smith (Navy Seal, CSCS), Sonki Hong, Ilyse Baker, and Sean Vigue, just to name a few. Nationally recognized, these trainers are best-selling authors and experts in their field. They work with top athletes, Hollywood stars, first responders, and the military elite using comprehensive and, some might say, downright hardcore, calisthenics workouts. They are helping people to see the benefits of calisthenics without expensive equipment.
If you put your fitness on the back burner or want to wait for that special piece of fitness equipment to get started, then you might be surprised by these five benefits of calisthenic exercises:
- Workout anywhere, no equipment required: Most calisthenics workouts rely solely on your body weight and a specific movement to achieve results. When done correctly, calisthenic exercises often work multiple muscles simultaneously, helping to achieve a full-body workout. Equipment or weight machines often isolate single or specific muscle groups.
- Easy to modify, and you don’t need to learn many exercises: With a few core exercise movements like a push-up, a pull-up, a squat, or lunge, and a well-designed workout program, you will find you can achieve outstanding results. As your fitness level improves, minor modifications to these exercises to make them progressively more challenging will also help you continue to advance.
- Build muscle and lose weight: Calisthenics is resistance training, and resistance training builds muscle. With calisthenics, your body weight is the resistance. As you progress, you can, of course, accentuate with the addition of weights, bands, and other equipment. Also, since calisthenics uses multiple muscle groups at once, your movements burn a lot of calories in a short period of time to help you lose weight.
- Increased endurance and stamina: The simplicity and accessibility of calisthenics workouts can help you to stay committed, and as you perform calisthenic workouts a few times each week, you will start to notice that your stamina increases or what the elite military and tactical fitness experts call increased “work capacity” hence you have the ability to perform or do more over a longer period of time.
- Improved flexibility and balance: Many of the movements in calisthenics workouts challenge and fully extend your muscles. Extending the muscles helps to make muscles appear more lean while increasing your flexibility.
With calisthenics, you can move quickly through your routines and not have to stop. But when you do need to rest--and you will-- try to keep it under a minute between sets. Also try mixing in intervals of running, walking, or biking to burn even more calories. That’s another nice benefit of calisthenics, you can run a half mile in the middle of nowhere and still perform them. Whether you mix in any of these traditional cardio activities or not, remember to stay hydrated.
Calisthenics can certainly help you when it comes to weight too. Just remember, proper weight loss is more than just burning calories. It should go without saying that the key to healthy weight loss is the right mix of what you eat and what you do. To learn more about the right balance of nutrition and exercise for weight loss, check our previous blog posts You Want to Lose Weight. What’s More Important Diet or Exercise? Truth is Both. Or our interview with Laura Tarbell, “You Don’t Have to Eat Salads Every Day.” Diet, Exercise & Weight Loss. She shares plenty of insights from her first hand experiences of being a cover model, national bodybuilding title holder, certified personal trainer, nutritionist, Pilates instructor, and the mother of two sets of twins.
As you can see, calisthenic workouts give you plenty of freedom to work out anytime, anywhere, and without the cost of a gym membership or the requirement of fancy equipment. Use them to help you remove the barriers to reaching your fitness goals and make it easier to get moving!
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