Calisthenics is a great training style that has gained a lot of popularity over the last couple of years. It stands out for the skills you learn, the strength you gain, and the lean muscle you build from it, but is it good for fat loss? That is what I will be exploring in this article, and I will answer the question, “does calisthenics burn fat?”
I have been doing calisthenics for quite a while now, and I have managed to build quite a good physique from it. I am pretty much lean all the time, so that would let you think that it does indeed burn fat and help with weight loss, so let’s see if that is the case.
Here is what you will learn in this article:
- Does Calisthenics Burn Fat?
- Why is calisthenics effective for burning fat?
- How to Structure your calisthenics workout for fat loss
- Best Calisthenics Exercises for Fat Loss
Does Calisthenics Burn Fat?
Yes, calisthenics is a great way to burn fat. You have probably seen that most calisthenics athletes are very lean all the time, and that is because calisthenics involves a lot of movement and high-intensity exercises that boost your heart rate and help you lose weight.
Calisthenics enables you to elevate your calorie-burning potential by engaging multiple muscle groups at the same time through compound exercises. Compound exercises help increase the number of calories you burn, but not only that, but they also help release more fat-burning hormones, like testosterone and growth hormone.
As an example, I will use push-ups. Push-ups do not only activate your arms; they also activate your chest, core, and shoulders. Compound exercises like these will make sure that you train and involve all of your muscles, unlike things like bicep curls, where you only train one muscle.
How to Structure your calisthenics workout for fat loss
Creating a calisthenics workout to lose weight is pretty straightforward. You want to mix easy, high-repetition exercises like push-ups with cardio exercises and fast moves.
This is how you should structure your workouts:
- Simple, high-rep exercises: Start with basic, easy exercises like push-ups or squats. You should try to do as many reps as you possibly can; this will help increase your heart rate, which will help you burn fat.
- Add cardio: Include cardio exercises like running or riding a bike in your workouts. These boost your heart rate and help you burn calories. It is usually better to do cardio at the end of your workouts so that you don’t make yourself tired before even starting your workout.
- Use High-Tempo Exercises: Make your workout more exciting with fast moves like burpees, squat jumps, or any high-tempo exercises. These use up more energy and burn more calories. Mix them with other exercises to keep things challenging.
- Set Up Circuits: Organize your workout like a circuit. Move from one exercise to the next without much rest. Circuits keep your heart rate up and keep you working hard. You can go through the circuit a few times. Here is an explanation of a circuit workout: Circuit Workout: Definition, Purpose, Types and Examples – Athletic Insight
Best Calisthenics Exercises for Fat Loss
Here are some of the top calisthenics exercises you can do that will increase your heart rate and help you lose weight:
Burpees is a full-body fat-burning machine!
How to do it:
- Begin by standing up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Go into a squat position and put your hands on the ground.
- Kick your feet back into a push-up position, then immediately return your feet to the squat position.
- Explode upwards from the squat, jumping as high as you can and reaching your arms overhead.
- Land and immediately go back into the squat position to begin the next repetition.
Next up, we’ve got push-ups. They’re simple but incredibly effective for building strength and burning fat.
How to do it:
- Start in a plank position with your hands placed slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Lower your body until your chest almost touches the ground, keeping your back and legs in a straight line.
- Push yourself back up to the starting position.
Now, let’s talk about mountain climbers. These are excellent for raising your heart rate and torching fat.
How to do it:
- Begin in a push-up position with your hands under your shoulders.
- Alternately, pull one knee into your chest, then switch to the other knee.
- Keep a quick, steady pace, as if you’re running in place while in the push-up position.
Lastly, let’s discuss bodyweight squats. These are great for working your lower body and promoting fat loss.
How to do it:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Lower your body by bending your knees and pushing your hips back.
- Keep your back straight and your chest up, then return to the standing position.