What is calisthenics bodyweight training?

Calisthenics is the ultimate bodyweight workout for anyone hoping to get results fast.

Calisthenics is a fantastic new body-weight movement taking over the world. It’s a mix of various classical disciplines, all coming together to create a novel and exciting new discipline.

Calisthenics was born in Eastern Europe, where people started gathering around outdoor workout parks. They became committed to getting the most out of the facilities available to them. Breakdance, gymnastics as well as brand-new elements became ingrained in calisthenics over time.

It has exploded around the world! Youtube and iconic Calisthenics Freestyle competitions hosted all over the globe have attracted a ton of eyes on the sport. Calisthenics rapidly became known for its flashy barflow, insane positional freezes and aesthetic bodies built without weights.

As calisthenics is presented to more and more people it is slowly working its way into the mainstream. It’s currently showcased in international fitness shows, and perhaps, will soon make it to an even bigger stage.

Why get into calisthenics?

Calisthenics is one of the fastest ways to build strength Unlike other forms of training, in calisthenics you are trying to hit skills rather than lift heavier or run faster. This is a gamechanger and has an incredible effect on motivation.

Traditional training can be great at first, but often there is no lasting satisfaction in this way of training. Although there are great results at first, results quickly plateau. Athletes end up training for maintenance after hitting their genetic ceiling.

In contrast, there are virtually no limits to what you can achieve with calisthenics. There is always something new to train, and once you get that, there is always something else that you can unlock. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination!

The fact is, training doesn’t need to be tedious. Training can be fun, in fact, there’s clearly something wrong if it isn’t! In calisthenics, as you’re training skills in short bursts, you’re expending ludicrous amounts of calories and building superhuman strength.

Calisthenics training is diverse and targets just about every muscle group. All the postural muscles are tapped into when training calisthenics; the arms are burnt up, the back and chest are smashed, and even the legs can be targeted through plyometrics and pistol squats.

The reality is that calisthenics athletes can do what most other athletes can do at a reasonably high level, but other athletes can’t even get close to doing what calisthenics athletes can do.

How do I get started?

Although calisthenics looks crazy hard, it’s important not to be intimidated. Everyone starts at square one. There are no short cuts in calisthenics and so it’s important to be patient. Results will come to those that are dedicated to the art.

In calisthenics it’s necessary to build a strong foundation. The foundation will consist of strength, body awareness, technique, and calisthenics shapes – that will serve as themes in your calisthenics journey.

Foundation of Calisthenics

A sound strength foundation is necessary and should include emphasis on the upper body and core. It is true that legs don’t play as much of a role in calisthenics, however they are usually trained in supplementation with the main training regimen.

Basic upper body exercises should include push ups, dips, pull ups, pike push ups, inverted rows. These exercises will develop your horizontal and vertical push and pull movements- basic body patterns that will give you diversified upper body strength.

Basic core exercises should emphasise both the abs and lower back and should therefore include both the hollow body hold and the superman exercise. These are static holds and will help develop body tension. Body tension is super important in calisthenics static holds such as handstands, planche and human flag.

Technique needs to be trained for skills separately, but a good place to start are basic swings, handstands, pull overs and skin the cats. Technical training should be specific to what you’re trying to achieve and should be tackled progressively. It’s important not to skip steps here as everything is connected. Good form is key to progressing!

Body awareness training is super important in recognising what positions feel like and will make you more comfortable with, for example, being upside or sitting on a bar. Again, the only way to get better is by doing. Great ways to safely train body awareness are to walk up a wall into a handstand or do a forward roll on the floor. While attempting body awareness training, it’s important to focus on your surroundings and where you are at any given point in time.

Calisthenics shapes are reoccurring themes within the sport. Just about every move in calisthenics involves a few key shapes. It’s important to know these shapes as they will help you understand correct technique. Common shapes include dish, arch, L shape and slight variants of these.

Beyond the Foundations

Having built a strong foundation it’s time to dive into what calisthenics is really about: barflow and static freezes. This is where calisthenics really begins. This is a whole new world, one that’s brimming with new and exciting aspects of movement and self-mastery.

In as much as basic strength training can be natural to you, calisthenics freestyle and statics will be a completely different ball game. Many people that make the transition have very little idea of where to begin.

This is where a qualified calisthenics personal trainer can really make a difference to your calisthenics journey. Not only can a trainer help you build a strong foundation quicker and with personalised guidance, but they can teach you how to safely train high level calisthenics skills.

Hiring personal trainers can really set you up for success. A trainer can provide guidance for training, diet, sleep, rehabilitation; they can spot you, give you progressions and speed up your results.

Why not hire a professional that can answer all of your questions instantly with the correct information? Start your calisthenics journey on the right foot.