Whenever you mention the term calisthenics people often assume that it is some “trendy new way” of working out. However that is certainly not the case. The word calisthenics dates back thousands of years and originates in ancient Greek, derived from the word kalós, which means “beauty”, and the word sthénos, which means “strength”. Nowadays it is generally agreed that calisthenics involves strength training with bodyweight exercises and without the aid of external equipment. The training itself revolves around using your own bodyweight under gravity as the resistance to build a strong, functional and aesthetically pleasing body.
Calisthenics is a very beneficial form of exercise, especially if you are just starting out. The reason bodyweight training is particularly great for beginners is because it gives them an understanding of how it feels to move and control their own bodies effectively by learning natural human movement patterns.
Most exercises are compound movements which means that many muscle groups are engaged at one time. This provides a more efficient and comprehensive workout. The movements often focus on core training to develop trunk strength and stability, making them highly beneficial for people of all ages and fitness levels.
One of the most appealing perks of performing bodyweight training is the safety element, especially as we get older. Calisthenics is often considered safer for our bodies and less demanding on our joints and tendons compared to weight training. The risk of injury is lower as you are only using your own bodyweight instead of external forces such as free weights or weighted machines.
Another huge bonus is that calisthenics can be performed almost anywhere! This is contrary to conventional gyms, which require memberships and expensive equipment. Bodyweight training can be performed for free at home or at your local parks. To make this even easier for you we have created a park map showing calisthenics training areas located throughout Ireland.
You may not have realised it before but you could have been training calisthenics throughout your life without knowing. Exercises including squats, push ups and pull ups are some of the most common ones used. Even simple actions that you perform in your daily life such as walking upstairs or getting out of bed would to be considered to be low level calisthenics. Despite bodyweight training being very simple in theory, its application can be challenging, especially higher level calisthenics with test the individual to their physical and mental limits.