Is Calisthenics Good For Sports?

For any athlete, amateur or professional. How they train is crucial to their performance during the times that matter in their chosen sport. There will be certain workouts that are better suited for specific needs of an athlete, and in this article we are going to discuss if calisthenics is good for sport athletes in general.

On a certain level, any active sport requires physical demand from the athlete. Preparing through proper training and exercise, is a good way to meet those demands. Calisthenic and its bodyweight workouts can help improve strength, flexibility, coordination, agility and endurance. Making it a very viable choice of workout for any type of athlete.

When talking about some of the major sports of North America. Comprised of Basketball, Football, Baseball, Hockey and Soccer. In order to play at that level, along with talent, players will need to be at peak physical shape in order to compete.

Finding the right workout that would not hinder your performance in the long run could be a legitimate worry. For example, only focussing on lifting weights and building muscle mass would not benefit much to a basketball player. Although you may look great and be in good shape, the added mass wouldn’t allow you to be agile or quick enough. Something the sport requires.

When looking for a workout that is complementary to the demands of a physical sport. Calisthenics is definitely something to look into. A natural way to build functional strength, you can even find your body doing everyday task easier.

Do Athletes Use Calisthenics?

On some level, many athletes will be using some type of bodyweight workout. Squats, push ups, sit ups and other basic forms of calisthenic is likely used often. It is unlikely that calisthenics is the only source of exercise, for any athlete, mainly due to the specific needs that their sports require.

Although calisthenics is a great full body workout with many benefits that come as “extras” when doing this type of workout. If you’re looking to pinpoint an area to get better in for a certain sport (i.e running faster, jumping higher). There are other options that can be hyper focussed to those areas, that may give better results.

When making a quick search and some research online. You will find that calisthenics is a great workout that many athletes should participate in or at least include into their current routine. But has not been widely adopted as the go to way of exercise.

I found that a sport that may be utilizing calisthenic style workouts the most are Boxing and MMA. Which makes sense as they are disciplines that require mobility mixed with functional strength. Pulling and pushing motion and strength being strongly emphasized in calisthenics blends well with throwing punches and blocking.

Should Athletes Use Weights or Calisthenics?

Before deciding which type of exercise to focus on, whether it is bodyweight or free weights. You should first consider what you are trying to achieve. If you’re looking to build strength in a specific muscle group weights is the way to go. Conversely if you’re looking to build more functional strength with a more rounded training style. Calisthenics would be a better option.

Given the options of either free weights or bodyweight exercise. Understanding that using weights is a form of exercise that builds muscle mass faster and as result can make you larger. Bodyweight exercises tend to give a leaner look while building muscle and strength.

Athletes should consider which type of exercise would benefit their performance. If the sport requires more strength and build, then consider lifting weight. If you are required to be more lean, quick and mobile then calisthenic could be a viable choice.

To maximize both ends of the spectrum, consider implementing a routine that includes both styles of workouts. Not putting all your eggs in one basket could help you get the best of both worlds.

Would Calisthenics Make You More Athletic?

If you’re just a beginner, or have not given serious effort in any form of exercise. Then calisthenics would likely increase your athletic ability. To be clear, it won’t necessarily make you better in any given sport, that would require how much effort you put into training in that specific area. What calisthenic would help with is giving the ability to perform in the sport at a higher level.

Training in calisthenics and being consistent in bodyweight exercises, would make you more fit and healthy in general. Calisthenics is a type of exercise that assist in the growth of your skills as an athlete as you train in the sport. Keep in mind to workout a proper schedule or discuss with a healthcare professional to make a routine for you that is beneficial and would not put you at any health risks.

Being “athletic” doesn’t come down to any one thing, but in fact a number of different areas such as strength, endurance, agility etc. The reason why calisthenics could be considered to help with athleticism is because the workouts typically build skills in those areas.

Should You Train Everyday?

Like with any exercise, rest and rotating workouts is necessary in order to not over stimulate any given area. Having preplanned rest days and a well thought out schedule or routine would help keep you prepped and organized. And if you’re the type, you can stay driven by seeing the goals you want to accomplish everyday.

calisthenics good for basketball

If you’re training for a particular sport, figuring how much time you would be putting in is a good way to gauge how much exercise you could fit. For example, if you are playing on a basketball team, and you will be shooting alot of basketballs for practice. You may want to consider doing a lighter calisthenic exercise after the practice to not interfere with your shooting drills.

Alternating days between practice and calisthenics is also a viable option. Depending on how heavy your workouts are in each, separating them to their own personalized days may give yourself needed breaks.

For more info on how often you should be doing calisthenics, read our article here.


If you’re looking to be athletic or to get into any type of sport. Working on your physique is typically a good way to help you reach peak performance. Finding the right exercises that help compliment your sport training is crucial in helping maximize the efforts.

Calisthenic is a great way to get in shape and be fit in general. Even for those who are not doing it to get better at a sport.

More on Calisthenics:

Recent Posts