I am always looking to improve my strength and learn new techniques and movements, so a couple of weeks ago I became aware of Calisthenics!
I had heard the term calisthenics before, however, I wasn’t really quite sure I fully understood what is was and why it is becoming so popular.
And now a personal trainer, as well as reading about fitness related topics for my own interest, I also have this innate duty to understand, learn, teach and inform my clients and you guys with what I believe are the most effective training methods are.
So what is calisthenics…… it’s effectively body weight training (such as push ups, pull ups, handstands, levers and core exercises) that’s intended to increase body strength and flexibility and is performed through a variety of rhythmical movements, a lot of the time without the use of equipment.
Why is it so good ? ……it can have many benefits to the body such as improving cardiovascular fitness, balance, coordination, agility and muscular strength.
Everyone has the ability to perform bodyweight exercises because after all, everyday activities require body weight movements and an advantage of calisthenics training is that is very scalable for all levels of fitness and strength.
The more I have been thinking about calisthenics training the more I feel and want to become an advocate for it.
If we take for example a classic bodybuilder, they would predominantly train with heavy weights and be incredibly strong at lifting these weights, however, ask them to perform a simple body weight exercise and chances are they can’t. However, if they abandon this type of training they are more than likely to have very weak core muscles and this will significantly increase chances of injury.
Calisthenics very much focuses on isometric movements (muscles are under tension without increasing/ decreasing in in length) this means with every exercise more muscles are used resulting in building up more strength.
Personally, I love training weights and definitely won’t be stopping weight training, however, I believe by incorporating calisthenics with weights training, it allows you to benefit from all round strength enabling you to build and sculpt the perfect body and significantly reduce the risk of injury.
Calisthenics is also pretty cool and impressive, there are a lot of handstand type movements and I’ve got to say one of the most common goals I get from my clients is being able to do a handstand. Now a handstand is not an easy move to learn however by training calisthenics, there are lots of progressions enabling you to perform the movement.