Do you want to get a ripped physique to impress your friends? Then you should definitely include Calisthenics and plyometric exercises in your workouts.
After all, these two exercises are pretty popular for building muscle in a proper form and improving fitness. With that being said, these two exercises work best in certain situations, which means you will need to pick between them carefully.
This is where many people go wrong, for they do not fully understand what makes them different from each other. Lucky for you, that’s just what we have discussed in this guide.
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What Is Calisthenics?
Calisthenics exercises refer to a wide variety of bodyweight exercises that help improve your muscular strength and overall fitness level. Most of these exercises are done without using any extra gym equipment, which means you will have to rely on your body weight to perform them.
There are different sub-categories in Calisthenics, which makes them a relatively versatile form of physical workout. Each of them has specific focus areas and benefits, which help in all-around muscular development and fitness. Because of this, it is widely recommended by physical trainers and fitness coaches.
Advantages Of Calisthenics Workouts
1. Highly Convenient
The biggest advantage of a Calisthenics workout is its convenience. As we have said before, you do not require any additional fitness equipment, which makes the it easy to exercise by yourself. Likewise, you can perform Calisthenics workouts almost anywhere and at any time, which further makes them convenient.
2. Low Barrier Of Entry
Another major advantage of a Calisthenics workout is its low barrier to entry. With Calisthenics exercises, there is no need to invest in expensive gym equipment at any time. As such, they can be performed by almost everyone, regardless of their financial capabilities.
A typical Calisthenics routine includes different types of exercises to work out all the major muscle groups in your body. Thanks to that, you can use this workout to build muscle, lose body fat and improve fitness at the same time, making it fairly versatile.
Disadvantages Of Calisthenics Workouts
1. Lacks Intensity
Despite being versatile, Calisthenics exercises lack the necessary intensity for a hardcore workout. So, if you want to lose weight quickly, you may find them a bit ineffective.
2. Inefficient For Power Or Speed Training
Sure, Calisthenics may be helpful for building muscle mass and fitness, but they are not as effective for improving physical speed and power.
Examples Of Calisthenics Exercises
There are several types of body weight exercises that can be performed in Calisthenics. Some of the most popular ones are push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, body-weight squats and their variations. All of these exercises are great at working out the muscles of your upper body, legs and back.
Here, you need to keep in mind that only the basic variations of these exercises are followed in Calisthenics. That way, the difficulty level of the exercises can be kept in check. However, you can perform some advanced Calisthenics like pistol squat exercises or muscle-up workouts if you can handle it.
What Is Plyometrics?
Plyometrics is another form of bodyweight training that aims to improve fitness and accelerate weight loss. Most of these exercises are very similar to Calisthenics, which is why many people tend to get confused between the two. However, unlike Calisthenics, plyometrics workouts require explosive power and speed.
That’s because you are required to switch from a low-intensity workout to a high-intensity workout very quickly in such training. Therefore, most plyometric workouts involve powerful lower body movements.
Advantages Of Plyometric Workouts
1. Develops Speed And Power
The high-intensity nature of plyometrics makes it highly suitable for developing physical power and speed. That is why it is generally recommended for professional athletes, where both of these aspects are crucial.
2. Higher Engagement
Due to their higher intensity, plyometrics exercises require a higher degree of engagement than Calisthenics. This makes them more interesting to perform, thereby preventing you from getting bored.
3. Produces Relatively Quick Results
Since it emphasises performing high-intensity workouts in short intervals, you can get quicker results with plyometrics. Thus, if you wish to lose fat and get fit quickly, you will find this type of exercise quite useful.
Disadvantages Of Plyometric Workouts
1. Highly Straining
The higher workout intensity and explosive movements of plyometric training can put tremendous strain on the body and joints. This subsequently increases the chances of injury if you are not careful. And if you are already suffering from poor joint health, we would advise you against undertaking such exercises.
2. Not Suitable For Beginners
Plyometrics emphasis on intensity makes this type of exercise unsuitable for beginners. If you are not physically adept, they can’t be performed effectively, which will prevent you from getting the desired results.
Examples Of Plyometric Exercises
There are different plyometric exercises to choose from, such as squat jumps, lateral jumps, box jumps, long jumps, clapping pushups and so on. All of these exercises can be particularly beneficial for speed and strength training as well as improving the power of your lower body muscles.
Needless to say, most plyometric exercises have an advanced difficulty. On that note, if you are having trouble, then you can seek help from a personal trainer to chart a proper workout regimen.
So, now the question automatically arises – which one will give you the best results?
Well, the answer to that question depends on your workout needs. If you only wish to build up muscles and physique, then you should perform Calisthenics. But if you are an athlete and want to build up power and speed, you can go with plyometrics.
Of course, you also need to consider some other factors, such as your body composition, joint health, expertise levels and so on. Beginners and people with joint troubles are advised to choose Calisthenics since it fits their needs better. On the other hand, experts and strongly built individuals can choose plyometrics to improve their physical prowess.
Founder of www.calisthenics-101.co.uk. Training calisthenics since 2012.
Currently working on: 30 second one-arm handstand, muscle-up 360, straddle planche.