Calisthenics, the basic bodyweight exercises we all probably most associate with gym class, have been in use going all the way back to ancient Greece. It doesn’t take a set of gym equipment to get a hard, effective workout. These exercises are classic because they work, and if done right, calisthenics workout is an excellent way to build muscle, tone your body, and get in overall top shape. These workouts can be done daily, and don’t require the kind of rest needed after lifting weights, but they can be every bit as effective if a strong routine is followed.
By focusing on the essentials, and avoiding common pitfalls of weightlifting programs, calisthenics workout routine can be a great way for beginners to start an exercise routine. When starting an exercise program, building a base of strength to work from and perfecting basic forms is imperative, and calisthenics workout program is the perfect way to accomplish this.
What are the basic calisthenics exercises you will have to start with?
Push up, as classic and simple as they are, are the perfect exercise to strengthen your chest, triceps and shoulders. There are dozens of variations of push ups you can do to target different muscle groups. Widening your hands, for example, will target your shoulders better, while narrowing your hands to form a diamond with your index fingers and thumbs together is good for the often neglected triceps. Finding a slightly elevated object or surface on which to rest your hands or feel can also make for a beneficial variation. Setting your body at an incline targets the upper chest area, and a decline will focus on the lower chest.
Pull up, are another classic exercise that with hit your body hard and get you into better shape quickly. Pull ups work your back the most, and your biceps as a secondary muscle group.
Pull ups can also be altered with changes in hand placement. Chin ups, with hands facing towards you, focus more on the biceps while pull ups, which are more difficult, target the upper back. Narrowing your grip will get the pectoral muscles involved more, while widening the grips places a heavier load on the shoulders. For an added boost, wrapping two towels around the bar and holding the towels while pulling yourself up will rapidly build forearm strength.
Along with push ups and pull ups, dips are among the most important of all the calisthenics exercises. This simple exercise has two important variations.
Standard dips are done by suspending yourself in between two parallel bars, lowering the body and raising back up while hanging the entire time, with the legs usually bent up and tucked behind the body to prevent touching the ground. The arms take up a good deal of stress in this exercise, and it is an important workout for the chest. Alterations on standard dips include tilting the body forward while hanging to increase focus on chest muscles, and a wider grip also emphasizes the chest.
Bench dips are done with a bench placed behind. The legs are extended out in front of the body, and the arms are reached behind to grip the bench. The body is lowered and raised by the arms. This variation of dips serves two functions. First, it is an easier form of dips, which can be a challenging exercise when performed in the standard way. Second, it places a heavier emphasis on the triceps, which can be a neglected muscle group.
Squats are the most crucial calisthenics exercise for building leg strength. The muscles in your legs are often the most overlooked muscle groups in any workout routine, but much of your true power is delivered through the legs. Squats are also a versatile exercise, working the back, hips, and abs on top of every muscle groups in the legs.
Proper form when squatting is essential to prevent injury and get the most out of your repetitions, especially for the future when you may use the same form with weights. Thighs should be lowered to an angle about parallel with the ground, or slightly lower. The torso should be straight, with your eyes looking forward, and the knees should never go out past the toes.
The variations on squats mostly serve to make them more challenging. One basic variation is the jump squat, an explosion upward from the lowered position into a jump that helps athletes develop quickness.
Above all, calisthenics requires a strong core, and builds a stronger core. It is impossible to neglect the abs in any good calisthenics workout routine, and sit ups are the quintessential ab workout. There is a huge variety of ways to work your abs with calisthenics. The abs, more than any other muscle group, are meant to be worked this way, even in routines that are otherwise focused on weightlifting. When starting, it is best to focus on basic sit ups and crunches and perfect your form. Place your hands on your chest, instead of behind the head, and complete each repetition thoroughly, and sit ups will go a long way towards building core strength and stability.
Calisthenics routine is the perfect way to start an exercise routine. It can be done anywhere, at any time, with no gym required and no specialized equipment required. It can be done in your home, in a park, even in a train station or airport during a long layover. Everyone has a particular weakness when first starting out, and these exercises all have ways they can be made easier. It is a safe but effective way to start out, without the inherent dangers of weightlifting for those who are unsure of how to go about it. Calisthenics training improves every aspect of fitness, including, coordination, muscle tone, muscle size, cardiovascular health and stamina. If the routine provided here is followed rigorously, calisthenics workout program for beginners will prove to be the best first step on the road to overall fitness.
Calisthenics workout plan for beginners:
Before any workout, a good warm up is essential. Warming up can consist of any variety of activities, from stretching, to a short run.
- Warm up : 5min
- Push ups: 3 sets 10-15 rep
- Pull ups: 3 sets 5-10 rep
- Chin ups: 3 sets 5-10 rep
- Dips : 3 sets 6-10 rep
- Squats : 3 sets 8-12 rep
- Crunches: 3 sets 10 rep
Rest: 2 min rest between exercises, 30-60 seconds between sets.
This should be enough to get you started. If you’re looking for more routines and exercises, check out Bar Brothers Program for beginners.