Hard-Core Calisthenic Workouts

If you want to improve your muscle strength and lose weight without going to the gym, calisthenic exercises are an effective, inexpensive option for your workouts. Calisthenic exercises use your own body weight as a resistance to strengthen your muscles and improve your health. Even without using additional weights, you can do a hardcore calisthenic workout that will burn lots of calories.

Why You Should Bother

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that you do at least two strength training exercise sessions every week. Bodyweight exercises -- which include calisthenics -- can count toward that goal. Strength-training workouts also improve your bone strength and help manage your weight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. Because you do not need any weights to do calisthenic workouts, you can easily do these at home.

Hard-Core Exercises

Pushups, chest dips and squats are great examples of calisthenic exercises. However, if you are looking to do more intense, hard-core workouts, you should add exercises such as burpees, mountain climbers, one-arm pushups, side planks, jumping lunges and jump squats to your routine. These exercises not only work to strengthen your muscles, they also increase your heart rate, work your cardiovascular system and burn lots of calories.

Sample Workout

Start with a five-minute warm-up of jogging or jumping rope. Do as many repetitions as you can while maintaining proper form, unless instructed otherwise. You can either do all three sets before moving on to the next exercise, or do one set of each exercise, followed by a short break, then repeat the cycle twice. Do jumping lunges, pushups with a leg raise, 20 side planks on both sides, mountain climbers, 20 crunches, triceps dips and burpees.

Things to Keep in Mind

Always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Also, if you're new to working out, set this type of a workout as your long-term goal and then work up to it gradually. That gives your body time to adapt and reduce your risk of injury from this sort of hard-core intensity.

About the Author

Maria Parepalo began writing professionally in 2006 and has published in medical journals as well as online. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in laboratory sciences from Helsinki Polytechnic in 2002 and is currently working on her doctoral degree in cell and molecular biology.