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Calisthenics: They Do Your Body Good!

Posted Oct 31 2009 8:27am
Most health and fitness experts believe that calisthenics have a stronger longevity factor than muscles earned by using traditional weight and resistance training. Individuals who perform calisthenic exercises possess leaner, toner, and more attractive muscles than the puffed up muscular look one gets from doing heavy weight training. These movements utilize your own body weight, and  put minimum stress on your joints (if done correctly).   

      An example of these exercises are the pushups. These can be done in various formations, and the stronger you get, the more fun they become because you will start to add difficulty factosr, such as a medicine ball or even a one armed pushups (yes, like Demi Moore in G.I. Jane), but don't get too ahead of yourself so fast! . Start by using both hands/arms on the floor. Lie facing the floor, tuck your elbows to your sides(make sure they do not flare outward because that puts undue stress on the fragile rotator cuff muscles), make sure your hands are placed on mid-chest line on your sides. Push up with all your might. On the top position, hold  for about one second, then repeat! Do your most possible repetitions. I do not believe in maximum count for the number of reps for these, so if you can do 50 at a time, go for it. Then go ahead and do a set of your weight routine. Once that is done, head back and do another set of these. 

       Another form of Calisthenics is the pull ups. Indeed they are hard to do. If you are not strong enough to pull your own body, try doing these on the Gravitron machine at the gym (if available). If no machine, try to have a partner spot you by standing behind you, hands aroound your waist area.  These are done by holding onto a pull-up bar, wide grip. If you are a beginner, your palms should be in an underhanded position, and your grip not to wide. The movement is simple: Pull your body upwards until your chin reaches the bar. Once up there, hold for about 2 seconds, hen return to your starting position slowly. repeat the movement without flailing your legs or swinging. If you break your form, you should stop and take a small brek before you do this again. 

It's important to mention that if you feel any pain in any joint during any of these exercises, you should stop immediately and consult with our doctor.  You sould also remember that ther's a difference between the sweet, burning sensation that yu feel in your muscls when you exercise, and joint pain. The former is a normal sensation that is sought after by most fitness people, but thelatter is the biggest no no in the fitness world. Joint pain during exercise can lead to further injury and needs to be dealt with first before doing the exercises.

      There are many more calisthenic movements and exercises that are as beneficial and fun to do. You will see a leaner, stroner, and more define arms, pecks, and a radiant muscle tone!

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