Calisthenics 101

July 27, 2016

Calisthenics 101

Even though Calisthenics has been around since 600BC (yes, it’s that old), it has made a huge comeback over the past decade. Once part of the main workout routines for the Spartan warriors at a time when strength meant everything, it has now become a sport that is widely practiced across the globe. With a wide variety of street workouts, competitions and even national championships, fitness fanatics have been latching onto this new trend and its following continues to grow.

What is Calisthenics?

Ever considered doing a handstand push-up instead of using weights to develop your shoulders, biceps and triceps? It probably doesn’t seem like much, but once you’ve tried it you will realize the power of body weight training and how it can help you build strength.

Calisthenics is a workout that focuses on using your body weight and minimal apparatus to develop your strength and stamina. Bars form an integral part of the workout routine as they are used for building upper body and core muscles and make for a great platform to display advanced Calisthenic moves such as the flag, the iron cross, 360’s, planches and muscle-ups. If you haven’t seen some of these moves yet, check out this video!

The thought behind the concept is that one can use your own body weight as a training tool and build various muscle groups at the same time, instead of using a piece gym equipment to isolate the development of one specific muscle group. Practioners of calisthenics are therefore able to develop a perfect ratio of muscle mass and body fat to have optimum control over their own body’s and their abilities.

What would a Calisthenics workout look like?

When first trying your hand at Calisthenics you should focus on building your core and upper body strength to ensure that you do not injure yourself whilst trying out some of the more advanced techniques. Don’t forget about the legs though, the whole point is to have a perfectly sculpted and lean physique that houses tremendous strength and mobility.

Some of the main exercises can include:

  • Crunches: in all their varieties on the floor or hanging from a bar.
  • Sit-ups: in all their varieties on the floor or hanging from a bar.
  • Pull-ups: overhand pull-ups and underhand chins, wide-grip and narrow, thick bar, switch grip, arches, and hanging from irregular objects.
  • Dips: performed on a bench or straight bar.
  • Push-ups: with flat hands, fists, or fingers, in a handstand on a bar or on the floor.
  • Squats and pistol squats.
  • Planks: on flat hands or fists and with one or two arms.
  • Leg raises: lying on a bench or hanging from a bar.
  • Dips: on a bench or straight bar with one or two arms.
  • Planches

If you’re thinking of giving Calisthenics a go and you’re looking for some custom designed bars to use for your workouts, feel free to contact us here!