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Stop Asking If Leg Training Matters in Calisthenics! Is It Essential to Train Legs?

Updated: Jun 22

Introduction:

Is leg training truly essential in calisthenics? This common question arises especially when many practitioners appear to have relatively slimmer legs. This article deeply explores the impacts and necessity of leg training in overall fitness.


Let's briefly discuss the concepts of muscle growth and strength enhancement.


Leg training stimulates the production of hormones, including testosterone and growth hormone (HGH), which aid in metabolizing body fat acids, boosting the immune system, and repairing myosin protein and protein synthesis. From a scientific standpoint, lower body training is an effective method to enhance overall muscle mass and strength.



Worth Noting! Could leg training negatively impact calisthenics?

  • Specific Strength-to-Weight Ratio (S&W Ratio):


However, it's also important to discuss the ratio of strength to body weight. To maximize the S&W Ratio, we need to "increase strength while maintaining or reducing our weight change." In calisthenics, when the goal is to master advanced moves, such as the Front Lever or Planche, prioritizing strength increase (neuromuscular control) over muscle/weight gain is ideal. This aligns well with the concept of the S&W Ratio.




Detailed reasons include:


1. Change in Center of Mass:

Though lower body training aids in strength gain, the change in body weight also affects the body's center of mass.


Assuming the body's center of mass acts like a balance scale, with the sacral vertebra at the center, the left being the upper body, and the right being the lower body. As the lower body weight increases, the center of mass shifts downwards, requiring stronger upper body strength to maintain balance by leaning slightly forward.





2. Reduced Recovery Time:

Integrating lower body training, such as a schedule changing to Push – Pull – Legs – Push – Pull – Legs, compared to Push – Pull – Rest – Push, generally reduces the body's recovery time. Extensive compound leg training involving upper body muscles (e.g., Erector Spinae, Lats) like in deadlifts, raises the risk of overtraining, thereby releasing excessive cortisol and affecting the training volume for the week.



Conclusion: If Leg Training Matters in Calisthenics? Is it essential to train legs?


Focus on "General Strength VS Performance"




Our discussion isn't about "right/wrong" but "important/not important," and the importance definitely depends on the practitioner's perspective - sport-specific behavior.


Some people engage in calisthenics aiming for a robust and versatile physique, thus including leg training; this is fine. Others aim to unlock the most difficult moves, focusing only on upper body training; this is also fine. It's those who are unclear about their goals who might waver between the two approaches.


So, let's stop debating the usefulness of leg training; it's all about prioritizing based on your goals.


Please respect other people's choices.


Maintain an open attitude, respect those striving for perfection, and revere those who choose a balanced training approach.


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About Us:


This series aims to provide an in-depth, easy-to-understand interpretation of various books related to health, exercise science, and sports psychology, helping you embark on a healthier, more scientific fitness journey.


DAILYCALI, which means "Making Calisthenics a Daily Routine," has been dedicated to incorporating exercise science into bodyweight training since its establishment in 2021, reducing the risk of sports injuries and systematically improving training results. We offer diverse courses covering calisthenics, myofascial release, stretching, etc., and provide bilingual instruction in Chinese and English, as well as flexible class schedules including personal training, group classes, and workshops.


We understand that many people don't lack skills, but rather "Lack Confidence In Progress." Therefore, we provide rich "free resources" so you can follow the guidance to do full-body strength training at home without equipment!


Click the link now and register to become a DAILYCALI member to:

  • Get online class program for free

  • Enjoy a 10% discount on your first course enrollment


與眾不同,BE DIFFERENT!


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