Drop and give me 20! If you thought push-ups were a thing of the past, you’d better think again.
Have you thought about the real benefits that doing daily push-ups and other body weight exercises can give you? Calisthenics have consistently remained a popular and successful form of exercise for centuries. For athletes looking to take your gym time to a whole new level, calisthenics would make a great addition to your workout routine.
You might have heard the term before, but you may not know what calisthenics is or realize the full scope of its transformative abilities. There is so much more to it than your basic push-up. Diving deep into the world of calisthenic workouts can take you from a beginner to a true athlete.
What is Calisthenics?
You might be thinking that the last time you heard the word, “calisthenics” was in high school gym class, right? Well rest assured; that is just the beginning.
Essentially, calisthenics is a form of exercise that uses the power and tension of your own body weight to build strength and physical fitness. There is very little equipment involved, often none at all.
You begin by testing your muscle strength, and then alternate your focus between building raw strength and skill. You use exercises that workout different areas of the body, slowly conditioning your body and mind to tap into power you never knew you had.
9 Benefits of Calisthenics
Here are 9 of the best benefits to adding calisthenics into your routine.
1. Gain Serious Muscle
It’s a common misconception that calisthenic workouts can’t build muscle. They absolutely can! You just have to know how to adjust your workouts the right way. Calisthenics use your own body weight to put tension on your muscle fibers. As you do push-ups, for example, the weight of your body is enough tension to build muscle in your chest, shoulders, and triceps.
At some point, those muscles will get used to the weight because they’ve gotten stronger. You might be tempted to stop because your results have stalled. Don’t! Simply adjust your workout to target a different muscle group. Even just the slightest shift can make a big difference. For example, try going from a basic push-up to a single-arm push-up. You will quickly realize how much more muscle you can build.
2. Target Groups of Muscles
Think for a second about how all the time you spend lifting weights only works one muscle at a time. It’s kind of frustrating, isn’t it? Calisthenics is unique because each exercise works multiple muscle groups at once. This way, you can train your muscles to work in unison, making the power of your body more effective.
3. Prevent Serious Injuries
Calisthenic workouts are much easier on the muscles and joints of your body. Instead of putting strain on a single muscle at a time, you can distribute the weight to a small group of muscles at once. This decreases the risk of harm to those areas.
Building up the strength of those groups also gives you the stamina you need to perform other tasks. You’re less likely to hurt yourself in day-to-day movement or other strenuous activities because your body is more conditioned.
Additionally, calisthenics are a low-impact sport. Unlike running, hockey, or football, you are less likely to get tear, break, or other major injury because it’s softer on your joints.
4. Increase Your Flexibility
Can’t bend over without feeling your back tighten? Try adding new moves into your calisthenic workout. There is no way you can master them without improving your body’s flexibility. The two go hand in hand.
See, the more you work out and test your body’s limits, the hotter your body temperature. Your muscles become more flexible and limber. It’s a similar principle to hot yoga. If you take advantage of that time, coupled with appropriate rest and recovery, you will quickly become more flexible.
5. Lose That Extra Weight
Weight loss on some level is a goal for most people. It’s a well known fact that losing even just a few pounds can improve your heart health drastically.
Well, body weight workouts will naturally boost your levels of testosterone and growth hormones, which helps to build muscle strength that increases how much energy you spend. Weight loss is all about calories in, calories out. So if you’re eating right but still not seeing a difference, try adding calisthenics to your routine to spike your improvement.
6. Strengthen Your Endurance
Calisthenics does wonders to improve your physical and mental endurance. By pushing yourself to your limits over and over again, your physical endurance expands over time. You’ll find that exercises within your limits are increasingly easier and you can do them for longer periods of time.
Similarly, performing these exercises will strengthen your mental stamina as well. As you constantly challenge yourself, it will be easier to believe you can do more. You will have a whole new perspective on the potential of your strength.
7. Save More Money
It’s no secret that exercise and dieting are two of the biggest money making industries. Between the cost of a gym membership, weight sets, treadmills, and a personal trainer, you’ve spent all your hard-earned money on the hope of getting in better shape. Don’t get me wrong, all those things can have some series benefits and results.
But the great thing about calisthenics is that you don’t need to spend a dime to achieve great results. The only tool you need is the one you already have with you all day long: you. Put that money back in your wallet and become the master of your own body weight.
8. Get Creative
How often can you say that you “got creative” with your latest workout? Not very often. A typical gym experience can sometimes be a little boring, since you are essentially tethered to machines and weights to get in your workout.
But calisthenics gives you freedom – freedom to explore the limits of your body and test out new movements. That’s one reason why kids love these types of exercises – they are so varied. It gives them more room to explore and try new things. You could try inverted push-ups, the human flag, or a bent arm planche hold. Have fun with it!
9. Work Out From Anywhere
Guess what? You are not stuck in the walls of your home or dependant on the hours at the gym to get your workout in. You can literally do a workout from anywhere. You could enjoy the beauty of a local park or even slip in a quick workout from your office.
Now the next time you hit the same old gym for another round of deadlifts, think twice. Add a calisthenic exercise or two (or more!). Whether you’re an expert or a newbie, you’ll feel like a beast.