Calisthenics: A Form of Exercise Often Overlooked


Performing a Push-Up: Gunnar Pikul demonstrates correct push-up form. Photo Courtesy: Gunnar Pikul, December 5, 2021.

Connor Nieman, Content Editor

     While people typically associate working out with going to the gym, calisthenics are workouts that can be done easily at home because they don’t require any equipment. Calisthenic workouts are perfect for people who have a busy schedule.

     As someone who’s been working out using calisthenics since November 2020, calisthenics are extremely effective at building muscle. This is because calisthenics require people to use their own body weight in order to work their muscles.

     There are various different YouTubers that use calisthenics. These personal trainers include Chris Heria, Jeff Cavaliere, Fraser Wilson, and TIFF x DAN. They all upload calisthenic workouts where viewers can follow along.

     According to an article by WebMD, “Benefits of Calisthenic Exercises,” some types of calisthenic exercises are push-ups, sit-ups, planks, and lunges. 

     The article states, “The benefits of calisthenics depend on your fitness level.  For beginners who are only able to do 10-12 repetitions at a time, the workout helps build muscle strength.”

     The article further elaborates that for individuals who are experienced with calisthenics and can do around 25 repetitions at a time, these exercises help increase muscle endurance – how long a person can keep up the exercise.

     Gunnar Pikul, a sophomore at Hopkins School in New Haven, has been working out using calisthenics since May of 2021.

     “I began working out with calisthenics because I wanted to improve my physical appearance and get stronger,” explains Pikul. “Calisthenics are great because you can do them whenever and wherever with no equipment. My personal favorites are pull-ups, decline push-ups, and bicycle crunches.”

     Foran physical education teacher Mrs. Catherine Ganun also believes that calisthenic exercises are convenient because no equipment is needed and they can be performed anywhere.  Additionally, they’re very practical because people can target specific muscle groups.

     Ganun states, “They are all effective because you are using the weight of your body and gravity, which then makes your muscles contract and makes them stronger.”

     Another component of working out with calisthenics is their impact on mental health.  Working out using calisthenics improves mood and can serve as motivation to complete necessary tasks like homework and chores around the house.

     Ganun also says, “I do firmly believe that exercise is more than just improving your physical health, but also your mental health.  Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety.”