In this day and age running is one of the most popular forms of exercise but can it be classed as calisthenics? And should you be incorporating running into your routine?
The simple and short answer is no, because running doesn’t build any significant muscle or strength and doesn’t use your body as resistance it is not a calisthenics exercise. Some argue that sprinting or interval training could be considered a calisthenic exercise because you build leg muscle but you still are not using your body as resistance and when normal people go running it is usually at a slow pace not a sprint.
Why Don’t You Build Muscle When Running?
When you run you your calfs, thighs, and a little of your core working and straining. You would think then that running would help build muscle and strength in your legs, but that is not the case. Although it can be very Taxing on the heart and promote cardiac muscle growth it will not promote much skeletal muscle growth. This is because the stimulus is not strong enough to target all the legs muscle fibres. We have three different muscle fibre types one of which is used for endurance know as type 1, and the other two are used to provide great amounts of force known as type 2 fibres. Since running doesn’t require a large amount of force from your legs, type 2 fibres are hardly fatigued and not a lot of muscle growth occurs.
The Benefits Of Running
Even though running does not build help you build muscle and is not considered calisthenics there are still tonnes of benefits to running. Firstly running can and will improve your cardiovascular fitness if you run regularly. Your stamina and endurance will build you will be able to run for longer and longer distances and the feeling after finishing a run is a great one. Running is also a great fat burner. Although calisthenics will help you burn fat if that is your primary goal then running is better. A high intensity interval running program will for one improve stamina and endurance but also help you reduce body fat.
Even if you think you are in good shape and don’t need to lose any fat running is still good. It will help you bring your body fat percentage levels down even further so you can really get definition in your abs and make all your muscles look more toned and overall making you look better.
If running is something you want to try and maybe start getting into a routine with start to add it in slowly. Start by going for a run every Sunday or on one rest day a week. Then you can start to add it into every rest day as a way to keep burning calories even when it is not a workout day. You could do something like calisthenics, run, calisthenics, run to give your muscles time to rest between calisthenics sessions but still getting in some exercise with the running.
Running is something I like to do to clear my head or de-stress. Just putting on some music and going for a jog is a good way to get out of the stress and busyness of life you can just go into autopilot and chill out while getting in some exercise as well.
To wrap it up running is not considered calisthenics but is definitely something you should consider doing even if it is just a short run once a week. It is a great addition to your workout routine so try it out!