renovation cost singapore 2013

Generic lipitor paypal payment without prescription

You don’t need weights to get strong. Here’s how to get started with calisthenics, including a great beginner workout plan.  

Not many workout styles are as divisive as bodyweight training. While some feel working out using just their bodyweight is pointless (usually because they’re doing it wrong), there are others who find functional, equipment-free training a brilliant way to build strength.

More and more people seem to be joining the latter group, with calisthenics trending online for months on end. It seems we’re all desperate to know how to break into the sport – and what moves count as calisthenic exercises.

You may also like

Bodyweight benefits: can you get stronger via bodyweight alone?

What actually is calisthenics?

For those not in the know, calisthenics comes from the ancient Greek words kallos (meaning ‘beauty’) and sthenos (meaning ‘strength’). A practice that’s been around for thousands of years, it’s all about using your bodyweight as resistance to build muscle. Type the term into Instagram and you’ll see posts of people hanging from bars, suspending themselves in the air using one arm, and swinging from hoops. But those beautiful and impressive poses are only a tiny fraction of what the practice entails.

“The goal with calisthenics is to create muscle growth and strength without using external weights,” says Jess Rosart, gym manager and coach at WIT Fitness. “You might use different apparatuses to push and pull your body off, say, rings or bars, but all of the resistance comes from your weight alone.”

While it sounds like a technical workout, you might be surprised to know that if you’ve been doing air squats and press-ups in the gym or your living room, you’ve been doing calisthenics.  

How is calisthenics different from regular strength training?

There are so many ways to build strength, including using barbells and kettlebells, running and even gardening. Calisthenics is one form of strength training that makes you stronger by using your body as resistance.

If you tend to think of bodyweight workouts as being more for  beginners, then you’ve clearly never met someone who does calisthenics. They’re incredibly strong, and that’s because calisthenics athletes continuously progress their workouts, even without kit, says Rosart. 

“You might start with press-ups on the knees, then do full press-ups, then do jumping press-ups or one-handed press-ups,” she says. In short, there’s always a way to make the exercises more challenging and keep progressing with calisthenics. 

What are the benefits of calisthenics?

Improved posture and strength

As calisthenics is a form of strength training, you’ll be building a resilient body. A 2017 study published in the Isokinetics and Exercise Science Journal found significant improvements in posture and strength in people who followed an eight-week calisthenics training programme.

No equipment means it costs nothing

If you still don’t believe that bodyweight training can be that good, a 2018 paper from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that people who performed calisthenic push-ups had similar improvements in a one-rep max test (the amount of weight they could bench press for a single rep) and press-up performance than those who practised bench press. Essentially, calisthenics and weighted workouts can lead to the same gains.

It requires little space

For Rosart, that’s good news: it means anyone, anywhere can get strong. “There’s a really low entry point for people to start in the sport because you don’t have to buy any kit or an expensive gym membership – you can get started with calisthenics in your home,” she says.

It’s great for injury rehab

It’s also good for people who might be coming back from an injury or are new to training and aren’t ready to load up with heavy weights. “It’s going to be friendlier on the joints because they can move through movement patterns without worrying about external load,” says Rosart. That will also improve mobility in the long term, so if and when you want to add weights, you’ll be safer doing so. 

A chance to play and learn new skills

For people who are more advanced in their training but considering making the switch, one of the key things that attracts people to calisthenics is that it’s a skill-based workout. You won’t simply be counting the weight on the bar or the minutes on your watch but you’ll be learning and progressing through new exercises which can feel more motivating. 

“Everybody loves it when they nail their first handstand, and then they want to learn how to hold it for longer or do a walking handstand. Calisthenics exercises are such fun and there’s so much progression to be made,” agrees Rosart. 

How to get started with calisthenics

There are four fundamental elements of pretty much any strength training session, including calisthenics. These are:

  1. Pushing with your upper body, like in a press-up or handstand (you can use a wall, don’t worry)
  2. Pulling with your upper body, including ring rows and pull-ups (or monkey bars, if you’re training outside)
  3. Hinging the hips, like Nordic curls or good mornings
  4. Squatting with the knees, including traditional air squats and lunges

“Choosing one exercise from each of these sections is a nice way to format a basic callisthenics workout without feeling overwhelmed,” says Rosart.

She recommends doing a EMOM (every minute on the minute) style set-up – meaning you perform two exercises back to back every minute, on the minute. 

That could look like:

Set one

  1. Eight press-ups 
  2. Eight good mornings,
  3. Rest until the minute is up
  4. Repeat eight times

Set two

  1. Then, try eight rows
  2. Eight lunges
  3. Rest until the minute is up
  4. Repeat eight times

Outside of that, you might want to spend longer working on skills like handstands or dips.

How to warm up properly (especially wrists)

As always, warming up is important when performing calisthenic workouts. One difference between calisthenics and weights is how hard your wrists will be working to stabilise your bodyweight, so make sure you spend time warming those joints up properly.

You may also like

3 stretches to strengthen weak wrists at the start of your workouts

“A simple way to do that is rocking backwards and forwards on your wrists while you’re in an all-fours position. From the same all-fours pose, try lifting your palms off of the floor so your weight is loaded through your fingers and then lower back down for a few reps to really get the wrists feeling mobile and warm,” says Rosart.  

Images: Getty

Source: Read Full Article