What is calisthenics?

Calisthenics for women or men is a muscle mobility technique that has managed to transcend time, reinventing itself to enter the fitness world and provide people with an alternative to exercising at home, the park or the gym, to allow them to stay in shape. form using only body weight.

Calisthenics is considered a system of exercises that uses body weight to activate the larger muscle groups present in the human body. Thus, the strengthening of arms, abdomen and legs is achieved, while flexibility and coordination in movements are developed.

It is said that this discipline, unlike others, does not focus solely on the power of the athlete or his level of strength. On the contrary, calisthenics exercises consist of muscle movements that are as natural as possible, beginning with the well-known squats, pull-ups, dips for triceps, sit-ups, elbow push-ups, among others. 

Later, the person will be able to raise their level, incorporating another type of mobility to the calisthenics routines, for which a greater range of skill is required. These are plates, turns, jumps and aerial figures.

The evolution in calisthenics training will depend on how consistent the individual is in each of the practices. Likewise, the person must be careful in the execution of the movements, since, despite the fact that they will work with their own body weight, there is the possibility of generating an injury to the ligaments or to a muscle group. This, due to the lack of a good dynamic stretching prior to the start of training. Similarly, the athlete will have to be careful when making sudden movements that affect the tendons and joints.

Calisthenics: What is it and what are its benefits?

Before defining what calisthenics is and what its benefits are, it would be interesting to know a little about the origins of this system of exercises.

history of calisthenics

Calisthenics dates back to the 18th century, in the middle of the year 1785. During this period, Christian Carl André, Salzman’s French teacher, resorted to the practice of calisthenics, because the climate at that time was not favorable for students exercise outdoors.

A decade later, a book is published with the aim of differentiating calisthenics from gymnastics, highlighting the effectiveness of the calisthenics circuit not only in improving the muscular level, but also benefiting aspects such as the pedagogical and cognitive aspects of the practitioners.

In fact, calisthenics is associated with the exercise regimen of the well-known “American soldiers”. In addition, throughout history, this discipline has been used for daily training and preparation of some Olympic athletes, in the ski jumping modality.

Time passed and calisthenics remained low-profile, but it was in the 20th century that it once again acquired great popularity in a competitive way. In addition, thanks to young enthusiasts of this type of exercise, who during 2015 made a viral video with calisthenics tricks in a barbell park and calisthenics at home, this practice managed to become a worldwide trend, officially recognized by the College American Sports Medicine.

Now, regarding the etymological root of the word calisthenics, we have that it comes from the Greek “kalos – sthenos”, which translates into Spanish as “beauty” and “strength”, respectively. It is about the beauty displayed by the human body, when performing each of the characteristic movements of this discipline, which even manages to merge the action of the body with the mind.

What is calisthenics?

Calisthenics is a sequence of exercises performed by men and women, who use only body weight, leaving aside the incorporation of balls, ropes or weights, to raise the level of tension in a certain muscle group.

However, the elastic band is usually used by some athletes, because it decreases the intensity in some postures, facilitating their execution. Likewise, once calisthenics for beginners has been overcome, the element to be used to reach a more advanced level are calisthenics bars, which are used for the person to do exercises such as the human flag, aerial planks, among others.

benefits of calisthenics

There are many benefits of practicing calisthenics, among which we can mention the fact of working several muscle groups simultaneously, activating them and generating tension in them. This does not happen when attending a gym, where we give mobility to the muscles in isolation, depending on the machine used.

With calisthenics, not only is there evidence of a gain in resistance, agility and coordination in movements, but it is also possible to increase the volume of body mass and even burn calories.

Due to the different positions to be performed during calisthenics training, the posture of the back, shoulders, chest and neck will necessarily improve. The best thing is that this change occurs naturally.

Another beneficial aspect of calisthenics is that you can practice it outdoors or indoors. For example, if it is difficult for you to go to a park or gym, you can set up a small circuit at home.

Know the types of calisthenics

Like any sport or exercise system, the evolution in movements is progressive, which helps to gain resistance and prevents the generation of injuries to muscles and joints.

For example, those who are just starting out in this world should do routines of squats, push-ups, pull-ups and traditional abdominals that, together, will allow the process of eliminating accumulated fat to begin, while the muscles become stronger and grow. In the same way, you can do a calisthenics diet, to accelerate these mentioned processes.

In a second stage is static calisthenics, in which the person will begin to perform exercises that are more demanding for the body. Among them we can list the calisthenics plank, flag, calisthenics abdominals, L sit, front lever, among others, for which greater coordination is required when executing the movements. Likewise, it is necessary to have knowledge about the respective technique to be used, since, otherwise, an injury could be generated.

Finally, there is dynamic body calisthenics, which is performed on a bar system. In this way, the person will make turns, jumps from one bar to another, swings and endless movements, since at this stage the imagination plays a very important role. Likewise, it is required to have defined the technique, maintain an adequate level of discipline and, of course, have great resistance in the arms, legs and abdomen.

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