Call it "movement culture" to make it more sexy and seductive, or call it "calisthenics" like a lot of the street workout subcultures do, or you can just call it "bodyweight exercise" and not be so fancy.
What is bodyweight exercise and why are more and more people talking about it now?
Luckily for me - it's a self explanatory name. Bodyweight exercise is exactly that... exercise incorporating only your own bodyweight. Push-ups and pull-ups, swimming, running, dancing, yoga, parkour and handstands (and a range of many other gymnastic style movements) all fall in the realm of "bodyweight exercise." None of these styles of exercise are new to the scene, which may make you wonder why are people talking about it and why now?
Like most things, the current fitness industry operates in fads, and occasionally cyclical fads. Bodyweight training (unsurprisingly) is not a new style of exercise it's just coming back into fashion now because it's the current fitness fad.
So why is it the current fitness fad?
It's an empowering form of exercise. No one can take away your freedom to do a bodyweight movement e.g. to hold a handstand. People recognise the empowering feeling of not only achieving the ability to hold a handstand, but enjoying the freedom to hold one wherever they want, whenever they want. It's liberating.
Typically speaking, bodyweight exercise communities house a warm supportive and encouraging culture. People enjoy sharing tips and hints and training together in a communal sense. It's a friendly and healthy form of socialising.
New bodyweight movements give people a sense of achievement and a tangible achievement, you can actually see the achievement. I'll happily admit, I was like many, many, many (many) other people out there that think they will never be able to do a handstand. Let me tell you something, if you have hands and a body you can learn a handstand. It's not luck based and there's nothing like being that person that thinks they will never be able to hold a handstand, and then working on it and taking tips from surrounding friends, then working on it some more. Then one day - voilå!! - you hold it for a split second, and you know deep down next time you'll be able to hold it longer. When you experience those moments, you get a feeling inside, and that feeling you get.. that is why bodyweight exercise is so popular.