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Basic Calisthenics: Fitness Made To Order

Dec 5, 2007
Basic calisthenics, you know what I mean right? Well, if you're old enough to remember Physical Education Class (sadly, this is dying out these days), ever played a sport or been in the Military, you know exactly what I mean. Basic calisthenics are the exercise method of choice to build strong, conditioned bodies with little or no equipment.

Unfortunately, in today's world with expensive gyms full of shiny equipment and the fitness industry marketing "quick", "easy" fitness gimmicks, bodyweight calisthenics are often overlooked. In my opinion, this is a big mistake.

You would think bodyweight exercise would be the most widely used form of exercise because of its accessibility, versatility and effectiveness. After all, bodyweight calisthenics can be used by complete beginners all the way up to elite athletes to improve performance, heath and physique. But, many men and women have been convinced (brainwashed) that basic calisthenics pale in comparison to other forms of training.

But I insist:

Basic calisthenics should be the starting point for any physical training program, and should remain an integral part of your exercise program.

There is a place for calisthenics exercise in everyone's exercise program, ranging from being the full workout program to being a part of the over-all workout plan. Your body has always been, and will always be, the greatest tool for improving fitness, burning fat and building a strong, lean, athletic body. So, let's take a look at some of the ways you can start using basic calisthenics today!

Basic Calisthenics Make An Excellent Warm Up

Before you start any physical training, a proper warm up should be performed. And, in my opinion, there is no better warm up for every type of physical activity than bodyweight calisthenics. There is no other activity that can prepare your body for the multitude of movements of sport, work and life quite like bodyweight exercise.

Basic Calisthenics Make A Great Full Body Workout.

You can use bodyweight exercise to improve upper body, lower body and core strength and endurance. Plus, the rhythmic nature of some calisthenics makes them excellent heart and lung workouts. So you can get a true full body workout which includes all muscle groups and the cardiorespiratory systems. And the best part, you don't need any equipment!

Mix Bodyweight Exercises With Other Forms Of Training

Just because you use some other form of training, like dumbbells, barbells and machines, doesn't mean you shouldn't mix in some calisthenics as well. Just think about it. The challenges of sport, work and life require moving the weight of your own body, moving other objects or moving your own bodyweight and other objects. You should train accordingly by mixing bodyweight exercise and weighted resistance.

You Can Do Bodyweight Cardio Intervals

At the end of most people's workout, they do some "cardio". Unfortunately, this often means zoning out on the treadmill or exercise bike while reading a magazine or watching the T.V. I suggest you pump up the intensity by throwing in some Bodyweight Intervals. Every once in a while, jump off the bike or treadmill and do some basic calisthenics. This boosts the intensity of your workout by breaking your breathing and heart rhythms, ultimately providing a better workout.

So, I've just given you four great ways to incorporate basic calisthenics into your workout program. Bodyweight exercise should be a part of your workout regime, or used exclusively. Start using the gym you were born with today!
About the Author
Coach Eddie Lomax, author of Workout Without Weights has put together a bodyweight training program that can be used for beginners, intermediate and advanced trainees! Start today!
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