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Calisthenics: The no-gym workout

THE ASIAN AGE. | KUNAL GIR
Published : Sep 22, 2019, 6:39 am IST
Updated : Sep 22, 2019, 6:39 am IST

Actors like Varun Dhawan, Vidyut Jammwal and Shahid Kapoor have opted for calisthenics.

Read on to learn more about the resistance training that develops and strengthens your muscles and body.
 Read on to learn more about the resistance training that develops and strengthens your muscles and body.

Calisthenics is resistance training using one’s own body weight, designed to improve strength, flexibility, agility, balance, coordination and aerobic conditioning. It’s a set of exercises, which include lunges, crunches, dips, jumping jacks, broad jumps, handstands, sit-ups, push-ups, L-sit, squats, leg lifts, thrusts and jumping jacks. What’s more, calisthenics can be done anywhere and anytime—all one needs is one’s body. Given below are five exercises that are very effective in helping you sculpt the fit body you hope for.

Burpees

Burpees
Target muscles: Legs, chest, triceps and abs
Difficulty: 10/10

How to do it: Start by taking a push-up stance. Complete a push up. Then, jump up using both feet and then jump up as high as possible.

How it helps: Burpees is a great fat burning exercise, which can be done as an entire workout by itself. It’s that intense! A total of 100 reps will floor anyone. Having said that, avoid starting off by attempting 100 reps if you’ve never done them before.

Beginners: 10 reps per set (done nonstop). Do 3–4 sets in total.
Intermediate: 15 reps per set (done nonstop). Do 4–5 sets in total.
Advanced: Target a total of 100 reps, as soon as possible. (Take minimum breathers when needed).

Walking Lunge and Squats Comb
Target muscles: Legs (quadriceps and hamstrings) and glutes
Difficulty: 8/10

How to do it: Simply lunge forward bending both knees at 90 degrees while trying to almost touch the rear knee to the floor. Make sure you keep your torso upright throughout. Lunge 5 steps and then stop and squat for another 5 reps. Count these 5 lunge–5 squats as 1 rep. Given below are the recommended reps and sets for a workout.

How it helps: This exercise is a perfect lag blaster. It hits all areas of your lower body. Trying to do it as soon as possible also makes it a great fat burner.
How to do it: Simply lunge forward bending both knees at 90 degrees while trying to almost touch the rear knee to the floor. Make sure you keep your torso upright throughout. Lunge 5 steps and then stop and squat for another 5 reps. Count these 5 lunge–5 squats as 1 rep. Given below are the recommended reps and sets for a workout.

Beginners: 10–15 reps done as soon as possible
Intermediate: 20–25 reps done as soon as possible
Advanced: 30–35 reps done as soon as possible 10–15 reps done as soon as possible

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Abs Crunch and Superman Superset
Target muscles: Lower back and
abdominals Difficulty: 5/10

How to do it: Lie down with your back on the floor and your knees bent. Try to crunch up while focusing on getting your rib cage closer to your pelvic bone. (Imagine an apple between your chin and the chest.) After finishing the target reps, turn around and lie face down. Try to lift your upper and lower body away from the ground. When done right, only your lower rib cage until your hips will be on the floor. Imagine making a crescent moon shape with your body.

How it helps: This exercise works the core very well. The abs crunch targets the abs, while the superman targets the lower back.

Beginners: 10 reps crunch, 10 reps superman. Count that as 1 set. Do 5 sets.
Intermediate: 15 reps crunch, 15 reps superman. Count that as 1 set. Do 6 sets.
Advanced: 20 reps crunch, 20 reps superman. Count that as 1 set. Do 7 sets.

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Mountain Climbers
Target muscles: Legs, abs and lower back
Difficulty: 8/10

How to do it: Take the push-up position. Now bring in one knee towards the chest. Bring that foot back to its starting position while simultaneously bringing the other knee towards the chest. So in way, you are jumping in and out with alternate feet, while maintaining a push up position with your hands. This exercise is best done for for a given duration of time, instead of repetitions.

How it helps: Mountain climbers are similar to burpees, minus the getting up and jumping part. This exercise helps with increasing coordination and balance. Because of the high intensity, this serves as a great cardio option.

Beginners:30 secs on, 30 secs off. Do 6 rounds in total.
Intermediate: 45 secs on, 45 secs off. Do 8 rounds in total.
Advanced: 1 min on, 1 min off. Do 10 rounds in total.

(The author is a celebrity fitness consultant and trainer)

Tags: push-ups, jumping jacks