Whether you have a history of working out at the gym or are completely new to the world of exercise, Calisthenics is something that almost everyone can easily incorporate into their daily and weekly routine. When you consider that there is no need for Calisthenics equipment or weights when doing calisthenics, the ability to engage in the numerous forms of exercise can easily take place at any time and any place. While some of the exercises are relatively simple, others can be very difficult, however regardless of the degree of difficulty, there are a number of things that you need to consider before you start.
1. Tip: HEALTH CHECK
A lot of people think that it is easy just to jump into a workout routine, but in fact for many, it is not. For those that live a sedentary lifestyle it is heavily suggested that you check with your doctor before engaging in any form of strenuous movements. While this tip may seem relatively simple, many tend to ignore the fact that their body may not be physically ready to jump into certain exercise routines right away, especially if you ignore tip number two.
2. HIRE A PERSONAL TRAINER
With today’s ease of ability to pull something up on the internet, either a website or YouTube or an app on your phone, everyone thinks that jumping into a workout routine is easy. These options are great if you know what you are doing, however when you are first starting out, knowing exactly what to do and the correct form to have is vital when considering your safety and ability to progress properly. Often people will use the excuse that they cannot afford the €40-€80 for a trainer, but the money is well spent when you consider the alternative is potentially long term injury. When going through a series of exercises for the first time, having someone familiar with proper form and the knowledge of how to correctly adjust your body properly and what muscle groups you are targeting is worth the investment.
3. INVESTMENT OF TIME
As with anything that you engage yourself in for the first time you have to understand and be ready to invest a serious amount of time into training in order to see improvements. Training should be done at no less than three times per week for a minimum of 45-60 mins. Be mindful that when starting out, you want to give your body proper rest and recovery time in between sessions and during each session you do not completely want to exhaust yourself to the point in which your form breaks down and you put yourself in a concern for safety.
4. CALISTHENICS TIP FOR BEGINNERS: LEARN THE LINGO
Not only should you become familiar with what muscle groups you are working on with each Calisthenics exercise, but it helps if you know what the movement or hold is actually called. For some, words like trapezius (major back muscle) and obliques (muscles on the sides of the abdomen that help with rotation) are completely foreign, same as pistol squats and an Austrailian pull-up. While most people know what a squat is (though maybe not the correct form), not everyone knows that a pistol squat is done on a single leg. Odds are at some point in your elementary or high school PE class you were asked to do a pull up, but did you know that the Aussie version is actually easier and would have been more beneficial for Calisthenics beginners to find success with.
5. STICK TO THE BASICS
Instead of trying to quickly move on to the next stage of an exercise, try to improve your rep count of the first basic form. Making sure that you can master a high volume of reps of the basic entry level exercises before advancing to the next stage of the exercise. By mastering the proper form and technique of the traditional handstand by using a wall for support and making sure that your body is properly aligned, it will help make sure that once you move away from the wall and advance to unsupported handstands or even handstand pushups or walking on your hands that much easier both mentally and physically. Crushing the basics will help you get to the next level much quicker and with more success than trying to skip stages.
6. PERFECT FORM IN EVERY REP
Whether you are doing calisthenics or a bench press or shooting a basketball, the most successful individuals are the ones who take the time and focus to complete every rep with perfect form. Quality over quantity is the key. If you race through twenty pushups or pullups and your body is out of wack, did you really get your set done? No. In a day and age in which everyone wants instant gratification, the best way to get ahead in the gym or park or wherever it is that you train is to make sure that every single rep is done with slow precise movement and perfect form.
7. ANYTIME / ANYPLACE
As mentioned, the benefit of callisthenics over traditional weight workouts is that you can pretty much use your surroundings as your training ground. In the gym, great. At the park, no problem, use a bench or a tree. In the playground, use pretty much anything that is nailed down. We at Pullup & Dip offer you a wide range of Calisthenics equipment that you can use in a variety of places, such as our portable pull-up and dip bar, push-up bars or our gym rings. If by chance you don’t have any equipment on hand, be creative. A bench can be used for dips or incline/decline pushups. A tree can help support you with the early stages of a handstand. Sometimes the best workouts come from ones of creativity. The bonus perk, no gym fees!
8. CALISTHENICS TIP FOR BEGINNERS: SET GOALS
Most people have heard about goal setting. Not everyone has actually followed through with it. One of the best ways of seeing and achieving physical improvements is to set a number of small, realistic goals with a larger goal as the end game. By setting several smaller targets it allows individuals to stay motivated and find success, which in turn helps launch into the next goal. Too often when it comes to physical fitness (and even other parts of one’s life) people tend to fail reaching their goal as quickly as they envision, leading to discouragement and quitting. By setting Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely (SMART) goals, working out will remain enjoyable and the sense of pride in accomplishing even the smallest goal will help motivate to eventually reaching that one large goal.
9. WORKOUT PARTNERS
Entering into a physical fitness program is tough enough for many people. Doing it alone could be even more challenging. By teaming up with someone who you can share the journey with, whether they are slightly better, the same or of lesser ability than you can help motivate you to keep your commitments and eyes on the prize. The great thing about being involved in fitness activities is that there are countless amounts of people who are willing to support you along the way.
10. WARMUP, STRETCH, REST AND RECOVERY
Regardless of how new you are to callisthenics, taking the time to properly warmup before your workout, stretch / cool down after and then allow for proper rest and recover is vital to not only enjoying yourself but also keeping your body safe and preparing it to get stronger. Planning for a 8-12 minute dynamic warmup will prepare your body for movements that you will be doing during your workout routine. Following your workout, don’t just head for the change-room and call it a day without going through a proper static stretching cool-down routine, again targeting at least 8-12 minutes. As mentioned, when starting with any workout program, including calisthenics, jumping in for seven days a week is not only mentally and emotionally overwhelming, but physically it will be taxing. Add in a couple of rest and recovery days ideally every third day in which your body can repair itself. This doesn’t mean being a couch potato, but rather still engage in a simple activity like walking or a causal bike ride or even gardening.
Unless you are planning on joining America Ninja Warrior or a bodybuilding competition, working out and training, especially for Calisthenics beginners, while still challenging, is supposed to be enjoyable for the most part. We all know that when tasks or events aren’t captivating to at least some degree, chances of sticking with them are minimal. Regardless of where you do your calisthenics workout, be creative, challenge yourself, challenge others, feel free to ask questions, make mistakes and ultimately have fun with the adventure of creating a new you.
Are you looking for the perfect Calisthenics equipment to start out? We at Pullup & Dip offer you various high-quality Calisthenics equipment. Go check it out now!
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