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Why calisthenics isn't just for lightweight people

Why calisthenics isn't just for lightweight people

October 06, 2023 4 min read

Why calisthenics isn't just for lightweight people

Are you put off the idea of calisthenics because you’re not a lean, lithe, lightweight athlete? Calisthenics truly is for everybody and every body. Here’s why everyone can do calisthenics.


Calisthenics is accessible to all body types

What comes to mind when you think of a calisthenics athlete? Someone relatively short, very lean, and light like a gymnast? That’s a limiting vision of calisthenics – and it’s actually not particularly accurate. 

Sure, there was a time when the only people who did calisthenics were the small guys and girls. But these days, calisthenics has expanded into strength challenges and muscle gain goals, and you will actually see a lot of pretty big calisthenics experts.

Still, we completely understand why the idea of doing calisthenics exercises might be intimidating if you’re tall, heavy, or very muscular. At Gravity Fitness we truly believe that calisthenics is for everybody (and every body), so please keep reading so we can convince you to give it a try!


Calisthenics is inclusive

Calisthenics is often associated with jaw-dropping tricks like planche and human flag that only seem possible for very strong, very light people. But that’s really not the case. 

First of all, calisthenics is definitely not just planche and human flag fancy tricks! Calisthenics is simply the art of mastering your own bodyweight. Simple movements like push ups and bodyweight squats count as calisthenics. The percentage of the calisthenics community who can do those awe-inspiring tricks is really very small. And you absolutely do not have to ever master a handstand or front lever to consider yourself “someone who does calisthenics”. 

Calisthenics is accessible to all body types and incredibly important for promoting health, strength, and mastery of your own bodyweight. After all, if you can handle your own bodyweight, you are more likely to age well, experience fewer injuries, and do better in other types of training as well.


Can anyone start doing calisthenics?

Calisthenics is perhaps the most accessible type of training in the world. All you need is your own bodyweight. If and when you want to start using equipment, it can be as simple as a pull up bar or a pair of parallettes. No gym, no rules. Just moving your body and having fun with it. This means that anyone, regardless of their age, fitness background, body type, or weight can do calisthenics – and will get benefits from it.


Is calisthenics a friendly sport?

As we’ve said, you don’t have to go to a gym to do calisthenics. But if you do want to tap into the calisthenics community, you won’t find a nicer bunch of people. Calisthenics communities are known for their inclusivity and support, sharing their progress, offering advice, and encouraging each other.

If you want to find a calisthenics community near you, you’re in the right place. Gravity Fitness is right at the heart of the calisthenics movement and we’d be happy to help you find your people.


Why calisthenics is important for all body shapes and sizes

Unlike other forms of training, calisthenics isn't just about aesthetics or burning calories. It’s about looking after your overall health both now and in the long-term. Doing short, regular calisthenics routines can improve heart health, help with flexibility, and increase bone density as well as help you build healthy muscle tissue through functional movements. These benefits are great whether you’re short or tall, big or small, heavy or light. It’s about being healthy and moving better.


How to get started with calisthenics if you’re tall 

Being tall is no barrier to doing calisthenics. There are no exercises you need to avoid. The main thing to consider is having enough room overhead, behind you, and out to the side when doing exercises that extend your body in one direction. 

As a taller person, you may find some exercises more challenging simply because of your leverage. But this doesn’t mean you should avoid calisthenics. In fact, calisthenics will help you build muscle on those long limbs and strengthen up your joints so you’re less likely to experience back pain.


How to get started with calisthenics if you’re heavy

If you’re a heavier person you may think calisthenics is basically impossible. We promise you it’s not. In fact, using your bodyweight will encourage your muscles and joints to get super strong.

Consider using resistance bands or other assistance tools during pulling exercises (like pull ups, inverted rows, and anything involving hanging from a bar) at least when you start out. And pay extra attention to your hands, wrists, and shoulder joints after pressing and pushing movements.


There’s more to calisthenics than fancy tricks

Look, we admit it. We love to watch top calisthenics athletes do their fancy feats of strength and balance. But we don’t let that stop us from cracking on with our own calisthenics journey.

There are so many undeniable benefits of doing calisthenics. It really is the best form of training for health, strength, and for mastering movement in everyday life.

Whatever size, shape, weight and height you are, there’s a way to do calisthenics safely and enjoyably. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, just get out there and start moving your body with regular calisthenics workouts. You won’t regret it.

If you need resistance bands for a bit of extra assistance, or your first bits of calisthenics kit (like gymnastics rings, parallettes, or a pull up rack) do check out the Gravity Fitness store. We’ve got everything you need.