Calisthenics training: what is it, benefits, best exercises

If you’re looking for an effective full-body workout, a calisthenics workout may be the answer to your prayers. It involves using both your body weight and gravity to push your body’s limits. Workout regimens that include handstands, push-ups, one-arm push-ups, pull-ups, pistol squats, and most impressively, side workouts are all part of a gym routine. In fact, gymnastics is also a form of gymnastics training!

What is gymnastics training?

Calisthenics training requires you to use your energy and your body. These are exercises done exclusively with body weight, explains fitness trainer Poonam Bhatwara. “Calisthenics exercises increase your strength, increase your endurance and flexibility. The exercises involve movements that use large muscle groups, such as push-ups. People typically perform these exercises at a moderate pace,” she says.

Calisthenics training is also a great way to burn fat. “This form of exercise puts many muscles to work. So fat is burned during the process. They are multi-joint exercises that build muscle,” adds Bhatwara.

The biggest advantage is that anyone can do it! “This form of training requires no training and regardless of whether you have trained before or not, calisthenics training is something that anyone can do. Even factors like age and gender do not matter,” says Bhatwara

There are many types of bodyweight squats, such as wall squats and prisoner squats, that are part of a calisthenic training regimen. Image courtesy: Pexels

What should you pay attention to when performing gymnastics training?

  1. Start with basic exercises

    It is very important to note that progress takes time, especially with this training regimen. Even better, you can adjust the difficulty of the exercises to make them easier or harder.

  2. Monitor the heart rate

    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your heart rate should be between 64 and 76 percent of your maximum heart rate. It is important to monitor the rate of your heart.

  3. Stretch and warm up

    If your body is stiff, you may experience some pain during the treatment or afterwards.

  4. Don’t overdo it

    Start slowly and gradually build up your strength and tolerance. Beginners can train three to four times a week.

Is calisthenics better than strength training in the gym?

A calisthenics training regimen is one of the best if you’re looking for flexibility with fewer injuries. A study was conducted by the Sports and Exercise Sciences Research Unit of the University of Palermo, Italy, to evaluate the effectiveness of gymnastics training. In the study, people were divided into two groups and while one group did calisthenics, the other did a normal exercise regimen. After eight weeks, they noticed that gymnastics training actually helped improve posture, strength and body composition without the use of external equipment.

A woman doing bicycle crunches
Crunches are a big part of gymnastics training. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5 gymnastics exercises for your fitness

  1. Bodyweight squats

    The basic squat is one where you start with your feet wide, shoulder-width apart, bend your knees and begin to sit. Raise your arms in front of you. Make sure your knees don’t twist and your back stays straight.

  2. Crunches

    To do crunches, you have to lie on your back. Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle and make sure your feet are flat on the floor. Cross your arms on your chest. Raise your upper body by tightening your core muscles toward your knees. Pause and then return to the original position.

    Also read: Avoid these mistakes during bicycle crunches to reduce belly fat

  3. Push-ups

    To do push-ups, you need to lie on the floor, face down. Then hold your hands next to your shoulders, palms facing down. Straighten your legs and make sure your toes touch the ground. Now start pushing the ground by straightening your arms and raising your body. Then bend the arms and lower body to the original position.

  4. Planks

    For a plank, you need to get into the same position as a pull-up. Place your forearms on the floor. Then keep the body in a straight line by flexing your core muscles.

  5. Fall out

    You must stand upright for this. Step your right foot forward and bend the knee at a right angle. Straighten the leg so that the left knee almost touches the ground. Now, using the heel of your right foot, push up again and come to a standing position. Repeat the same for the next leg.

    Before you start any exercise, make sure you do some warm-up exercises to prepare yourself and reduce the risk of muscle pulls or injuries.

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