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Health Benefits of Calisthenics Training

Health Benefits of Calisthenics Training 
by J. R. Workman

Calisthenics provides a whole slew of health benefits ranging from a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, enhanced metabolism, increased flexibility and mobility, improved energy levels, and more. Today, we are going to be discussing some of these benefits and paint a straightforward picture for you conveying the effectiveness and usefulness of calisthenics training when it comes to health

"Exercise and temperance can preserve something of our early strength even in old age." ― Cicero, On Old Age

Health Benefits of Calisthenics Training 

Heart Healthy 

Calisthenics is known for being healthy for the heart. It prevents heart problems, encourages blood flow, and can get you into wonderful cardiovascular shape: 

"Strengthen Heart 

The Mayo Clinic reports that physical activity greatly reduces your risk for developing heart disease." (10 Benefits of Calisthenics by Dixie Somers)

Calisthenics creates more blood flow than weight training does and although weight training also aids heart health calisthenics boosts heart health appreciably better. 

Useful for Cardio 

Some forms of calisthenics training are even more effective for training cardio than many conventional cardio training methods are. The rise in resistance that calisthenics exercises have in comparison to the bodyweight movements present in conventional aerobic practices elevates the cardiovascular participation in it making calisthenics training superior to some forms of aerobic training when it comes to cardio exercise: 

"A cardio workout that includes resistance burns more calories per hour than a low-resistance aerobic workout, helps build muscle and creates a longer post-calorie workout burn. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, vigorous calisthenics burn more calories than many common cardio workouts, such as a stationary bike, stair stepper, rowing machine or aerobics routines." (Is Calisthenics Better Than Cardio by Sam Ashe-Edmunds)

If the exercises allow for high enough reps calisthenics can enhance your metabolism just as well as many forms of aerobic training can. The key is working at a fast enough pace to raise the heart rate. 

Achieve More Than One Goal at Once

With calisthenics training, you can build muscle, boost heart health, and burn fat all at the same time. Generally, it is difficult to train cardio and build muscle simultaneously or vice-versa but with calisthenics training, this can easily and effectively be achieved: 

"Bodyweight exercises require many muscle groups to perform a specific movement, which is why you are able to zap a ton of calories while building muscle and getting that heart rate up. Get the benefits of both resistance training and cardio in half the time – are you in?" (Why Bodyweight Training Is Great for Your Heart by Lunden Souza)

Due to this, calisthenics is one of the most well-rounded training methods in existence. It can accomplish what weight training and cardio training can achieve in a single swing. Calisthenics has been proven to be successful at muscle strengthening. According to a study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research entitled Effect of Progressive Calisthenic Push-up Training on Muscle Strength and Thickness calisthenics is a valid strategy for developing muscular strength

"Twenty-three healthy, moderately trained men (mean ± SD: age 23 ± 6.8 years) completed the study. Subjects were randomly assigned to PUSH (n = 14) and BENCH (n = 9) groups and were trained 3 days per week for 4 weeks. Muscle thickness (MT), seated medicine ball put (MBP), 1 repetition maximum (1RM) bench press, and push-up progression (PUP) were measured before and after training. Results revealed significant increases in 1RM (p < 0.001) and PUP (p < 0.001) for both groups after training. The increase in PUP was significantly greater for PUSH (p < 0.001). No significant differences were found within groups for MT and MBP (p > 0.05). This study is the first to demonstrate that calisthenics, using different progressive variations to maintain strength training programming variables, can improve upper-body muscle strength." (Effect of Progressive Calisthenic Push-up Training on Muscle Strength and Thickness by Kotarsky CJ et al)

At the same time, calisthenics exercises also help to advance endurance and flexibility. According to a study published in the Research Quarterly. American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation journal titled Effects of Calisthenics on Selected Components of Physical Fitness calisthenics advances progress in endurance and flexibility: 

"Flexibility in males and a segment of the endurance complex in females appeared significant at the .05 level of confidence when the differences observed from pre-training to post-training were exposed to nonparametric tests..."  (Effects of Calisthenics on Selected Components of Physical Fitness by Harry K. Campney & Richard W. Wehr)

Greater Muscle Activation

Another health benefit of calisthenics training is that unlike using machines it makes cheating more challenging and therefore promotes a greater use and activation of the muscle fibers throughout the body:

"Perform a circuit of calisthenic exercises and your heart rate will increase during the routine, burning additional calories and contributing to weight loss. Body weight resistance eliminates the possibility of cheating, or using other muscles to help, that arises when using machines for strength training. Calisthenics increase flexibility, build endurance and contribute to toned and strong muscles." (Calisthenics & Weight Loss by Judy Bruen) 

Compound movements have been proven to activate a higher number of muscle fibers throughout the body than isolation exercises do and in turn, this helps with burning fat and exercising the heartkeeping the body healthy. 

Read my articles on health:
Somers, Dixie. “10 Benefits of Calisthenics.” The PumpUp Blog, 8 Feb. 2017,

Ashe-Edmunds, Sam. “Is Calisthenics Better Than Cardio?” Healthy Living, 21 Nov. 2017,

Souza, Lunden. “Why Bodyweight Training Is Great for Your Heart.” Runtastic, 13 Dec. 2017,

Bruen, Judy. “Calisthenics & Weight Loss.” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, 18 July 2017,