What is Calisthenics?

Calisthenics is an unofficial sport of bodyweight exercises. This sport is unique because it requires little to no training apparatus or equipment. Calisthenics is accessible anywhere and everywhere, imagination is the only limitation. There are many advantages to bodyweight training.

Why Calisthenics?

I, personally, just use calisthenics to stay in shape. It is a very small part of my life. There was a time when my workouts were a strict 1 hour daily, but now it’s more of 20 min workouts to stay in shape. I promote health, not some sort of “sport” lifestyle that many of the “Calisthenics” groups promote today. No sport, no matter what it is, will ever fulfill you; they’re like drugs, if you like it – you will need more and more to feel satisfied, until one day you find yourself not being able to live without it, and your human body will simply not be able to take the daily required dosage to feel “high”. Why, particularly, calisthenics – and not weights? Simple, it’s free and you can do it anywhere, anytime.

Advantages and Misconceptions

It is beneficial in all ways physically, if done correctly. Whereas heavy weight lifting may have an impact on your joints, impacting the growth of children and teens, calisthenics has no dangers of the sort. In fact, the stretching out of the skeleton during exercises such as pull ups can improve your posture and often help prevent or cure back problems.

  • Calisthenics is absolutely free, requiring no equipment. The only limitation is the imagination. Tree branches, the floor, curbes, benches can all be used for this sport.
  • Bodyweight exercises have been shown to benefit not just the young, but the elderly also.
  • Improves overall stamina, strength, energy, agility, coordination, balance, and promotes overall fitness for your health.
  • Can improve mental health just as it does psycho-motor skills like balance and coordination. Can help treat mental problems such as stress, anxiety, depression, etc. and can boost your self-esteem.
  • Calisthenics is available for everyone with any type of genetics. It is a common misconception to think that people with thicker bones aren’t suited for this sport. That is not true.

Actually, the person who holds the record for pull-ups in Russia is quite big, weighing about 187lbs (85kg). Vitaly Kulikov is his name.

1930’s strongman Bert Assirati could perform a one-arm handstand at 266lbs (120.6kg) and was one of the heaviest men to perform the iron cross!

  • It is often believed that Calisthenics is not a sport for muscle gain, however, altering the exercise by putting one’s self at a leverage disadvantage is sometimes much harder and causes more strain than doing a max in weightlifting. Ex. planche, front lever, etc.
  • Compared to weightlifting – bodyweight exercises have minimal injuries.
  • Natural looking body, because during Calisthenics almost all bodyparts get worked out with any exercise, whereas weights splits the muscle groups into different days.
  • Performing various calisthenic exercises will improve your cardiovascular health.
  • It’s FREE!

One Response to “Calisthenics”

  1. Hi Pavel. Where does cardio fit into your routine, or would you advise against it?
    I have a thinner body type (though have excess fat in the midsection). I am eating healthier than ever and losing fat slowly but surely. I also want muscle gain. Should I do minimal or no cardio since doing cardio could affect my muscle growth? Btw, I’m gaining more muscle doing bodyweights than all my years in a gym working out with weights. It’s amazing!

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