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Did you know the best militaries in the world focus on what they call 'pound for pound exercises'? Since the days of ancient Greece, bodyweight exercises have been used to create strong bodies that focus on a supremely stable and powerful core.
Brief introduction to calisthenics
The basic idea of calisthenics is to perform workouts just using your own body. Another word sometimes used is "Street Workout". calisthenics workouts involve pulls and presses using your own body weight.
Calisthenics exercises do not require any special equipment. You can train whenever and wherever you want. Ideally, all you need is some floor space and a pullup bar. However, there are options for fitness equipment designed for calisthenics. You can get Calisthenics equipment from Warriorshed or Amazon.
This is where all of our strength comes from. It's also partly why all athletes are told to have excellent calisthenic performance. Because they will perform their best to support their own body weight. If you would like to be able to hold your body at a right angle while grabbing a pole, then here is your introduction to calisthenics.
Up, up and away
So how do you start?
Doing the basics like pushups, situps, pullup, and chin-ups is a good start. You should either do these at the gym or fit a pullup bar that fits where you can viably do the exercises.
Don't try to buy a cheap squeeze bar that pushes against the doorframe. It will be loose and unstable, and you could seriously hurt yourself.
These exercises are challenging, so do them in short sharp bursts. Keep the sets to around 5-8 reps and only do about 3-4 of them.
Perhaps the most fun of all calisthenic workouts is tricep dips.
When you have two horizontal bars, you plunge your body beneath their axis to create a right angle bend in your arm.
Then you push back up again and squeeze your horseshoe.
If you're a man, these will feel very nice as the stronger muscles finally get isolated and get a good burn. However, if you are a woman, make sure you have a step underneath you and just bend your legs to get the elevation.
Women generally do not have as much upper body strength, so take your time doing this, girls.
Packing it on
The great thing about calisthenics it's, that it's going to start showing immediate results. You're not just working out one muscle, but the core and a group of muscles every time.
Using something like muscle nation protein can help your pack on the muscle and become stronger quicker.
Initially, it's about building mass.
You will be focusing on maintaining that mass when you get up to the right bodyweight.
Yes, jogging is part of the calisthenics family. You are thrusting your body weight forward and landing on one leg with each step.
This is something you should not take lightly. Learn the proper way to run, so you don't get injured, and your legs become slimmer yet stronger.
You may also want to do activities like jump rope as, once again, you are thrusting your bodyweight upward, which gives your muscles a good squeeze.
Depending on your goal, there are different calisthenics training plans you should follow. Some additional examples of calisthenic exercises include
- Jumping jacks
- Trunk twists
Slowly but surely, you will be building a solid core, and one day, you'll be able to hold your entire body weight up as if gravity didn't exist. If you are not sure where to start or would like a little more guidance and a solid workout plan, checkout The Movement Athlete!