Calisthenics is a form of workout where one uses only their body weight to achieve strength and get in shape. Calisthenics exercises can be practiced without much machinery or elaborate gym structures. The basic idea is to get endurance, stamina, flexibility and strength without depending on any tools or sophisticated equipment.

Calisthenics workouts are designed differently for everyone according to their fitness level and medical history. Without doubt it is one of the most suitable branches of fitness for those who like to enjoy wholesome health. It is this display of brawn and body control that has turned it into a sport that many people enjoy practicing and competing with.

The Fundamentals Of Calisthenics Workout

Calisthenics is a versatile genre of workout where one's body weight is used as resistance. Equipment usage is kept to the minimum with basic tools like pull-up and dip bars, which can be bought from a local market or welded at home. Most people are drawn to it because these exercises can be performed almost anywhere. You can have some bars installed in your backyard and you are good to go.

Who Can Practice Calisthenics Exercises

Calisthenics is for everyone but as the form is based on body strength and endurance, it will need some getting used to with training and patience. People who are new to fitness and exercise routines may take up to six months to be able to perform all basic movements smoothly.

Calisthenics workout can be used to reach all kinds of health targets. Some athletes and bodybuilders practice them to increase power and body suppleness. The workout has various levels and so can be used to achieve all kinds of goals.

It is an ideal workout for weight loss, lean muscle build up, core strength and overall body coordination and shape.

Even if you do not have definite health goals and like to enjoy good health in general, calisthenics exercises will do the trick.

Types Of Calisthenics Exercises
Calisthenics cannot be defined into a category as it involves anything and everything that promotes body-weight training. There are certain types of exercises, however, which can be done at the beginner's level. Once a person is adept at these, they can be incorporated into circuit training or other forms to reap better results.

Some examples of Calisthenics Workouts:

Planking helps your core and abs to gain strength.

Get into a prone position on the floor, supporting your weight on your toes and your forearms.

Keep your body straight all time, and hold this position as long as you can. To increase difficulty, an arm or leg can be raised.


Dips are a compound, body-weight exercise. They can do wonders for your upper body strength, working your chest, shoulders, back and arm muscles.

You do Dips by first raising yourself on two dip bars with straight arms. Lower your body until your shoulders are below your elbows. Push yourself up until your arms are straight again.


These are usually beneficial for legs and trains primarily the muscles of the thighs, hips and buttocks.

Stand with feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, hips stacked over knees, and knees over ankles.

Keep the head facing forward with eyes straight ahead for a neutral spine. While the butt starts to stick out, make sure the back stays straight and the chest and shoulders stay upright.


A pull-up is an upper-body compound pulling exercise. Chin pull ups and other varieties help build your back, arms, shoulders and strengthen your core.

Grab the pull-up bar with the palms facing forward or backward.

Grip the bar shoulder-width apart with straight arms. Pull yourself up by pulling your elbows to the floor.

Keep pulling until your chin passes the bar. Lower yourself all the way down until your arms are straight, then pull yourself up again.

Note on grips: For a wide grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance wider than your shoulder width. For a medium grip, your hands need to be spaced out at a distance equal to your shoulder width and for a close grip at a distance smaller than your shoulder width.


A push-up is a common calisthenics exercise performed in a prone position by raising and lowering the body using the arms. Pushups are used to develop chest and tricep muscles.

Get into a high plank position. Place your hands firmly on the ground, flatten your back so your entire body is neutral and straight.

Lower your body and Push back up. Keeping your core engaged, exhale as you push back to the starting position.

Burpees / Squat Thrust

Burpees are a full body exercise which virtually works a lot of muscles in the body, from abs, glutes & hip flexors to chest and shoulders. You can burn more calories in a lot less time.

The start position is Standing straight with your feet shoulder width apart and hands by your sides. Squat down and place your hands palms down on the floor in front of your feet. Jump your legs out behind you until they are fully extended, do 1 full push up and jump your feet forward to just behind your hands. Use an explosive motion to push through your heels and return to the start position.

Explosive Jumping Lunges

Targeting primary muscle groups: Quads and Hamstrings. Secondary: Abs, Calves, Glutes & Hip Flexors.

  • Stand straight with a tight core and your chest up. Lunge forward with your right leg then put your hands on your hips and Jump up, switch your leg in midair, and land with your left leg in a forward lunge.

Alternate sides for one minute.

Calf Raises

The standing calf raise exercise targets your calf muscles, particularly the larger, outermost muscle that is responsible for the shape and size of your calves. The muscles of the calf are viewed as an aesthetic priority more than anything else.

  • Stand straight with a tight core and flat back.
  • Keep your hands at your sides or hold on to a wall for balance.
  • Bring your feet to be hip distance apart. Raise your heels by extending your ankles as high as possible and flexing your calf.
  • Pause at the top and slowly return to the starting position.
Hanging Leg Raise

The hanging leg raise is a core strengthening exercise that targets the entire abdominal area and improves stability in the lower back and help strengthen other muscle groups such as your arms, shoulders and even your legs.

Grip a pull up bar with a firm overhand grip. Raise your legs until the torso makes a 90-degree angle, then lower your legs slowly until they are straight and repeat.

Ab Exercises

Abdominal area workouts help you get more control over your body movements besides giving you appealing six-pack abs.

There are several benefits associated with ab exercises. For example, it helps your body to attain a better posture because your muscles will be stronger. Also, those workouts will banish back pain and you'll notice that your lower back will be more flexible, and your digestion will improve through regular stomach exercise as well.

If you're starting an exercise routine to decrease your excess fat, it's important to focus on the lower abs first because this area is the most difficult to strengthen and tone. The upper abs will tone and tighten naturally as the lower abs become stronger.

Calisthenics are a safe and result oriented form that really works.