How to Start Calisthenics
When performing calisthenics to develop muscle strength or endurance, you should follow the same recommendations outlined in Chapter 7. Intensity is largely based on the number of sets and reps, and the length of rest periods. Resistance is provided by body weight rather than an external resistance. Proper form for calisthenic exercises follows many of the general exercise guidelines outlined in Chapter 7, including muscle balance and exercise order. Any of these exercises can be added to your gym-based routines to create more variety. Detailed instructions for some calisthenic exercises are in Table 8-1 (adapted from The Navy SEAL Physical Fitness Guide.) To begin a calisthenics program select one exercise per muscle group from Table 8-1. Perform this routine two to three times per week. Table 8-1. Calisthenic Exercises Arranged by Muscle Group
Besides calisthenics, strength exercises with light-weight, portable equipment, such as elastic tubing, dumbbells or a ball, can be performed in small spaces. Examples of these exercises are shown in Table 10-1. Regardless of the equipment used, the general principles and techniques outlined in Chapter 7 for muscle strength and endurance training apply. Follow the set and rep recommendations outlined in Chapter 8 for calisthenic exercises, starting with one set of eight reps. Include exercises for each of the major muscle groups mentioned in Chapter 7, Figure 7-2.
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