Most people wonder why we do calisthenics exercises and they assume it’s either way too hard for them or it’s the same stuff they used to do in high school gym class. Obviously neither of these are true so let me clear the air for you.
First, I must mention that calisthenics exercises are body weight movements that are gymnastic in style, but not entirely. They are body weight movements that, as they become progressively easier for the practitioner, can be intensified by changing the angles ever so slightly. This change keeps you progressing toward defying gravity in what your body is capable of doing.
As much as calisthenics can be similar to your high school jumping jacks there’s so much more to discover. Like the countless ways to do a push-up or body weight squat. Mixing the incredibly difficult exercises like muscle-ups with easier exercises like jumping jacks and side lunges will increase your heart rate and burn fat while you build strong, dynamic muscle.
Don’t be afraid! This is a progression style of working the body out. Yes, some moves are impossible at first, but the progressive foundations of those movements will make you stronger. Try making a pushup hard by widening your hands a little bit at a time and you will see what I mean.
Things to consider when starting a calisthenics routine.
1. Warm up hands, wrists and shoulders. These are most often over used in life and will tax quickly if blood flow is constricted.
2. Work with your injures or imbalances. Don’t work against them, you’ll only make them worse and nobody wants that.
3. Start with the skill work first. Working things like balance and isometric holds is a great place to start a workout once you are properly warmed up.
4. Keep your rep ranges low. If you want to gain strength and make faster progressions keep those 3X5 circuits coming. If you can do more than that, make it harder.
5. Stretch! The thing that nobody has time for but that everyone should do. Stretching isn’t torture! It’s a great way to unload the muscle you just worked and further increase range of motion and blood flow. This will help you not be as sore and keep you injury-free.
Now that you know what to do, please join us in the gym at one of our classes or our next workshop (Handstand & Muscle Up Clinic with Mike Marchese)!
Or come check out our annual calisthenics games and see where your calisthenics can take you!
Maybe you can’t do any of that, you should train with us online! We can progress you no matter where you are in your fitness.