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Calisthenics & Circuit Training

Calisthenics and circuit training offer exercise options when many fitness trainers are cutting back on their expenses to run their practice. With proper instructions and execution, calisthenic training can be more beneficial than traditional weight training because it engages your entire body and teaches you proper weight shifting and movement control without using weights, explains Juan Carlos Santana, director of the Institute of Human Performance.

Definition

Although most calisthenics do not require any equipment, some exercises require props for you to perform such as aerobic step boxes and a pullup bar, according to physical therapist Gray Cook, co-author of "Kettlebells from the Ground Up." Circuit training is performing a series of exercises without rest between sets. The sets are done for a predetermined number of repetitions or for a specified amount of time.

Benefits

Circuit training using calisthenic exercises improves muscular endurance and stamina, saves your workout time and burns plenty of calories. It alleviates boredom for those who are looking for a challenge in their workouts. You do not need a gym or a lot of space to train. If you are on a budget or if you operate a personal training business and would like to save some money, calisthenic circuit training can be an option for you.

Sample Workout

Perform each calisthenic exercise for 30 seconds each then move immediately to the next exercise -- pushups, pullups, squats, jump rope, lunges and squat jumps. Rest for one minute after each circuit then repeat the circuit two more times. Shorten the duration of each exercise by five to 10 seconds if you get fatigued quickly during the circuit. Increase the duration of each exercise by five to 10 seconds if you can do the circuit easily.

Warning

Check with your physician or a qualified health care professional before starting any circuit training program, because it can be risky for those who have cardiovascular, pulmonary or metabolic diseases, joint pain and neuromuscular diseases.

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About the Author

Nick Ng has been writing fitness articles since 2003, focusing on injury prevention and exercise strategies. He has covered health for "MiaBella" magazine. Ng received his Bachelor of Arts in communications from San Diego State University in 2001 and has been a certified fitness coach with the National Academy of Sports Medicine since 2002.

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