What are Calisthenics?
Calisthenics are a very important topic for us since the term is often equated to bodyweight exercises, and showing you the amazing things which training with your body weight can do for you is one of our main purposes.
The word calisthenics comes from the ancient Greek with Kallos meaning “beauty,” and Sthenos, meaning “strength. The practice of calisthenics dates back thousands of years ago originating in ancient Greece. “Oh, so that’s why the Spartans in the Movie 300 were so ripped.” Well, let’s just say that the real Spartans were truly great warriors and yes they were proficient in calisthenics. In the early days, calisthenics was understood as a training system to gain raw strength and was not reduced to mere endurance training as is often the case in the modern days. Fortunately, in the most recent years the term has been regaining the meaning it once possessed, partly thanks to great books such as convict conditioning.
The benefits of calisthenics are manifold. Correctly practicing calisthenics can help you achieve strength levels which can only be described as superhuman. In addition, strength training can help you tone your body and turn your body into a fat burning machine since it requires a lot of energy to perform some of the more advanced calisthenics exercises such as pistol squats, one arm pull ups or hand stand push-ups. Calisthenics also train your coordination and balancing skills and can help you develop strong joints and ligaments which reduce the risk of injury while doing all sorts of sports.
Patience is King!
As anything which is worth achieving in life, becoming a master in calisthenics does not happen overnight. It can take months or even years, depending on your overall fitness level, to progress from the most basic exercises (e.g. wall push-ups) to the most advanced exercises (e.g. one arm push-ups). However, even if you already have some experience concerning fitness and working out in general, if you have never trained in calisthenics before you should start with the basic exercises before attempting to try many of the exercises you see people performing in dozens of videos when you type the word calisthenics in YouTube’s search bar. Why, you ask? Well, because it is imperative that you progressively develop the strength you will require and slowly condition your joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles to the stress which will be placed upon them by the more advanced exercises. If you rush things, the only results you will get will be frustration, disappointment and failure, and you will also risk causing permanent damage through injury. So, please be patient and let your body take the time it requires to adjust itself to the new challenges you present to it. Being patient is not always easy but there are thousands of things you can do while you wait for your body to recover from training session to training session, and your body will be thankful!
Where do I start with Calisthenics?
If you are truly serious about starting a workout regime based on calisthenics, and want to get the best results, then you should really consider making a little investment in high quality educational material. Some books we can truly recommend to anyone who is really interested in the topic are “Convict Conditioning” and “You Are Your Own Gym” (in that order). You should definitely check these books out as they will provide you with the bases you’ll need to become a real superhuman when it comes to bodyweight exercises.
But I want to start right now!
If you really can’t wait and want to try yourself out on some bodyweight exercises right away, then you should check out this list of amazing exercises which will cover pretty much all of the regions of your body and will allow you to develop a well balanced physique. However, even if we sound repetitive, please take it slow and start by educating yourself (and, if you have any known health problems, always consult your health physician) before attempting to try out any new workout routine. With that that being said, stop finding excuses and start building a spartan body.