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How To Do Calisthenics

In a related article entitled “What Are Calisthenics?” we went over the 2 main types of this particular style of working out. They included Aerobic and Anaerobic exercises and descriptions and example of both. Now, let’s go over how to do some of the more popular ones to make a routine of our own.

The following are descriptions of exercises performed by boxers, martial artists and other fitness oriented people who prefer the comfort of working in their own homes at their own pace, using there own body weight.

They are highly effective to sculpt, strengthen and tone and are fun as well.

-Ab Roll Outs:

Using the traditional ab-wheel (best purchased from an Asian market or sports store) start off in a kneeling position and roll out as far as you can feeling a deep stretch in your abs, triceps and chest, hold for a split second or two, then slowly draw the roller back to the starting position.

This is great for the arms, chest, lats, abdominal and back muscles. (if you have any interest in doing the spiritual abdominal exercises in yoga such as Nauli, you would have to give this up as it makes the abdominal muscles too tight. If uninterested in the spiritual, go right ahead and build you a 6-pack!)

-Close Grip Chin Ups:

Using a home chin up bar, a firmly fitted pipe around your house or a specially designed pull up bar, take hold of the apparatus, hands close together in an underhand grip. Pull yourself up, lean your head slightly back so that your chest nearly touches your hands. Lower you body back to the starting position. This exercise is great for the lats, biceps and shoulder muscles.

-Jumping Jacks:

Everyone should remember these from Physical Education Class! Just stand straight and then make a quick outward motion of your legs in a spring-like motion, while simultaneously raising the hands above the head to touch!

Pretty fun stuff!

-Leg Raises:

Using a chair or a bench, sit at the edge so your body is inclined to the axis at the back. Now lift both legs up in an upward motion while exhaling, allowing the body to curl up and then inhale and extend the legs while simultaneously pushing back so you are

completely straight.

-Push-ups:

A traditional exercise that has stood the test of time! It is designed to strengthen and tone the arms, chest and back. Truthfully, it has its origins in yoga! Start of in a plank position, arms straight, feet together and a straight body from head to toe and lower yourself till you almost touch the floor with the chest (ensure to keep the head tilted backwards slightly) and return to the starting position. It has several variations and they are briefly described below. They can also be executed using push-up bars for a more challenging effect.

Variation 2:

Widen your hands to about 6-8″ outwards and lower yourself, this works the outer chest muscles more. (In the first variation, you hands should be directly under the shoulders.)

Variation 3:

Have your hands directly under your chest forming a diamond shaped gap between them and execute the exercise as in the first 2 variations. This works the inner chest muscles.

-Reverse Push-ups:

Place a bench (chair) behind your back and grip its edges. Make sure your hands are about shoulder width apart. For a more challenging work out, place your heels on another bench at a level higher than the bench you are holding on to. Bending your elbows, lower the body as far as you can toward the floor, then push back, locking out your arms to work the upper triceps. (Aka bench dips, invented in the absence of dip bars mostly found in gymnasiums)

-Roman Chair Sit Ups:

Lock your feet under any of the following or whatever can suffice

1. A lowered portable pull-up bar

2. A firm bed or couch or chair.

3. A partner to grip your ankles and hold them in place.

Now fold your arms in front of you. Keeping the stomach tucked in, lower yourself to approximately 70 degrees from an upright position and now raise yourself back up and come forward as far as possible, intentionally flexing and crunching your abdominal

muscles to increase the contraction.

This is the first variation.

Variation 2:

In the second variations, upon raising yourself up make a swift twist first to the left and then the right and then lower back (this targets the oblique muscles and love handles)

-Sprinting Spurt:

Sprinting is basically an anaerobic exercise. While jogging, perform a few sprinting spurts intermittently for 9-12 seconds then resume jogging at a normal pace.

-Super Sets:

A set of two or more exercises performed in a row without stopping. The concept is after completion of a specific exercise say the push up, which engages your chest and triceps, to engage in another exercise say the leg raises which work your

Abs and legs while the upper torso is resting. A great way to kill time and push yourself!

-Wide Grip chin ups:

Take hold of the chin up bar with an overhand grip. Make your hands as wide as possible. Hang from the bar, then pull yourself up so that:

(a) The back of your neck touches the bar

(b) The front of your chest touches the bar, and then lower yourself slowly to the starting position.

Windmills:

Have your legs extended sideways as far out as 3-4 feet. Bend over and stay as such. Straighten your arms out to each side and twist so that you touch your right hand to your left foot. Your arm should remain straight and point at the sky, at the same time look up behind you. Repeat the same motion on the other side touching the left hand to the right foot.

So there you have it folks, some of the more common Body-Weight Calisthenics you can do in the comfort of your own home, hotel room etc without the need for expensive gym memberships or equipments.

Of course, there’s always yoga y’know….

To Health

Foras Aje

# # #

“Enter every activity without giving mental recognition to the possibility of defeat. Concentrate on your strengths, instead of your weaknesses… on your powers, instead of your problems.”–Paul J. Meyer

This article is written by Foras Aje, an independent researcher and author of “Fitness: Inside and out”, which provides tips on how to improve and maintain your health using all natural methods. For more information on these guidelines:

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One Response to “How To Do Calisthenics”

  1. greg says:

    haaser@alsatians.anaerobic” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    thanks….

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