When I look at many popular physical fitness training programs I am often shocked at the overwhelming absence of bodyweight calisthenics exercises.
Do you really need a costly gym membership and access to all the shiny machines or expensive equipment and magic powders to improve strength, conditioning and fitness?
Bodyweight calisthenics exercise is one of the most versatile, effective and beneficial training methods available to both the serious athlete and non-professional fitness enthusiast.
1. Bodyweight Calisthenics Can Be Done Anywhere
You don't need expensive gym memberships or costly equipment to benefit from bodyweight calisthenics... you have everything you need right here and now.
Indoors or out... there are a multitude of bodyweight calisthenics exercises that you can perform to greatly improve strength, conditioning and fitness.
2. Bodyweight Calisthenics Are The Perfect Place To Start
If you are just starting a physical fitness training program... bodyweight calisthenics are the perfect place to start.
Bodyweight calisthenics will prepare you with a physical base from which to effectively and safely add more advanced resistance training.
Learn how to control the weight of your own body first before exploring other training methods.
3. Bodyweight Calisthenics Can Be Adapted For Any Fitness Level
There are many variations to bodyweight calisthenics exercises... giving you the ability to make them easier or harder.
This is why they are great for beginners as well as seasoned fitness enthusiasts.
4. Bodyweight Calisthenics Train Natural Body Movements
Often, resistance training methods do not directly improve movement patterns that are naturally used in everyday life... but this is not the case with bodyweight calisthenics.
Fitness excellence is often measured by your ability to control the movements of your own body... and not your ability to control the movement of an object.
Train the way you naturally move to see more physical improvements applicable in the real world.
5. Bodyweight Calisthenics Can Improve Muscular Strength, Power And Endurance
Depending on the exercises used, the reps and sets and the intensity... you can effectively target strength, power and endurance separately or collectively.
Vary rarely are the challenges of sport, work and life one dimensional... but rather a combination of strength, power and endurance weaved together.
Bodyweight calisthenics are a great way to train all three and the seamless flow from one ability to another.
6. Bodyweight Calisthenics Can Simultaneously Improve Strength And Cardiorespiratory Endurance While Burning Fat
When most of us participate in a fitness training program we want to improve strength and cardiorespiratory endurance... and simultaneously burning off unwanted fat.
Bodyweight calisthenics can do all three... in the same workout.
By varying the exercises, stresses and intensities of your workouts you can effectively and efficiently get stronger, better conditioned and leaner.
Don't let the simplicity of bodyweight calisthenics fool you... they are one of the best tools you have for the improvement of strength, conditioning and fitness.
And just because they look simple does not mean they are easy or ineffective... just try a one-armed push up, one-armed pull up of one-legged squat if you don't believe me.
Bodyweight calisthenics exercise should be the foundation for any physical training program... It is the perfect place to start, and should remain an important part of your fitness workout program as you add more training methods.
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Eddie Lomax is a strength, conditioning and fitness coach and founder of Optimum Physical Training. We recommend his book Unchained Bodyweight Workout.
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