Build Strength with Just Your Bodyweight: An Easy Guide to Calisthenics

Build Strength with Just Your Bodyweight: An Easy Guide to Calisthenics

When most people think of strength training, they think of lifting weights in a gym.

However, there is another option: calisthenics.

Calisthenics is a form of strength training that uses just your bodyweight to build muscle.

It has many benefits over traditional weightlifting and can be done anywhere at any time (weather permitting).

In this blog post, we will discuss the basics of calisthenics and how to get started!

 

Calisthenics vs. Weights

Calisthenics is a form of strength training that uses just your bodyweight to build muscle.

Calisthenics workouts are usually done without equipment or with minimal equipment like pull up bars and dip bars.

Even if you do use a few pieces of equipment, you will not be using any weights.

There's no one way to do bodyweight workouts. For example, calisthenics can incorporate plyometrics or jumping training for speed and explosiveness as well as yoga poses for flexibility and balance.

The goal of calisthenics workouts is to use your whole body and work multiple muscles at once.

As far as intensity, calisthenics workouts are usually more intense than traditional weight training because they involve using many muscle groups simultaneously instead of isolating one area like with machines or free weights.

 

The Benefits of Calisthenics

There are many benefits to using calisthenics as your primary form of strength training, especially if your goal is to improve overall performance for your testing requirements into the armed forces.

 

More Bank for Your Buck

Calisthenics is a total-body workout that engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously, resulting in a more efficient and effective workout.

 

Great for All Fitness Levels

Calisthenics can be adapted to any fitness level, making it a great option for beginners and experienced athletes alike.

 

Improved Mobility and Flexibility

Calisthenics can help improve mobility and flexibility, which can help to improve functional movement patterns.

 

Convenience

Calisthenics can be done anywhere at any time with no equipment necessary.

 

No Gym Membership Required

As mentioned before, calisthenics workouts can be done anywhere with minimal equipment.

This makes it a great option for people who don't have access to a gym or those who prefer not to belong to one.

Best of all, you'll save money by sticking to calisthenics workouts.

 

Low Risk of Injury

Because calisthenics movements use your own bodyweight, they are low impact and can be safely performed by almost anyone without the risk of injury.

 

Calisthenics Workouts

Now that we know a little bit about calisthenics, let's take a look at some sample workouts that you can start doing today.

 

Calisthenics Chest Workout

The muscles targeted during a chest workout include the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor. You'll also feel it in your shoulders and arms.

The following chest exercises can be done anywhere with no equipment necessary:

 

Push Ups

To perform a push-up, start in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.

Lower yourself down to the ground, keeping your core engaged and your back straight.

Push yourself back up to the starting position.

 

Diamond Push Ups

To perform a diamond push-up, start in a plank position with your hands together and forming a diamond shape.

Lower yourself down to the ground, keeping your core engaged and your back straight.

Push yourself back up to the starting position.

 

Wide Grip Push Ups

Follow the same guidelines as the traditional push-up, but move your hands further out into a wider stance.

 

Close Grip Push Ups                                                 

Same as above, but your hands will be inside of shoulder width.

 

Spiderman Push Ups

Start in a traditional push-up position.

As you lower yourself down to the ground, bring your right knee up to your right elbow and your left knee up to your left elbow.

Push back up to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

 

Calisthenics Leg Workout

The leg muscles are some of the biggest and most powerful in the body, and they should be worked regularly for strength and size.

The muscles targeted during leg workouts include the glutes (butt), quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and hip flexors.

The following calisthenics leg exercises can be done anywhere and the only recommended piece of equipment is a bench, chair, or something to put your foot on:

Lunges

To perform a lunge, start in a standing position with your feet together.

Step one foot forward and lower yourself down, keeping your front knee behind your toes.

Push yourself back to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

 

Bulgarian Split Squats

Start in a lunge position with your back leg elevated on a bench or chair.

Lower yourself down, keeping your front knee behind your toes.

Push yourself back to the starting position.

 

Squats

Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart.

Lower yourself down keeping your back straight and core engaged, making sure that your knees are not going over your toes.

Push yourself back to the starting position.

 

Jump Squats

Start in a standing position with your feet together.

Squat down, keeping your knees behind your toes, and jump up as high as possible.

Land softly and squat back down to the starting position.

 

Pistol Squats

Start in a standing position with one leg forward.

Lower yourself down, keeping your back straight and core engaged.

Push yourself up to the starting position without letting your foot touch the ground and repeat on the other side.

 

Calf Raises

To perform calf raises, stand with your feet together and press up onto the balls of both feet, raising your heels as high as possible.

Hold for a moment before lowering yourself back down.

 

Calisthenics Back Workout

The back is a large and complex muscle group that should be worked regularly for strength and size.

The following calisthenics back exercises can be done anywhere and you’ll only need a pull-up bar:

 

Pull Ups

To perform a pull-up, hang from a bar with your palms facing away from you.

Pull yourself up to the bar until your chin is over the bar and then lower yourself back down to the starting position.

Be sure not to swing while performing this exercise as it can take away from engaging the correct muscles.

 

Wide Grip Pull Ups

To perform a wide-grip pull-up, hang from a bar with your palms facing away from you and your hands wider than shoulder width apart.

Follow the same directions as a traditional pull-up.

 

Chin Ups

To perform a chin-up, hang from a bar with your palms facing towards you.

Pull yourself up to the bar until your chin is over the bar and then lower yourself back down to the starting position.

 

Superman

Lie face down on the ground with your arms and legs extended.

Slowly lift your head, chest, and legs off of the ground while keeping your back straight.

Hold for two seconds then slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.

 

Calisthenics Shoulder Workout

The shoulder muscles are some of the most complex and important in the body. The following calisthenics shoulder workout can be done anywhere with no equipment necessary:

 

YTWL

To perform a YTWL, start in an upright position with your feet shoulder width apart. Now bend slightly at the hips.

Let your arms hang down.

Raise your right arm above your head while extending out to the side.

Rotate it back down toward the ground as if you were punching someone behind you (make a Y).

Lower your arms down, then bring them out to the sides (make a T).

Again, lower your arms, then raise just your elbows to shoulder height then bring your hands up and out (make a W).

Finally, lower your arms once again. Now, raise them and keep it rotated so your hand is now pointing toward the ground (make an L).

 

Bear Crawls

Get into a crawling position on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and feet hip width apart.

Walk forward on all fours, maintaining a low squat the entire time.

 

Pike Push Up

Start in a high plank position with your feet together and hands shoulder-width apart.

Lower yourself down toward the ground, maintaining a straight back, until your head is between your arms.

Push yourself back up to the starting position.

 

Shoulder Taps

Start in a high plank position with your feet together and hands shoulder-width apart.

Tap your left hand to your right shoulder, then return to the starting position.

Repeat on the other side.



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