While the name may sound new to many, we all are aware of the exercises that are termed Calisthenics. This fitness form uses your body weight and gravity to level up your endurance. These exercises can be performed by everybody, from a beginner to a professional since the only thing you have to rely on is your own body weight.
The term Calisthenics has been coined from Greek words “Kalos” meaning beautiful and “Stenos” meaning strength. Being a fitness form where you use your own bodyweight as resistance, Calisthenics is the perfect form of Functional Training. Calisthenics can be performed by any individual since the exercises can be both simple & challenging based on your level of fitness. A full-body calisthenics workout at home can be a great way to kickstart your fitness journey if you aren’t already working out, as scientists are studying the effects of how calisthenics can help treat various health conditions.
A calisthenics workout can be incorporated into any workout routine like HIIT & Crossfit, as Calisthenics, a form of functional training, can be used as a foundation for strength-training workouts. While you can do it anywhere like your balcony or terrace, you can find many calisthenics gyms or calisthenics parks near you that have the equipment you need for an effective workout.
Check out these beginner-friendly calisthenics workouts that you can start today at home.
Squats are an effective way to incorporate calisthenics into your workout routine as a beginner. To achieve the perfect squat, you have to stand straight at shoulder-width apart. Then, you lower your hip and stand back up. It can be done on their own, or by adding a resistance band.
Reps: 3 sets of 10 reps each.
If you are looking at increasing your muscle mass and building up strength while toning your body, lunges are perfect for you. Begin with standing straight at shoulder-width apart. Position one leg forward and with your foot placed firmly on the ground, bend your knee and go down while the other leg is behind you. Come back to your standing position and repeat with the other leg. This can account for an effective calisthenics leg workout.
Reps: 3 sets of 10 reps each
Crunches are an effective way to focus on your core muscles. Lay down on your back while bending your knees. Place your hands behind your head for support. Engage your core and glutes, extend your legs above the ground and bring your right knee in towards your chest. Ensure your left leg is engaged and is above the ground. Lift your head & shoulders with your upper body strength and turn towards the right while ensuring your left elbow touches your right knee. Hold briefly before relaxing. Do not use your hands to push your head up as it may cause spasms.
Reps: 3 sets of 10 reps each
As easy as it may look, holding a plank while engaging your muscle groups can be the toughest thing to do. To achieve the perfect plank position, lay down on your stomach with your face down. Engage your core muscles and rise up with your elbows resting on the ground and maintain a straight line from your head to your feet. If you are a beginner, start with holding a 20-second plank. This exercise helps in strengthening your back, shoulders and abdominal muscles.
When you get a hang of holding a plank, you can try mountain climbers. For this, get into a plank and engage your abdominal muscles and ensure your body is aligned from your head to your toes. Now, bring in your right knee up into your chest and place it back. After this, bring in your left knee into your chest and place it back. Continue switching your legs while keeping your entire body aligned.
Reps: 3 sets of 10 reps each
Push-ups are a great way to work your arms, upper body & core muscles. To start off, start by lying down on your stomach in a prone position and by placing your palms next to your shoulders. Slowly, push your palms into the ground & lift your body to a plank position. Hold for 2 - 3 seconds and lower your body without letting it touch the floor.
Reps: Aim 5 - 7 push-ups to start with. You can increase the sets as and when you feel comfortable with your body weight.
As easy as the name sounds, the burpee is an exercise that has been known for its difficult intensity by beginners & advanced set of fitness enthusiasts alike. It is a great full-body workout that involves multiple muscle groups. Engage your body and start in a squat position with knees bent and feet shoulder-width apart. From here, place your hands on the floor and with your full body weight on your arms, kick your legs back into a plank position and come back to the starting position of squats. From here, push your feet into the ground, jump up quickly and return back to the squat position.
Reps: Aim 8 - 10 burpees to start with.
All of the home workouts mentioned above can be done at a gym/calisthenics park with the help of equipment/weights. Here are some more calisthenic exercises that you can do in a gym/calisthenic park:
If you are looking at improving your upper body strength, pull-ups are your way to go about it. In a gym, the pull-up bar is usually placed at an optimal height to ensure everybody is able to access it. You jump up and ensure your hands are gripping the bar right at a little more than shoulder-width. Before you start, ensure you hang down with the arms extended fully to support your body. Engage your core & keep your shoulders back without hunching. Pull your body up slowly with all your upper body strength till your chin is above the bar. Once you’re above the bar, do not let loose. Come down at the same speed to ensure your body is still engaged.
Reps: Aim 7 - 10 pull-ups to start with. You can always increase your reps as you gain more strength.
Bar dips are workouts that focus on your upper body strength while mainly stimulating your triceps. Two bars that are about 3 feet above the ground are placed parallel to each other. Hold both the bars and jump to get your feet off the ground. You are not levitating with the help of your arm strength. Ensure your arms are straight, keep your neck long and do not let it sink into your body. Engage your body and dip down while keeping your elbows tucked into your body. Once you’re down, push up your body at the same speed you dipped down.
Reps: Aim 7 - 10 dips to start with.
Each of the above exercises has variations for each level of difficulty. If you are looking at including calisthenics in your workout regime, you should start with focusing on perfecting the form & posture before increasing the reps for each exercise.
While we directly or indirectly incorporate calisthenics exercises into our routine, studies have shown that there is evidence of this fitness form having long term benefits on one’s body composition, strength and posture. Here are some benefits of calisthenics workout:
- You can do it anywhere - home, gym, park, etc.
- One can do a quick full-body workout with just calisthenic exercises - you can do a calisthenics back workout, calisthenics chest workout, etc.
- With the functional movements, you end up having better mind-body coordination in terms of strength, mobility & stability
- You can always increase the level of difficulty if you want a challenging workout
If you are someone who has been looking at adding a strength training routine to your workout, Calisthenics will be a great fit no matter what fitness form you prefer. With your body weight being used as resistance, you can start right away.
If you are also looking at improving your overall fitness with some help, book a session with our online personal trainers, today!
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