Initiation to Calisthenics: The key is to choose those exercises that are appropriate for your fitness and physical condition. But do you know the difference between Calisthenics and weight training? Indeed many activities that are part of this type of training are already within your routines. So what is the difference?
Both methods seek a global work, compared to analytical work (more traditional and based on isolating a muscle as much as possible) using our body weight as a load. However, Calisthenics aims to seek technical perfection in executing its movements, making these as aesthetic as possible. The difference then is simple: To Initiation to Calisthenics all Calisthenics exercises can be used with one’s weight; however, not all exercises with one’s own weight can be classified as calisthenics exercises.
Whatever your option, the benefits of both methods include the following, which can be attributed to a large number of autoloading exercises:
- Improve your coordination. Thanks to the type of movements that you must perform, you will better control your body in space. This will have a positive impact on your day-to-day, giving you greater agility and dexterity in movements.
- Increase your strength. With self-loading exercises, you will significantly improve your strength levels, increasing both your dynamic and static strength. If you regularly go to the gym, you will realize how demanding their exercises are; the muscles work as much or even more than in a standard fitness session.
- Provide your muscles with greater flexibility and range of elongation. A large number of injuries are due to muscle shortening or lack of flexibility. If we provide our muscles with a more excellent range of extension, we will avoid the happy injuries that make us stop and move away from what we like the most.
- Show off an extra-toned and defined figure. There is no hesitation that one of the objectives for which we do physical activity, in addition to the objective of health, is to feel well physically and to like ourselves. Thanks to the dynamic work and the aerobic components of these sessions, you will see how your cardiorespiratory capacity increases and your muscle tone and definition.
- Increase the quality of the muscles. The muscle gains you get with this discipline are balanced and progressive, presenting an adequate ratio between strength and resistance. This is of great importance when it comes to seeing gains in our level and athletic performance.
Strength training in this modality develops and improves our kinesthetic and proprioception control (control of movement and body position).
To increase the resistance of the exercises, the trick is to modify the points of support and body position. How? Changing the body’s function by varying the center of mass and moving it away from the support point. This will increase the force applied to the axis of rotation.
Today I leave you a short and straightforward self-loading routine so that you can do it practically anywhere. In some of the exercises, I go you variants to increase the intensity of the training a little more.
Table of Contents
THE CLASSIC: PULL-UPS
This classic can not be missing in our routines, whether Calisthenics or in the fitness room. The grip can be prone or supine. In this case, we choose the flat grip to focus the work of the dorsal muscles; in the other case, we would do it by enhancing the work of the biceps, although the lats would also be involved.
Perform 3 to 4 sets with about 10 repetitions in each case.
THE CLASSIC WITH RAISED LEGS
This exercise increases the difficulty of the usual pull-ups. To do it, you have to follow the guidelines of the previous one, taking into account that on this occasion, at the same time as performing the concentric or traction phase, you must raise the knees, forming a minimum angle of 90º with the trunk. However, the ideal is to carry knees to the chest. With this variant, in addition to the lats, deltoids, and biceps, we will be exercising the rectus abdominis.
Do 3 or 4 sets of about 10 reps.
TRICEPS BENCH DIPS
Rest your hands on a flat and elevated surface, keeping your body in front of the position of your arms. The exercise consists of flexing the arms until the triceps are parallel to the ground.
Do 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps.
This variant increases the intensity of the previous exercise. Rest your hands on the parallel bars and lift your feet off the ground, remaining suspended in the air. Once there, it would help to bend your elbows until they form an angle of about 90º. If you lean your body slightly forward during the exercise, you will involve lower pectoral muscles. Try raising your legs simultaneously as you extend your arms, making your trunk and legs form a 90º angle—more functional and greater global involvement of the musculature.
Do 3 or 4 sets of about 10 reps.
Another classic, dips are always a great alternative to the typical bench press. Position yourself as seen in the image, preserving a correct anatomical position of the back; for this, remember to activate all the core muscles. Make a deep flexion of the arms to parallel the body to the ground and the nose a few inches from it.
Do 4 to 5 sets of 12 to 15 reps.
This variant greatly intensifies the work of the classic funds. To perform this version, you must widen the legs’ separation and center the arm’s support that performs the leading work on the center of the chest. As you can see, the other hand serves as balance and additional support to carry out the extension of the arm.
Do 3 or 4 sets of about 10 reps with each arm.
You only need one step to exercise your calves. Remember to support the weight on the toes, directing the importance towards the inside of the foot. Hold that position for a second and begin the eccentric phase.
Do 3 sets of 10-15 reps.
JUMPS WITH FEET TOGETHER
Stand in front of a raised obstacle, with your feet apart, keeping both at the same distance as shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees slightly and bring your arms back to gain momentum. Then make an explosive gesture that lifts you to the height of the obstacle and make sure you land on both feet simultaneously.
Make 3 sets of 10 repetitions.