4 Ways Calisthenics Are Superior to Free Weights
With a multi-billion dollar health and fitness industry that is constantly exploding with new secrets to weight loss and strength training, you would imagine that the only route one can take to a strong and appealing physique is heavy weight lifting. After all, most of us have been sold the idea of having big strong muscular arms and legs thanks to iconic bodybuilders, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, and Frank Zane. However, you need to realize that calisthenics are gaining more traction as a viable alternative to heavy weight lifting. Here are a few reasons why calisthenics are better than free weights.
What is calisthenics?
Also known as bodyweight training, ‘calisthenics’ stems from the Greek terms ‘kalos’ and ‘sthenos’, meaning beauty and strength. This means that instead of using free weights, such as dumbbells or barbells as a form of resistance to build strength and muscle, calisthenics focuses on using bodyweight to perform aerobic and muscular conditioning.
Common calisthenics exercises include push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and squats, and are considered as foundation exercises throughout the globe, particularly in military and army training.
Benefits of Calisthenics over Free Weights
One of the major perks of calisthenics is that is requires little or no equipment. This means that unlike in the case of heavy weight lifting, you don’t need to make a big investment in equipments, such as dumbbells, barbells, exercise benches, and other machines to start your own exercise regimen. In comparison, calisthenics exercises use your body as your primary source of resistance to perform most exercises.
Functional body conditioning
Ever wondered why US army cadets have to be able to perform a given number of push-ups and pull-ups to qualify? That is because such exercises are good for developing functional strength and endurance for everyday tasks. Calisthenics exercises, therefore, focus on developing lean body strength that enable the body to be agile and move with higher vigor and energy.
Can be performed anywhere
With heavy weight lifting, the reliance on equipments means that you have to perform exercises either in the gym or in your personal home-gym, both of which require a one-off or ongoing investment. However, in the case of calisthenics, you can perform exercises in almost any space that is large enough for your body to lie and move with a few feet of distance. If you are running late to get home because of work, you can simply get down on the floor and do some exercises in your own office.
Focuses on compound movements
The crux of calisthenics exercises is on compound movement, which allows different muscle groups to be targeted in a single exercise. Take push-ups for example. It not only targets your shoulder and arm muscles, but also your quad and core muscles. This enables total body conditioning and fat loss that is unparalleled in comparison with free weight lifting.
If you are looking to lose weight with minimal equipment and total body conditioning, calisthenics exercises are the way to go. For more information on personalized training programs, please contact us today.