Calisthenics is back in favor, more and more people are using this type of exercise and the results are stunning. In this article you will learn everything you need to know about this discipline!
Basically, calisthenics is some variation of strength sports or maybe even endurance sports. Its main task is to use the force of gravity, which opposes our own energy contained in the muscle mass, for example during exercises such as bar, plank, side plank, etc.
Originally, calisthenics was a method to promote health and thus ensure proper physical development in school children. Over time, it has evolved into a training method that has a lot in common with gymnastics. However, unlike gymnastics, it can be practiced outdoors and is known as “street training”.
The basic question is which is better for you – the traditional form of exercise or “street training”? This is very difficult to judge, perhaps it is even impossible. However, many experts recommend using calisthenics as a foundation for any other strength-building discipline – from bodybuilding to crossfit.
However, choosing calisthenics does not mean that using weights and adding mass is inadvisable. You can safely use weights as long as your body follows natural movement patterns without issue. If you have trouble performing maneuvers because of the weights, then you should (at least temporarily) abandon them.
According to a study conducted at the University of Palermo, men who trained the gymnastics version of calisthenics improved their posture and significantly reduced body fat. At the same time, the number of repetitions of exercises such as push-ups and pull-ups they were able to perform definitely increased, even though their training did not include these specific exercises. In contrast, the group that implemented their workouts in a traditional model did not show such interesting progress.
You shouldn’t expect your first visit to the gym to make you a strongman. It is the same with calisthenics – we should not immediately reach for the most advanced exercises. Let’s leave them for later, when we know the basics well. And at the beginning let’s take something looser, which anyone can do even at home.
As a beginner, you should mainly practice bodyweight movements such as squats, lunges and planks, and try basic pull-up exercises such as rowing.
Sample workout plan:
30-45 second planks,
5-20 pull-ups (if you are unable to pull yourself up, jump up and try to lower yourself very slowly),
30 seconds of side plank (on each side).
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