Ever wonder why the military uses so many body weight exercises or also known as calisthenics? Why do we use body weight exercises in our Boot Camp in Kansas City? Because they work! Have you considered how gymnasts get such amazing physiques? Body weight exercises!
Body weight exercises develop the body in ways that isolation exercises with barbells, dumbbells, or machines can never duplicate. Virtually every body weight exercise is a compound movement working not just one muscle but entire muscle groups or several muscle groups. This is functional strength at its finest. When you pick up a heavy object, throw a defensive strike at an attacker, or help your significant other bring groceries in from the car, you don’t just lift with your biceps. You use your legs, back, core, biceps, triceps, chest, shoulders, everything! So why shouldn’t your fitness training mimic your functionality?
Calisthenics not only develops strength, endurance, explosiveness, and many other benefits but also it creates fitness. In contrast it is possible to be very strong and still unhealthy or out of shape. The majority of power lifters are not healthy, fit individuals, but their training has made them very strong.
Just some of the benefits to calisthenic exercises. Improved balance, coordination, core strength, agility, strength, as well as cosmetic. Men get that chiseled, “V” shape, while women attain natural feminine attributes without getting bulky or hulk like. We use many different body weight exercises in our boot camp sessions along with other fitness tools. If you train in a similar fitness regimen but find yourself unable to maintain your workouts when on vacation, calisthenic exercises go with you everywhere you can take your body. Hotel room, beach, office, apartment, but I wouldn’t try them on the air plane you might get some strange looks.
Many people are misinformed and believe that you are limited by body weight exercises. Lets take push ups for example. When you have reached your goal with standard military push ups, you may think there is nothing left for you to do. After all if you are doing bench press you just add more weight, right? Well Im glad you asked. The secret to increasing the resistance with body weight exercises is to take away some of your leverage. Graduate from military push ups to elevated push ups. Pull ups with your knees bent to pull ups legs straight, squats to deeper squats or one legged squats. When the movement gets harder the resistance increases. Once again the exercise is challenging and you continue to get stronger.
If you have never considered body weight exercises or have not explored the depth and value of these priceless exercises. I recommend adopting them into your training program. You will be happy you did.