Revised on 24.12.2022
Calisthenics is a form of training that uses only the weight of your body for resistance. You do not use any equipment like dumbbells, barbells, or other types of free weights, resistance bands, etc.
When you want to modify your workout routine to include calisthenics, weighing the pros and cons is good. This guide will discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating calisthenics into your training regimen.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Calisthenics
Some people think that exercises that use the weight of your body only include pull-ups, push-ups, and squats. Many other types of bodyweight exercises can be quite challenging and complex. For example, you might do regular push-ups when you are just starting. However, as you get more advanced, you can challenge yourself with planche push-ups.
You can go as far in calisthenics as you want based on how determined you are, how consistent you are, and how much you enjoy it. To paraphrase Napoleon Hill, you only get stronger when you work through your struggles and continue with your efforts.
Calisthenics has a lot of advantages. It is a type of training that does not use weights, and its examples are jumping jacks or HIIT, and it is more than just doing push-ups and pull-ups. Here are some of the popular advantages.
▷ Very Low Cost
Creating a home gym costs money. Even if you want just a simple home gym, you still have to purchase dumbbells or other free weights, and you will have to buy more weights to bump up the challenge as you get stronger. Before long, you will find that you have spent a lot of money on weights.
Maybe you can join a gym. That might be a less expensive option, but you still have gym membership fees. And unfortunately, a lot of people who buy gym memberships do not use the gym often enough to get their money’s worth. Some eventually stop going, which means you risk paying for something you might not even use.
With calisthenics, the weight is provided by your own body. You probably have to buy a pull-up bar that you can mount on a doorway, and that one purchase is about all you need for your calisthenics training.
Calisthenics does not require any equipment; you can do a complete workout in your living room. A lot of beginners start this way. You might want to use a workout mat, but it is unnecessary in the beginning stages.
Some of the typical bodyweight exercises include:
- exercise for your abs
You can accomplish these on the floor, and you do not need to use any equipment. Consider adding pull-ups into your routine because these are the most effective in strengthening your back and biceps.
You will need to get a pull-up bar; a basic one can be mounted on your doorway. Find an appropriate routine that a fitness expert has designed. Do not create your own yet because you are just starting and need to learn what you need. Some recommendations are below.
Even when you have achieved advanced levels of calisthenics, you won’t need more than a couple of hundred dollars worth of equipment and accessories to last you a lifetime!
▷ You Can Train Anywhere
One of the best advantages of calisthenics is that you can do this practically anywhere. You can go to the beach and do it, and you can do it in a small hotel room. You can do it almost anywhere.
You do not need much space for it – several square feet would be enough. If you have room to lay down and have several feet of clearance above, that is all the room you need.
People in jail can do calisthenics in their small cells, so there’s no reason why you don’t have enough room.
Just like you don’t need any equipment, you also don’t need a lot of time or space for an excellent calisthenics workout. There is no restrictions on when and where you can work out.
To get the best results, commit to working out for a certain period, monitor your progress, and give it your best effort when you do it. It is not enough to do a few push-ups whenever you feel like it.
A good workout can be accomplished quickly, in many cases, in less than 30 minutes. You can do calisthenics anywhere, indoors or outdoors. Do it in the park, on the beach, in the living room, in your kitchen, in a hotel room, or anywhere you can stand up and lie down.
▷ Functional Training
You should do exercises to make life better. Calisthenics helps your body learn how to move better in different directions.
You use your body to carry out what your mind and soul want to do. If your body cannot do what you want it to do, you will not enjoy life as much.
Exercises using your body weight will make your body stronger and more aware. When your body is more aware, you can maintain mobile and free of injury even as you get older.
▷ Excellent Way Of Conditioning Your Body
Body conditioning is usually associated with cardio workouts. When you think about it, cardio exercises are based on calisthenics. Activities like running and skipping rope all use your body weight, and you can jump without the rope and still be able to condition your body.
Soldiers in the military do calisthenics in boot camp. Warriors and gladiators from ancient eras did calisthenics. Boxers and MMA competitors all train using calisthenics.
So, incorporating calisthenics in your workout is necessary if you want an efficient way to condition your body. Not many types of workouts can give you this level of convenience.
Weight training needs weight equipment in a gym. Running needs a place for running and good weather, or you can run on a treadmill. Calisthenics training is excellent for people who travel or are often busy and need a convenient way to get a good workout.
Calisthenics training makes you look fabulous!
That might be a bit self-centered, but it is true: demonstrating strength with your bodyweight looks incredible!
Think of it this way: If you see someone bench pressing 225 pounds and another person doing a pull-up with one hand, which will impress you more?
Adding 50 pounds to a deadlift might not be that impressive. Doing a handstand push-up would attract more attention.
When you can demonstrate strength by using your body weight, you can make an impression. It will attract more attention from others than weight training can do. It helps you become more flexible, mobile, stable, and balanced.
Bodybuilders with massive muscles often look like they cannot move very well. However, that is rarely the case with strong bodyweight athletes. Calisthenics will build great strength and muscle, making you more flexible and stable as your core becomes stronger.
Mastering advanced bodyweight movements requires muscle, strength, and a certain mobility level. Bodyweight training is your best bet if you want a healthy, strong, and balanced body.
Calisthenics has many advantages, but it is not the ideal choice for everybody. Consider several disadvantages before you jump into training by using your body weight.
► Physical Therapy
If you are recovering from an injury, then calisthenics would not be the appropriate form of exercise for you.
If you are recovering from knee surgery, you will not be able to do squats. You will need a machine to help you.
Exercises that use your body weight are simple, but they require a lot of weight. If you are not that strong, you will have a hard time doing a push-up or pull-up. If you injured your shoulder on top of that, these exercises would be impossible for you to do.
In this case, you might need to use a dumbbell in light weight to isolate a specific group of muscles to work on to gain strength. Calisthenics will not work with your recovery, as you cannot isolate muscle groups as well with it.
► Progress Is A Challenge
Your training is intended to make progress: you focus on reaching a workout goal to get strong enough to progress to the next level.
With calisthenics training, however, progress usually takes a long time. You will increase your muscle strength but reach a plateau, and the challenge is figuring out how to get beyond it.
When you train with weights, you progress by adding on more weights, and it is straightforward. In calisthenics, you make the exercise more challenging by modifying the position of your body.
However, it is easier said than done. With just a slight adjustment of your body’s position, you can make the exercise very difficult. It is similar to adding up to 30 pounds of body weight instead of five pounds of free weights, and it isn’t easy to control the incremental weight.
Therefore, when you need to progress to the next level in calisthenics, you might need the guidance of a fitness professional.
► Difficult To Isolate Specific Groups Of Muscles
You can use calisthenics to work out all muscles in your body. However, some muscles are easier to train than others. Progressions are compound movements, which means several muscle groups get a workout simultaneously.
That does not mean it is not desired. Compound exercises are pretty effective. But focusing on specific muscle groups that require extra strength training or toning is appealing to many people.
Training with free weights allows you to target specific muscle groups easily, but it is harder to use bodyweight training to target specific muscle groups.
One way to address this is by adding dumbbells or bands into your calisthenics routines. There is no rule saying that you cannot!
► It Does Not Include Cardio Training
Calisthenics exercises are challenging, but they won’t improve your stamina. Bodyweight training is intended to make you stronger, similar to what weightlifting does for you.
You should integrate some cardio exercises for better conditioning overall to improve results.
► Limited Workout on Legs
Many movements using your body weight can make your lower body stronger, and these include all types of squats, lunges, and much more. However, if you want muscular legs, you will need more resistance on those leg muscles to bulk them up.
The calisthenics will make your legs more powerful, but you will need to add heavy weights while doing squats and other resistance exercises if you want leg muscles that bulge like what you see on bodybuilders.
► A Beginner Can Experience Difficulty Getting Started
Many beginners find it frustrating when they try to start calisthenics training. Why is that?
It’s because some people find even the simple movements hard to do. Beginners can usually do just a few push-ups, and many cannot even do one pull-up. So, they get discouraged and quit.
To address that is important to select a calisthenics program that eases you into progressions.
A progression is just a set of movement changes that help you get strong enough to get to the next challenging set of movements. For instance, if you cannot do a regular push-up off your feet, you can start with a modified push-up off your knees. Once you get stronger, you can progress to doing a push-up off of your feet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Calisthenics Produce Better Results Than Weights?
It all depends on what you want to achieve. You should train with weights if you’re building bulk in your muscles like a bodybuilder. But if you want a solid core, more strength, and better health overall, then calisthenics training would be right for you.
Is Calisthenics The Same As Cardio Workout?
Cardio exercises improve the health of your cardiovascular system. Your cardio exercises can be based on weights, or they can be based on calisthenics.
For instance, jumping jacks can be considered a cardio exercise based on calisthenics. Working out on an elliptical machine is a cardio exercise, and none of these use weights to strengthen your heart health.
Is Calisthenics Considered A Sport?
Calisthenics just became a sport recently. It has recently evolved into a sport with competitors from all over the world. For more details, visit the website of the World Calisthenics Organization.
Is Calisthenics Difficult?
Yes, it can be challenging! Look at the 25 most difficult exercises for the abs, the 100 most brutal exercises for the bodyweight, and the hardest push-ups anywhere on the web.
Is Calisthenics Healthy For You?
Calisthenics provides multiple health benefits. It can improve your endurance and mobility, make you stronger, build muscle mass, and tone your body.
It is one of the best ways to train for optimal results?
In addition, calisthenics training does an incredible job of keeping you from injuring yourself because you are using the weight of your own body.
It is not true that if you want to get stronger muscles, you have to work with weights. When you look at a gymnast, you will realize that calisthenics effectively builds muscle and strength. If you know how to control your muscle tension, you can build muscle and strength with any training.
Calisthenics training is a terrific way to get fit. You can even supplement it with weight training to focus on specific muscle groups or add cardio for extra conditioning.
How you want to train depends on your preference. After evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of calisthenics, you can decide whether this is right for you. Just be sure you choose something fun for you to do so you will stick with it and succeed.
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- Calisthenics. (2005, December 1) britannica.com/sports/calisthenics
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