11 reasons why you should make gymnastics part of your fitness regime
If you're looking to make the most out of your gym time, call on bodyweight training
Gymnastics, calisthenics and other kinds of bodyweight training are difficult, but boast enormous benefits. These bodyweight fitness systems improve all-round fitness and movement.
Calisthenics maestro Macauley Carruthers has revealed 11 key reasons why implementing gymnastics training into your weekly fitness routine is a must.
1 – Flexibility
"Most exercises require some level of flexibility and through performing different kinds you will notice some muscles are tighter than others.
"By training your muscles with gymnastic movements, your body will adapt to perform the exercise correctly, in doing so improving your flexibility. Start with standard stretching and a dynamic warm up prior to calisthenic workouts."
2 – Endurance
"Including a calisthenics or gymnastics workout in the form of a circuit is a great way to build muscular endurance.
"Performing this circuit 3-5 times through with limited rest will build up your body's resistance to fatigue, kind of like cardiovascular exercise."
3 – Strength
"Not only does calisthenics and gymnastics training improve your muscular strength, but also bone and joint strength, reducing the risk of exercise related injuries.
"Being a full body workout, this promotes fat loss resulting in a more toned, lean looking physique."
4 – Weight Loss
"Due to the amount of muscle engagement required by the exercises, you burn more calories doing a vigorous calisthenics workout than most common cardio workouts.
"There are tonnes of exercises you can add to your routine to dramatically test and improve your cardio. Try adding burpees, star jumps, jumping jacks, hill climbs and many other fast paced movements in between your sets. This will improve your cardio while burning off any unwanted calories."
5 – Functional
"Gymnastics is not only a great way to stay in shape, but to be more useful in everyday life. Although this is an unlikely situation, imagine being stuck down a hole and not being able to lift your own bodyweight up to free yourself?
"Simple movements such as bending down will feel easier and more comfortable to achieve."
6 – Balance
"As you start to improve and get stronger you can adapt your exercises to challenge yourself more. These exercises not only help with strength but also balance and coordination.
"For example, with squats, once these become easy for you, you can advance to a 1-legged squat (pistol squat). Not only are you building muscle, but you are focussing on balance while engaging your core. This will improve your balance and body control which leg pressing in a gym simply cannot achieve."
7 – Core Strength
"Most bodyweight exercises engage your core to a level you will have never experienced training in the gym. Your core is made up of lots of different muscles and there are many simple bodyweight exercises that can be done to engage all of them. A good core can help with many different sports and activities."
8 – Fun
"Going to the gym can become tedious and slightly boring when repeating the same exercises week in, week out.
"Calisthenics and gymnastics can easily be adapted to make training more enjoyable. There are countless variations that can be done."
9 – Something You Can Do Away From The Gym
"Although most training is done in the gym, many exercises can be performed at home or outdoors.
"There are some great pieces of equipment available that can help spice up your workouts - such as the PullUpMate, a portable pull-up bar."
Macauley Carruthers is an ambassador for sports nutrition brand USN