In the chance you don’t quite know what exactly calisthenics is, theres a huge chance that you have came across it on Youtube or on social media. A few years ago, the calisthenics took of on Youtube, with videos of guys around New York City doing insane “muscle ups” and “human flag poles” on lamp posts and pretty much any other stable equipment that you would find on the street or in a park. Maybe you’ve seen it at the gym, the ripped guy who is pulling his whole body above the bar (this is a muscle up). All of these guys are practicing calisthenics in one way or another.
The calisthenics definition is ” a form of fitness that uses gravity and bodyweight leverage to challenge your fitness level”. So instead of working against the resistance of weights, you are instead using your own bodyweight and gravity as a resistance. Many of the people that you see in the gym or on social media doing muscle ups or the human flag pole would have had to practice for months or even years to do these advanced techniques. In the workout guide below, we will be looking at calisthenics for beginners and ways for you to get into bodyweight training. However, even the beginner calisthenics workout isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination,.
Our Ideal Calisthenics Workout
Once you’ve decided that bodyweight exercises are worth giving a shot, these are the basic movements that will help you develop your core strength and prepare your body for more strenuous tasks. This is the calisthenic workout routine for beginners.
The press-up is a great way to begin on your body-weight workout regime. You should aim to get between 10 and 20 reps when starting out. If you can do more than 20 press-ups, then move on to the next exercise. The press-up is a great way to build your chest muscles, along with your triceps and shoulders.
Try to do 15-25 reps when doing squats as it is one of the best exercises for losing weight and developing muscles in the lower body. You should stand with your feet shoulder width apart and bend your knees. Follow by sitting back using your hips. Go down as far as you can, then stand back up into the starting position. To avoid injury, keep your head up straight and back straight also.
#3. Walking Lunges
Aim to complete around 10 walking lunges on each leg. This activity is done by lunging one leg forward, bending the trailing knee so it almost touches the floor. Then use the heel of your forward foot to push your weight into the next lunge. The next lunge should have your other foot forward.
Other exercises that you may find beneficial to your muscle development are dips, planks and sit-ups. In every good calisthenics workout plan, there is variation and exercises that target all different muscle groups (similar to weight training).
What Equipment Do I Need?
One of the biggest attractions to calisthenics is the lack of gym equipment needed. There is no monthly subscription needed to do it, which makes it perfect if you cannot get to the gym or don’t want to pay a hefty gym membership. All of the equipment that you need to begin training in calisthenics can be found at a park. Although, if you are serious about this form of training, then it may be wise to invest in some home equipment.
The most useful pieces of equipment that we have come across are the pull-up bar, parralettes for doing dips on and some gymnastic rings. Although, these pieces of equipment can be swapped out for pieces of furniture around the house. For example, you can practice doing dips on two level stools instead of buying new equipment. As with any forms of training, the more tools you have, the more variation of things you can do.
Calisthenics or Weight Lifting
You shouldn’t compare calisthenics to weight lifting as they are two very different things. There is no better or worse way to exercise, but it helps to think of calisthenics as building the foundation for all of the other strength exercises that you would do. Before you start CrossFit or bodybuilding, it is essential that you start off with bodyweight exercises, as you will build a great physique and foundation for lifting weights.
If you are going to the gym and intend on bench pressing and curling but cannot do a pull-up, then you may want to build on your core before attempting to lift weight.
Calisthenics for Beginners
The first time you step into the gym, you can’t and wont be able to start lifting 100kg and it’s the same thing with calisthenics. When starting off, it’s best to avoid trying muscle-ups and human flag-poles. If you try to do these exercises to start off with, there is a high risk of injury.
To start off with, practice doing basic and simple exercises such as the ones mentioned above. The press-up is the most important movement to master in the early stages as it requires a good form in order to be effective. Not to mention, the press-up targets many muscles in the upper body. Once you are confident doing the basic press-up, then try more advanced versions. A harder version of the press-up is the incline press-up. This is when you put your hands on a bench that’s off the ground, with your feet on the floor.
To conclude, calisthenics is a form of exercising that uses your own bodyweight instead of weights. There are many benefits to doing bodyweight exercises, such as the lack of required equipment. However, there are some downsides to calisthenics. One of the biggest disadvantages with calisthenics is that the weight resistance does not increase as your bodyweight won’t increase very much. Another disadvantage is that it is difficult to target on one single muscle. For example, if you are looking to build your biceps, then doing press-ups will not only work your biceps, but your whole upper body. This may not give you the physique that you desire.