Bodyweight exercises or so called calisthenics is among the oldest types of strength training.
The advantage of these sorts of workouts is that they build strength and endurance at the same time. That is why it is suggested even for athletes, but these sorts of trainings can help everyone to build the perfect body.
What is calisthenics?
The answer is simple, instead of using weights for the exercises, you use your own weight. That is all.
As thousands of examples proved, body weight exercises can help anyone to build muscle definition without pumping iron. On top of that, you do not need to buy any equipment or pay for a gym membership.
Within this category, you can find a wide range of calisthenics exercises and workout routines. You can also read useful tips and other interesting posts.
How efficient is bodyweight training?
Most of the people underestimate the efficiency of bodyweight workouts. They think the only way to build strength and muscle mass is possible by lifting weights.
However, that is not true at all. You can be very strong and look as good as if you were a gym goer. Just think about gymnasts or those calisthenics guys in the street. They make one arm pull ups or muscle ups as if their own weight was nothing for them. And for that, serious strength is required for sure.
OK, you are not going to be as huge as those bodybuilders, but you will have incredible functional strength. And, that is far better than looking like a mountain.
But, with a proper diet, you can be as ripped as those guys on the cover of the fitness magazines.
What are the benefits of calisthenics?
Firstly, these are natural moves to your body. If you lift weights, several exercises may put your joints and muscles in a state that is not healthy for them. Movements that we may never do in real life.
Also, most of the calisthenics exercises are compound ones meaning more than one muscle groups have to work together to perform the movements. As a result:
- The more muscles work, the more oxygen they require. Hence, these activities increase your heart rate, and that leads to cardiovascular benefits (and even fat burning).
- As these are compound moves, the different muscles learn how to function together. That leads to higher and more functional strength.
- Since these are natural movements, the risk of injuries is lower.
- And finally, you hardly need any equipment to do them.
To sum up, if you are skeptic about calisthenics, just try it. You will see it can be as a powerful as lifting weights (even better). I used to pump iron for many years, then I turned to it, and it was a great decision. I keep developing, it is never dull and I have never suffered any injuries yet.