A great way to cultivate physical endurance is through calisthenics. An important key to all physical fitness is having high endurance. High endurance allows your body to undergo physical stress and exercise with less discomfort.
What Are Calisthenics?
If you’ve ever taken gym class or followed an exercise video, you have likely done calisthenics. Calisthenics are exercises designed to burn calories and build strength. They raise your heart rate to a moderate amount without necessarily crossing into aerobic exercise. They require no equipment and do not need to be done in any special space. Calisthenics are a favorite daily training regime of militaries, designed to keep soilders in a state of basic fitness and their physical endurance high. Done regularly, calisthenics help build a trim, healthy body and keep both cadiorespiratory and muscular endurance levels high.
When health professionals talk about endurance, they are not just referring to how much abuse your muscles can take. Cardiorespiratory endurance is key to building a fit body, and is greatly advanced by regular calisthenic training. The harder you exercise, the more oxygen your body needs. Cardiorepiratory endurance is a measure of how much and how well your body can use oxygen. Basically, how much you can work before you are “all out of breath.” The better your lungs and heart process oxygen, the more excericse you can do without getting “winded.” You can increase this endurance by using calistenics in your fitness routine.
Calisthenics will not cause you to build large rippling muscles. The exercises used in calisthenics use only you own body weight, and will only develop your muscles to a size congruent with and supportive of your body mass. This isn’t a bad thing. Unless you’re a bodybuilder, healthy well developed muscles of normal size are exactly what you want. By increasing the strength of your muscles, calisthenics also increase you muscle endurance. Muscle endurance is the ability to exert force repeatedly over time. The stronger the muscle, the more time it takes to tire out.
Calisthenics allow you to focus on the muscle groups you must want to improve. Some exercises, because they are more strenuous, are more useful in improving overall endurance.
- Lunges, performed by bending the leg and ‘lungeing’ from the standing position, work hips, thighs and calves. Building strength in these muscles groups allows for greater endurance in any activity that involves walking or running.
- Squats also help build below-the-waist muscles.
- Jumping jacks allow you to utilize many muscles at once, and are an excellent way to increase cardiorespiratory endurance.
- Push-ups and pull ups increase upper body strength in both the arm and chest area.
All calisthenics raise breathing and heart rate, and thereby increase the strength of your heart and lungs.
Strong muscles mean high endurance. Calisthenics build strong muscles with simple, easy to do exercises. Calisthenics not only allow you to target muscle groups you want to be more durable, but helps increase cardiorespiratory endurance as well. If your goal is a strong, reliable body, add some time-tested calisthenic exercises to your fitness regime.