When some people think of calisthenics exercise, they see young children jumping rope or old men working with medicine balls (or doing jumping jacks in an old-style gymnasium). The whole idea, even the word itself, seems to be a bit outdated, especially with all the advances in exercise equipment and gym technology. However, calisthenics can provide an extremely intense and thorough workout without the need to purchase a monthly gym membership or flashy, high-priced equipment. Below are some tips on how to approach your calisthenics workout and bring it to the next level.
One of the keys to keeping up the intensity during your calisthenics workout is to keep going without letting up or stopping. After performing a few warm-up exercises, you should be ready to jump in and keep up the intensity for the duration of the workout. The point of the workout should be to build aerobic stamina. If you’re constantly stopping to catch your breath and cool off, your body won’t be able to become accustomed to routine. So, keep going, even if it means that you have to lower the intensity at first. Keep your heart-rate up, and you’ll find that it gets easier and easier over time.
Build, Build, Build
As mentioned above, the main idea is to increase stamina. In order to do that, you have to have a more long-range, goal-oriented mindset. Initially, the high-octane and constant moving around will be difficult to sustain. However, if you’re willing to build from workout to workout and set attainable goals for workout length and intensity, you’ll find that you’re able to double your workload in a matter of weeks. The key is not to get discouraged or try to do too much too quickly.
With calisthenics, you’re in charge. You get to choose the exercises you perform and the order in which you perform them. So, be creative. Pick your favorite music that really gets you moving, and then crank up the volume. Let loose and lose yourself in your routine (and make it your own). No one says you can’t put a flourish on those jumping jacks, or clap as you jog in place, or put a little extra bounce in your squats or lunges. Putting in that little extra will only take you further on the road to building stamina.
Change It Up
You should always be varying your routine. Maybe go from jumping jacks to crunches to dips and pushups one day and then jogging to pull-ups to knee bends and lunges the next. One thing to keep in mind as that you should have your routines planned out ahead of time to avoid time-lag between exercises. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t fool around while planning things out. Maybe you can choreograph your routine to a playlist on your ipod so that the music crescendos right when you need that energy boost to get you through. However you choose to plan it out, make sure to switch up your routine in order to work as many muscles as possible and avoid boredom.
Calisthenics can provide a very fulfilling workout and allows you to really make your routine your own. As long as the intensity level is high and you’re feeling the effects, there’s really no wrong way to go.