What Are Calisthenics?

Calisthenics is a form of physical exercise which utilises your own bodyweight to provide resistance for your muscles to work against. Like any form of strength training this offers an excellent means of burning fat, building muscle and enhancing your fitness.

The word calisthenics derives from the two Greek words; kallos which means beauty and sthenos which means strength. Many cultures including the famous Spartan warriors of ancient Greece are purported to have used calisthenics to achieve high levels of conditioning in their preparation for battle. Fast forward a few millennia and the dawn of social media has seen a powerful resurgence in this minimalist form of exercise.

Suitable for beginners and advanced athletes alike calisthenics can be scaled from very basic to extremely challenging by manipulating the leverage and biomechanics of certain movement patterns. Take for example the humble push up. A beginner could begin with basic incline push up variations and slowly work their way through a series of exercise progressions until they eventually earn the strength and skill to perform one arm push up variations and beyond.

Whilst I am not beholden to any one form of training it is hard to look beyond bodyweight calisthenics if you are looking for a simple means of staying fit and strong with minimal equipment requirements.