And why should they? You can do an intense workout with just your bodyweight, anywhere, anytime. But, of course, the best thing is to make your workout program and customize it yourself to fit your needs and abilities.
Two of the most popular forms of bodyweight exercise are basic callisthenics and Yoga. Many people compare both Yoga and Calisthenics and ask themselves: Which is better for me? Why go with one over the other? What are the similarities between
Yoga and Calisthenics? Which one is better for beginners? And other questions like these.
This article compares, contrasts, and answers all of these questions. In the end, you will decide for yourself whether Calisthenics or Yoga is a better choice.
Let “s get started!
What is Yoga?
Yoga began in ancient India. Yoga practice combines all the body “s most critical systems and organs into one harmonious unit.
It combines the breath, the postures of the body, and the mind. In Yoga, you use your breath to focus on your mind and body at once. As a result, you get a very effective workout while relaxing at the same time.
In addition to helping you relax, Yoga also helps maintain balance in your body by strengthening and stretching your muscles while calming your nervous system.
Yoga’s benefits go even further than helping with a healthy body, though! It can also help relieve stress and anxiety.
What is Calisthenics?
Callisthenics is a form of exercise without any equipment. It is often called the “King of Bodyweight Exercises” because of its heavy reliance on exercises that use your own body for resistance.
In Calisthenics, you use your muscles to help strengthen them by working them against gravity.
Callisthenics is the most basic form of bodyweight exercise. It began many years before Yoga and was practised by almost every person until after Yoga became popular in India.
Examples of Calisthenics include push-ups (with or without a bar), pull-ups, chin-ups, squats (including front and back), lunges, planks, burpees, and many others.
Yoga vs Calisthenics: What is the Difference?
The Goal of Yoga vs Calisthenics
For many of us, the goal of our workout is to stay relaxed and challenge ourselves physically, which usually means sweating and feeling sore afterwards. With that in mind, then, does Yoga or Calisthenics fit that goal better?
The answer might surprise you. So let "s look at these two exercises again:
The goal of Yoga is to relax. It does this by stretching and loosening your muscles. Then, you perform specific fluid, flowing postures that help you feel energized and happy with your focus on relaxing.
You also use your breath to calm and balance yourself physically. Yoga can even help improve breathing control and posture by improving the way you breathe.
The goal of Calisthenics is to challenge your muscles in a variety of ways. It works the muscles by having them work against gravity. Many people also enjoy the intensity of Calisthenics and will push themselves as far as they can for as long as possible.
Do you see where I" m going with this? Both Yoga and callisthenics focus on relaxing and challenging yourself, but in different ways. So the question is: How do you decide what your workout should be?
The answer is, of course, that it depends on what you want out of your body. Do you want to relax and ease into a more flexible body? If that is the case, then Yoga would be a good fit for you.
However, if you enjoy working against gravity (or if you want to improve muscle tone, flexibility, and posture), then Calisthenics would be better for you.
The Equipment Used in Yoga vs Calisthenics
Yoga is practised sitting or standing inside a studio. However, you can practice Yoga outside of the studio by sitting or standing on any solid surface (like grass) and holding the poses for your entire session duration.
Callisthenics can be practised anywhere! If you are tired, you can do it in your living room, your bedroom, on your porch, in your backyard, all with just your body weight.
If you are planning to do a workout at home, then consider investing in an inexpensive set of callisthenics-specific equipment if you don “t already have any.
These are usually things like pull-up bars, dip bars, chin-up bars, anything that will give you more versatility when it comes to rotations.
For many people, the goal of both Yoga and Calisthenics is to improve their flexibility and build muscle tone. However, if you want to go further and get a cardio workout, then Yoga might be a better option.
After all, it is much easier to start your training with a slow-moving routine like Yoga than Calisthenics.
For example, where you could start your workout with a simple yoga routine that allows you to get your mind and body in the correct position, Calisthenics might require that you push yourself right at the beginning and do some problematic stretches and exercises.
The Levels of Difficulty
Yoga is only as difficult as you make it. So, if you choose to practice Yoga by holding each pose for a few minutes (which is not recommended), it won’t be easy.
But if you choose to perform some basic stretches and exercises, then Yoga will be pretty easy! Of course, there are always more challenging poses that you can learn, but any beginner can perform them right away.
The flexibility that results from even the most basic yoga poses makes Yoga an easy exercise to start your workouts with.
On the other hand, callisthenics can be tricky because it depends on your body weight to provide the resistance needed for the workout. Pull-ups, for example, can be pretty tough to do. Even chin-ups are not easy!
The Safety of Yoga vs Calisthenics
Many people compare Yoga to Calisthenics in a safety-related manner because Yoga is a more “relaxing” workout. At the same time, Calisthenics is known for being more complex and intense.
However, this is not always true with all yoga moves and all callisthenics methods. For example, you can injure yourself just as easily from a seemingly gentle yoga pose as a seemingly intense callisthenics exercise. (This is true for all types of exercise, not just Yoga and Calisthenics.)
So while you may not feel like you are working very hard during your yoga class, it is still possible to develop an injury during your workout. The trick is to perform the poses correctly at first.
Muscle Development and Strength
Many people use Yoga to strengthen their muscles. It is because Yoga increases the range of motion in the body. However, it does not change muscle size or strength. For that, you will need to do weight training or callisthenics training.
So if you are someone who wants to build muscle, then Calisthenics would be a better option for you than Yoga (because of its focus on strengthening). Callisthenics helps you strengthen your muscles and improves core strength.
You can then use that strength to perform more advanced yoga poses, and your body will thank you for it.
Callisthenics and Yoga both have similar effects on your body. Here are few similarities between both of them:
- Both Yoga and Calisthenics (when done correctly) improve flexibility, balance, posture, and muscle tone.
- Both Yoga and Calisthenics strengthen the core muscles of the body.
- Both Yoga and Calisthenics help you to relax while also building strength in the body.
- Both Yoga and Calisthenics can increase your heart rate and breathing during workouts, which is a fantastic health benefit!
- Both Yoga and Calisthenics can improve your body “s balance.
Final Thoughts: Yoga Vs. Callisthenics
There are some significant differences between the two workouts. However, there are some similarities as well.
After reading the above article, you might be wondering how to choose what workout routine is best for you. Which one will give you more benefits? Which one will provide you with more fun? Or maybe it “s simply a matter of what you feel like doing at the moment.
For example, sometimes you just want to stretch, while other times, you need to do some hardcore callisthenics training.
The truth is that both types of workout routines are great for your body. So, if you can, give yourself a regular dose of both Yoga and Calisthenics every week!