Calisthenics training is great for building strength in the major muscle groups of the body. The main benefit of having functional strength is the ability to branch out into other sports and forms of movement easily. Calisthenics also has the added benefit of achieving bodyweight physical feats like the muscle up and human flag. Unfortunately for those training with using free weights and isolation exercises it is extremely difficult to achieve these feats.
Calisthenics training is the most natural way for training the human body and has been used as a training method since 530BCE. The earliest accounts of calisthenics training are Chinese shaolin monks (530BCE) and the Spartan army (480BCE). This set the standard for military training all the way through to the Romans and Roman gladiators (200CE) who historians say trained “advanced calisthenics”. Circus acts travelled Europe for centuries (up to 14th Century) and gymnastics (18th Century) has created the strongest bodies in history since. It has only been in the last 30 years that a cultural stigma has arisen that having huge muscles is the be all and end all of physical strength. (Calisthenics, The New Age of Fitness)
Training calisthenics is safe for all ages if done properly with correct form. Calisthenics places far less stress on the joints than weightlifting and some competitive sports. In addition calisthenics has been shown to improve joint mobility and joint strength. By using our body in the way it was intended to be used calisthenics prevents disproportionate� bodies from being built or one side of the body being greater than the other.