Taking the concept of jumping jacks and pushups to the next level, HEALTH learns that calisthenics are fast gaining popularity as a fun and very effective way to help you stay fit and healthy.

The Basics
Calisthenics are exercises made up of different kinds of movements such as pushing, running, and standing and usually done without any kind of equipment. Essentially a kind of body-weight training, calisthenics are used to help boost flexibility, core strength, and fitness by incorporating movements using only the individual’s body weight for resistance.


According to Stephen Hughes Landers, creator of eight accredited calisthenics certifications and U.K. National freestyle champion 2014, everyone can benefit from calisthenics. He explains, “The beauty of calisthenics is we are our equipment. Imagination is our only limitation. Nothing is needed for a full body workout. A pull up bar or dip bars mean a new level and multiple bars mean another world of options.”

The Session

Pretty much everything we do is calisthenics. “Strength, balance, and mobility are all needed in human beings and calisthenics helps us with this tri factor,” he says. “A freestyle session consists of a big warm up, skill specific training, repeated combos, sets of basic tricks, and then finish off with basic reps.”

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