What is Calisthenics?

By October 26, 2017Blog, Calisthenics History

Whats going on guys! Today I want to touch on the subject of Calisthenics. There really isn’t much information out there that can show people exactly what it is and how to use it properly to get fit, so let’s dive right into it.

Ok, we already know that it is a reality that a lot of people do not know what the fuck Calisthenics is. Point made! Let alone, how to say it (I pronounce it Kah-Liz-The-Nicks). That’s the first hurdle to jump. Calisthenics is basically the use of your own bodyweight to perform exercises and the beauty of it is that it requires little to no equipment, which makes it available to anyone, anywhere. That means no unnecessary gym memberships which will save you from rolling your eyes at the broski hogging the squat rack (and yes, you HAVE to do legs too. I’ll talk about this later).

Calisthenics is based on two simple concepts; “pulling” and “pushing” and how they can be used to increase strength, mobility, and flexibility as a whole. From there, there are 5 main exercises that build the foundation for Calisthenics which are planks, push ups, dips, pull ups & squats. This is what true old-school calisthenics is all about; basic foundational exercises that when performed the right way and with variations to increase or decrease difficulty can help you get fit. The idea of it is to teach your body to work on not only the development of big muscle groups but also smaller stabilizers through balance and coordination. Proper Calisthenics training promotes the growth of lean muscle mass, increases strength, agility, and endurance and it saves the trouble of clunky machines and overcrowded gyms.

Funny enough, Calisthenics has been around for ages. Even though it was used a lot in the 50’s and 60’s, it’s now making a bit of a comeback. One of the reasons why it’s becoming so popular is the growth in platforms like YouTube and Instagram in which people can now show their strength to the world. Nowadays, the concept of Calisthenics has evolved and been adapted to a new school of urban fitness, street workout and freestyle calisthenics in which the basics of it is also mixed in with other bodyweight disciplines like gymnastics, yoga and break dancing.

This has created a new modern wave in the calisthenics movement where not only the old concept of reps and sets for the purpose of fitness is used, but also the idea of freestyle. This newer method showcases extreme variations of basic exercises and hybrid movements performed using common calisthenics types of equipment such as bars, paralletes, and the ground while adding more visually striking components based on skills. I will getmore into the differences of freestyle vs. strength calisthenics later so stay tuned but for now, it’s important that you keep a few main concepts in mind:

  • Calisthenics is Bodyweight Training which means no equipment is needed.
  • It promotes the development of strength by using the core and smaller stabilizer muscles.
  • Safe and effective workouts and routines can be designed for anyone regardless of their fitness level.
  • Basic foundation exercises are planks, push ups, dips, pull ups and squats.
  • New styles of calisthenics are emerging, not only for fitness but for competitions and as a sport.

This little summary of what Calisthenics is will give you a better idea of what you’re getting yourself to and some of the benefits of it. Make sure to follow me on Instagram and YouTube to see what new crazy routines, sick moves and tips to get to your goals faster!

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Author Carlito

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