What is callanetics and how is it different from classical gymnastics?

ByJoe Louis

Jun 15, 2021
what is callanetics and how is it different from classical gymnastics 609bdbea549b9

Callanetics is gymnastics, named after the author, Callan Pinckney (source – Wikipedia). The girl dreamed of losing weight, tried aerobics, strength exercises and running and came to the conclusion that only static works – they bent the arm, strained the biceps, held it for 30 to 90 seconds. Isometric exercises have been known for a bunch of years, but only Callan managed to use them for weight loss, which is why she became famous.

Features of callanetics exercises

Static exercise induces a thickening of muscle tissue. They can make a person a little stronger, tone the muscles, but give impressive volumes – no . What is it then – callanetics, who is it suitable for?

At its core, callanetics is a creative adaptation of static muscle training. Static is especially popular with fighters who don’t need mass and women who are afraid of it. Here the complex is designed so that you will not become more voluminous in any way:

  1. At first, you need to repeat the same movements every day.
  2. In addition to static contractions, stretches are performed to increase mobility.
  3. In Pinckney’s work there are also “magic” recommendations for nutrition – more vegetables, less fat and not eat after six. Soviet fans of callanetics ate a salad with white chicken meat, refused carbohydrates and fats. But it’s better not to do that.

The original set for beginners has 29 exercises, but you can do anything in this style – from regular presses and rows with small equipment in the gym to simple lifts on toes, the main thing – tense or stretch the muscles.

The benefits and harms of callanetics

This is a complex that can be done by a person at any age.


Gymnastics is ideal for a middle-aged woman with 20-30 kg overweight:

  • does not load the cardiovascular system, does not cause an increase in heart rate;
  • does not affect breathing, does not cause hypoxia and pressure drops;
  • does not give the joints and spine additional work;
  • avoids jumping;
  • physically accessible, does not require outstanding flexibility and strength;
  • does not break the psychological barrier, does not force you to climb under the barbell, run at high speed or pedal to exhaustion.

The complex is useful in versatility. On a trip, without equipment, in a dorm room – you can work in static mode anywhere.

But will it make sense? Callanetics really tones the muscles if a person has not done anything before or has a great sports past, but somewhere deep in his memories.


And what harm can callanetics do to the body? Those who like to invent problems talk about detachment of the retina and the dire consequences in the form of strong muscle gain. But muscles from static will practically not grow. And retinal detachment should be expected from something like a bench press of 250 kg in equipment, and not from squatting with a “chair” against a wall without weight. This applies to a healthy person. It is advisable for nearsighted people to visit a doctor and decide which exercises are suitable for them. It is completely wrong to give universal recommendations here.

Usually the harm of such gymnastics is broken dreams and expectations. The girl is overweight, she has no money for a coach, she is forced to run a lot in online marathons, and the diet is difficult to follow. And so she finds gymnastics and visualizes a slender ballerina. But if the extra weight is about 10 kg, the posture is disturbed, the muscles are hardly felt, there is no technique, the diet is also only hypothetical so far, it is not worth waiting for much. Exercise won’t do it alone.

If a calorie deficit is not created, callanetics can:

  • remove a couple of centimeters in the waist by toning the transverse abdominal muscles (without burning the fat itself);
  • improve posture;
  • tighten the buttocks and hips a little.

With a deficiency, fat will be burned (however, with a deficiency, it will be burned without exercise). Unfortunately, callanetics’ legendary metabolic boost isn’t all that great. The maximum calorie consumption will increase by 40-50 kcal per day. And this is negligible. Therefore, you still have to include a diet.

Callanetics does not strengthen the cardiovascular system. It should be paired with the WHO recommended thirty minutes of walking a day if you need not only slimness, but also health.

Тренировка в домашних условиях - растяжка спины

Complex advantages

Callanetics is not just a set of exercises, but a methodical technique. You should spend 90-120 seconds contracting or stretching a specific muscle group.

The main plus is the ability to turn any exercise into callanetics: from squats against the wall to deadlifts with half the working weight. Everyone chooses for himself what is closer to him.

The original complex is good because:

  1. No need to buy rugs, leggings, elastic bands, sports bodices and sneakers. Any old pants, a comfortable bra, and a T-shirt will do. The money saved can be used to buy greens and chicken breasts.
  2. You can create a complex of your favorite exercises yourself, turning them into static ones. Or you can go to YouTube and find lots of videos for classes.
  3. Training can be carried out in any conditions. Is the child sleeping? No problem, no jumps, no breathlessness and no music. Early in the morning and late in the evening, on the road and at home, this is a versatile workout, if you don’t look for excuses.
  4. The probability of injury is minimal. Even if the client has poor coordination of movements, he can sit on a chair, bend over for a fallen object and raise his hand. Great physical qualities are not required for callanetics.

Статическое упражнение для бедер


The main disadvantage of callanetics is the limited time to progress with it. Yes, for 10 days you need to do gymnastics every day, holding each pose for 90-120 seconds and performing 2-3 sets of exercises. Then you can switch to the “every other day” mode, and then – a couple of times a week. But the appearance will not change significantly.

You will lose weight from a calorie deficit if you create one. But to enlarge the buttocks, make the hips slimmer and give a sporty waistline will not work.

Our body quickly adapts to static conditions. In sports, these types of loads are used no more than 5-6 weeks. The client then goes back to traditional weight training. And the author of gymnastics suggests training like this all my life. Progress will certainly slow down. You can add weights, but for a long time doing this is even more tiring than just “swinging” in the gym. Therefore, the path of the lover of callanetics lies in the gym. And aerobics, if she needs to fight physical inactivity and strengthen the heart. And this is necessary for everyone who does not walk 10,000 steps a day.

Exercise examples

This mini-complex is designed to work out the muscles of the abdomen and thighs. Each exercise is held for 90-120 seconds and repeated 3-5 times:

  1. Reverse curl. From a supine position, bend your knees at about 90 degrees, bring your hips to your stomach, strain your stomach, pull it inward and pull your buttocks off the floor with the force of the press. For beginners, this movement can be performed in a small amplitude.

    Обратные скручивания лежа на полу

  2. Kneel in a wide stance, heels together. Straighten up, “pinch” the buttocks and push the pelvis forward a little to tighten the back of the thighs.
  3. Stretching the hips. A regular forward bend stretch with a perfectly straight back. It is not necessary to put your hands on the floor, it is a matter of individual flexibility.
  4. Stretching the hips and pumping up the arms. Fold your arms in front of you, sit heel to heel and bend forward. Press one palm against the other.
  5. Side stretch. Sit on your buttocks, spread your legs to a comfortable width, put one heel in your groin and lay your thigh on the floor. Reach for a straight leg and then switch sides.

    Растяжка сидя на полу

Tips for Beginners

If it is difficult to practice on your own, find a group or a marathon on a social network, today many unite and are ready to invite friends for free. These groups are motivated to do something every day.

Be sure to start counting calories, proteins, fats and carbs. You need a calorie deficit, without this weight loss will not work. You don’t need to starve, but you shouldn’t overeat either.

Train regularly, you can alternate callanetics with half an hour walking up the stairs or in the park every other day. This will help relieve muscle soreness and increase calorie burn.


This gymnastics also has contraindications:

  1. Diastasis of the rectus abdominis muscle will not allow doing all abdominal exercises. You can work on your hips with minimal stress while standing, as well as train your back and arms.
  2. Not recommended for diseases that cause fluid retention in the abdomen.
  3. Exacerbation of chronic diseases of the kidneys, liver, heart.
  4. Inflammation of ligaments, bursae and muscles.
  5. Period of high blood pressure.
  6. The first day of your period is a reason to stop doing abdominal exercises.

Callanetics is a good exercise option for a person who does not strive for the form of a fitness model, but just wants to lose a little weight and improve health. You can practice at home at any convenient time. But after 3 months, try to find the time and money for a gym.

Растяжение задней поверхности бедра