Calisthenics is a versatile and easy form of exercise that anyone at any fitness level can perform and enjoy. They can take on a wide variety of forms and can be done pretty much in any environment. The best part is that you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on equipment or a gym membership. Almost all calisthenics-based exercises can be performed using your own bodyweight as resistance. But, how much should you be getting? Is too much a bad thing?
Know Yourself and Your Condition Level
It’s sometimes too easy to bite off more than you can chew. You’ve got your end-goal right at the front of your mind, and all the hard work and effort it takes to attain that goal can too easily be placed on the back burner. When you make the decision to get fit, you must be realistic. If you haven’t performed any form of exercise in a number of years, you can’t expect yourself to be able to push yourself for hours on end without encountering major physical fatigue and soreness. Therefore, you must start out slow and build stamina.
Gathering momentum is probably the most difficult hurdle to overcome on your way to a healthier body. Start small, with maybe a half hour of brisk walking and then, after maybe a week or two, work in some basic cardio-based exercises like jumping jacks or jogging in place. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll be able to add to your repertoire.
Variety Is Key
As in everything in life, a healthy approach must include variety and balance. If you spend an hour a day performing the same calisthenics, your body will, in time, adapt itself to the routine, and you will hit the dreaded weightloss plateau, where your body will have learned to compensate for the effects of your workout. Hitting such plateaus can be extremely aggravating and are one of the top reasons why people don’t end up reaching their weightloss and fitness goals.
The best way to avoid falling into this trap is by constantly changing the exercises you perform in a given workout. So, if you perform your calisthenics routine, say, five times a week, make sure that you’re mixing up your exercises on each day. An easy way to approach this is list out a routine for each day at the beginning of the week. Then, once you’re ready to start on any given day, the workout is already mapped out for you.
Different Day, Different Muscle Group
Taking the idea of balance and variety a step further, you should also try to organize your exercise routine so that you’re working a specific muscle group with each routine. For example, you could concentrate on abs on Monday and Thursday, arms, shoulders and chest on Tuesday, and then legs on Wednesday and Friday. This will assure that each muscle group gets the rest and recovery the need between workouts to avoid straining or injury.
Though cardio-based exercises can be interspersed throughout every workout and should provide the core of your overall routine, concentrating on different muscle groups will tone muscle and, in the end, raise overall stamina and energy levels.