Blog Weight Loss What Does Calisthenics Do To Your Body: A Blow-By-Blow Explanation

What Does Calisthenics Do To Your Body: A Blow-By-Blow Explanation

What Does Calisthenics Do To Your Body

The Best Type Of Workout For You

Exercising has always been a staple of a healthy lifestyle. The variety of physical activity is so great, that anyone can find something that they would love. You can pick any type of workout, depending on your goal and preference.

For those who want to get buffed, then heavy lifting and weight training are just right; if your goal is to improve flexibility and de-stress, then yoga is the best option for you; if you are searching for a low-impact workout, because you suffer from an injury, do not despair, as swimming is your best choice here (5); those who don’t like routine exercising, and get bored of your workout very fast, can try various sports games, such as football, basketball, baseball, tennis, badminton, and others; and if you don’t have free time to spend it at the gym, then running, walking or home workout is perfect in such a case.

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And what is home workout without calisthenics? In this article, you will be able to find the answers to such questions as “What is calisthenics?”, “What are the types of calisthenics?”, “What does calisthenics do to your body?”, and others.

What Is Calisthenics?

Even if you don’t know what calisthenics is, you have performed this type of exercise numerous times before, but perhaps just didn’t know its name. Calisthenics is a low-resistance training where you use your own body weight (8). This type of workout requires no equipment and has been in use since ancient times. Calisthenics can be performed as a part of a warm-up or cool down for other workouts, or it can be a separate training.

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Calisthenics in general work major muscle groups and can be combined into a full-body workout. As you only use your own body weight while performing calisthenics, you can adjust the level of intensity by increasing the number of reps, performing the exercise faster or slower, or modifying it, by using only one hand or leg, or combining exercises. There also often are simplified versions of calisthenics exercise, so you can perform them even if you are a beginner or suffered from an injury, but in such a case, please, consult your doctor before getting down to training (1).

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Types Of Calisthenics

Calisthenics are timeless and popular all around the world. You are most certainly familiar with at least three calisthenics exercises. Here are some of the most popular calisthenic exercises (6):

Calisthenic exercises can be divided into beginner calisthenic exercises and advanced calisthenic exercises.

Read More: Calisthenics vs Weights: Which Road Should You Go Down?

Beginner calisthenics exercises have simplified versions, consist of a couple of simple repeated, or mirrored moves, and originally are lower intensity. They include the following:

  • Push-up
  • Plank
  • Lunge
  • Crunch
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Advanced calisthenic exercises originally require a higher fitness level than the beginner calisthenics, and may either consist of repeated simple moves, or a combination of moves. These exercises include:

  • Burpee
  • Pull-up
  • L-sit
  • Dip

what does calisthenics do to your body
What Does Calisthenics Do To Your Body?

So, what does calisthenics do to your body, and why is calisthenics good for you? Like with any other type of physical activity, there are numerous benefits of calisthenics (3). Here are the main ones:

Improves Your Endurance

A circuit calisthenics training is a great way to grow muscular endurance. This type of workout will increase your body’s resistance to fatigue, and with time you will develop greater endurance. It also has a similar effect to cardio training, promoting better heart health.

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Works Your Whole Body

Although you can divide calisthenics into upper body and lower body exercises, a lot of them involve, although not to the same extent, both parts of your body, and thus target both lower and upper body muscles. Take for example plank. Although it mainly focuses on your core, it also involves your legs, arms, shoulders, and back. And burpee by itself is a whole-body exercise.

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Has A Lesser Impact On Your Joints

Compared to weight training, which is often compared to calisthenics, the latter has times lesser impact on your joints. If you perform resistance training incorrectly, use too heavy weights, or train too often, you may put additional stress on your joints and connective tissues. Calisthenics, on the other hand, only uses natural movements, and your own body, thus does not increase the stress on your joints.

Builds Muscle Strength

You don’t necessarily need dumbbells or a barbell to grow your muscles. Calisthenics are extremely efficient at muscle-building, especially if you are a beginner. Although some people think that calisthenics are only effective to a certain point, because muscle mass comes from progressive resistance, and your body won’t be able to always provide you with that, however, you can increase the intensity of an exercise, thus increasing the resistance.

Adds To Weight Loss

To lose weight all you need to do is burn more calories than you consume. The best option is to combine a healthy diet and exercise (7). Like any other type of exercise, calisthenics adds to your overall energy expenditure, thus promoting weight loss. As this type of training involves multiple muscle groups, it usually burns more calories than common cardio workout.

Increases Your Flexibility

Many calisthenic exercises require some degree of flexibility. Take for instance lunge. When you take a step with your one leg to perform a lunge, you may feel tightness through quads and hamstrings. If you continue performing lunges, you may feel how the tightness disappears, and your level of flexibility increases.

what does calisthenics do to your body

How Many Calories Does Calisthenics Burn?

The number of calories each person burns while performing certain physical activity depends on a lot of factors, including age, initial weight, sex, body composition, and others (2). To calculate how many calories you burn doing calisthenics, you can use this calories burned calculator. An average 125-pound person burns 135 calories during half of an hour of calisthenics with a moderate effort, a 155-pound person burns 167 calories performing the same activity with the same intensity, for the same amount of time, and a 185-pound person burns 200 calories under the same circumstances. When the level of intensity increases to vigorous, a 125-pound person burns 240 calories per 30-minutes of training, a 155-pound person burns 298 calories, and a 185-pound person burns 355 calories for the same amount of time (4).

Is It Ok To Do Calisthenics Everyday?

Technically you can perform calisthenics every day, but it depends on your fitness level, the level of intensity of your workout, your target muscle groups, and recovery time. If you are not new to calisthenics, work out at a moderate intensity, and alternate between different muscle groups, it may be ok for you to do calisthenics daily. For the best result, please consult a personal trainer before changing your workout routine.


If you are a beginner or want to spice up your workout routine, you can try incorporating some calisthenics in your training. Calisthenics is a type of training that uses your own body weight as resistance. It doesn’t require any equipment and can be performed anywhere, and at any time, that is why it is an inseparable part of any home workout. What does calisthenics do to your body? In short, a lot. It improves your strength, helps you lose weight, grows muscle, promotes better endurance, and increases flexibility. As calisthenics are relatively low-intensity, you can perform it as a beginner, starting with simplified versions and then progressing to advanced exercises. Remember, before starting a new workout routine it is required that you consult a personal trainer.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Benefits of Calisthenic Exercises (2019,
  2. Calculating how many calories are burned in a day (2020,
  3. Calisthenics (n.d.,
  4. Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights (2018,
  5. Physical and mental benefits of swimming (2018,
  6. That Is The Best Calisthenics Workout? (n.d.,
  7. Weight-loss basics (2019,
  8. What is calisthenics? (2020,
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