What Is Calisthenics?

what is calisthenics history

Calisthenics has been around for a very long time originating from the ancient Greek words kálos, which means “beauty,” and sthénos, meaning “strength.” It is defined as the use of body weight and “qualities of inertia” to help develop the physique.It may have been named after the Greek historian, Callisthenes, who was tutored by Alexander the Great.

Other historians suggest the earliest mentions of calisthenics can be found in the chronicles of Herodotus on the Battle of Thermopylae (480 BC).

Later, calisthenics became associated with crowd-drawing street workouts, much like choreographed performances by well-trained individuals. These routines would occur in parks, in particular where there are playgrounds with bars, in a competition style, drawing crowds with their amazing ability to suspend their bodies using their developed muscles and a lot of practice. These competitions often had judges creating even more authenticity to the art of calisthenic fitness.

Even today, The World Calisthenics Organization  based in Los Angeles, California, has a well-known competition series called Battle of the Bars, adding to the the increasing popularity of worldwide competitions.

But basically, Calisthenics are exercises that don’t require machines or additional weights.

Calisthenics are sometimes referred to as body-weight training, because the repetitive exercises that comprise calisthenics use only the resistance provided by your own body to burn calories, increase flexibility, and build strength.

Calisthenics exercise routines can be customized for any level of fitness. One of the biggest benefits of calisthenics is that they only require your body, a floor, and some space to move. Rather than needing to go to the gym, you can do calisthenics just about anywhere. That’s also why they’re popular in school gym classes.

Popular calisthenics exercises include sit-ups, push-ups, squats, thrusts, jumping jacks, and leg lifts. Many people perform a variety of different calisthenics exercises for a well-rounded workout. Others may choose to concentrate on particular exercises to work on certain parts of the body, such as the arms, legs, or stomach.