CALISTHENICS KINAESTHETIC MOVEMENT

DEFINITION

Calisthenics is basically an anaerobic training system that consists of a variety of exercises, often rhythmic and synchronized, which act synergistically and coordinated, using as basic resistance ones own bodyweight with little or no equipment.

Calisthenic exercises act in a natural way, causing impressive and symmetrical results in muscular growth and strength of the whole body, according to the genetics of each individual. What matters most is the abilities a person can gain by that kind of training.

The goal of this training system is the symmetrical strengthening of all muscle groups, skeletal and cardiac, the development of functional strength and movement, as well as other abilities, such as balance, coordination, speed, explosiveness, body control and much more. Besides that it also helps to increase bone mass, strengthening connective tissue and increasing metabolism.

What we teach is not fitness, or rather, it’s not just fitness, it’s body movement. The harmonic motion, positioning and balance of the body in space. Fitness is just a small part of movement. To understand the difference between movement and fitness, think of a hurdling and a parkour athlete. They both try to get from a point A to a point B as quickly as possible. The difference in the difficulty of the obstacles and the way they get over them is extremely big. That is how large the difference between fitness and movement is.

As we mentioned here earlier, the basic goal in calisthenics is the improvement of neuromuscular assembly and the harmonic motion of the body in space. The exercises aim to achieve maximum coordination of all muscle groups, with the contraction of the highest number of muscle fibers possible, in order to achieve maximum strength and performance. Most credit is given to the core, as the body’s center of balance. Particular emphasis is also given to the correct technique of the exercises and breathing.

More specifically calisthenic conditioning consists of:

  • Basic progressive bodyweight exercises
  • Combined bodyweight exercises
  • Acrobatic gymnastics
  • Hand balancing
  • Isometric exercises
  • Acrobatics and Explosive exercises
  • Exercises with more than ones own bodyweight

HISTORY

Calisthenics is inspired from the training of ancient Greek warriors and athletes. It’s the training system that ancient Greeks were using, to prepare their body and spirit for combat, participate in the Olympics or just to keep healthy and fit. The word calisthenics is Greek and comes from the ancient Greek words Kallos which means beauty and Sthenos which means strength (not only physical). Herodotus mentioned that when Xerxes sent his scouts to see what the Spartans were doing, they reported back saying that they were training their bodies with synchronized movements. Those movements were misinterpreted as a form of ritual dance and thus as a sign of weakness. We all know the tragic mistake they made.

What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable·

Socrates — Xenophon, Memoirs 3.12.8

Socrates said “What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable”. The way to get someone this physical beauty and strength for the ancient Greeks was Calisthenics.

Which is the approach of International Calisthenics Academy and which is the innovative training system applied?

Our academy focussed on Calisthenics and its methods and created a complete anaerobic training system, which is mostly based on exercises managing our body weight. The strength boost as well as the improved flexibility, proprioception, balance and neuromuscular coordination that this training offers are some of its advantages.

To achieve these goals, we base our training on a variety of exercises that combine elements of gymnastics, acrobatic gymnastics and other training/arts systems such as martial arts or ballet. We also created training protocols and training methods in order to perfectly prepare our body for Calisthenic exercises.

Who is Calisthenic education suitable for?

Calisthenic education is designed for everyone regardless of their fitness levels or their body type. We created suitable exercises for people of all levels by appropriately using our body’s lever arms.
Many calisthenic exercises are also restorative.

Our philosophy and our aim

The philosophy of Calisthenic training is closely linked to the etymology of the word in Greek [kallos (κάλλος) + sthenos (σθένος) = beauty and strength]. The goal is to be inspired by our psychological strength and to follow a systematic training in order to activate every muscle of our body. In this way the optimal management of our body is enabled, even while being in different positions or while doing different exercises.

Beauty, symmetry and proper body posture are some of the benefits of this training.