Don’t be confused. There is calisthenics and there is Callanetics. Callanetics is a system designed by Callan Pinckney. I have one of her books that was actually printed in 1984.
As a young woman, Callan spent years hitchhiking around Europe and Central Africa, where she tracked animal migrations, India and even Japan.. It was a far cry from her early life as a Southern lady, being presented at Debutante balls and being prepped to be a “lady”. She traveled with little or no money and often survived on mainly starchy and sugary foods. She put on considerable weight and suffered from a great number of nutrient deficiencies. She often carried with her, everything she owned, putting strain on her bones, joints and muscles. Couple with a lack of proper nutrition, Callan found her body weight fluctuating from a crippling 78 pounds to a pudgy 129 pounds on her barely 5 foot frame.
Callan eventually settled for a time in Japan working several jobs. She began to notice, however, that her body was suffering despite her youth. She was in constant pain and doctors had advised her that she would need surgery on her knees and that her damaged back would never fully recover. She returned to America and began teaching at an exercise salon. She left soon after because she didn’t approve of the way they treated the women’s bodies. She, herself, suffered terrible pain from some of the exercises but was not permitted to ask any of the students if they suffered from back problems. She then set out to create her own exercise regime. After only a few months, she had little back pain and no knee pain and both looked and felt years younger. Thus, Callanetics was born.
I love these exercises. They are simple, quick, and a kick in the butt! Literally. The before and after photos from her students are amazing and I’m not afraid to say that I have noticed similar results in myself. My arms have never been as toned, my legs never as strong, and my core never as tight as when I am faithfully doing my Callanetics exercises.
These exercises aren’t necessarily limited to men, but I feel that they suit women’s needs far better.
Here is a good demonstration of one of her exercises. This same woman does a series of exercises from the Callanetics method and it is a great idea to check them out.
Image provided by http://www.brynnsbarrenone.com/