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What is Calisthenics? Everything You Need to Know


If you aim to stay in shape, you must be aware of calisthenics as these exercises can help you in accomplishing your fitness goals effectively.

Calisthenics has its roots in ancient Greece, however, it came into limelight at the beginning of the 19th century. Presently, workout programs for officers of law enforcement, military staff, athletes and fitness enthusiasts incorporate calisthenic exercises to get in shape.

More interestingly, experts are also investigating if calisthenics can contribute to treating a number of different health conditions such as COPD, obesity, etc.

Get to know how calisthenics can benefit you and much more about it below:

What Are Calisthenics?

The origin of the word calisthenics is Two Greek words ‘kálos’ meaning beauty and ‘sthénos’ meaning strength combinedly.

Basically, it is the type of resistance training utilizing no apparatus but your own body weight.
Such type of exercises aims at improving coordination, agility, strength, aerobic conditioning, balance as well as flexibility.

Moreover, these exercises comprise of differing levels of rhythm and intensity and sometimes performed with handheld gears such as wands and rings.

Benefits of Calisthenics

Benefits of CalisthenicsGet to know what benefits calisthenics exercises has to offer you:

1. Build Great Strength:

This is because these types of exercises work out various of your muscles. In fact, it is amongst the finest approach for bodybuilding and is capable of boosting your strength.

Notably, exercises e.g., chin-ups, muscle-ups and pull-ups aid in building strength and endurance thus making a difference when performing bigger and more nerve-racking workouts.

For instance, pull-ups work out the muscles of your abs, shoulder, back, and arms. So, we can consider it an all in one exercise.

However, most calisthenics workouts put minimal stress on your joints and tendons in comparison to weightlifting. Hence, you are less prone to get injured due to working out this way.

2. Natural and Healthy Way to Lose Weight:

If you are highly concerned to burn that bulging fat, Calisthenics can be your best friend.
The reason why they can greatly help you in losing weight is that it takes a variety of your muscles to do these exercises. Thus, you become capable of burning more calories by doing calisthenics.

In addition to helping you in burning fat, calisthenics is also good for the health of your lungs and heart. Wondering how? By engaging both of your lungs and heart in physical activity, these exercises ensure to keep you alive and well.

As a whole, calisthenics is a healthy way to get that dreamy core and toned body.

More interestingly, calisthenics doesn’t ask you to follow a certain strict diet to become slim and smart. In contrast, just incorporating some of these exercises in your everyday routine is enough to give you optimum outcomes.

3. Cut the Need of Training Equipment:

You might want to maintain healthy body weight and shape but find it hard due to lack of the right equipment for training.

Or it is also possible that going to the gym is not feasible for you due to considerable distance or due to a jam-packed schedule.

In fact, having no proper equipment for training or being unable to go to the gym is demotivating. So, you might end up quitting to workout. However, you do not need to quit it at all since calisthenics is in your favor.

Actually, they are an effective solution allowing you to perform complete body workout by cutting the need for any equipment.

As calisthenics exercises are all about utilizing your own body and your surroundings as well, you can get maximum positive outcomes by making varied movements.

On the flip side, weight-based exercises need using dumbbells and/or another kind of weighted equipment for performing movements of strength-training.

At least temporarily, both the weight-based and calisthenics exercises yield the same physical outcomes according to findings.

4. Optimum Workout Choice for The Sick and Elderly:

If you are ill, overweight or an older adult, it is definitely intimidating for you to use that weighty equipment for resistance training. Agree or not?

On the other hand, some simpler exercises e.g., calisthenics for bodyweight often appear far more workable. Right?

Notably, calisthenics exercises can fight against frailty and weakness as well as their devastating consequences according to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Adding to it, doing these exercises regularly aid in strengthening your muscles as well as the preservation of bone density, vitality, and independence as you age.

This is what makes calisthenics an optimum workout choice for elderly and frail females.

5. It Offers More Creativity and Fun:

Following the same routine of workout daily is truly boring and thus can be demotivating at times. As a matter of fact, we all want to change and escape the monotony. Don’t we?

This is where calisthenics appears as a creative and more interesting approach. By providing you with so many options of exercises, calisthenics are indeed motivating and fun. You can combine these exercises with a variety of activities as well as personal challenges.

Note: In order to make this kind of physical activity more engaging, do it with a workout buddy. In this way, you both can reap the maximum possible benefits of your workout.

6. It’s a Perfect Blend of Both the Anaerobic and Aerobic Exercises:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that the percentage of people (including 18 years old, adults and elderly) who keep with the Physical Activity Guidelines for both muscle-boosting and aerobic activity is just 21.7%.

With this regard, Calisthenics has the edge over other fitness activities as it incorporates both the anaerobic and aerobic activities. On the flip side, most of the weight-based exercises tend to include only anaerobic or aerobic exercises.

7. Some Other Compelling Benefits:

Here are some additional benefits that will compel you to go for calisthenics:

  • You do not need to pay any cost of membership at the fitness center.
  • You eventually become leaner and stronger.
  • You have the freedom to do it anywhere and anytime.

How to Start Calisthenics?

Indeed, starting calisthenics is enthralling yet challenging at the same time. The most basic level of calisthenics is fundamental patterns of human movement.

As per a calisthenics expert Matt Fox, you require getting acclimation to the following exercises in order to start calisthenics:

  • Chin-Ups
  • Squats
  • Pull-Ups
  • Push-Ups
  • Lunges
  • Dips
  • Handstands

In addition, there are various other exercises also but they are just the advanced form of calisthenics and mainly suitable for intermediate to expert level individuals. You can also perform the advanced level exercise once you master the basic calisthenics exercises. It is essential to keep you in shape as well as for the prevention of injuries also.

Nonetheless, whatever exercise you perform, always start with baby steps and perform in moderation.

Calisthenics for Beginners

If you have finally made up your mind to begin these muscle-gaining exercises, you need to consider a few things first.

Keep in mind that calisthenics exercises can be result-yielding when you follow a proper workout routine.

Lifting the weight of your own body engages most of your parts of the body, therefore, calisthenics is amazingly helpful to become fit as a fiddle.

What’s more, you can perform these exercises at home, beach or park regardless of which place you are.
Pondering over what exercises you should perform as a beginner? Get to know the answer below:

Calisthenics Workout for Beginners

Calisthenics Workout for BeginnersThe following calisthenics workout for beginners takes in various body parts to work out your full body:

  • 10 Pushups
  • 10 Lateral Lunges (10 for each side)
  • A One- minute Planking
  • 10 Squats
  • 20 Crunches

Above all, these exercises do not require any machinery or instrument, thereby, simplifying your workout to the maximum.

Note: Do these workout circuits thrice with having a break of 30-seconds between each set and a break of 3-minutes between repeating each circuit.

To facilitate you further, I am going to give a sample calisthenics workout plan below.

Calisthenics Workout Plan for Beginners

Here is a one-week Workout Plan for Beginners.

Day Cycles Exercises Reps
Monday 4 Squats


Pike Push Ups


Laying Down Leg Raises

Max Moutain Climbers


Note: Hold it for half a minute






20 Per Leg


Tuesday 4 Jump Squats

Leg Raises



Australian Pull-Ups


Close Hand Chip Ups








Wednesday Rest Day Rest Day Rest Day
Thursday 4 Mountain Climbers

Wide Push Ups

Second Plank

Second Wall Sit


Second Superman Hold

Clap Push Ups








Friday 4 Second Mountain Climbers

100 Meter Run

Second Alternative High Knees


Second Jumping Jacks

Push Ups

Second Plank








Saturday 4







45 Second Walk
15 Second Sprint

1hr 30sec Walk + Rest
30 Second Sprint

15 Second Sprint
45 Second Walk

1hr 30sec Walk + Rest
30 Second Sprint

Sunday Rest Day Rest Day Rest Day

Key Takeaway:

You need to keep into consideration the timing of doing any kind of exercises. If you want to get the most out of your physical activity, doing it on an empty stomach can do the magic. However, having a light pre-workout snack can supply your body with the energy boost you require to do intense training.

Moreover, engaging in any kind of exercises in the evening hours can affect sleep quality as it makes you too active to sleep at night. For that reason, try taking part in physical activities mostly in the daytime and in the early hours to feel energetic all day long.

Apart from that, do not forget to take rest between each circuit and after every 2 days of an intense workout as it is required for recovery.

On the other hand, if you do not take adequate rest, you may have to bear devastating health consequences.

Wrapping It Up

Apparently, Calisthenics exercises enhance physical performance in the same way as training exercises based on weights.

It is an effective and effortless way to shed extra pounds and that too without not paying close attention to your diet.
Over and above that, calisthenics is easily doable even by older adults, people with any kind of illness and those having additional body weight.

One of the best aspects about calisthenics is it incorporates minimum to no additional apparatus instead let your body do all the work.

However, you need to be persistent and determined in order to achieve actual and lasting results.

So, be in the best of health by adding calisthenics to your fitness regime. You can start it from today even from the very moment.

Eventually, it will worth making efforts to achieve a healthier, longer and smarter lifestyle.

Images Credit: pexels.com


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