If you’ve seen adults running around the neighborhood playground in exercise clothing, chances are they are in the midst of a Street Workout routine. Street Workout is a fun and interesting exercise trend that combines the muscle-building power of calisthenics with the endurance-building power of athletics. Instead of going to the gym to lift heavy weights, Street Workout works on the principle of body weight training, using your own weight for resistance.street workout park

While it’s not uncommon to see a Street Workout park specifically designed for the needs of an adult athlete, many people still use regular old playgrounds for their workouts. Part of Street Workout is using your environment to the fullest extent, regardless of its usual purpose. Street Workout is a free way to get fit and build the body you have always craved.

The History of Street Workout

Street Workout has links to Ancient Greece, but reemerged in the 21st century in Eastern Europe, Russia, and the United States. In particular, it began to develop in New York City in poverty-stricken areas, as people there could not afford to go to gyms. Instead, they used the environment around them, which included playgrounds and benches, to get a workout in.

As these people got more and more fit, they recorded workout and freestyle videos which spread across the internet. Soon the simplicity and ease of the body weight training program spread throughout the whole world, leading to its popularity today. In April 2011 the World Street Workout and Calisthenics Federation was founded in Latvia.

Different Types of Street Workout Exercises

Human flag CalisthenicsNow that you know a little more about Street Workout, you’re probably wondering what exactly it entails. Typically, a routine includes many different calisthenics exercises intended to work the whole body. To work your arms, you can do pull-ups, chin-ups,  dips, and muscle-ups on monkey bars, high railings, or even gateways. If you’re looking for more powerful legs, squats are a great way to add some muscle.

Once you’ve mastered these techniques, it’s time to move on to static holds, also know as isometrics. These are a lot harder, but also work your entire body as you struggle to stay elevated. The human flag position involves holding your body out horizontally from a pole using only your arms, much like a flag hangs on a pole. The front lever and back lever are similar as they involve pulling your body up off of the ground until it is completely parallel with it. Another popular move is the planche, where you basically hold a push-up position while your legs are off the ground.

The Competitive World of Street Workout

Because of its popularity, Street Workout has become a competitive sport. The World Street Workout and Calisthenics Federation was formed in Riga, Latvia in 2011 and hosts a yearly Street Workout World Championship. In a performance-based routine, Street Workout participants have to show the judges their best moves in the hope of moving on to the finals.