Calisthenics is a great way to get into amazing shape, and you really dont need much to get started. You dont need a gym membership, and you dont need all that much equipment. Here is a guide on how to get started with calisthenics at home:
What are Calisthenics?
Calisthenics are exercises designed to improve motor skills, agility and strength. They’re also used for increasing stamina, flexibility and overall conditioning. Many calisthenics are performed without equipment, such as walking in place, push- ups and sit-ups.
Advantages of Calisthenics
For most exercises, all you need is yourself and the willpower to start a training routine. You can add pieces of equipment to enhance your workouts or increase the resistance.
You don’t need to spend a fortune to stay in shape with these types of exercises. Contrarily, gym memberships can cost you hundreds of dollars per year.
Start with free-hand exercises and add pieces like the power tower once you get used to the movements. This device enables you to perform multiple exercises like leg lifts and dips.
Takes Up Less Space
Some equipment pieces, such as the push up bar, are very small. Once you finish your workout, you can slide it under the bed or stow it in a closet.
How to do Calisthenics in Your Home
As with all body weight training, start your routine by stretching the muscles you plan to work that day. For example, if you’re working back, lie on the floor with your legs bent.
Lift both of them up, grab both knees and pull them toward your chest. Jumping jacks are another effective way to get the blood circulating before a calisthenics workout.
Setting Up a Training Schedule
Your training schedule will vary depending on whether you work your entire body or use a split routine.
If you train every muscle in one day, work them twice per week, which is standard for even weightlifters.
Train six or seven days per week if you split body parts up. For example, you can train chest and triceps one day, back and biceps the next day and finish the three-day cycle with shoulders, legs and calves.
Take the next day off or throw in walking or abs, then start your routine over again on Day 5.
Types of Equipment
You can also use a weight vest, which you can strap over your chest and shoulders. These vests enable you to increase the resistance for specific exercises.
For example, using vests for squats are much easier than holding dumbbells between your legs. You can also use them to intensify your walks or hikes.
Vests come in various weights such as 12, 20, 40 and 60 pounds. The heaviest vests can weight a whopping 150 pounds.
Specific Exercises and Reps
When performing exercises for various body parts, do three sets each for a maximum amount of reps, according to Bodybuilding.com. Maximum reps simply means to perform each exercise until you can’t do anymore.
Push-ups are the best overall exercise for developing your pecs. If you’re using the bar, get a good grip.
Inhale as you go down, then exhale as you push yourself up.
Place your feet on a stool to hit your upper chest muscles.
Dips hit your lower pecs for a more balanced look. When using the parallel bars, breath the same as when you’re doing a push-up. Use a stool to decrease the resistance, as this exercise takes some getting used to.
While dips helps develop your triceps, perform at least one other exercise to build mass. Grip a hand towel and pull it over your head, using the other arm for resistance. Then lower it behind your head. Switch hands. This exercise works the long head of the muscle.
Reverse Triceps Dip
Most towers have low bars where you can perform this exercise, which develops the lower triceps. Grip the parallel bars with both hands–with your feet fully extended–while facing away from the tower. Push yourself up, then lower your body back down.
Pull-ups are a great way to bring out the “V” in your lats. Some pull up bars enable you to vary your grips to hit different angles of the muscle.
Low Bar Pull-ups
This exercise works the thick part of your upper and middle back. Instead of pulling yourself up vertically, keep your body positioned at a angle, then pull yourself up and touch your chest to the bar. You can perform this exercise on most towers, whether you use an overhand or vertical grip.
Pull-ups with an underhand grip work the biceps.
Place your left hand on top of your right one, placing your little finger through the thumb and forefinger of your right hand. Pull your right arm up while using the left one for resistance. Switch hands and work your left arm.
While regular dips build shoulder muscles, you can develop the front, lateral and rear deltoids using two encyclopedias or soup cans.
Keeping your arms slightly bent, raise them in front or to the side of you to build your front and lateral deltoids. Bend at the waist and raise the cans to each side to work your rear deltoids.
Squats are the best way to build big quadriceps muscles. Bend your knees and lower yourself until both legs are parallel with the floor, then push yourself back up. Use the vest to add more resistance to your squats. Do calf raises to build your lower legs.
Perform leg lifts on the power tower to build your abdominal muscles. Vary the exercise by straightening or bending your legs.
Here is a good video for beginners:
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