Exercises that involve equipment and weights are best done under the supervision of a trainer. Undoubtedly, with these gear, having a trained pro around can prevent a lot of exercise-related injuries. A fitness professional can also design a regimen to specifically suit your health and individual needs.
But not all of us have the time or energy to go to the gym or afford a personal trainer. But this does not mean that you can kiss working out goodbye. To keep fit, you have to work out. And yes, you can do your own home workout without the weights.
The answer: Calisthenics.
If this is the first time you've heard of calisthenics, read on. Calisthenics are dynamic exercises that are simple and rhythmical in nature. It's a form of bodyweight exercise that consists of bending, jumping, twisting and kicking that strengthens and builds muscle mass. Take note, however, that calisthenics won't give you the body of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime. It will, however, make your body more supple and give you that added boost of confidence.
Calisthenics is also an exercise that even hypertensive individuals can perform. Like any other exercise, calisthenics increases blood pressure but unlike high-impact exercises, there's no danger of getting it to reach uncontrollable levels. Regular calisthenic exercises lowers bad cholesterol while increasing the good kind. It enables the body to lose those excess pounds and consequently, improve your overall physical appearance.
In the beginning, a 10-minute calisthenic exercise would serve its purpose. As soon as you gain strength, stamina and the mental determination to do more, you can gradually increase your workout schedule. Push-ups, crunches, pull-ups, lunges, flutter kicks and squats are just some of the more common calisthenic exercises.
In doing push-ups, make sure that your arms go from fully extended in your starting position to almost fully flexed as you bend down low, making sure that you don't rest on the floor. Crunches are similar to sit-ups except you only tighten the abdominal muscles. Pull-ups are performed with an overhead bar (or a strong tree branch as an alternative). You lift your body up slowly while keeping your back straight until it reaches chin level and return to normal position also in a slow and tightly-controlled manner. Lunges are done by simply bringing the leg to a 90 degree angle in front of you with the other leg on a semi-kneeling position behind you. You then stand up and do the same to the other leg. Flutter kicks are done in a lying position, with your hands behind your buttocks as you move up your feet up and down close to the ground. Squats are done with feet and shoulders wide apart. You then squat as far down as possible while bringing your arms forward before resuming to a standing position.
So if you're looking for that safe and complete home workout that you can do everyday minus the weights, calisthenics is your best bet. It doesn't only make you lose weight, it improves your posture and boosts your self-image, too. What more could you possibly want in a workout?
Happily married father of three, fitness nut, and former professional bodybuilder.