Recently, calisthenics returned to the fitness scene with a bang. Its popularity owes greatly to its simplicity and efficacy. People love the fact that you don’t require any equipment whatsoever to perform bodyweight training that helps strengthen your core and tone your muscles.
In today’s post, we will be showing the easiest, but most effective, upper body bodyweight workout that will help you increase your strength, stamina, and flexibility.
But before we dive into the workouts, let us explain why bodyweight exercises are a good idea.
Why you should try bodyweight exercises
1. You don’t always have to lift a ton of iron to train your body
Traditionally, people who trained their bodies thought that lifting weights is necessary in their regimens. This is being strongly challenged by bodyweight exercises.
Your body is a barbell on its own. Learn to make use of it. Lifting a weight helps you strengthen your body, yes. But this weight does not always have to come from something external. Your bodyweight will offer you the required resistance to build strength.
2. These exercises are a body fat tester
You will see many folks at gym working only on their biceps and triceps by lifting weights, while their waistline expands like a balloon. If you don’t want that to happen to you, then you need to incorporate bodyweight exercises in your daily routine.
Body mass helps us lift heavy things. Now this mass could either be made of muscles or fats. What do you want your mass to comprise of?
Calisthenics will help you get rid of the excess weight, and at the same time, improve your bodu mass making you stronger and fitter.
3. Bodyweight exercises help diagnose and treat mobility issues
Calisthenics require your body to be more agile than their weight room complements. Performing a full range of motion barbell squat will need you to have good mobility in your hamstrings as well as your hips. Performing a one-legged pistol squat takes you to the next level.
People who only lift external weights and do no calisthenics, chances are you can back-squat more than your body weight; however, performing a de-loaded single-leg squat is a struggle for you. Why? Because of lack of flexibility.
4. These workouts help build better coordination
Performing a bench press or a good barbell squat does require coordination, nobody is denying that; however, the amount of coordination a freestanding handstand needs is far greater, won’t you agree?
A week of training can teach a novice weightlifter how to lift most barbells, but perfecting calisthenics moves can take years of practice. And during these years you learn body coordination like never before. Refining your technique will help you enhance your control over your body as well as coordinate your movements.
Doing a freestanding handstand, for instance, can be initially done by using a wall for support. Slowly you can lower the time you need to rest your feet on the wall and maintain balance. Before you know it, you will be performing a headstand fully on your hands with wonderful coordination of your body.
5. Calisthenics help strengthen the joints
Even people who have strong muscles might have weak joints. If you use weight belts, wrist wraps and/or knee braces to life, then there is a high chance that your joints are not as strong as your muscles.
You must have noticed many people at your gym who easily lift the heaviest of iron, but chin ups and dips scares them? Well, not being able to do simple bodyweight exercises as the ones just mentioned, means your joints are in some serious trouble.
Suggested read: Get That Coveted Toned Look, With Yoga Exercises
Strengthening the joints become easy-peasy by including calisthenics in your daily routine. Some bodyweight exercises are relatively low intensity and high time under tension; these can be performed in a range of 20-40 reps. These will help increase the circulation of blood to your joints, which in turn, to repair tears if any, and strengthen them in the process.
Don’t start with dips, if it’s too much for your joints. Try close-grip push-ups instead. These will help build strength in the shoulders and triceps. Try doing 30 consecutive pushups, every day, and you will see how quickly the connective tissues in the joints are healed and made stronger.
Again, if you think chin-ups are just not possible, then work your way to it by doing inverted bodyweight rows while keeping your feet on the floor. 30 consecutive and controlled reps can do wonders to your joints in no time.
Most effective upper body bodyweight workout to perform
Now, let us look at the best calisthenics workout you can try to strengthen your core.
1. Plank triceps extension
Many call this a tough move, but you can slowly perfect the position with time. Remember this is not a competition; this is art. Getting into a perfect plank position where your body is flat, glutes squeezed tight and core engaged, can help you build a torso that many cannot even dream about. While performing the plank triceps extension make sure your elbows are tight throughout.
2. Bodyweight skullcrusher
To perform this upper body exercise, you need a barbell on a rack, a dip bar or you can save your money and use your veranda railing. Take a kneeling position placing your hands on the bars. Make sure the hands are shoulder-width apart. Again, keep your body flat, and start by bending the elbows. Try to bring your hands back toward your head. Slowly tuck your head under the bar once your elbows are flexed fully. Your hands will be near your shoulders. Now extend your arms up until the elbows are locked.
While performing the skullcrusher, try to do the movements as slowly as possible. Mastering it might take some time.
3. Inverted row
You need to set up parallel bars close together. Now lie underneath them. Make sure your back is relaxed on the floor. Straighten out your legs. Extend your hands and grab the bars. Slowly row your body to the bars. Make sure throughout the workout your body is flat. Lower yourself slightly, while maintaining control. You can move your feet closer to ease the movement of your body.
The inverted row with help you strengthen your back, something very necessary for people with a sedentary lifestyle like me.
4. Inverted hinge row
Once you have mastered the inverted row, you are up for this challenging inverted hinge row. For this, you need to row your body halfway up, and then slowly hinge at the hip. Keep pulling at your navel with your upper body. This will allow your chest to come forward. Next, reverse the hinge once you reach the top, and lower yourself back to the ground while maintaining control.
This variation of the inverted row works great for the upper back and helps improve posture.
You cannot have a list of bodyweight exercises for the upper body and leave out pull-ups, right? You need a bar for this. Grab it with your hands, while keeping them at shoulder-width apart. Now slowly pull your chest toward the bar. Then, lower yourself while keeping the body in control, and come back to the start position.
Throughout the workout, try to keep your abs and glutes squeezed. Also, make sure, your shoulder blades are pulled back and your feet are below you. Do not give in to the temptation of swinging; it can wreak havoc on your wrists.
Of course! Push-ups are great, but you need to do them correctly. They should hit your triceps, your shoulders, and the pecs. That is where maximum work needs to be done if you want a strong upper body.
Take the push up position, while keeping your back flat and your chin tucked slightly in. Make sure your abs and glutes are squeezed tight. Your elbows should be toward the sides, not like wings, obviously. Now go down slowly. At all times, your chest should run parallel to the floor and your knees should not bend. Perform three sets of five, to begin with. You can slowly increase your reps as the strength of your joints improves.
That is all we have in today’s post that discussed upper body bodyweight workout. Did you find this useful? Do you have some specific query that the article didn’t address? You can ask that in the comment section below, and our experts will get back to you immediately.
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