Calisthenics and bodyweight exercises are difficult to do even with the most ripped, toned, and active bodies.
Having a specific calisthenics body type helps you get the most out of the workout.
While anyone can do bodyweight exercises, calisthenics body types are specifically suited to this type of workout.
Calisthenics has long been criticized for not helping its followers build muscle mass.
This type of workout is more particularly designed to build functional strength or the type of muscles that you would use in an active, everyday life.
This type of workout is often used by gymnasts who are far from the calisthenics stereotype of thin, under-muscled, and only good at being flexible.
Gymnasts and others who adhere to bodyweight workout programs have highly built upper bodies along with lats and triceps that would put any bodybuilder to shame.
While these workouts do give you more flexibility, there’s still a lot of room to grow and build your body mass throughout the program.
Some areas are more specifically targeted by calisthenics workouts though.
We’ll take a look at some of the most well-targeted areas in the program and how you can continue to build them throughout your workout.
Pectorals and Triceps
Your pectorals make up the chest area on your body and can be focused on by doing traditional calisthenics moves like pull-ups, chin-ups, push-ups, dips, and a whole host of other moves.
Since these moves all target the chest area, in particular, building muscle mass in this area is simple.
The triceps are on the back of your arms and work in tandem with the biceps to lift, move, and create muscle in your arms.
These can be a bit harder to target without the help of machines or free weights but several moves help you get those triceps working fast.
Building up these areas of your body gives you lots of different options to choose from when you’re designing a workout.
The choices are nearly endless so you’ll never be bored. Doing this workout also allows you to make gains fast when you’re trying to get fit and flexible.
One of the greatest things about bodyweight and calisthenic exercises is that they never completely isolate a muscle group within your body.
While a move may target your pectorals or your triceps more accurately, rather than simply working that muscle on a machine, your entire body is engaged in moving and grooving through the workout.
Your abs make your entire body function! With a strong core, you can progress through any number and type of bodyweight moves.
While the same repetition of crunches, sit-ups, and other types of ab exercises will quickly have you bored to tears, the same concept that applies to your pectorals and triceps, applies to abdomen exercises: there’s no end to the possibilities.
Abdomen exercises like planks, leg lifts, and others, can be progressed or regressed to suit your level of fitness.
A strong core makes exercises like dips, pull-ups, and push-ups that much easier.
While doing crunches at the gym will only target this area, ab exercises with calisthenics target your entire body and build up the strength that way.
Having a six-pack may be the way guys on TV get all the girls but being able to do a whole range of different moves and exercises is a much better use of your muscles.
Calisthenics teaches your body to move in different ways without the restriction of the machine and weight lifting rhythms.
The goal is to never skip leg day and with calisthenics programs, you never will.
Your legs are just as important as your upper body but are often missed out on when it comes to other programs.
While there aren’t as many types of moves in the calisthenics repertoire for your legs as there are for your upper body, you’ll still be able to build a good base to function with.
Just like every other area in calisthenics, your legs are often engaged when you’re doing any move in the repertoire. Some specific moves target your quads, hamstrings, and glutes like squats, full squats, and others.
A good base throughout your legs and glutes is a good way to base your entire workout program. With the ability to push, pull, and dip better behind you, there’s nothing in your way.
You’ll see gymnasts with impressive quads performing at the Olympics and you know they didn’t skip a leg day during their workout routine!
For many, these muscles aren’t seen by others as readily but building up these muscles is just as important.
Strong glutes and quads keep you from injuring your knees or legs when working out or even doing everyday tasks. This strength builds into calisthenics fundamental belief in functional strength.
Rather than dealing with just muscles for the show, calisthenics pushes its users to create flexible and functional movements that will more easily be incorporated into their everyday life.
Calisthenics and Body Composition
Few unique things happen to your body composition when you decide to go with a full-on calisthenics program.
Just like with any workout program, your body mass index will start to decline as you build up lean muscle mass and lose fat. While this takes to take some serious time, you’ll soon start to see the difference for yourself.
Body composition changes as you go through a workout program so don’t be afraid to see changes start to happen in your life.
It won’t happen overnight so don’t expect miracles as soon as you start your new training regimen.
Believe it or not but fat weighs more than muscle! As you go through any training program including calisthenics you’ll start to shrink your fat mass and turn it into lean muscle mass.
This fat mass is what shows up as those larger numbers on the scale and sends you to the gym in the first place.
This fat mass shows up in your body in several different ways but tends to gather around your waist, hips, arms, and legs.
All of these areas are targeted by calisthenics and this program works to effectively turn your fat mass into muscle mass thus changing the numbers on the scale more quickly than you’d imagine.
All of this is also affected by your diet. If you don’t pair your calisthenics routine with a well-balanced diet, you won’t see a decrease in fat mass.
Keep this in mind as you’re designing your next workout routine!
Lean Muscle Mass
As you grow and change throughout the calisthenics program, you’ll see the growth of lean muscle mass start to abound.
Areas of your body that used to hold onto fat, quickly start to show lean, healthy muscle that’s not all for show.
Once this lean muscle mass starts to appear in a calisthenics body type, you’ll be able to more quickly process fat mass. The more muscle mass you have, the better you process and eliminate fat mass within your body.
Rather than constantly be fighting against the powers that be when you’re attempting to lose weight, focus instead on building muscle.
This lean muscle mass does the work for you when you’re trying to get rid of those extra pounds. The lean muscle mass burns calories more effectively than simply doing cardio or dieting.
Engaging with this type of workout program, calisthenics is one of the best ways to build up this lean muscle mass.
Instead of simply creating muscles that look good in a mirror selfie, you’ll have functional strength that will serve you well throughout your regular life.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before diving into a new workout program and trying to change your body type to a calisthenics one, there are probably a few questions rattling around in your brain.
Instead of diving in headfirst and hoping for the best, let us answer a few questions so you can get started on the right foot!
What are the 5 types of Calisthenics?
The variations and progressions of calisthenics are nearly innumerable but there are some basics that most coaches and gyms focus on when encouraging participants to build on their program.
These include squats, pull-ups, push-ups, crunches, and burpees.
Each of these has a regression and progression that makes it easier for a beginner or harder for a veteran to finish.
Consult a good workout program to see where you stand in the line-up!
Is it Possible to get a good body with Calisthenics?
While it may be tempting to get into traditional bodybuilding to get the body of your dreams or start training for a marathon, calisthenics is a great way to enjoy a good workout without needing to hit the gym every day.
Calisthenics can often be done at home, the park, or even the office so you’re never at the mercy of your gym hours or commute.
All of the results that you’ll see are dependent on the type of effort you put into the program itself.
The more dedicated you are, the better results you’ll see.
Can I achieve good results with calisthenics alone?
While calisthenics will improve your fat mass to lean muscle mass ratio, there are several other factors that you’ll need to incorporate to create the effect you desire.
The most important is that you also regulate your diet.
You’ll need appropriate fuel to get through a workout and create good lean muscle mass and feeding your body well helps you do that.
You’ll also need to be sure that you’re dedicated to the program.
Hitting the gym just once or twice a month won’t create a miracle effect like so many desire.
What does Calisthenics Do to Your Body?
Calisthenics is a workout program for your whole body.
While many of the exercises specifically target the upper body, every muscle group is engaged during this time and you’ll see a reduction of fat mass while lean muscle mass increases.
What you’re left with is a functional strength that helps you not just at the gym but in your everyday life as well.
Calisthenics is used frequently to build up the lean muscle mass so that you’ll be better toned and able to take on any type of activity.
Calisthenics may seem like a workout program for only those who are already-fit, strong, and dedicated to hitting the gym every day.
In reality, this program works for any body type and has long been proven to reduce fat mass and increase lean muscle mass making it a good way to drop off those extra pounds from the holiday season.
While you probably won’t see your muscles explode out of your shirt after only a few workout sessions, you’ll start to see improvement in your functional strength with dedication and perseverance.
There’s a reason gymnasts look strong, fit, and healthy! And their workout programs can work for you too!