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Using heavy training equipment isn’t the only way to achieve your ideal figure. Calisthenics is a low-resistance exercise that only requires your body weight for most activities with different levels and rhythms.
It’s an old form of exercise from Greece that became popular in the 19th century. Today it’s a warm-up or cool-down routine and training for athletes, police, military, and gym goers. Studies also support that calisthenics helps improve and maintain good physical and mental health for older adults, making it the perfect training for those in their golden years.
Continue reading to find out why calisthenics is a great alternative to weight exercises for people looking to get in shape.
Table of Contents
- Will I Lose Muscle Doing Calisthenics?
- Will Calisthenics Make Me Bulky?
- Why Are Calisthenics Guys/athletes So Skinny?
- Why Is Calisthenics So Hard? Especially for a Beginner?
- Is Calisthenics Enough?
- Sweaty Hands Are Messing Up My Calisthenics. What Can I Do?
Will I Lose Muscle Doing Calisthenics?
Yes, many people lose some of their muscle gains when they switch from heavy exercise to calisthenics. However, results still vary depending on the individual. Calisthenics is a beneficial exercise that helps strengthen muscles and improve flexibility and coordination. But if it isn’t done right, there will be adverse effects.
Often, an older gym goer will switch to bodyweight exercise because of its portability and efficiency. It’s also good for their joints. But when they switch modalities, they completely change their program. Completely modifying the whole program also adjust how their muscles work, causing muscle loss. But it can be reversed with a good nutrition plan, an exercise routine that targets most muscle groups, patience, and light equipment.
You must have the right program if you want to maintain your current physique while trying calisthenics. Like in other exercise routines, you have to focus on a goal and create steps to help you reach those objectives.
Will Calisthenics Make Me Bulky?
Yes, you can get bulky with calisthenics. It’s important to know that your body won’t differentiate whether you use your body weight or exercise equipment during your training.
All your body cares about is how you did your drills or exercises. You can be a bodybuilder with calisthenics as long as you know how to build muscles.
In most cases, calisthenics can help you gain at least two pounds of muscle in a month. That’s 24 pounds of muscle in a year of training. If you’re a beginner, here are some calisthenics exercises that will help you build those muscles:
Combining these exercises with proper diet, rest, and adding one rep to each session will improve your upper and lower body muscles. It’s because calisthenics targets multiple muscle groups in the body at the same time.
Additionally, this bodyweight exercise requires a high volume of movements, allowing your body to burn more calories resulting in lower body fat and faster muscle definition.
Why Are Calisthenics Guys/athletes So Skinny?
People who do calisthenics, especially athletes, are not “skinny” but “lean” with higher muscle tissues and lower body fat. This is because resistance training relies on limited body weight in calisthenics. It makes it challenging to improve muscular fitness as you progress through the program. Plus, calisthenics is designed to make you as lean as possible.
Most calisthenics athletes prioritize physical strength and ability over body size and aesthetics. Athletes need a well-balanced body with a strong core and an excellent connection to gravity versus bodybuilders who train to improve their appearance.
Calisthenics athletes prefer to be skinny and go on diets to efficiently train with low to medium exercises and prepare their bodies for more challenging movements. It means that the lighter you are, the easier you’ll manipulate your body and perform more complex drills.
If you’re “skinny” but want to be “lean,” then calisthenics is a good exercise for you. Fitness experts say skinny people can gain muscle more easily than overweight ones because they don’t have as much body fat. But if you have a high metabolism and don’t want to be skinny, eating foods rich in calories and protein helps.
Why Is Calisthenics So Hard? Especially for a Beginner?
Calisthenics is an exercise that’s easy to learn but becomes challenging as you progress to more advanced levels. Start with basic movements to prepare your body for the more strenuous workouts in the future. As the activities become more complex, you’ll need to maintain a healthy physical and mental state.
If it gets too difficult, you might be doing exercises that aren’t for your level.
Some strenuous calisthenics exercises are as follows:
- Superman push-ups
- 90-degree push-ups
- 2-finger push-ups
- Human flag
- One finger pull-up
- One arm handstand
- 2-finger balancing
- Enlarge the body
- Front and rear lever
Don’t worry. You can try these exercises once your body adjusts to the more manageable levels. It will take time to reach your goals, but so will other types of training. As a beginner, here are some tips you can use when doing calisthenics:
- See a doctor before trying calisthenics.
It’s critical to ensure your body can take a specific exercise. It’s also crucial in case you have body limitations you need to know. Your doctor visit will aid you in identifying the right difficulty level you should be in, including the routines you’ll have.
- Set achievable goals.
Calisthenics is still an exercise and requires patience and dedication. You should set realistic goals to keep your motivation and progress steadily throughout the program. It prevents disappointment or frustration when you don’t see the changes you want your body to display.
- Start slow.
It’s not a competition. Take all the time you need to let your body adjust to the training and gradually increase each exercise’s intensity level. This is vital to avoid shock or injury.
Is Calisthenics Enough?
The answer will depend on what is “enough” for the individual. In fitness training, you can compile experts’ advice or talk with other calisthenics enthusiasts to recognize your goals. However, bear in mind that every person has different physical abilities. For instance, you can’t just follow someone else’s drills and expect to look exactly like them. Additionally, you should also watch your eating habits.
Calisthenics is definitely enough if you’re after the cheaper costs of exercising. You don’t need a fitness instructor or a gym membership to do your workout. You can opt for a pull-up bar and install it at home, but that’s still cheaper than paying monthly gym dues.
If you want to try bodyweight exercises, look for the most convenient for you and decide how you’ll include them in your daily life. Then, be involved and learn what you can through watching tutorials, reading blogs, or hiring a trainer.
With calisthenics, you can achieve a body with:
- Strong and defined abdominal and lower back muscles
- A broader and thicker back
- Bigger and stronger forearm
- Well-defined and muscular legs
- Less body fat
- Leaner muscles
Sweaty Hands Are Messing Up My Calisthenics. What Can I Do?
A firm grip is essential for proper and safe exercise if you use bars for calisthenics. It’s safer to consult a doctor first to know why you have sweaty hands as it can be a sign of underlying health problems like diabetes, thyroid, heart problems, infections, etc.
Here are some home remedies to help you with your sweaty hands:
- Apply antiperspirant products, especially powders, to your hand to reduce moisture.
- Rub a paste made of baking soda and water into your hands. Let it sit for five minutes and rinse it. Baking soda is alkaline that helps reduce sweating.
- Use rubbing alcohol or wipes when you feel your hands getting sweaty to instantly clean and evaporate your sweat.
- Wear training gloves, which don’t just absorb the moisture in your hands but also provide stability and security for your hands and wrist.
Calisthenics is the answer for people who don’t have the storage space or the budget to buy workout equipment or gym memberships. It’s a cheaper alternative that’s excellent for developing your muscular strength, aerobic endurance, and flexibility.
Furthermore, anyone can do calisthenics. Begin with basic movements and slowly progress to more complicated ones. You don’t need a prior training background or a trainer — all you need to do is start.