Do you prefer push-ups or weights?

Both push-ups (a form of calisthenics or body weight training) and weight training are incredibly useful to building one's physique.

While I prefer using weights, I still do calisthenics/push-ups to complete my workout routine.

So what is calisthenics?

Generally speaking, calisthenic training involves any exercises performed using no added weight, and is commonly referred to as body-weight training. Calisthenic training can be done as a stand-alone routine, or programmed into any weight loss, bodybuilding or fitness workout. It has many benefits and is convenient, and it can be tailored to suit beginner, intermediate or advanced trainees.

The most well-known upper-body calisthenic exercises are pushups and pullups. Pushups are great for building muscle in your chest, shoulders and triceps muscles, as well as improving your core stability and muscular endurance. Pullups work your back, biceps and grip, and are a great test of upper-body strength. There are many different alterations of both, which introduce variation in difficulty and muscles being targeted. For pushups, there are T pushups or clap pushups, doing them on a stability ball or medicine ball, or even doing them with just one arm. For pullups, individuals can easily experiment with different grip width, or use an underhand grip to perform chinups, which targets the biceps more than regular pushups.

One of the most effective lower-body calisthenics is the squat. You can perform different variations of the squat to get a whole lower-body workout. Change your foot placement and speed, or try Tabata squats, where you perform as many repetitions as you can in 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then repeat for another seven rounds. One-legged squats, known as pistols, are a challenging variation that can increase your lower-body strength, balance and mobility. Lunges, in which you take a large step forward, and then lower your body until your front leg is parallel to the floor, are another effective body-weight calisthenic. This exercise targets your quads but uses a number of other muscles.

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