Do it Weightless!

We believe the human body was made for movement.

Our ancestors have always been mobile. They were hunters, gatherers, farmers, and builders.

However, as our societies have become more developed and our lives increasingly convenient due to technological advances, we now have less reason to move.

We sit in our chairs for hours on end, we do our shopping online, we chat with our loved ones online when we feel lazy to go out, and we have personal mobility devices (PMD) to replace walking.

When we stay in a stationary position for several hours at a time, our joints can start to ache, and we often feel like we need to stretch and move. If that lifestyle goes on for months and years, our bodies will eventually develop imbalances and postural issues will show.

Hence, we realized that the more our lifestyles make us lazy, the more we need to move in order to enhance our quality of life.

At Weightless, we have chosen to do that through bodyweight training, or Calisthenics.

What is calisthenics?

 
The hanging L-sit, an exercise that requires core stability, pulling strength, and flexibility. Image: Weightless

The hanging L-sit, an exercise that requires core stability, pulling strength, and flexibility. Image: Weightless

 

According to Wiki, the term ‘calisthenics’ comes from the ancient Greek words kalos (κάλος) - "beauty" or "beautiful" (to emphasize the aesthetic pleasure that derives from the perfection of the human body), and sthenos (σθένος) - "strength" (great mental strength, courage, strength and determination).

It is a form of exercise that uses your own bodyweight as resistance.

So why haven’t I heard of this term before?

That’s probably because of its generic definition.

You will notice that a lot of existing fitness trends and sports all fit the critieria of “using bodyweight as resistance”. Yoga, boot camp training, HIIT, and gymnastics are all examples of bodyweight exercises and sports that can be associated to calisthenics.

The big differences between the aforementioned examples and calisthenics are that the former usually have structural systems and philosophies that guide them. For example, yoga includes spiritual and meditative elements into their practice. Sports such as gymnastics have specific apparatus (e.g. rings, parallel bars) upon which bodyweight skills are tested.

Calisthenics have also been adopted by organizations like schools and uniformed bodies, including the military and the police.

 
Children performing sit ups, a popular calisthenics exercise. | Image: U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Gary Ward (Wikipedia)

Children performing sit ups, a popular calisthenics exercise. | Image: U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Gary Ward (Wikipedia)

 

Why calisthenics?

1. They improve coordination and stability

Calisthenics exercises are generally compound movements, which mean they invoice multiple groups of muscles moving together in a team. This is opposed to isolation exercises, which only activate single muscle groups. 

In compound exercises, the brain has to work to activate multiple muscles, which over time, helps you to develop a greater sense of body awareness and coordination. They are also great for improving overall stability and balance in your body, which is important as we get older. 

2. They can be less intimidating

When we are new to fitness, we will generally think of either going to the gym or joining a class, like yoga or dance. However, we know the gym can be an intimidating place, and you may feel like you're being "judged" when you don't look like a bodybuilder or aren't lifting heavy weights. Going to yoga or dance may give you the impression that you need to have prerequisites like flexibility or coordination. 

But with calisthenics, you won't need to contend with any of that. You can work out at a park or at home, in an environment you feel comfortable in! Since we have all done some calisthenics in schools, you can create simple workouts based on exercises you are already familiar with, such as squats, jumping jacks, or sit ups!

3. They cost close to nothing

Calisthenics requires minimal to no equipment at all, which makes them extremely affordable and versatile. You can perform them while on vacation without having to bring any additional stuff.

Most outdoor parks will feature fitness corners, allowing you to perform more creative exercises at no extra cost.

4. They compliment all sports and physical activities

Even if you are an existing advocate for a specific sport or exercise type, there’s always a place for calisthenics to complement your performance. Calisthenics conditioning can help to improve sports like yoga, climbing, parkour, martial arts, or even strength sports like powerlifting.

Calisthenic exercises help to improve body awareness, joint mobility, muscular stability, and thus will benefit anyone looking to improve their performance and prevent injury!

We want to help you feel weightless; weight-less.

At Weightless, we want to encourage everyone to pursue a more active lifestyle and enjoy the benefits of calisthenics in the process.

With just your own bodyweight, we can help anyone become stronger, leaner, faster and happier!

Stay tuned to our blog for more articles on how to get started with calisthenics and other tips on improving your quality of life!

Also check out our programmes if you’re interested in becoming part of the Weightless family! ❤

 
Image: Weightless

Image: Weightless