Calisthenics – it’s a new concept for many of us, and there are lots of questions about what it actually entails. Is it a form of gymnastics? Is it a sport for both men and women? Does it fall under martial arts? It’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the sheer strength, endurance, and agility that calisthenics demands, especially if you witnessed the Battle of the Bars competition at the recent SSS Fitness Fest.
Calisthenics is an exercise in which you use your own body weight to build muscle and overall body strength. Also known as body-weight training, calisthenics can be tailor-made to suit your workout goals, whether it’s all about the weight loss, strengthening your core, or more general bodybuilding.
This form of exercise is practiced by army troops to build endurance and muscular strength. However, anyone can get involved and simply tailor their training to their personal strengths. It’s most effective when you pair this type of training with weights, core exercises and aerobics.
Let’s jump right in by starting out with a couple of exercises that you can practice indoors or outdoors.
Push-Ups are one of the most common exercises in the practice of calisthenics. Push-ups help you to work on your triceps, upper body, and chest – and you can increase the intensity as you go. Sport the adidas Techfit® Base Long-Sleeve T-Shirt for men while doing your push-ups. Designed with Climalite® fabric to wick away sweat, the t-shirt gives you just the right compression to stop muscle vibration, allowing you to work on doubling your reps.
These are regular push-ups only with a slight inclination of your legs and can be done by either keeping the legs parallel or benched like you would on a chair. This posture targets the upper pectorals and really shapes them to strengthen your upper body. Pair the Under Armour Eclipse Sports Bra with a loose tank top while performing your incline push-ups. Its compression fit and crossover back gives you the right amount of mobility and flexibility.
To perform those jaw-dropping headstands and awesome postures, you’re going to have to strengthen your hamstrings and quadriceps. Squats are key for strengthening the glutes; however the Split Single Leg Squats help you to develop and strengthen your balance. Get in position with the adidas Techfit Base Training Short Tights. The climalite® fabric in the tights keeps the moisture away, while the Techfit® support system reduces muscle vibration and chafing. If you’re at home try doing the Split Single Leg Squats with a chair or off the edge of your coffee table.
This monster of an exercise toughens up your glutes, your core, hamstrings and lower back – perfect for beginners to calisthenics. The Nike Pro Hyperwarm Fade Training Leggings for women are great for deadlifts. Designed with spandex, the leggings reduce skin irritation with side seams and they increase your natural range of movement.
Running is the mantra to a healthy, active body and since calisthenics relies heavily on the core, upper and lower body muscles, running should be combined with burpees, squats and other core exercises to compliment your training. Strap on the Nike Tanjun Shoe for men, or the Nike Free TR Focus Flyknit Shoe for women. These shoes are lightweight and give you just the right amount of propulsion to switch from high intensity workouts to on the spot jogs or knee-high jogs.
Stay tuned to learn more about calisthenics and shop for your beginner’s gear right here at Sun & Sand Sports.