Background: Calisthenics was a term used to define a generic set of body weight exercises. Such term is now used to define a world wide spread discipline based on body weight and gymnastics exercises.
Objective: The aim of this study was to administer a calisthenics training protocol and evaluate its effects on posture, strength and body composition of untrained individuals.
Methods: 28 male participants (24.2±4.2 years; 67.0±8.3 Kg; 173.3±5.2 cm) were divided into two groups, a Calisthenics based intervention group (SG) and a control group (CG). The SG exercised for 8 weeks. Each participant underwent a body composition analysis, a postural assessment, a handgrip test, a push-up and a pull-up test. Each participant was tested at baseline and post intervention.
Results: The SG improved their posture (with open eyes p<0.001 and with closed eyes p<0.05), their strength (push-up test p<0.01 with a 16.4% increase and pull up test p<0.0001 with a 39.2% increase) and their body composition (Fat mass 14.8±5.1 vs. 11.4±5.9, p<0.01). No difference was shown for the handgrip test. No significant differences were displayed in any variable of the CG between pre and post measures.
Conclusion: Calisthenics training is a feasible and effective training solution to improve posture, strength and body composition without the use any major training equipment.