When people talk about working out, the first thoughts that would come to mind would be exercises that require lifting or carrying heavy weights.
Most people think that the best way to develop their muscles and boost their strength and endurance is to make use of weights. But did you know that there is an exercise that can help you achieve the same thing using just bodyweight alone?
Yes, you read that right. There is an exercise that allows you to build muscles without any need for weights or gym visits. What is this? This is what we call calisthenics.
In this article, let us discover what calisthenics is and how it can benefit us. In addition, you’ll also see the exercises you should include in your calisthenics exercises list.
What Is Calisthenics Training And What Benefits You Can Get From It?
Calisthenics is one of the oldest forms of training and does not require any equipment as it relies on your body weight to build your muscles.
Just like most gym exercises, this type of training offers lots of benefits. First, it can help build muscular endurance when you perform it in the form of a circuit. In addition, this type of exercise can improve flexibility since most of these exercises require a proper range of motion and recruit different muscle groups.
Lastly, the movements involved in these exercises also boost muscular strength since the muscles are used repetitively. But more than that, these exercises can also increase joint and bone strength.
The Must-Have Exercises For Your Calisthenics Exercises List
Now that you know what the benefits of calisthenics are, you may be wondering what the best calisthenics exercises that you should perform are. Here they are:
1. For Chest:
For many, this is the ultimate upper body exercise as it targets the lower back, core, forearms, shoulders, and triceps but its primary focus is on the chest.
You already know how to do push-ups. Just make sure that you keep your body straight, feet together and get the chest closest to the floor as possible, and you are good to go.
There are plenty of push up variations. You can watch it here:
For this, you would need a straight or parallel bar. Chest dips are similar to triceps dips, but it targets your pecs instead of your triceps. The key is to go lower than the triceps dip.
Place your hands on the bar then straighten your arms, raising your feet off the ground. Bend your elbows to the side then lower your body up to the point where your upper arms are already parallel to the ground. Continue to sink your body until you feel a slight pull at your chest.
2. For Abs:
This exercise helps to improve your core and make you sweat like crazy. The purpose of this exercise is to correct your lower back, hips and pelvis alignment.
This is actually a pretty simple exercise. All that you have to do is to assume a push-up position but with your elbows bent at 90 degrees. Let both of your forearms rest on the floor. Place your elbows right under your shoulders and look towards the floor. Hold this position for 1 minute.
This does not just improve the core but strengthens the lower abdominal muscle as well. With your legs fluttering up and down, this movement will be able to recruit more muscle fibers, making it more effective.
Just lay on the floor and support your back by putting your hands underneath your butt. Lift your legs, putting your feet 3 to 4 inches above the ground. Keep your leg straight.
Lift one leg higher than the other then lower it as you raise the other leg higher.
3. For Back
Pull-ups require you to pull up your bodyweight and are useful in conditioning and developing your upper body.
You will need a pull-up bar for this. The first thing that you need to do is to grab the bar with your palms down (shoulder-width apart). Remove your legs off the floor and hang to the bar.
Afterwards, try to pull yourself up by pulling your elbows to the floor. Continue pulling your body until your chin has passed the bar. Lower yourself then repeat the steps.
4. For Legs
This exercise targets all the muscle in your lower body, especially your legs.
Stand straight then place your feet at shoulder-width apart. Extend your hands in front of you then sit back as if you are sitting on a chair. Your head must be kept forward even as your body bends slightly. Arch your lower back slightly as your body goes down.
Lower down to the point where your thighs are already parallel to the floor. Place your weight in your heels. Hold this for a few minutes then slowly go back to the starting position.
This calisthenics exercise targets your leg muscles from various angles. It also improves the balance of your body.
Stand straight with your feet positioned hip-width apart. Step your leg forward (as far as you can), lifting your back heel and keeping the front foot as flat as you can. While you do this, make sure to place the majority of your body weight on your front foot.
Lower your body until your rear knee is almost in contact with the floor. Your knees must be bent at a 90-degree angle.
Slowly push yourself back to the starting position then do the same steps with your other leg.
Calisthenics is the most underrated form of body training nowadays. However, it is also the most effective one. If you wish to build muscular strength and endurance and improve flexibility and balance in the least complicated way possible, you should perform this calisthenics exercise list regularly and consistently.
Do you have other calisthenics exercises that you want to recommend? If yes, please share them with us below.