Calisthenics exercises use body weight as resistance and typically do not require the use of workout equipment. This type of workout is one of the most traditional types of exercises, because it originated before modern, state-of-the-art gyms and equipment. There are several types of calisthenic exercises, including aerobic activities, plyometric activities, strength-building activities and muscle toning activities.
Aerobics activities work to increase the heart rate and lung capacity. Many common calisthenics are aerobic activities, such as walking, running, jogging, swimming and dancing. The key is that the exercise is simple, and the practitioner does not need workout equipment to do the exercise.
Plyometric activities are designed to increase strength and speed. Their aim is to produce powerful, fast movements as well as develop explosive power. There are several types of calisthenics that can help achieve that goal, including all types of jumping exercises. Exercises such as jumping jacks and jump rope are examples of this. Many professional athletes incorporate these types of exercises in the warm-up section of regular workouts.
Other popular calisthenics exercises work to increase strength. Some of these types of activities include pull-ups, push-ups and squats. The exercise practitioner may use a simple tool, such as a pull-up bar, but the main resistance is from his or her body weight. Many calisthenics aerobics activities, such as running and swimming, also build muscles and strength.
There are many calisthenics exercises that tone muscles and body shape, such as sit-ups, crunches and lunges. Leg raises and scissor kicks are other types of toning exercises. Ancient workouts that aim to tone the muscles and do not require equipment, including yoga, also might be considered to be calisthenics.
Calisthenics are ideal for people who want to work out at home but do not have a home gym or expensive workout equipment. These types of exercises are an effective to get into shape without paying a gym membership. They also are the most common types of exercises used at military boot camps and workout retreats. Some exercises might be difficult for people who are overweight and do not have much upper body strength.
Practitioners should fully stretch before and after a calisthenics workout to avoid injuries. Some people incorporate circuit training, which means that they do 10 minutes of aerobic activity, then 10 minutes of plyometrics, and so on. This type of workout allows the exerciser to focus on different areas of the body as well as have resting periods.