What Are Calisthenics? (Everything You Need TO Know)

what are calisthenics? - 3 bros in plank position stacked on top of each other.
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If you don’t know and you are wondering, “what are calisthenics?” allow me to explain EVERYTHING. Calisthenics is a form of exercise that relies mostly on using one’s body weight as resistance, instead of using equipment such as weights or machines. It focuses on improving body strength, flexibility, and coordination through a variety of movements, usually done without any special apparatus. Examples of calisthenics exercises include push-ups, pull-ups, dips, crunches, and lunges to name a few. Let’s get into more detail!

History Of Calisthenics

What are calisthenics? - History of calisthenics.
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Calisthenics is a form of bodyweight training that has been around for thousands of years. It originated with the ancient yoga practitioners of India and was later adopted by the Ancient Greeks to train their military in strength and stamina. During the 19th century, Germans Friedrich Ludwig Jahn and Adolf Spiess popularized gymnastics and calisthenics, which led to its widespread use as an exercise routine.

Calisthenics is also becoming increasingly popular due to its accessibility and low cost, which led to the rise of organizations like; The World Street Workout & Calisthenics Federation (WSWCF) which helps to unite and create a community amongst athletes all over the world who share an appreciation for street calisthenics.

Founded in 2012, this global non-profit is dedicated to spotlighting how beneficial the sport of bodyweight exercises can be for physical health as well, providing encouragement and motivation needed for people everywhere to follow their dreams. Through yearly competitions featuring top talent from around the globe, WSWCF celebrates bodies in motion while empowering those involved with inspiration that goes beyond exercise-oriented goals.

What Are The Greatest Benefits Of Calisthenics

Calisthenics training can bring many benefits to your health, fitness, and well-being. Some of the greatest benefits include:3

  • Improved strength and endurance – Calisthenics is a great way to build up strength and stamina, as you are using your own body weight for resistance.
  • Increased joint mobility – Doing calisthenics can help improve joint mobility, range of motion, and balance.
  • Core development – Calisthenics core exercises include movements that strengthen the core muscles of the abdomen, back, chest, and hips. This helps increase overall physical stability and posture.
  • Improved body control – Calisthenics exercises require intricate movements that require control of both mind and body for best results. This helps increase your body awareness, coordination, agility, and power.
  • Mental well-being – Exercising regularly can have positive effects on your mental health, such as reducing stress levels and improving mood.

A Comparison Between Calisthenics & Weightlifting

When it comes to strength training, there are two main approaches: calisthenics and weightlifting. Both have their own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to understand the differences between them in order to decide which one is right for you.

Calisthenics is a form of exercise that uses your body weight as resistance. It typically involves exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, and planks. Calisthenics can be done anywhere with minimal equipment and is great for developing overall strength and mobility. The downside is that it can be difficult to progress beyond a certain level without adding additional weights or increasing the difficulty of the exercises.

Weightlifting, on the other hand, involves lifting weights in order to build muscle mass and strength. It’s great for targeting specific muscle groups and can help you reach higher levels of strength than calisthenics alone. However, it requires access to a gym or at least some basic equipment such as dumbbells or barbells.

In conclusion, both calisthenics and weightlifting have their advantages and disadvantages depending on your goals. If you’re looking for an effective way to build overall strength and mobility without needing access to a gym or extra equipment then calisthenics is probably your best bet. On the other hand, if you’re looking for more targeted muscle growth then weightlifting may be more suitable for you. Ultimately it’s up to you to decide which approach works best for your needs!

What Are the Biggest Drawbacks Of Calisthenics?

While Calisthenics has many benefits, there are also some more drawbacks to consider while incorporating this type of workout into your routine.

One of the main disadvantages of calisthenics is that it can be difficult to measure progress. Since you are only using your own body weight, it can be hard to tell how much progress you have made over time. Additionally, since there is no external load being used, it can be difficult to make sure you are pushing yourself enough to get the most out of your workouts.

Another disadvantage of calisthenics is that some exercises can be difficult for beginners. Many calisthenic exercises require a lot of coordination and balance which may take some time to develop. This means that if you are just starting out with calisthenics, you may find yourself struggling with certain movements until you build up the necessary strength and skill.

Finally, calisthenics can also be hard on your hands and feet due to the amount of contact they have with the ground during certain exercises. This can lead to calluses and other issues if not done properly or with proper footwear.

Overall, while calisthenics has many great benefits, there are also some drawbacks that should be taken into consideration before beginning a routine. It is important to make sure you understand these potential drawbacks so that you can decide if this type of exercise is right for you.

Can I Combine Calisthenics, Resistance Band Training, And Weighted Gear Into One Routine?

Combining calisthenics, resistance band training, and weighted vests and belts into one routine is a great way to get a full-body workout. Calisthenics exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, and planks are great for building strength and endurance. Resistance bands can be used to add an extra challenge to these exercises by providing additional resistance. Weighted vests and belts can also be used to increase the intensity of the workout.

When combining these three elements into one routine it is important to start with calisthenics exercises first. This will help you build a strong foundation of strength and stability before adding any additional weight or resistance. After completing your calisthenics exercises you can then add in resistance bands for added challenge. Finally, you can add in weighted vests or belts for an even greater challenge.

  • You can easily alternate between a set of push-ups and a set of shoulder presses with Resistance bands
  • With the weighted vest, you can use it to make your push-ups and all of your squats and lunges more challenging.
  • With the weighted belt, you can use it to strengthen your pull-ups & chin-ups, and also build more muscle!

It is important to remember that when combining different types of exercise it is important to listen to your body and not overdo it. Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity as your body becomes stronger and more accustomed to the routine.

What Are The Basic Calisthenics Exercises I Should Start With?

Standard Push-ups

A push-up is a simple bodyweight exercise that strengthens your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles. To do a push-up correctly, start in a plank position with your arms straight, then lower yourself until your chest almost touches the floor.

Push back up to the starting position and repeat for as many repetitions as you can handle. You can modify this exercise by placing your hands on a raised surface such as stairs or a bench to make it easier to perform. There are also many other challenging pushup variations that target the chest, and shoulders in various ways.

Pike Push-ups

To do pike push-ups, start in an inverted V position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your head facing down. Your toes should be the only part of your body touching the ground. Bend your elbows as you lower yourself down until your nose almost touches the floor.

Drive through your palms and press back up to the starting position. This exercise will target your shoulders and triceps to help you build strength in those areas.

Pull-ups

Pull-ups are a great bodyweight exercise that targets the muscles in your back and arms. To do a pull-up correctly, hang from a bar with an overhand grip, palms facing away.

Pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar, then lower yourself back down again and repeat for as many repetitions as you can handle. You can modify this exercise by using bands or assisted machines to make it easier to perform.

Chin-ups

Similar to pull-ups, with variation in grip and hand position. To do chin-ups keep your palms facing you. Start by grabbing the pull-up bar with an overhand grip. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart (palms supinated) and your elbows pointing outward.

Bend your knees to lift them off the ground. Engage your core and concentrate on pulling your shoulders down towards you as you slowly lift yourself up towards the bar. When your chin is level with the bar, hold for a moment before lowering yourself back to the starting position. Repeat this exercise for a few sets to target your back muscles.

Bent Back Rows

Bent back rows using gymnastic rings or a suspension trainer are an effective way to increase strength and muscular endurance. The exercise is done by:

  1. Attach the rings or suspension trainer to a sturdy overhead structure.
  2. Adjust the height of the rings or suspension trainer so that your body is in a horizontal position when hanging from the rings or suspension trainer.
  3. Grasp the rings or suspension trainer with both hands and pull your body up until your chest is level with the rings or suspension trainer.
  4. Lower your body back to the starting position and repeat for the desired amount of reps or time.

This exercise can be done with either gymnastic rings or a suspension trainer, making it a great way to increase strength and endurance at home, in the gym, or outside at parks. These devices are portable and can fit in a backpack or gym bag for easy transportation.

Dips

The dip exercise is an effective bodyweight exercise that works the chest and triceps. To do a dip correctly, start by standing between two parallel bars or benches with your arms straight and your feet on the floor.

Lower yourself until your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle, then press back up to the starting position and repeat for as many repetitions as you can handle. You can modify this exercise by using bands or assisted machines to make it easier to perform.

Bodyweight Squats

Bodyweight squats are a great lower-body exercise that can be done anywhere with no equipment. To do a bodyweight squat correctly, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands out in front of you for balance.

Keeping your chest up, bend your knees and lower yourself back into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor, then press back up to the starting position and repeat for as many repetitions as you can handle. You can modify this exercise by using bands or assisted machines to make it easier to perform.

Lunges

Lunges are a great lower-body exercise that can be done anywhere with no equipment. To do a lunge correctly, start by standing with your feet together and take a big step forward with one leg, keeping your chest up. Bend both knees and lower yourself until the back knee is almost touching the floor.

Press back up to the starting position and repeat on the other side for as many repetitions as you can handle. You can modify this exercise by using bands or assisted machines to make it easier to perform.

Single Leg Calf Raises

Single-leg calf raises are a great exercise to target the calves. To do this exercise, stand on one leg with your toes pointing forward and your hands at your side for balance. Slowly raise the heel of the standing leg off the ground as high as you can, then slowly lower it back down and repeat.

It’s important to keep your core tight and maintain balance throughout the exercise. You can modify this exercise by using bands or assisted machines to make it easier to perform.

Planks

Planks are a great core exercise that can be done anywhere with no equipment. To do a plank correctly, start by getting into a push-up position and lower yourself onto your elbows and forearms. Keep your body in a straight line with your feet slightly apart.

Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds while engaging your abs, back, chest, and glutes to build strength. If you want an increased challenge, you can raise one leg or arm off the ground at a time. You can also modify this exercise by using bands or assisted machines to make it easier to perform.

Back Extensions

Back extensions are a great bodyweight exercise to strengthen the lower back. To perform this exercise, lie on your stomach with your hands behind your head and keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly lift your upper body off the ground as high as possible while squeezing the glutes and feeling the contraction of the lower back muscles.

Lower yourself slowly and repeat. You can modify this exercise by raising one arm or leg off the ground at a time for an increased challenge.

105 Popular Calisthenics Athletes & Brands

  1. ADAM RAW
  2. AL KAVADLO
  3. All Dude Workout
  4. Andry Strong
  5. ANTRANIK
  6. ANTWONE KOBAR COWARD
  7. Austin Dunham
  8. Bar Bro – Amer Durakovic
  9. BAR-MANIACS
  10. BaristiWorkout
  11. Barstrzz
  12. BRANDON CARTER
  13. BRENDAN MEYERS
  14. Broly Gainz
  15. Calisthenicmovement
  16. CALISTHENICS FAMILY
  17. CARL PAOLI
  18. CARUCYN
  19. CHAZYNASH
  20. Chris Luera
  21. CLAUDIO NEGRO
  22. COREY HALL
  23. CWTraining
  24. DAN JEONG
  25. DANIEL VADNAL
  26. DANNY KAVADLO
  27. DEAN PHOLMAN
  28. DENIS MININ
  29. DENNIS RATANO
  30. DICAS DO SALGUEIRO
  31. DMITRY KUZNETSOV
  32. DOMINIK SKY
  33. ENES SELIMOVIC
  34. FITFURY
  35. FRANK MEDRANO
  36. GADZHI YATAROV
  37. Goku Pump
  38. GRACE KAVADLO
  39. GREG O’GALLAGHER
  40. GYMKIM
  41. HANNIBAL FOR KING
  42. HIT RICHARDS
  43. Hybrid Calisthenics
  44. IDO PORTAL
  45. Islam Badurgov
  46. JACK LALANNE
  47. Jarryd Rubinstein
  48. JEROME FITNESS
  49. JIM BATHURST
  50. Join Chris Heria
  51. JORDAN HILL
  52. JOSHUA NATERMAN
  53. JUICE BEASTMODE
  54. KALI MUSCLE
  55. KEITH HORAN
  56. KENNETH GALLARZO
  57. KEVIN SOLER
  58. KRAP STYLE
  59. KRIS KARLSSON
  60. LAD’A PRIDAL
  61. Laurie Shaw
  62. LAZAR NOVOVIC
  63. Lee Wade
  64. LUIZ OTAVIO MESQUITA
  65. Maciek Przeniosło
  66. MARCUS BONDI
  67. Marko Paradžiković
  68. MATT SCHIFFERLE
  69. MATTEO SPINAZZOLA
  70. MECKANIMAL
  71. METIN DABAK
  72. Michael Vazquez
  73. Michał Urbanik
  74. MIKE FITCH
  75. NIK ANISIMOV
  76. Noa Man WORKOUT
  77. OfficialBarstarzz
  78. Osvaldo Lugones
  79. Pantoja
  80. PAVEL RUDOMETKIN
  81. PAVLE DJURDJEVIC
  82. Pedro Fortes
  83. Pivet Madkilla
  84. RANJIT BHACHU
  85. RYAN HURST
  86. SAM TRIBBLE
  87. San Gohan
  88. SATURNO MOVEMENT
  89. SIMONSTER ATA
  90. Sondre Berg
  91. STEVE ATLAS
  92. Super Sergio
  93. TAPP BROTHERS
  94. TEAM DNA FITNESS
  95. TEAM PHYSIX
  96. TEE MAJOR
  97. That’s Good Money
  98. The Bioneer
  99. THENX
  100. VALERA KISHENKO
  101. Viktor Kamenov
  102. Vitaly Pavlenko
  103. WILLY WELDENS
  104. YERAI ALONSO
  105. yvguo

In Conclusion…

What are Calisthenics basically? Simply, they are all of the bodyweight exercises explained above. You can make them harder by combining calisthenics, resistance bands, and weighted vests and belts into one routine is a great way to get a comprehensive full-body workout. Calisthenics exercises are great for building strength and endurance while resistance bands can provide an added challenge to these exercises.

Weighted vests and belts can be used to further increase the intensity of the workout. however, calisthenics alone can be just enough for most of us if we dedicate ourselves to mastering all of the progressions.

Calisthenics has its roots in ancient Greece and has been practiced by athletes, warriors, and performers throughout the centuries. From military training to aerobics classes, calisthenics has evolved into a popular form of exercise that is used by people of all ages and abilities. While some exercises remain similar to their original forms, many have also been adapted for modern-day use.

Calisthenics is an excellent way to increase strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination while being easy on the joints. Many find it to be an effective form of exercise that can be done anywhere with minimal equipment. Thanks for reading this intensive breakdown and hopefully I answered your question “What Are Calisthenics”. Leave a comment below if you have any other questions or concerns

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