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What is calisthenics

Surely, some people will still look like they don’t understand anything when someone uses the word calisthenics, but the truth is that many of the calisthenics have been practiced for a lot of years. In fact, calisthenics is one of those new sports that, in a sense, has been going on all your life. It may not have a name of its own, but calisthenics training is very much a part of fitness and sports gymnastics and is not really new.

The truth is that calisthenics are hitting hard in the fitness world and more and more athletes are joining this way of getting in shape. In the last two or three years, numerous calisthenics groups have appeared all over the world and, with the push of video content on social networks, what used to be a physical activity without a name that was done in a somewhat random way, has ended up becoming a true sporting phenomenon, with dozens of competitions worldwide.

But, before continuing, do you know what calisthenics are? In case you don’t have any previous references, let’s explain it very quickly: calisthenics is a sport discipline that consists of doing exercises close to fitness without investing in equipment. You don’t need dumbbells, weights or apparatus. To do calisthenics you only need your own body. The key to calisthenics is precisely that, using your own body weight to achieve great results. There are hundreds of calisthenics routines for different levels and based on different objectives. You can find a lot of information on the Internet and hundreds of videos on YouTube that can serve as a guide. We want to explain to you what the main characteristics of a good calisthenics workout are, what kind of workouts there are and how they can benefit your health, so you can filter through all this information and choose the workout that best suits your reality and your goals.

Calisthenics for beginners

Although parks have become popular as a great option for practicing calisthenics and that’s why, when we talk about it, we usually automatically think of calisthenics parks as the best place to do this kind of exercise, the truth is that calisthenics at home are a very good option. It goes without saying that even in your gym you can practice calisthenics. In fact, you can practice it anywhere! You just need a minimum of space. Obviously, doing calisthenics at home has some limitations, especially in exercises that require hanging from a certain height, but it is a great option to explore, especially if we are talking about calisthenics for beginners. This is our first piece of advice: don’t be afraid to start, find a simple routine that fits your reality, set yourself a clear goal and, if you don’t want to start at the park, practice at home.

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Calisthenics routines

Most calisthenics focus on more than one muscle group. For example, to do proper push-ups you need to use your whole body (not just your arms and torso). The reality is that push-ups activate our quadriceps, abdomen or buttocks (to name just a few examples). All muscles should work in harmony, improving our psychomotor system and coordination. This is our second tip: calisthenics are not about working the strength of just one part of our body, good calisthenics routines work all muscle groups and not only boost our strength, but also improve others in our body, such as flexibility and coordination.

In calisthenics, isolating the muscle (something that happens, for example, when we do weights), is counterproductive. We try to make the body work as a whole. This means that the body works in harmony, improving balance and coordination. Exercises such as pine tree or squatting on one leg are good examples of the importance calisthenics give to balance.


Calisthenics bars or parallels

Another of the most powerful benefits of calisthenics is fat burning. If we incorporate high intensity exercise into our routines, including for example calisthenics or parallel calisthenics bars, we will get great benefits in this regard. Something that, logically, will also help you improve your cardiovascular system. However, if we want to lose weight in order to improve our body fat index, we will need to rely on a good diet (or rather on healthy habits that influence all aspects of our day-to-day life: from food to rest). Although some people refer to a specific calisthenics diet for this group of athletes, at RAW Superdrink we always advocate a balanced diet based on legumes, fruits and vegetables. This would be our third piece of advice: adapt the intensity of calisthenics to your goals to achieve better results. For example, if you want to burn fat, high intensity exercises can help, but remember: you have to find the balance between high intensity and the reality of your physical condition. Be patient, move forward little by little and the results will come soon.

Risk of injury from calisthenics

Our last piece of advice has to do with injuries. The shadow of injuries is long when we talk about calisthenics, especially if we are talking about lumbar and hip injuries. There are two keys to avoiding injuries: warm-up and adapting the exercises to our reality. We insist on that aspect again, calisthenics are based on routines of a certain intensity that we have to control, if we force, if we want to go faster than our body can… we will end up injuring ourselves in areas that are especially difficult to recover from.

In addition, warming up is key in any sport but especially in high intensity sports. Any calisthenics routine that has a minimum of rigor and knowledge will always start with warm-up exercises adapted to the exercises that we will develop later.

beginner's calistenia

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