Walk through any park in Amsterdam, and you will see people hanging horizontally from a pole. Or you see them pull themselves up countless times without any effort. There is a good chance that this person practices calisthenics, a physical sport that focuses on training with your own body weight. And that makes you strong. Very strong.
Training with your own body weight, does that sound familiar? Could be right. Last year we wrote an article about functional training: training that does not necessarily focus on a physical goal, but improving exercise. Calisthenics takes this one step further. It is a challenging way of moving because strength, stability and mobility are combined.
The benefits of calisthenics
Getting your body fit with calisthenics has a number of advantages over the busy gym.
1. You train outside
We already mentioned it at the beginning of the article: calistenics is often practiced in parks. So nice in the open air. Any gym goer can confirm that it can sometimes be quite stuffy in the gym. Training outside is (literally) a breath of fresh air. Unless it rains, but then you can always move your training to the gym.
There are many places in the Netherlands that are specifically intended for calisthenics training. It is clear that this branch of sport is popular: the number of calisthenics parks in the Netherlands has increased tenfold over the past 5 years. There are, according to the website CalisthenicsWorld currently about 320 can be found in our country. Here you will find a park near you.
2. Good for your immune system
Your immune system benefits from being outside a lot. For example, your body absorbs more vitamin D when you train in the sun than when you do it indoors.
3. You don’t need expensive fitness equipment
No dumbbells, no barbells, no machines, no bench, no squat rack. To practice calistenics, you basically only need your own body. Okay, a bar to pull you up is a nice addition to your training. But don’t you have it? You can also put together a good workout with air squats, burpees and sit-ups.
4. It’s cheap
Add it up: you don’t train in a gym and you don’t have to buy expensive fitness equipment, so it won’t cost you a red cent. The only thing you have to put down some money for is sportswear. But you probably already have that in your closet.
5. Also for beginners
Are you a beginner in sports? Calestenics is also suitable for you, because you have exercises for every level. Can’t do a pull-up yet? Then focus on an air sqaut or sit-up first, and work your way up to a pull-up later. Can you pull yourself up ten times already? Then there are plenty of other challenging exercises to think of. In short: this sport is for every level.
This is how you start with calisthenics
Have you become enthusiastic about this way of training your body on your own body weight? You can of course run straight to the park to do a few pull-ups there, but you’d better be inspired by a training schedule for beginners.
We recommend the videos of the Dutch brothers Michael and Yannick. About five years ago they made the switch from strength training to calisthenics. Now they help people with the same ambitions.
One last important note: even with this way of training, sleep and food are extremely important to allow your muscles to recover. Therefore, focus on protein-rich meals, get at least 8 hours of sleep and do not train every day. This way your muscles recover the fastest, and you are ready for a new workout without annoying injuries.
6 myths about strength training to forget as soon as possible
Seen a mistake? Mail us. We are grateful to you.
Calestenics WorldMen’s Health
Reply to article:
5 benefits of calisthenics: exercising outside on body weight