Calisthenics are an excellent option for those days when you can’t get to the gym to lift weights or for when you just need a change of pace.
Using your own body weight for resistance training is a simple and reliable solution when weightlifting equipment isn’t available.
Your body doesn’t care whether the resistance comes from your body weight or weights, and your muscles will respond to the added workload either way.
The key to using calisthenics effectively for strength training is to allow enough recovery time between sessions.
Can you do calisthenics every day?
Yes, you can technically perform calisthenics every day but it’s largely dependant on your skill level, how hard you’re working out, which muscle groups you’re training and recovery time.
First, What Are The Benefits of Calisthenics
Calisthenics are one of the oldest forms of fitness training. Calisthenics are exercises that use your own body weight for resistance. Since there’s no equipment needed, you can do them anywhere, even in your hotel room to your office during your lunch break.
Many calisthenic exercises incorporate a certain amount of stretching and flexibility into the movement.
The lunge is a perfect example. When you do a lunge, you stretch throughout your entire hip to perform the hip extension in the leg that’s being extended behind your body.
As you increase your body strength with calisthenics, it will improve your flexibility as you perfect the movements.
The increased range of motion forces your body to use specific groups of muscles to perform each exercise. You should still do your regular pre and post-workout stretches, but calisthenics can contribute to your flexibility over time.
One of the best ways to increase muscular endurance is to do calisthenic exercises as part of a circuit.
Repeating a circuit of calisthenic exercises three or more times without taking a break is an excellent cardiovascular workout, and it will your body build up its resistance to fatigue.
Doing these circuits with a day or two of rest in between challenges your muscles, allowing you to do more rounds over time before you reach muscular exhaustion. Calisthenic routines can work your entire body, building up your endurance in every muscle group, as well as your cardiovascular system.
Of course, calisthenics will increase your muscular strength, but they will also strengthen your bones and joints, too.
Calisthenics are used by our military throughout basic training because they increase strength without a high risk of injury. They also don’t cause as much wear and tear on your body as lifting weights does.
Added Variety in Your Workout
Pushups and pullups are two of the most well known calisthenic exercises for the upper body. The great thing about these exercises is that you can perform many different variations of them during your circuit.
For example, pushups work the muscles in your triceps, shoulders, and chest. But if you change things up and incorporate clap pushups, single-arm pushups, or t-pushups into your circuit, you can also work other muscle groups, like your abs.
This strategy also works for other calisthenic exercises, like tricep dips, planks, squats, or lunges.
Muscle Failure and Recovery Times
One of the first things you need to understand when it comes to recovery times is the concept of muscle failure.
When you work a muscle group to the point where it can no longer perform the movement correctly, that’s called muscle failure.
Obviously, the harder you work out a specific muscle group, the longer it will need to recover.
If you do calisthenic workouts that are tough enough to work your muscles until you reach muscle failure, you should allow a couple of days for recovery between your workouts.
On the other hand, if your calisthenic workouts are more laid back and you go just until your muscles are tired, but not all the way to muscle failure, you might be able to do calisthenics every other day.
There are some exceptions to every rule. For example, if you have been working out regularly for several months, your muscles will recover more quickly.
In this case, you can probably do calisthenics every other day, even if your workouts are challenging. On the other hand, if you’re brand new to working out, you may need to wait three days between workouts.
Recovery Times Vary by Exercise
Some muscle groups recover faster than others.
For example, the large muscles in your legs that you would work with calisthenic exercises like lunges and squats, need longer recovery times. Small muscles in the legs that you would work with exercises like calf raises will recover more quickly.
When it comes to your upper body, exercises that incorporate multiple muscle groups, such as pushups, require more recovery time than exercises like tricep dips.
Abdominal muscles recover quickly from sit-ups, and you might be able to get away with doing them every day. However, pullups usually work your upper body muscles all the way to failure, so they require longer recovery times.
Adding Intensity to Your Calisthenics Workouts
If you feel your calisthenics workouts aren’t challenging your muscles to failure, you can easily increase the intensity to meet your goals.
Try performing the exercise on one side of your body, instead of using both sides.
Do one-armed pushups instead of using both arms. Or, do single-leg squats instead of regular ones. You can also add intensity by changing the angle of the exercise, such as raising your feet up on a chair when you’re doing pushups.
As you can see, there are a lot of variables that affect how much recovery time you need between calisthenics workouts.
The most important thing is to listen to your body and don’t overdo it. Overdoing it can easily lead to injury, preventing you from meeting your goals until you recover.