The lost art of calisthenics
Calisthenics workouts gain popularity
Here at Muddy Plimsolls, we’ve been teaching calisthenics for a few years. And we’ve seen a great rise in its popularity. New clients come to us for a variety of reasons: weight loss, gaining muscle, or to develop more enery.
But amongst these clients there is some confusion as to what calisthenics is. For some, it’s pull-up bars and triceps dips on parallel bars. To others, it’s bootcamp burpees. And to others, it’s a gymnastics-based training system. Somewhere in between is the lost art of calisthenics, which is what we try to teach at Muddy Plimsolls. Our approach is to combine the best of all calisthenics styles into an effective training system in order to get the best results for our clients.
You might remember calisthenics from your school days. Out on the school field performing jumping jacks, sit ups and running round in circles. Although this may seem a rudimentary approach to fitness, it is a good start to building some kind of base level of cardiovascular fitness and endurance. But, as a lot of park runners are finding, just rattling off some push-ups and sit ups isn’t helping produce an impressive result. Just exhaustion.
Our style of calisthenics
Once a client can perform some basic interval training, we recommend that pretty soon after that they move on to higher level skills.
Firstly, it’s important to balance upper body exercise (everyone wants that t-shirt body) with lower body (the legs are the ‘engine’) and couple it with core strength. But in addition, one should add strength training plus work on balance, co-ordination and agility drills. This approach mixes up the abilities clients are learning, keeping sessions interesting and fun, and effective.
Using exercise equipment
Finally, Muddy Plimsolls training also introduces some basic equipment such as kettlebells and resistance bands. We may love calisthenics as a ‘do-it anywhere’ system of bodyweight exercises, but we can’t overlook the power and benefit of working with external resistance; that’s just simply sports science research good sense.
The lost art of calisthenics is to combine strength and endurance, upper and lower body and modern training techniques and knowledge. Then you have a training system that’s inclusive to all fitness levels.