Calisthenics

Calisthenics (American English) or Callisthenics (English Commonwealth) are exercises consisting of a variety of gross motor movements – running, standing, grasping, pushing, etc. – often done rhythmically and with a minimum of equipment, so basically, bodyweight exercises. They are intended to increase body strength, body fitness and flexibility, by such movements as pulling or pushing, bending, jumping, or swinging, using only his body weight for resistance; usually conducted in conjunction with stretching. When practiced vigorously and with great variety, Swedish gymnastics can offer the benefits of muscle and aerobic conditioning, as well as improving psychomotor skills such as balance, agility and coordination. Many consider callisthenia as a “movement through space”, which means that you can move freely without any restrictions blocking your full strength. Urban gymnastics is a form of street training; Swedish gymnastics groups perform exercise routines in urban areas. Individuals and groups train to be able to perform advanced gymnastic skills such as muscles, bars, and front and back levers. Sports teams and military units often perform group-led group gymnastics as a form of synchronized physical training (often including a call-and-response routine) to increase group cohesion and discipline. Swedish gymnastics is also popular as a component of physical education in primary and secondary schools in much of the globe. In addition to general fitness, gymnastic exercises are often used as basic physical assessments for many military organizations, such as the US Army Fitness Test and U.S.M.C. Fitness test.

The word callisthenic comes from the ancient Greek words kallos (κάλλος), which means “perfect” or “good” (to emphasize the aesthetic pleasure derived from the perfection of the human body), and sthenos (σθένος), meaning “strength” (Great mental strength, courage, strength and determination). It is the art of using one’s body weight as resistance in order to develop one’s physique. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, it was named after one of its earliest supporters, the Greek historian Callisthenes, even though it was adapted to English with a bad spelling. Friedrich Ludwig Jahn’s followers brought their version of gymnastics to the United States, while Catherine Beecher and Dio Lewis introduced physical education programs for women in the 19th century. Organized callisthenic systems in America took a back seat to competitive sports after the battle of the systems, when states demanded physical education systems. Callisthenia is associated with the burgeoning international sport called street training. Street training as a sport consists of athletes competing by showing their weight and control in timed routines to impress a jury. The World Street Workout & Calisthenics Federation (WSWCF) based in Latvia orchestrates the annual National Championships in up to 50 different countries () and hosts the World Championships for all national champions to compete in a competition. The World Calisthenics Organization (WCO) based in Los Angeles, CA. promotes a series of competitions known worldwide as the Battle of the Bars (R). The WCO has created the first set of rules for real 1-on-1 competitions, including weight categories, timing system, original judging criteria and a 10-point system – giving the growing number of athletes world the opportunity to participate in these world competitions.

In addition to the various stretches, some of the most common gymnastic exercises include:

Especially for gymnastics training, there are more and more central areas of outdoor fitness training. These gyms are central modules with facilities like pull bars, a monkey bar, a parallel bar and wall bars at one place. The bars are connected to allow transfers between the elements.

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