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Benefits of bodyweight training and calisthenics: A beginner’s guide

Calisthenics, also known as bodyweight training, is a form of exercise that uses the weight of your own body to build strength, endurance, and flexibility. With no need for equipment, it's a popular choice for fitness enthusiasts looking to exercise anywhere, anytime.



Blonde fitness girl doing a sit up excercise in the gym wearing black active wear
Photo by Hayley Kim Design on Unsplash - https://unsplash.com/photos/eot-ka5dM7Q


Flexibility and Functionality of Calisthenics Training


Calisthenics involves a variety of movements such as push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, dips, and planks, and can be performed anywhere, without the need for any equipment.


The exercises target the movements we use in our everyday lives, such as pushing, pulling, and lifting, making bodyweight training a very practical and functional method of training.


Bodyweight exercises can improve your overall fitness, helping you to move more efficiently and with less risk of injury, both in and out of the gym.


Plus, it can be easily modified to suit all fitness levels, making it a great option for beginners or advanced athletes alike.




5 Reasons you should try bodyweight training


1 Convenience

Bodyweight exercises can be performed anywhere, without the need for any equipment. This makes it a great option for those who prefer to work out at home or on the go, without needing to worry about finding a gym or bringing equipment with them.


2 Reduced risk of injury

Since bodyweight exercises are based on natural movements, they are less likely to cause injury compared to exercises that require equipment. Plus, with the ability to easily modify exercises to suit different fitness levels, there is less risk of overexertion or strain.


3 Increased strength and endurance

Bodyweight training can help build strength and endurance, as it requires you to use your own bodyweight as resistance. Over time, this can lead to increased muscle mass, improved muscular endurance, and greater overall fitness.


4 Improved flexibility and mobility

Many bodyweight exercises involve movements that improve flexibility and mobility, such as lunges and squats. As a result, calisthenics can help to reduce stiffness, increase range of motion, and improve overall mobility.


5 Cost-effective

Compared to gym memberships or equipment, bodyweight training is a cost-effective way to get fit. You don't need to invest in expensive gym equipment, and you can perform exercises for free, anywhere and anytime.




Popular bodyweight movements and positions


While there are many options for bodyweight exercises, movements such as push-ups, squats, and pullups are typically considered the foundation for bodyweight fitness.


Push-ups

A classic exercise that targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps, while also engaging the core muscles.


Squats

A fundamental movement that targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, while also improving balance and mobility.


Planks

A core exercise that engages the entire body, especially the abdominals, lower back, and shoulders, while also improving posture and stability.


Lunges

A unilateral exercise that targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, while also improving balance and coordination.


Pull-ups

A challenging exercise that targets the back, biceps, and forearms, while also improving grip strength and upper body endurance.




Physical Health benefits of calisthenics and bodyweight exercises


Calisthenics offers many health benefits, including improved strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health.


Excercising multiple muscle groups at one time


These exercises work multiple muscle groups, leading to increased overall strength and muscular endurance.


Additionally, they can improve flexibility and mobility by promoting a full range of motion.


Reducing the risk injury


Calisthenics can also help to reduce the risk of injury by strengthening the body's stabilizing muscles and promoting proper form and technique.


Bodyweight training is generally considered safer than regular weight training because it does not require the use of heavy weights or equipment that can put undue stress on joints or increase the risk of injury.


Easily modifying bodyweight excercises to suit individual fitness levels also reduces the risk of overexertion,strain, or injury.




Can bodyweight training have mental health benefits?


While it is a functional and accessible form of fitness, Calisthenics and bodyweight training also offers mental health benefits.


Positive effects on mood


These exercises release endorphins, which are natural mood boosters that can help reduce stress and anxiety.


Additionally, because they can be done outside in natural settings, calisthenics can provide a calming and meditative environment that promotes mindfulness and relaxation.


Improved self image


Regular exercise, including calisthenics, has also been linked to improved self-esteem and body image, which can positively impact mental health.


Finally, the sense of accomplishment and progress that comes with improving at bodyweight exercises can lead to increased self-confidence and motivation in other areas of life.




How calisthenics and bodyweight training can benefit individuals who are already fit and active


For individuals who are very active already, bodyweight training can provide a new and effective way to challenge their bodies and achieve their fitness goals.


While it can be done individually, many gyms offer areas for bodyweight exercises, as well as workout machines that assist in bodyweight and calisthenics training.


Increased muscular endurance

Bodyweight exercises are typically performed for higher repetitions then traditional weight lifting exercises.


As the muscles repeatedly contract and relax, they build up tolerance to fatigue and can sustain activity for longer periods of time.


This can be especially beneficial for athletes or individuals who participate in endurance sports, such as running, cycling, or swimming.


Improved flexibility

Many bodyweight exercises, such as lunges, squats, and planks, require a wide range of motion, which can improve flexibility over time due to the nature of the physical positions.


By increasing one’s flexibility, it can help reduce the risk of injury and improve performance in activities that require a full range of motion, such as martial arts or dance.


These positions also require a high degree of body control and coordination, which improves overtime, and can possibly make physical every-day tasks feel less difficult.


Increased calorie burn

Many bodyweight exercises, such as burpees or mountain climbers, are highly metabolic and can help increase calorie burn during and after workouts.


Because bodyweight exercises tend to involve multiple muscle groups, they require more energy expenditure from the body to perform.


This can lead to a higher calorie burn compared to isolated weightlifting exercises that target only one or two muscle groups at a time.


This can be beneficial for individuals looking to maintain a lean physique or lose weight.




Is calisthenics and bodyweight training worth it?


Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned fitness enthusiast, incorporating bodyweight exercises into your routine can have numerous benefits for your physical and mental health.


With the flexibility to perform these exercises anywhere and the potential for endless variations, there's no excuse not to try it out and see how it can take your fitness to the next level.


Remember, the most important thing is to find a routine that works for you and keep challenging yourself to achieve your goals.


So, get moving and start reaping the rewards of bodyweight training today!


Ocean Pacific Gym and Wellness (OPG) offers an outdoor workout area right next to the beach that is perfect for calisthenics and bodyweight training.


Check the incredible amenities and equipment OPG offers!

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