Bodyweight calisthenics are a excellent (yet often overlooked) exercise method for improving fitness, health and physique. Just think, the very body sitting in front of the computer reading this can be used to build a strong body, burn fat, improve performance and generally improve your quality of life.
If you think of all the activities you do during the day, you’ll realize how much you demand of your body. During any given day, you squat, push, get up, sit down, twist, reach, jump, accelerate, pull and move in ways that defy description. You ask a lot of your body. Shouldn’t you train you body so you can get the most out of it when facing the challenges of sport, work and life?
Well, the good news is, you can easily improve the way you look, feel and perform by using bodyweight calisthenics!
Let’s look at some of the benefits of bodyweight calisthenics in more detail…
– Bodyweight calisthenics can be done anywhere, indoors or out. This is a powerful benefit because it eliminates any excuse you could come up with. Rain or shine, if you have a functioning body and a little floor (or ground) space, you’re ready to go!
– Bodyweight calisthenics can be done anytime. Day or night, doesn’t matter. You like to work out in the morning, go ahead. You don’t even have to wait for the gym to open. Once again, no excuses!
– You can do bodyweight calisthenics with no equipment. Nothing to buy, you can start today. Of course, if you wanted a pull up bar or other equipment you could use it. (I actually recommend it). But your body is really all you need. Any equipment is optional.
– Bodyweight exercises are adaptable for any fitness level. Just getting started, great. I recommend everyone begin their fitness journey with bodyweight calisthenics. But, the level of difficulty and intensity can be turned up to give even elite athletes a run for their money. So, from beginner to elite, there is a bodyweight program to challenge you!
– You can get a full body workout with bodyweight training. And by full body I mean upper, lower, core AND the heart and lungs. I actually believe bodyweight exercises are better for building cardiorespiratory endurance you can use in the real world than long, slow aerobic training.
– You can simultaneously build a strong, muscular body and burn off fat. Can you think of a better way to look your best faster than building your muscles and burning fat at the same time? What’s left is a strong, lean body that turns heads!
– Last but not least, I think bodyweight exercise is invaluable because it trains you for all other forms of training. Sadly, in modern society, men and women are not as naturally athletic as they once were. Jumping into other forms of training without first getting used to the capabilities of your own body with added resistance can be unproductive and even dangerous. Learn how to use your body first, then you’ll get more out of other training methods!
I think you’ll agree, bodyweight calisthenics should be the starting point for anyone just starting out. But more importantly, bodyweight exercise should remain an integral part of any serious workout program. Don’t miss out on the tremendous benefits of bodyweight calisthenics. They really can improve your quality of life!
From only a few days hold, babies have a primal grip strength ability which is enough to hang holding their entire body. This is an evolutionary trait dating back to our less human past in which we would have to hold onto our mother from birth until we could operate on our own. Hanging from a bar is seen by many as a youthful thing, something we used to do at the playground. Our ability to hang supporting our whole Bodyweight benefits grip strength, shoulder integrity, core strength and can increase our confidence during exercise. An example of excellent hanging strength would be any male or female gymnast. You only need to look at their physique to realise the benefits.
Grip a bar (thumbs wrapped around) with your arms straight and body hanging in a straight line. Hold for as long as you can. There may be a little discomfort at the beginning but ensure you attempt to stay until your grip cannot support you.
Achieved: 30-60 seconds
Excellent: 120 seconds+
**Bonus challenge** 30-60 seconds one arm
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