What is calisthenics?
The term calisthenics originates from the Greek words kallos, meaning 'beauty', and 'stenthos', meaning 'strength', and has evolved to mean 'the beauty of strength'. In essence calisthenics consists of full body exercises that utilise minimal apparatus and rely upon using one’s own bodyweight for resistance.
Calisthenics cannot be defined as a single activity; it encompasses all disciplines that utilise one’s own bodyweight. As such, calisthenics could be yoga, gymnastics, martial arts, street workout, parkour or dance… the list is endless. One of the greatest qualities of calisthenics is that it can draw upon any form of bodyweight movement, allowing the individual to incorporate skills and training techniques from an endless pool of activities.
As a result, when offered up against more traditional gym-based activities, calisthenics can be seen as a freer, more expressive and organic form of exercise. You could be pushing, pulling, bending, jumping, swinging, crawling and everything in between. Calisthenics ultimately provides a form of training that enhances your ability to use your bodyweight effectively, build functional strength and unlock your full physical potential.
- Introducing calisthenics into your life can bring many benefits:
- Calisthenics not only builds functional and useful strength, it can improve your flexibility and mobility as well.
- Calisthenics techniques will engage and improve your core strength, aiding posture and skeletal alignment.
- Calisthenics can be used to improve your motor skills such as balance, agility, reaction speed and coordination.
- Calisthenics are excellent for strengthening connective tissues such as ligaments and tendons, leading to increased joint stabilisation and injury prevention.
- Calisthenics can also be used to improve your cardiovascular fitness, improving the function of your heart, lungs and circulatory system.
Aside from the many physical health benefits, Calisthenics is great fun. It breaches the boundaries between challenging training and play, and encourages you to explore skills and movements that you would not find in a traditional gym environment.
In short, calisthenics training is refreshing, engaging and enjoyable. Calisthenics not only hones your physical capabilities within training but also enables you to be stronger, healthier and more mobile in everyday life.