What Exactly is Calisthenics?

Calisthenics is a type of arranged exercises made up of many different movements that are not complicated to perform. The majority of these exercises do not require complicated machinery or equipment. The majority do not require any equipment to perform the exercise. The intention of these exercises is to increase body strength and flexibility by using your own body weight as the weight and resistance.

Calisthenics began in ancient Greece and is liked to gymnastics, especially Greco-Roman gymnastics. These types of exercises helped to build their muscle and keep them flexible enough to perform the movements. Calisthenics was brought to the United States in the 19th century and was used to bring exercise to women. This then branched off to create physical education programs.

Many of the exercises that are calisthenics are common everyday exercises that people already know how to do. The majority of them are part of a traditional workout routine. Doing a few of these exercises everyday will help to build up your strength.  If these are done on a regular and consistent basis, you will start to see results soon.

Sit ups

Sit ups begin with the back flat on the floor, arms folded behind the head, feet flat on the floor with the knees bent. Slowly rise up off the floor bringing the shoulders to your knees while contracting the stomach muscles. Slowly lower back down to the floor. Be sure to keep the motion fluid to get the best result and prevent any injury. One time up and back down is considered to be one sit up.

Push ups

These are done with the body facing the floor, the hands shoulder width apart and on curled toes. Keeping the body in a straight line, lower yourself down until your elbows make a 90-degree angle. Then slowly raise yourself back up to the starting position. Keep your stomach muscles tight and your body straight. Be sure your movements up and down slow and fluid.  A single push up is done once you go down and back up.


These are great exercises for your legs.  In the normal standing position, step out with one leg. Lower yourself down until the knee of the front leg comes to a 90-degree angle. The back leg should be bent as well, but should never touch the ground.  Once you reach the 90-degree mark, rise back up and step back into the starting position. Switch legs and repeat the same movement.


Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. With your arms at your sides, bend down slowly as if you were going to sit on a chair keeping your knees in line with your feet. Most people bend their arms as they are going down as well to keep their balance.  Slowly stand back up to bring yourself back to the starting position. Once down and back up is one squat.

Calisthenics are a group of basic exercises that can be done without any equipment. Your own body weight is used to help build muscle and increase flexibility. Done as part of a regular exercise routine and a healthy diet, you will see results quickly.


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