Much can be said about the many differences between men and women. Bone structure, musculature, propensity for upper body strength, general mentality and the like.
However, whether it is for better or worse, empowering or discouraging, rooted in truth or complete fabrication, one undisputable truth has consistently passed the test of time:
When honed to near-perfection, it is the female form that predominantly graces the iconography of modern media.
So yes, while much can be said, that doesn’t mean that that much needs to be said. For as long as she is able-bodied, healthy, and reasonably motivated, every woman has the power to–by using nothing but hard work–turn her body into the stuff of dreams.
Hers or otherwise.
Why Choose Calisthenics as a Woman
For all of their recent hype, gyms are loud, crowded, and bound to locations that may be inconvenient to frequent.
For those wanting peace of mind during their workout session, wishing to cut loose away from prying eyes or running mouths, gyms are far from the ideal choice.
Furthermore, the almost perpetual crowd would oftentimes make it impossible for you to simply do the exercise you wish, when you wish it.
Lines and rows before the contraption that just so happens to be the one you need at the moment, are one of the most common inconveniences experienced at your local gym.
Likewise, while the heavy (some would even say unnatural) resistance you can tack on most gym contraptions may far exceed what you can reasonably pull off on your own, reliance on that benefit comes with its own (decidedly unpleasant) drawback: far greater risk of injury.
And as we all know, hurting yourself during heavy exercise is far worse than going slowly and consistently.
Finally, a good number of members of the fairer sex would (self-admittedly) not enjoy the additional bulk that often follows intense and regular weight training.
If you see yourself among those women, or merely wish to dip your toe in the deep, deep pond of body-weight exercise, then look no further!
Your Unique Strengths – as a Woman
Firstly (and obviously) you are comparatively lighter than the vast majority of men.
What this means is that many movements men would find extremely challenging (and that would require rigorous isolation training in order to have any hope of pulling off), you will have a good chance at right from the get-go!
And the less time you spend working up to the more challenging exercises, the more time you will have to really hit yourself where it counts!
Second off, women enjoy both a slower fatigue rate, and a faster recovery rate. Aside from being nifty on their own, those facts will allow for shorter breaks between sets, making it far, far easier to shed away those hated extra pounds–assuming of course that you do your part!
Third, women have actually shown higher endurance than men when it comes to low to medium intensity exercises.
This effectively makes compound moves your forte, and–surprise, surprise–compound moves happen to be a specialty of calisthenics.
The Program – Sculpting Yourself To Perfection
This routine will focus first and foremost on the core and glutes–with some upper body strength added in for good measure.
We always say this, and we’ll say it again: never forget to warm up and stretch beforehand! Your workout is done for your benefit, and injuring yourself will help no one; least of all you!
Start with a decent run. 30 minutes of a bearable, steady pace is a good start.
For those of you wanting a greater kick, look no further than military running. Fair warning though: not only is it more difficult on its own; it will make what follows that much harder!
With the running part behind you, do the following every other day, up to three times per week. Repeat the course three times per workout session.
Rest for 10-15 seconds (aim for 10) between the individual exercises, and three full minutes between full course rotations.
- Standing High Knee: keep it up for 45 to 60 seconds
- Classic Squats: 8 to 12 reps
- Mountain Climbers: 30-40 reps
- Plank: 45-60 seconds
- Jumping Jacks: keep it up for 45 to 60 seconds
- Hanging Leg Raises: 8 to 12 reps
- Side Plank: one side, then the other, 30 to 45 seconds each
- Chin-ups: until failure
This course is a strong all-rounder, and employs basic moves (like the classic squats and plank) combined with some more intermediate and even high-end exercises (mountain climbers to hanging leg raises), and tops it off with a maximum burst of chin-ups for upper body tone and strength. Whatever you need, it’ll have you covered.
As for everything else, it’s all up to you!
Chris is an experienced Calisthenics practitioner focused on isometric exercises and street workout. He founded thehybridathlete.com in 2017, which was subsequently acquired by theyhybridathlete.com
He is based in Portland and has been working out using solely his own body weight and bars for the past 6 years.