5 Best Calisthenics Exercises For You

Calisthenics Exercises

Basic Introduction:

A woman standing in a room

Calisthenics exercises are a type of exercise that is done through one’s body weight. Calisthenics typically involves repetitions of different types of movements, as opposed to weight-bearing heavyweights.

“This set of exercises can be done by anyone, with or without equipment.” Said Marcus Williamson, owner of Williamson’s Fitness Gym.

“These are great for students who might not have much money to spare.” Said James Mott, also the owner of the gym. “No equipment is needed for this set of exercises.”

Types of Calisthenics Exercises:

A woman standing in front of a building

You don’t need weights to stay toned and healthy. You can use your body weight as resistance to sculpt a lean, strong physique at home with calisthenics exercises. If you’re new to exercise or just want a few tips on how to work out without equipment, start slow and check with a doctor first if you have health concerns. Begin with basic calisthenics exercises that target the major muscle groups. These moves are easy for beginners but challenging enough even for advanced athletes who want a change of pace from traditional weightlifting routines. For each exercise, aim for two sets of 10 repetitions per session two times a week. As you gain strength and endurance, gradually increase the number of reps until you do two sets of 20 reps. Following are the best calisthenics exercises:


Targeting the back, shoulders, and biceps muscles, pull-ups are a classic calisthenics exercise. You can adjust this traditional move so you target different areas of your arms by changing your grip. Do a palms-forward grip for tricep work or a palms-backward grip to focus on the biceps.


Pushups also target the chest, arms, and core muscles as well as helping to sculpt strong shoulders and improve balance. You can do pushups from your knees or toes for beginners to make the workout easier or add intensity with a medicine ball held over your head until you’re ready to try standard floor pushups.


Squats not only strengthen legs but also help build lean muscle mass in the back and core muscles. Stand with feet hip-width apart and toes pointing forward to mimic the natural alignment of your body for an effective workout. Keep back straight and shoulders pulled back as you lower into a squat, stopping at thighs parallel to the floor or as far down as is comfortable.


The pike helps develop balance, core strength, and stability by combining a mountain climber exercise with a hamstring stretch. Kneel on all fours, keeping back straight and abs tucked in tight. Stretch hands out in front of chest slightly wider than shoulder-width apart for balance or lift knees off ground slightly for more intensity. Keeping hips high and glutes tight, bend elbows toward the ceiling until head nearly the floor between arms while simultaneously straightening legs as much as possible. Return to all fours, repeating as many times as desired.

Hanging Leg Raises:

Hanging leg raises work out the abdominal muscles and lower back while strengthening arms. Use a pull-up bar or sturdy tree branch to hang from with hands shoulder-width apart to begin. Keeping knees straight and core tight, slowly raise hips off the ground until you’re slightly bent at the waist and thighs parallel to the floor. Hold for one to two seconds before lowering under control into starting position. If this is too difficult, place your feet on the ground and bend your knees slightly during exercise which will make it easier but fires fewer muscles than the straight leg version of hanging leg raise.


All of these exercises are great alternatives to traditional weight training, because they work muscles throughout your body, rather than just the upper or lower.

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