Why Everyone Should Master Bodyweight Strength Before Sport
Training is the foundation that keeps us focused, well drilled, injury free and prepared, both mentally and physically, for any sport or discipline. It is the essential (can’t stress that one enough) building block for sport and movement in general, enabling us to gain knowledge of our body. Training using varying methods and dedicated drills is what keeps the body in tip top condition, and helps us to build up to where we need to be in life, and in our sports of choice.
Imagine starting a 100m sprint race with no preparation; no idea of how your body moves, not having prepared the body, connective tissue and muscle tissue for any form of intense exercise before being on that start line and then the starting gun goes….let’s say that wouldn’t be ideal….
Professional athletes have teams of people to help them in each particular area, so that they can keep their bodies in the best condition possible so that they can bring their A-Game every time. We may not have access to teams of experts, but we can break down our training into the same categories and manage each one appropriately, just on a smaller scale. Now, more than ever, we have access to a wealth of scientifically information to help us achieve our goals. Nutrition, strength of the muscular (and connective) tissues, cardiovascular fitness, body knowledge and psychological readiness are all pieces that make up the discipline of training.
But in this article I want us to focus on how Calisthenics is the most essential foundation for any and all sports or disciplines.
Calisthenics is, simply put, bodyweight movement and essential to all other forms of physical and mental training. We need to learn the foundations of movements through training our bodies, and be able to perform these movements perfectly before adding speed, weight or intensity to progress our body to the next level. We can use calisthenics to learn how our muscles engage, how strong our connective tissues are, where our weaknesses are (to be able to improve them as we train) and how to be psychologically prepared to take on the next level.
Calisthenics provides the foundation of our training pyramid, to allow us to know the body and to be able to train to move it in different planes to make it as efficient as possible. It does also allow us to move onto advanced skills and practices, if we want to train Calisthenics exclusively, but the beauty of Calisthenics is that it is the starting point of virtually all forms of sport and training. A squat – calisthenics, a lunge – calisthenics, a push up – calisthenics; you get the idea. Using our bodies to push and pull, through the upper and lower body, in the varying planes of motion is where we can start to build up to our maximum.
When you are training with bodyweight, make sure to perform those movements slowly and with control and focus. This will help you to build a mind to muscle engagement as well as learning how the body works. Film yourself if you need to as well, as it really helps to perfect your form. It also helps you learn one key facet; to identify your weaknesses. This process is essential, although jarring at first. You can learn what needs more focus and work through your training cycles.
You may hear it all the time when it comes to training, it’s about the journey, not the destination. And that is most definitely true. The journey becomes a sport and discipline of it’s own, as you progress further and further. Again, professional athletes train more than they do step up at game or event time. Think of the 100 meter sprint again, ten seconds on track at the Olympics is four years of training. And when it’s put in that context, it makes you appreciate how training is the key to it all.
Head over to Our Store and you can find all the kit to help you unlock your bodyweight training, through all it’s disciplines, whether you need rings, paralettes, ropes or anything in between!
We would love to see you guys show us how you train, what you are training towards and those calisthenics goals you have! So tag us on IG @gravity.fitness so we can see you guys absolutely smashing it! Keep climbing that mountain, and you’ll be amazed how far you can climb!