Calisthenics is an ancient form of exercise that is both approachable for beginners and challenging for experienced athletes, making it great for anyone in search of improved strength and fitness.
Contrary to some misconceptions, calisthenics does not require special equipment the exercises can be performed with materials found around the house like chairs or stairs.
That being said, advanced calisthenics routines exist and use additional accessories like bars or rings to target different muscle groups and develop enhanced strength.
Overall, this type of exercise is comprehensive, robust, and versatile enough to adapt to any user regardless of their experience.
If you’re looking to start a calisthenics workout routine, but don’t know where to begin, this article is for you. We’ve put together a list of 10 easy exercises that are perfect for beginners.
So whether you’re just getting started or you’re looking to add some variety to your current routine, these exercises will help you get the most out of your workout.
Let’s get started!
The Benefits of Calisthenics
Calisthenics can be a great way to add a new element of fitness into your daily routine. It is an intense yet effective form of exercise that can help you build both strength and endurance.
Here’s 6 calisthenic benefits:
They’re a great workout for your whole body
Calisthenics training puts the power of a full body workout into your own hands. By expanding your routine to involve upper and lower body exercises, you are able to reap the benefits of a robust workout session.
To ensure maximum results, it is essential to engage the core when executing calisthenics moves. This helps with balance so that you can maintain proper form while doing each exercise.
You Need Little To No Equipment
Calisthenics training is a great way to get fit with minimal equipment. All that is required to get started is the body, which can act as its own source of resistance, making it a very accessible type of fitness routine.
Once comfortable with bodyweight exercises, affordable one-time investments such as pull-up bars, resistance bands and gymnastic rings can help to further increase the intensity of the workout.
With just these simple tools and the strength within your own body, it’s easy to create a comprehensive workout without spending much money at all.
You can do them anywhere
Calisthenics is an ideal form of exercise for anyone looking to improve their physical fitness without the need for gym equipment.
It requires nothing more than your own bodyweight and can be done virtually anywhere.
A study published in 2017 found that regular calisthenics exercises can help to improve posture, strength, and body composition all without the use of major training gear.
Great for beginners
Calisthenics exercises can be an ideal option for those new to fitness training.
These bodyweight-based workouts are easy enough for beginners to master, but versatile enough for longer-term athletes to enjoy through the challenge of more difficult variations and added weights.
With calisthenics, you can also learn correct form from the start, helping you build confidence and avoid injury in later stages as you continue your fitness journey.
Help you build strength
Calisthenics exercises are an excellent way to build full-body strength and increase muscle mass over time, as well as improve coordination and enhance balance.
As your strength improves, adding pulses, slowing down, or holding the exercise helps to create a more challenging and therefore a more beneficial workout experience.
Referred to by some as “time under tension” this style of training will help you reap greater rewards from the same routine by leaving no stone unturned.
A lot of fun!
Keeping your workout routine fun and exciting can be key to avoiding a plateau in your strength and flexibility training.
To keep things interesting, try incorporating activities like performing bodyweight squats, working on mastering movement exercises on the pull-up bar, or even challenging your balance with single-leg, arm and core exercises into your weekly workout plan.
For added motivation and variety, switch up the order of exercises you do or challenge yourself by increasing the number of sets you complete for each activity.
10 Easy Exercises for a Beginner Workout
Start with a basic warm-up. Before you start your workout, it’s important to get your body warm and loosened up.
A simple way to do this is to do a few jumping jacks or high knees.
Bodyweight squats are a great way to warm up your legs and get your blood flowing.
To do a bodyweight squat, simply stand with your feet shoulder width apart and lower your butt towards the ground.
Make sure to keep your chest up and your back straight as you lower down.
Push-ups are a classic exercise that work your entire upper body. To do a push up, start in a plank position with your hands on the ground just outside of shoulder width.
Lower yourself down until your chest touches the ground, then press back up to the starting position.
Lunges are another great leg exercise that can be done with just your bodyweight. To do a lunge, step forward with one leg and bend both knees so that your back knee lowered towards the ground.
Make sure to keep your front knee from going past your toes as you lower down. Press through your front heel to return to the starting position, then repeat with the other leg.
Burpees are a full body exercise that will get your heart rate up in no time. To do a burpee, start standing then lower yourself into a squat position with your hands on the ground in front of you.
Kick both feet back so that you’re in a plank position, then jump or step both feet back towards your hands and stand back up. That’s one rep.
Tricep dips are a great exercise for toning the backs of your arms (aka triceps). To begin a tricep dip, sit on the edge of a chair or bench with your hands beside you gripping the seat’s edge.
Slide yourself off of the chair so that only your hands and feet are touching the ground, then lower yourself down by bending at the elbows until your elbows are at 90 degrees.
Press back up to the starting position to complete one rep.
Sit-ups are an old-school exercise that target your abdominal muscles (abs). To perform a sit-up, lie on your back on the ground, knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
Place your hands behind your head or crossed over your chest, then press up through your abs until you sit all the way up.
Return to lying down position and repeat for repetitions.
Planks are a great isometric exercise that works your entire core. To do a plank, start in a push up position with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands directly beneath your shoulders.
Lower yourself down so that your elbows and forearms are resting on the ground, then hold this position for time.
Make sure to keep your abs engaged to prevent your hips from sagging.
Side planks are similar to regular planks, but they target your oblique muscles (aka love handles) more specifically.
To do a side plank, start by lying on your side on the ground with your feet stacked one on top of the other and propped up on your elbow.
Press through your elbow and the side of your foot to raise your hips off the ground, then hold this position for time.
Repeat on the other side.
Russian twists are a great exercise for toning your oblique muscles and working your core.
To do a Russian twist, start by sitting on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor in front of you.
Lean back slightly and press your palms together in front of your chest. Twist your torso to one side, then to the other side, then repeat for repetitions.
Chin-ups are an excellent upper body exercise that can help you build muscle and strength. They are very similar to pull-ups but with an underhand grip, meaning that your palms should be facing towards your body as you do the exercise.
This change of grip engages more of your biceps and front shoulders than a regular pull-up would.
If chin-ups are too challenging at first, you could try using a resistance band to support some of your bodyweight while still allowing your muscles to perform the lift, or alternatively use an assisted chin-up machine at the gym until you have the necessary strength to do a full unassisted chin-up.
That’s it! These 10 exercises can be done anytime, anywhere with no equipment needed.
Getting Started with Your Workout
If you’re just getting started with working out, it’s important to ease into things and not try to do too much too soon.
Start by doing 1-2 sets of each exercise with a 30 second break in between sets.
As you get more comfortable and start to build up your endurance, you can increase the number of sets and reps as well as the length of time you hold each position.
Most importantly, have fun and don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone has to start somewhere.
Calisthenics is a great way to get in shape without having to go to the gym or invest in any equipment.
By doing bodyweight exercises, you can tone your muscles and improve your cardiovascular health without having to spend any money.
Give some of these exercises a try and see how you feel. Remember to listen to your body and stop if you start to feel pain. With a little practice, you’ll be on your way to a healthier, happier version of yourself.