The Best Calisthenics Workout To Shed Some Pounds

Getting into shape seems like a complicated process for a lot of people. You have to sign up at a gym, buy equipment for your home, and set aside special times to drive across town to get to where your workout is. In fact, there are plenty of workouts that are possible right in your home that don’t need any equipment other than your own body and the will to succeed. Calisthenics is the answer.

What Are Calisthenics?

Calisthenics are a type of vigorous exercise which incorporates many different exercises as one. Most of these exercises can be completed without the use of any specialized equipment. They are used for the purpose of building strength and stamina as well as flexibility. This is accomplished through using the person’s own body weight as a form of resistance.

Most people do consider that calisthenics tends to only focus on body strength building. This could not be farther from the truth. True calisthenics are an overall conditioning program which will improve your cardiovascular endurance very quickly. This is the part of using calisthenics which makes them ideal for shedding excess weight.

If you decide to use a calisthenic workout, however, you have to guard against their tendency to become boring fairly quickly. If you can find a routine that will not get boring too soon, it will be a great way to get a workout that will work on your entire body other than just the typical cardiovascular workout which focuses on your heart and lungs only.

Why Calisthenics?

The most common benefits of calisthenics cited amongst exercise enthusiasts are those derived by the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. But when you use calisthenics, you are working every muscle group in your body along with your respiratory and cardiovascular systems. This is part of the reason that people who are power-lifters are strong but they are completely unable to run a mile. They don’t sacrifice strength for endurance training at all. When you use calisthenics you are improving both your strength and your endurance levels at the same time.

What Kind of Exercises Are Involved?

  • Push up
    • Everyone has probably done a push up before, but I’ll go over it just to make sure that we’re all on the same page. When you are doing push ups form is more important than anything else.
      Lie on the floor face down, with your feet together and your palms on the floor. Keep your body straight and push yourself up. Control the descent back down to the floor to get the most out of this exercise. You want to come down, touch the floor with your chest, and go back up. No jerking motions, everything should be clean and controlled.calisthenics-workout-push-ups
  • Squats
    • This is another exercise that the vast majority of people do incorrectly. To do a proper squat, stand with your feet pointed at about 45 degrees and about shoulder width apart. Lower your body down, while keeping your back straight. Once your legs are parallel to the floor you will stand back up. The same rules about control apply here.calisthenics-workout-squats
  • Crunches
    • Crunches are simple. Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Perform a smaller version of a sit up, placing emphasis on keeping your lower back on the ground. It is a very small movement that takes a lot of effort, but shouldn’t involve a large range of motion or multiple muscle groups.calisthenics-workouts-crunches
  • Triangle Push ups
    • The same rules as regular push ups apply here, but your hands will be in a different position. For a triangle push up your hands will be directly under your chest with your thumbs and index fingers touching. The point of this push up variant is to work your triceps and upper arms more than a regular push up would.triangle-pushup
  • Lunges
    • Lunges are a great lower body exercise that can also help with your range of motion. Stand upright and simply step forward with your right leg and then bend both knees so that they form a 90 degree angle. Make sure that your knee doesn’t go over your ankle, though. If it does, you need to step farther forward when performing lunges.lunges
  • Chair Dips
    • Chair dips are a simple way to make use of things you have around the house. First, sit on the edge of a sturdy chair. Wrap your hands around the edge so that your palm is on top and scoot forward. Lower yourself down, while keeping your feet flat on the floor. Once your elbows get to that magical 90 degree point, come back up. This is harder than it seems once you reach a certain number of reps.chair-dips
  • Standing Calf Raises
    • Calf muscles are notoriously hard to tone and get in shape. Calf raises make sure that you target as much of them as possible so that you can have the best looking calves possible. So perform them, simply stand up straight and then raise your body up onto your toes. Pause at the top before slowly lowering yourself back down. This may be very difficult to do but it is an amazing way to get your lower legs into shape and look great. Doesn’t matter if you are male or female.standing-calf-raises

Suggested Calisthenics Workout

Try this workout to get a nice introduction to calisthenics.

  • Warm up: Run in place for 5 minutes

  • Push Ups: 3 sets to failure

  • Crunches: 3 sets to failure

  • Squats: 3 sets to failure

  • Triangle Push Up: 2 sets to failure

  • Lunges: 2 sets to failure

  • Chair Dips: 3 sets to failure

  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 sets to failure

  • Cool Down: 5 minutes jog in place

A lot of people look down upon bodyweight workouts like this, but the truth is that this kind of workout will get your whole body toned and in great shape. You will be using all your own body weight as your resistance. You can even cancel your gym membership if you get this workout down.

You aren’t going to gain muscle with a workout like his, but you can easily lose an additional 2 pounds a week by doing this three times a week. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday is a common schedule. Practice the moves on their own a few times before you attempt the full workout to make sure that you are doing them correctly. One last thing, HAVE FUN! You’re finally getting into the shape you want, don’t act like it’s torture!

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