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Exploring our own physical potential by trying out new workouts can help us achieve amazing and incredible things with our body. We can develop greater strength by following the right advice and learning to move in new ways. Calisthenics is one such ancient yet unexplored form of exercise which directs us in achieving one's body strength goals while having fun. By definition, Calisthenics is a form of resistance training which uses bodyweight as the resistance primarily. In the beginning, itmight come across as difficult, however, the advice is to understand its nuances and its effects on your body.
Calisthenics as an exercise tool could help an individual achieve strength, hypertrophy (increase in muscle mass), muscular endurance, skill work, flexibility, mobility, balance and grip strength. As a training technique, Calisthenics is versatile and could be divided into six parts:
Workout which involves pushing the body away from the surface or an object like push-ups targeting chest, shoulders, triceps are some push exercises. If someone is unable to do a push-up, they can try the wall push-up or incline push up which are easier for beginners. However, these variations would over time build strength and lead a person to be able to do full push ups or clap push ups
All the exercises which involve pulling the body towards an object and target back and biceps primarily can be clubbed under this category. Even in these movements, one could use regression techniques to do easier movements first to build strength and progress to tougher exercises
Training lower body is extremely important and should be a part of Calisthenics routine. Workout routine including squats, lunges, lateral lungs etc are helpful and with time one can move to harder exercises like pistol squats and explosive jumps
Also known as Chakrasana in Yoga, this workout helps strengthen glutes and hamstring which builds posterior chain strength, stability, and mobility
A crucial part of Calisthenics which is involved in all movements to provide stabilization and control to the body and exercises like leg raises, crunches, twists are part of it
Static holds are one of the famous parts of Calisthenics wherein an individual holds the body in a position which requires isometric strength and body control. Exercises like the human flag, handstand, and planks are a part of it.
We have listed a few foundational beginner exercises and instructions which can help you in understanding Calisthenics.
It is important to learn the form and technique well before progressing to the next part. Use of regression and progression techniques in Calisthenics can help individuals of all skill levels, be it beginner, intermediate, advanced, get better in movements.
(This article is authored by Sheikh Nadir Siddiquee, Head of Placements, Corporate Relationships, Faculty, Calisthenics Trainer Course Co-creator at Institute of Nutrition and Fitness Science)
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