Trend Deep Dive – The Rise of Calisthenics

calisthenics trending

As the allure of traditional bodybuilding wanes, calisthenics, with its accessibility and focus on functional strength, is emerging as the new fitness darling.

Below, we’ve got a few key takeaways to help you take full advantage of this trend.

The search interest for “calisthenics”.

What is Calisthenics?

Calisthenics is all about using your body weight for exercise.

As opposed to progressively lifting more weight or doing more repetitions over time, the aim of calisthenics is to progress to more challenging movements.

For example, once you feel comfortable doing squats, instead of just increasing the repetitions or adding more resistance, you might try pistol squats.

As well as testing your strength, calisthenics requires good mobility, balance and coordination.

Why is it Trending?


Calisthenics is more accessible compared to using gym machines and equipment for strength training.

All you need is a little bit of space, and you’re good to go.

The pandemic probably pushed more people to this style of strength training… but it looks like many who made the jump (both metaphorically and literally!) are sticking with it.

Fitness Goals: Functional > Aesthetics

Bodybuilding, with all its muscles and mirrors, isn’t shining as bright as before.

Potentially fuelled by Gen Z’s wellbeing goals being focused more around mental health and feel good factors, the decline in bodybuilding might be opening the door for new approaches like HIIT, Hyrox, and calisthenics to build meaningful audiences.

Similarly, older generations are starting to see the value in functional training and how this can improve their standard of living.

Typically, “strength training” has been synonymous with bodybuilding and powerlifting… but this might be finally changing.

The search interest for “bodybuilding” showing a decline in recent years.


There’s a growing number of fitness influencers on platforms like YouTube and TikTok preaching the benefits of calisthenics.

With millions of followers, this triggers more organic growth and interest around the topic.

Visual Progression

Specific moves, like pull-ups, push-ups, and handstand push-ups, are getting their time in the spotlight too. In fact, most bodyweight movements have seen an increase in search interest in recent years.

Many of these movements aren’t just “exercises”… they’re milestones, each one a badge of honor showing off your strength and skill.

Once conquered, it’s time to move on to the next one.

And this requires more than just strength… it’s an art that tests your balance, mobility and coordination too.

Advanced calisthenics starts to look a lot like gymnastics.

Speaking of which, check out the growth around “gymnastic classes near me” below. Sharing a lot of core principles, gymnastics is seeing a resurgence too.

The search interest for “gymnastics classes near me”.

Key Takeaways

So, what’s the big takeaway for those in the fitness world?

For Gyms and Studios

Gyms and studios would be wise to lean into the calisthenics movement. Gymnastic rings, parallel bars, parallettes and other functional equipment might help customers enjoy calisthenics as part of their existing gym routines.

For Local Authorities

Most governments and local authorities are facing challenges associated with sedentary lifestyles.

Installing equipment to encourage calisthenics workouts in local areas, such as parks, may help boost physical activity.

Just look at the amount of people searching for a calisthenics park.

The search interest for “calisthenics park”.

For Coaches

The visual progression and sense of achievement from mastering challenging bodyweight movements shouldn’t be ignored. This can be a great way to keep clients engaged and excited about exercise.

Calisthenics may also be a preferred way to build strength for those who feel intimidated by more traditional weightlifting.


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