Including Calisthenics in Your Workout Routine

Including Calisthenics in Your WorkoutWhile using home gym equipment such as treadmills, elliptical trainers and stationary bicycles is a great way to get an effective workout, you can further improve the effectiveness of your workout by incorporating a variety of different exercises into your routine.  As such, you might want to consider adding calisthenics to your workout plans.

With calisthenics, you utilize your own body weight to provide you with the resistance you need to improve your flexibility and strength.  Even if you do not use calisthenics for your entire workout, these exercises are a great compliment to any workout and may be used to help you get your body warmed up or cooled down after your regular routine.

Here are a few examples of callisthenic exercises you may want to add to your workout routine:

· Arm rotations – make circular motions with your arms after extending them horizontally from your body.  Make these motions for about one minute and then rotate in the reverse direction for one minute as well.
· Crunches – while laying on your back, place your knees at a 90 degree angle and put your hands under your head.  Lift your body slightly by using your abdominal muscles only.
· Flutter kicks – while on your back, place your hands beneath your butt. Then, alternately raise one leg at a time 6 inches or more from the ground in a motion that is similar to swimming.
· Knee rotation – place your hands on your knees and slowly rotate your knees in one direction for about one minute before reversing and rotating for an additional minute.
· Hip rotation – place your hands on your hips and then slowly rotate your hips in a clockwise direction for about a minute before doing the motion again in the reverse direction.
· Jumping jack – while standing, place your hands at your sides.  Then, jump in the air while simultaneously clapping your hands above your head and spreading your legs.  Jump again and return to the standing position and repeat.
· Push up – lay on the ground on your stomach, then raise the front part of your body off the ground by placing your hands shoulder width apart and pushing yourself up.  Keep your back straight and avoid sticking your butt in the air as you raise and lower your body repeatedly.

By pairing these exercises with your regular cardio and weightlifting routine, you can effectively add lean muscle while burning fat and getting into great physical shape.