No matter your individual fitness goals, calisthenics routines and workouts can help you get the body you want. You don't need an expensive gym membership to get the most out of calisthenics workouts. In fact, most people who utilize this form of exercise do so from home with the help of calisthenics equipment or even no equipment at all.
And if you are unfamiliar with calisthenics, don’t worry… we've got you covered. Here are the benefits of calisthenics and the best equipment options for your home gym.
What is Calisthenics?
So what are calisthenics workouts and how do they work? Essentially, the origin of calisthenics revolves around resistance training and exercises that use your own body weight. These bodyweight exercises range in intensity but can include some classic exercises such as pushups, crunches, jumping jacks, lunges, handstands, and squats. Some people refer to calisthenics as military-style workouts because these workouts simply use bodyweight to build strength and muscle. Calisthenics workouts require very little equipment—although as fitness goals change, equipment can help to intensify workouts.
There's been a lot of recent buzz surrounding calisthenics, but there's really nothing new about this form of exercise. In fact, bodyweight workout routines have been around since the Greeks named calisthenics from the word “kallos” which means beauty, and the word “sthenos,” which means strength.
Here are some essential calisthenics that should be mastered before moving on to more advanced movements:
Benefits of Calisthenics
It goes without saying that one of the main benefits of calisthenics is the fact that it can be done from anywhere, at any time, without equipment. The benefits, however, don't stop there. Here are a few notable benefits that come from this ancient series of bodyweight exercises:
- Builds Strength
- Improves natural movements for better form
- Ensures all muscles are engaged
- Makes no gym necessary
- Less harsh on joints and tissue
- Improves motor skills that require your brain and body to work
- Improved coordination, speed, power
- Improves mobility and flexibility
- Releases endorphins that will make you feel great
- Builds Muscle
- Appropriate for all fitness levels
What About Calisthenics Equipment?
Eventually, you may reach a point where you need to elevate muscle growth and strength building. After consistently implementing calisthenics into your workout routine, you'll want to add more resistance or weight for more of a challenge. Remember that calisthenics equipment isn't necessary but if you've reached a point where you want more of a challenge, there are equipment options available. Here are some of the best and most effective calisthenics equipment to incorporate into your routine:
- Pull-Up Bar: Adding a pull-up bar to your home gym is a great and relatively simple way to incorporate pulling movements for strength and muscle building. They are relatively inexpensive and designed to fit into the doorways of your home.
- Resistance Bands: Resistance bands are one of the most effective ways to add more resistance to any movement. Adding resistance bands to your calisthenics routine can help with strength and muscle building.
- Dip Bars: Dip bars are essential pieces of calisthenics equipment because they provide an effective way to incorporate pushing movements.
- Gymnastic Rings: Adding gymnastic rings to your home gym is a great way to add even more calisthenic exercises to your routine. Basically, with the help of gymnastic rings, any pulling or pushing movement can be performed.
- Weighted Vests: Weighted vests are for more advanced athletes or trainers, but weighted vests are a great way to add weight to yourself to make calisthenics exercises more challenging.
- The Chopper: Incorporating an exercise tool that utilizes bodyweight for a total body workout can be a great addition to your calisthenics training. The Chopper is a tool that takes wood chop exercises to the next level for a full-body workout that helps to build strength and tone muscle.
Calisthenics workouts are great for all fitness levels and can be highly beneficial while you try to achieve your fitness goals. If you're looking for a way to work out in your own home with little to no equipment, then talk to your doctor about incorporating calisthenics into your routine!