Learn why a calisthenics workout for legs are a women’s best friend to get lean and toned in the gym or at home.
What are calisthenics
Kind of a throwback term. Calisthenics makes me think of old-school exercise classes. Ones with ladies in jumpsuits doing a lot of hopping around, stretching, and odd movements that we may giggle at today while we are doing our HIIT, spinning, or throwing dumbbells around. I mean, a little, right? Maybe you have heard them used but never truly defined. Or used as just a term that is synonymous with exercise. Well that is true, for the most part. Its gymnastics movements used for fitness. But not the olympics kind of gymnastics. With vaults and balance beams and bars. Just bodyweight exercises that require agility and coordination. Which is basically any compound exercise without outside resistance.
Things like squats, push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, jumping jacks, speed skaters, get the picture? Maybe the only description I could add in here is rhythmic. When we are “repping” out the movement.
Why calisthenics workouts are great for women
The best thing about calisthenics is that they are bodyweight. What is simpler than requiring NO EQUIPMENT? It’s so convenient for those of us that are working out at home. It’s effective when we are beginners, or getting back at it after some time off. You don’t need a lot of room to do the movements. And what’s even better is most calisthenic exercises are appropriate for most phases of mom life. Whether your prenatal, postpartum, recovering from an injury, or are in the best shape of your life with no limitations!
You may hear people say that you can’t get strong using just bodyweight. And that is sort of true. To get stronger, we have to have the proper stimulus to challenge the muscle into change. But many women that are just working out for general fitness and aren’t experienced, long-term athletes aren’t crazy strong to begin with so bodyweight is enough. And before all my strong mamas get upset, I lift weights too so I am not saying nobody does or that nobody is strong. But that statment true sooner for men than women.
Calisthenics are a great way to build a foundation of strength. Once we can do a high amount of reps before fatigue sets in, we are in a more endurance phase of training. At that point we won’t be building strength or muscle mass with just bodyweight. That’s when we will need to incorporate outside force. BUUUUUUT! We can manipulate calisthenics in a few ways to challenge our muscles to improve endurance, strength, power, and even size.
This is done by adjusting the weight distribution to increase intensity. The muscle doesn’t know what is a plate or a dumbbell or a resistance band. Weight is weight. This would look like doing decline push-ups to carry more weight in the upper body. In a calisthenics workout for legs we could do single leg movements to carry more weight on the active side. We can also increase time under tension. You can do that by moving through a shorter range of motion like a pulse. Performing a movement faster or adding bounding to it (like a squat to a squat jump) can increase power. Or even incorporating unstable surfaces like a bosu or stability ball. When we stabilize, our bodies recruit more muscles for support and control.
How to use a calisthenics workout to get beautiful legs
To get that lean, toned, shaped, sculpted look you need to reduce adipose tissue (lose fat) and have muscle. Otherwise you will have that “skinny fat” look. Curves come from muscle. So you need to have some if you want that look. And as we discussed before, calisthenics can provide a means to increase muscle size and strength. But they can also help you burn a lot of calories. By incorporating the more powerful or cardio style calisthenics, you can increase the intensity and have an interval style workout. Build muscle and burn lots of calories in one workout. Perfect for the busy moms out there!
Get a bodyweight burn in with some calisthenics! We will focus on the legs and glutes in this workout to tone the lower body with lean muscle. With a variety of moves we will mix it up to build strength and boost cardio!