Put down the dumbbells and barbells, you may only need your own body weight as resistance for increased muscle strength and improved endurance. I’ll admit, at first I thought one-arm handstands were just show off moves, but more and more research is proving that you really don’t need many fancy machines to break a sweat and get the benefits you are after when it comes to exercise and training.

Even if you’ve never heard of the name before, you have definitely done some sort of calisthenic exercises before: push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, dips, and squats. Think of anything that requires multiple muscle groups and engaging your whole body to perform more dynamic movements. There’s one thing that we find particularly appealing about calisthenic training, they require minimal equipment and space and can be done virtually anywhere. So, if you’re a new mom who doesn’t have time to sleep, let alone go to the gym, a calisthenics routine at home could be your solution to a fitter you.

Your performance in almost any sport can be improved through calisthenic training by a combination of cardiovascular and neuromuscular benefits. Body weight exercises increase oxygen and nutrient flow to your muscles, allowing you to run faster with the same perceived effort. Your tolerance to lactic acid also improves with such exercises, so you can go for longer durations before feeling that burn in your muscles that makes you give up.

Calisthenics work on your muscles, but their benefits also span to your brain by improving the brain’s communication and coordination with muscles. Burpees, for example, improve your muscle nerve’s response rate and synchronize the movements of different muscles together more efficiently.

Calisthenics can also support weight loss because exercises of this nature require multiple muscle groups to work together. This means you will burn more calories as fuel for these different muscles working simultaneously. It’s really as simple as that.

Getting into the routine of dynamic movements can be difficult, especially if you are not blessed enough to be naturally flexible, but being able to pull yourself up on a bar for the first time is a feeling like no other-trust us. Also, the more calisthenics you incorporate into your workout routine, the more likely you are to be able to stand on your head one day, which is pretty cool too.