Although gymnastics is often known for its strong, powerful athletes, basic gymnastics can be done at home by people of any age with minimal to no equipment. Through calisthenics and other flexibility exercises, the benefits of gymnastics can be significant. You can expect to make day-to-day tasks easier, boost your performance in other sports – such as building stamina for HIIT classes or swimming—and make you generally healthier.
1. No equipment needed
Calisthenics training involves gymnastic exercises that use your own bodyweight rather than weights or other gym equipment. This kind of gymnastics strength training improves all-round mobility and also reduces risk of injury when training in the gym. Gymnastic-style training is suitable for anyone looking to learn a new skill and improve their health.
Examples of calisthenics exercises
Here are some bodyweight-focused, gymnastic-style mobility exercises that can be done from the comfort of your own home.
Pike press ups
- This improves all upper body strength, especially in the shoulders, which is perfect for trying harder skills such as handstands
- To do a pike press up, start in a downward dog position then slowly bend your elbows, as deep as you can, before pushing up back into the starting position
- Lunges improve leg strength as well as hip mobility
- To do a lunge, start standing upright before taking a large step forward bending your front knee. Then push back up into the starting position
- Squat jumps improve leg strength as well as power
- To do a squat jump, start standing upright and bend your knees before powerfully jumping straight up. Make sure to bend your knees for the landing!
2. Boost your flexibility and mobility
Gymnasts engage in flexibility exercises and mobility training to help their muscles recover after intense training sessions. By having better flexibility and mobility (not necessarily to the extent of professional gymnasts!), you can improve your posture, which is very important for those working at a desk all day. For gym-goers and athletes, flexibility and mobility training can reduce risk of injury, improve performance and recovery, and increase strength.
Examples of flexibility and mobility training
- This stretch reaches the hips, groin, knees, and thighs, which are all common muscles used in daily life
- This stretch eases tension in the back and thighs, which is perfect for people working at desks all day long
If you enjoy these stretches, try our signature SPIRIT class, which combines yoga, Pilates, and meditation.
3. Maintain your bone health
Bone health and density is important to protect your vital organs and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Good bone health is important at any age to reduce the risk of breaking bones and maintain a good level of mobility as we age. Eating a balanced, nutritious diet helps build healthy bones, as do weight-bearing exercises like walking.
4. Have fun!
Learning anything new, such as gymnastics, is a good way to develop new skills and lead a healthier lifestyle. The benefits of learning a new skill include:
- Keeps mind engaged
- Increased adaptability
- Gain confidence
- Increase motivation
This means that learning new skills not only develops you as person but improves muscle and bone health—and stops physical activity from becoming boring!