While many fitness enthusiasts aim for a body builder kind a of physique with increased muscle size after joining a gym, there are some who are not interested in muscular hypertrophy. Their first aim is to get fit and build relative strength. Now what is relative strength? It’s how strong you are for your size, indicative of an individual’s ability to control and move his body through space. And, their secondary aim is to build a lean athletic physique. So, if this is your fitness goal, opt for Calisthenics — the type of workout where you exercise using your body weight. Bollywood actors such as Varun Dhawan, Vidyut Jammwal, Shahid Kapoor and Hollywood actors such as Zac Efron, Stephen Amell are a few who’ve opted for this workout, which include exercises like sit-ups, push-ups, L-sit, squats, leg lifts, thrusts and jumping jacks.
Fitness experts Ilu Singh and Amaresh Ojha share the pros and cons of calisthenics.
1)Exercises such as pull-ups and muscle-ups don’t require expensive equipment. For calisthenics, you just need a pull-up bar, kettlebell and barbell, which are cheap and can be used anywhere and anytime.
2)They are one of the most effective ways to lose weight. Calisthenics build muscle mass and tone your body. Since the rest period in between exercises and sets is less, your heart rate is up, which burns off excessive fat in the body.
3)Since calisthenics build relative strength, they make your body flexible. Exercises such as the human flag, planche, superman-pushups and back liver are initially tough to execute, but once you get a hang of them, they make you agile and flexible.
4)The movements of calisthenics exercises are natural movements. Therefore, it’s beneficial for your joints to perform calisthenics movement. Also, chances of injury are quite less.
5)Doing the same weightlifting exercises in the gym can get boring. However, that is not the case with calisthenics. You can customise your workout, too. You can do this workout when outdoors.
f your sole aim of working out is to increase your muscle size, then calisthenics may not be for you. Calisthenics help your muscles to grow, but only to a certain point. The reason for this is that there are hardly any isolation exercises in these workouts, which target a specific muscle group such as bench press for chest.
However, the biggest disadvantage of calisthenics is that exercises for legs are limited. Certain calisthenics leg exercises like pistol squat build strength and stamina, but benefits for legs are more in body-building exercises such as weight squats and dead-lifts.