In an age of StairMasters and ButtBlasters, we’ve long departed from our most basic machine: the human body. The newly envisioned craze that’s on our radar-Calisthenics-is the art of strength training through natural body weight exercises.
Calisthenics is often associated with the 80s fitness movement of hair ties, leg warmers and Jazzercise. Their fashion may have been way over-the-top, but their method was right on point!
This form of body weight training focuses on gross motor skills, large movements that our body learns in our beginning stages of life—basically you don’t have to be a rocket scientist/part-time body builder to give this workout a go. By engaging your body in jumping, bending, twisting or kicking movements, you are able to increase body strength, fitness and flexibility. Speeding up your Calisthenics routine or switching up the moves even replaces aerobic conditioning.
Why is Calisthenics making a comeback now? Well, we just really miss the 80s. Also, there’s an overall trend in the fitness industry towards getting back to basics. It’s an invigorating feeling to be in control of your own body—how it operates and how it looks. The Calisthenics body is toned, muscular and well-balanced.
Most of the moves in Calisthenics will be very familiar to you. Here are a couple workouts that we want to highlight in case you want to test the waters:
The classic pull-up involves using a bar to pull your bodyweight upwards. This movement works your lats, middle back and biceps. Switch your palms towards you (chin-ups) and you’ll be engaging the forearms as well.
The basic two-handed push-up involves lifting your body weight up and down with arm movements. It works out the arms, chest, shoulders, back, abs and legs! We’d say this is a winner in our book.