Typically for those who choose calisthenics as their main form of workout. Building functional strength is the main goal. What was surprising to me is that there are plenty of other benefits stemming from calisthenics that you get simply from exercising.
Choosing calisthenics is a great way to gain functional strength and achieve overall fitness. When participating in bodyweight workouts, typically gaining skills in flexibility, balance, range of motion, coordination as well as building strength is common due to the nature of the exercises.
Using bodyweight as the main resistance in your workout routine would utilize other areas of the body in order to keep proper form and performing an effective workout. A lot of these benefits from calisthenics come inadvertently from just simply workout out.
With that said, it’s also not something to leave out of sight and out of mind, assuming you would be reaping the benefits. Being mindful of your actions and how well you are performing the exercise should be considered every time you workout.
It can be easy to find yourself skimping on your reps, either by not using the full range of motion, or giving half effort when nearing the end. Cutting corners during your workout benefits no one, and only you would suffer from it in the long run.
Why Is Calisthenics A Good Workout
It wouldn’t be right to say one type of workout is better than the other. There isn’t one that is above the rest. Ultimately, finding a workout that works for you, your lifestyle and will help you reach your health goals is what you should be striving for.
From my experience, I wanted a workout that was convenient to do from home, didn’t require a lot of equipment and also is complementary to my boxing workouts. Calisthenics and bodyweight workouts became the perfect fit.
The functional strength, mobility and flexibility that you can learn with calisthenics was a no brainer for me. Here are some of my favourites.
- No Equipment
Calisthenics is all bodyweight workouts. Using only your body in order to complete all of the exercises. Because of this, I was not tied down to any piece of equipment or location in order to get a workout in. Having that flexibility helped save thousands of dollars and time. It also gave me more control of my personal schedule, in which I didn’t have to make time for the gym and going through the commute.
- Any Place Any Time
Having the flexibility to exercise whenever you get the chance, really gives you no excuses to skip any day. The freedom of being able to get fit indoor or outdoor and the type of exercises that are involved, made workouts easy to fit in as well as fun to do.
- Build Functional Skills
Bodyweight exercises can start off very simple and as you require more resistance or weight. The progressions become more and more complex as you go along. When doing these exercises and the progressions, you are also building skills in functional strength, mobility, flexibility and working on balance. Things that can be important in everyday healthy lives.
- Workouts stay fresh
Calisthenics or bodyweight workouts have hundreds if not thousands of progressions in there workouts. It is a continuous journey to learn the skills of each. This is why no two workouts need to be the same as I started to build more and more skills and progressed, a lot of the exercises needed to change as well in order to fit my momentum.
Some Benefits Of Calisthenic Workouts
Although there are countless benefits when exercising and especially with calisthenics. There are a few that really stuck out to me when researching to see if this type of workout is for me. And after months of training, you really do start to see the benefits from calisthenics.
Although I found that these are some skills that are built naturally from doing bodyweight workouts. It would be important to note. You should always be keeping a conscious effort in building these elements and be mindful of how well your form and positioning is.
It would be easy to cut corners and not get the full benefits that calisthenic exercises will bring, but if you’re making sure that you’re doing each workout properly with great form and effort. Building these skill sets would come easily.
Lets take a look at some benefits of calisthenics..
The main purpose of calisthenic workouts is to build strength. One of the appealing aspects for me is that the strength you build is more related to everyday life. For example, having grip strength, utilizing pushing and pulling motions are functional movements we all do daily. Your body also look physically strong yet in a lean way. If you’re looking to body build and get big that way, calisthenics is likely not the way to get there.
Range of motion
In order to get the most out your calisthenic workouts, you should be maximizing your complete range of motion. As much as you safely can anyway. What this means is taking your body through the whole exercise completely. If it’s push ups, your full range of motion should be getting from the top of the push up with arms extended and going as close to the floor as possible, to complete the full range.
Joints and Bone Strength
The more mobility you can take advantage of, the better it would be for your bones and joints. Bodyweight exercises utilize more of this because it requires compound movements in order to get the exercise done. This means engaging many muscles groups other than where you’re workout is focussed on.
Flexibility And Balance
In order to progress in calisthenics, your body is required to be set in various positions in order to make the workout easier or harder. Inclining or declining your body is one of the basic ways to do this. As a result you apply more or less weight to the workout you’re doing. At the more advance level, it’s common to only use certain body parts (like your arms and hands) as the only anchor in order to correctly do the workout. As a result, you’re building skills in flexibility and balance to have complete control of your body.
Performing handstands and L-sits is not all from have a strong muscular body. In fact, it likely would be tough on those who haven’t trained with bodyweight workouts and are just “strong”. Being able to perform many bodyweight exercises requires tremendous coordination that is learned over time.
If you’re wondering if calisthenics is an effective workout, I hope that this article has shown you a lot of the benefits that calisthenics has to offer. You can consistently get a well round workout that utilizes the entire body with compound movements.
As mentioned previously, many of the benefits come with effort put forth by you. Striving to make clean and proper movements for your workouts. Should be given the same effort consistently. Starting off slow, and mastering your movements would allow you to build a solid foundation.
Some extra resources:
Starting Calisthenics: https://thebasementwarrior.com/starting-calisthenics/
Calisthenic Progressions: https://thebasementwarrior.com/calisthenics-progression-explained/
More Benefits of Calisthenics: https://thebasementwarrior.com/calisthenics-and-expectations/