Get FUTUREPROOF Fit With Calisthenics
Guilt-free, lazy lunch breaks on London Fields are proving mighty difficult these days with a growing number of Hackney folk turning to a new lunchtime fitness craze on London Fields –calisthenics – in full view of the picnic crowd.
We think it’s GREAT that people are taking advantage of the pull-up and dip bars by the Broadway Market entrance for calisthenics workouts. It’s an inspired addition to London Fields and fits perfectly with our ethos of outdoor personal training here at Futureproof Fitness.
If you’re a beginner to calisthenics, here’s the lowdown, including a few simple exercises to get you started on your calisthenics journey.
WHAT IS CALISTHENICS?
Put simply, calisthenics is a form of fitness which utilises gravity and bodyweight leverage to challenge your fitness level.
WHAT ARE IT’S ORIGINS?
Originally, calisthenics was a method of promoting health, “and securing beauty and strength”, in school age children, but now it’s evolved into a training method sharing a lot in common with gymnastics, but unlike that indoor workout it can be practised outdoors with little or no basic equipment.
WHY IS IT SO GOOD FOR YOU?
Daigo Smith, Founder, Futureproof Fitness
“I think of calisthenics as a foundation discipline to any form of strength exercise. So, if you’re weightlifting or kettlebelling, you need to perform calisthenics as the foundation on which to build progress with that exercise”
I’M A LITTLE DAUNTED, WHERE DO I BEGIN?
Don’t worry, some of the calisthenics moves you might have seen on London Fields and YouTube require fairly advanced fitness. Whilst the practitioners make them look easy, there’s a lot of pre-training involved to get you performing ‘Muscle Ups’ or the ‘Human Flag’. Try our workout below to give you an introduction to calisthenics. We include calisthenics as a vital part of every personal training programme here at Futureproof Fitness.
CALISTHENICS BEGINNERS WORKOUT
Here’s an initial workout we recommend to give your body and mind a taster of calisthenics:
PRESS-UPS: BETWEEN 5 AND 20 REPS
Set up with your weight supported on your toes and hands beneath your shoulders, body straight. Take care to keep you core locked so a straight line forms between your head, glutes and heels. Lower your body until your chest is an inch from the ground then explosively drive up by fully extending your arms.
SQUATS: 15 TO 20 REPS
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Start the movement by bending your knees and sitting back with your hips. Go down as far as you can and quickly reverse the motion back to the starting position. Keep your head up and back straight throughout the move.P
PLANK: 30 TO 45 SECONDS
Get in a press-up position but rest on your forearms rather than your hands. Make sure your back is straight and tense your abs and your glutes. Hold without allowing your hips to sag.
CLOSE GRIP INVERTED ROW: 5 TO 20 REPS
Stand beneath a low pull up bar grab it with an underhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart. Pull your body up until your chest almost touches the bar, keeping your body straight from neck to ankles throughout. Pause, then lower yourself back down to the start position.
SIDE PLANK: 30 SECONDS EACH SIDE
Lie on your left side with your knees straight and prop your upper body up to take its weight on your forearm. Brace your core and raise your hips until your body forms a straight line. Hold this position while breathing deeply. Then roll over and repeat on the other side.
WALKING LUNGES: 10 TO 15 EACH LEG
Lunge forward as far as you can with your right leg, bending your trailing knee so it almost brushes the floor. Use the heel of your right foot to push yourself off into the next lunge, this time leading with your left leg.