Is it worth doing calisthenics?

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Is it worth doing calisthenics?

Working out is very important but it can be difficult to decide what workouts to do. Body weight exercises also known as calisthenics is a very popular form of training that can benefit you in many different ways. If you’re wandering if you should be doing some calisthenics and how they can benefit you then carry on reading this article as we are going to be going over the benefits of this form and training and why you should include some bodyweight exercises into your training regime.  Its likely you have done some body weight exercises and we are telling you why it should be a more frequent thing.

 

What are calisthenics?

Calisthenics is a funny word that you may not have heard before. By this word we mean body weight exercises, and these are exercises that can be done just with your bodyweight, examples of these exercises are pull ups and push ups as your working against your body weight to complete the repetition. These exercises also use very little equipment which makes them great to do on the go and anywhere. If you are looking for some body weight workouts, then do some research as they are generally quick and easy to do.

Calisthenics have been around for ages and was used to improve strength and fitness before people though about using weights. The one major drawback of bodyweight exercises is that is can be harder to progress as your muscles get stronger and your body weight becomes easier to lift. At this point it starts to become less of a challenge and you will have to resort to things like strapping weights to your belt or supporting them on your body when you do repetitions.

 

Build strength and muscle

Using your body weight as resistance can also help you to gain muscle and strength. This is the reason why so many gymnasts have developed muscles as your body weight can be hard to support so you need adequate strength to support it for a while. Also, you’re working against the resistance of your body which can be more challenging than regular weight training. This is due to your body constantly moving and its unstable compared to weights so this has the potential to work more muscles like your stabiliser muscles.

As well as working your stabiliser muscles you also work a lot of other muscles by doing this form of training. Many body weight movements like dips, press ups and pull ups are compound movements meaning that they work multiple muscles. Also, the muscle groups worked by these exercises are large for example your back muscles and core, this means that you will gain mass and strength quicker as the muscles you are working are bigger. To go for maximum muscle gain you could try adding some weight to a few of these body weight exercise to make it a bit more difficult.

 

Accessibility

When working out accessibility can be an issue as not many people are able to use expensive equipment or there might not be a gym in the local area. Not having access to these facilities can make it harder to train and make good progress but it is never impossible to make gains. Calisthenics require very little equipment and space and many of the workouts can be done at home. This means you only need a space to move your body and a surface that can support your body weight to do things like pullups and dips. The minimal equipment required makes this a good training type for those who prefer to train at home or do not have access to a gym and other facilities.

Also, when you find yourself in an area that you are unable to go to the gym or engage in your usual training, calisthenics can make a good backup workout. This is for when your gym may be closed, or you find yourself away from your local area and still want to get in a workout.

 

Prevent injury

When training and doing exercise the main thing that people are worried about is getting injured. When your injured depending on the seriousness this can put a major damper on your gains and progress as your likely not going to be able to train at your previous intensity until you are healed and better. Calisthenics is one type of exercise that can be good for injury prevention. One way it can help is by improving the stability and balance of you joints and it also works your stabiliser muscles. This makes your body more stable when doing exercises and this decreases the chance of injury as your joints and muscles are more stable under the heavier weight. This can prevent injuries like sprains and joint pain that is caused by lifting.

Also, this exercise can improve your mobility and flexibility. This will decrease the stress on your body in certain movements and can help your joints move and stay well lubricated when moving. Calisthenics can be used as a warmup exercise before hitting some weights and this can prevent injury when training as your muscles are pre-warmed up and are ready to be worked which is why this makes a great warm up before hitting some weights.  One thing to remember is that although this exercise can be good to prevent injury it can still cause injuries as many people can’t lift their body weight so the best thing to do is start slow and have a spot for that little extra support.

 

You can be limited

Although many different forms of training are good and offer many different benefits, there are still some things that can hold you back. The major thing holding you back with calisthenics is that it can be difficult to train and gain muscle on certain muscle groups. Also, isolation exercises can be challenging as many of these body weight exercises are compound movements and work multiple muscles. Also muscles like your legs require a lot of resistance to build as they are the strongest muscles in your body. Providing this great resistance is difficult just with body weight alone and it’s a hard muscle group to build with calisthenics alone so you will likely have to do some resistance training with free weights and machines.

Also, when it comes to muscle gain calisthenics can be beneficial but is not the best form of training. You may find your progress in gaining strength and muscle may be a lot slower when compared to resistance training and this is due to you only being able to train with the weight of your body and not progress. Also, some people may not be able to lift or support their body weight and will find it harder. Progress for these people may be even slower as they will not be able to do many repetitions or movements. Also, you cannot just do a few push ups and expect to be strong. These body weight movements require more concentration and knowledge to prevent injury and get the most from the workouts.

 

In conclusion, if you’re thinking about doing more calisthenics then you should take action and include this form of training into your regime. Depending on your goals body weight exercises can be beneficial and can help you reach your goals quicker. Even if you don’t do a full-blown calisthenics workout doing some body weight exercises will offer you great benefits and give you the edge when training. Now you know the benefits of doing bodyweight exercises you should now give them a try and many workouts can be altered to make them more challenging or beneficial to you. One variation of a calisthenics workout is weighted dips and pull ups.