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What Is Calisthneics?

What Is Calisthneics?

Calisthenics, bodyweight training or streetworkout is a form of sports where you use your own body weight as resistance. The goal of calisthenics is to increase muscle mass, strength, mobility, flexibility and endurance. Well-known exercises are pull-ups, push-ups and dips. Usually sports are done outside in parks or playgrounds. In the Netherlands there are more and more places to find special calisthenics parks. Is this not available in your area? Then be creative and make use of the environment. Furthermore, calisthenics is a very social sport. Because you exercise outside, you meet new people and learn from each other exercises that you have not seen before. You inspire and motivate each other, making it fun and challenging. Calisthenics is suitable for everyone. Whether you are young or old, beginner or expert.

Where does calisthenics come from?

Like many good things in life, calisthenics also originated in Greece. The word calisthenics is made up of the two Greek words "kallos", meaning beautiful, and "sthenos", meaning strength, both physical and mental. Calisthenics was part of the training of soldiers in training for the Spartan elite army. With exercises such as lunges, jumping jacks, sit-ups, pull-ups, squats and dips they were prepared for this army.

Calisthenics exercises

The different calisthenics exercises can be roughly divided into three categories: static postures, repetitions and freestyle.

Static holds

  • Back Lever

  • Front Lever

  • Planche

  • Plank

  • Handstand


  • Push-Up

  • Pull-Up

  • Muscle-Up

  • Squat

  • Dip

  • Sit-Up


Calisthenics also has a show element, freestyle. During a freestyle there is the chance to show creativity and explosiveness. Different static postures are combined with each other and the athlete jumps between and over the bars, to make it look like a fluid whole. During a freestyle, movements from other sports are also implemented, such as freerunning or gymnastics. All this to make it the most spectacular show possible.

Calisthenics competitions

Various calisthenics competitions are organized nationally and internationally. These are events where it is not only fun to participate, but also very impressive to be present as a visitor. Street workout competitions generally consist of two parts. Freestyle and strict form battles. The strict form part is about who is able to do the most repetitions of a certain exercise with a perfect execution. In general, these are pull-ups, muscle-ups, push-ups and dips. The second part of a calisthenics competition is the freestyle part. Participants are judged on dynamics, static postures and combos. In addition, the jury also awards points for the presentation and interaction with the spectators.

Calisthenics Association

Calisthenics has grown so quickly in recent years that a calisthenics association was founded in 2016. The Dutch Calisthenics Association (NLCB), part of KrachtsportNL. You can go to the Dutch Calisthenics Association for, among other things, following workshops, courses, education and registering for a competition.

  Team StreetGains     15-02-2018 00:12     Comments ( 0 )
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