Workouts for Women

Calisthenics Beginner Workout Guide- Everything You Need to Know

Whether you’re looking to change up your workout routine, or you’re new to fitness, you might be considering calisthenics – good choice! 

If you’re unsure of what it is, how to do it and maybe you’re even looking for a calisthenics beginner workout, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve demystified this popular form of training so you can jump right in and give it a go yourself! 

We’ve answered your questions below and created a calisthenics beginner workout too! So what are you waiting for, get to reading and try it yourself! 

What is Calisthenics?

Before you begin your calisthenics beginner workout, let’s start in the most obvious place – what is it?! 

Calisthenics definition – Cambridge Dictionary 

physical exercises usually done repeatedly to keep your muscles in good condition and improve the way you look or feel [1]

While it’s handy to have the definition, it doesn’t really give much away. One vital thing you need to remember with calisthenics is that it’s bodyweight. 

That’s right, you can achieve those incredible calisthenics physiques, strong muscles and toned bodies, all without the use of weights equipment. 

Normally, most exercise routines head in the direction of aerobic (think cardio, high activity and getting sweaty) or anaerobic (slower, intensity comes from lifting heavy weights and focussing on muscle building). However calisthenics tends to give you both. 

[Related Article: Calisthenics Chest Workout – 9 Amazing Exercises!]

Why should I do Calisthenics? 

Why not?! With a combination of cardio and strength training, all utilising bodyweight, it’s a super effective and convenient way to get fit and create a fantastic physique.

Some may think that, without adding weights in, you’re not going to get super fit or strong, but that’s simply not true, there are some fantastic examples of impressive calisthenic physiques out there that will definitely tempt you to give it a go. 

What’s more, it’s fun! Calisthenics pros out there have been crafting new and exciting ways of working out with just bodyweight and have created some truly impressive movements and workouts that will impress any passer by. 

Plus, it’s surely one of the most convenient ways to work out. No heavy kit, no weights and no gym membership – you can workout pretty much anywhere. Whether it’s at home or in the park, it’s pretty freeing to have that opportunity. 

So, if you’re tempted, take a look at our calisthenics beginners workout below and let us know what you think!! 

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Calisthenics Beginner Workout Guide

We’ve rounded up a standard week of Calisthenics exercises so you can begin your journey and start to feel the burn. 

It’s worth noting, you will need access to a bar or some rings for some of these, but luckily you can usually find these in your local park (even the kids play around has pull up bars!). If you did want to invest, check out our list of equipment below. 

Monday – No Equipment

3 rounds of: 

  • 10 Squats
  • 10 sit ups
  • 10 reverse lunges
  • Max hold plank
  • 10 toe touches

Tuesday – Equipment Needed

4 rounds of: 

  • 10 push ups
  • 5 pull ups
  • 5 dips
  • 10 pike push ups
  • 10 knees raises

Wednesday: Rest day!

Thursday – Cardio

4 Rounds of:

  • 10 jumping lunges
  • 100m run
  • 20 mountain climbers
  • 10 squats

Friday – Full body (equipment needed)

3 rounds of: 

  • 10 wide hand push ups
  • 5 dips
  • 10 Australian pull ups
  • 10 close feet squats
  • 10 squats
  • 15 sit ups

Saturday Rest Day

Sunday Rest Day

[Related Article: Back Calisthenics Workout – 10 Exercises you can’t miss! ]

Calisthenics Equipment – What do I need?

The trick with calisthenics is that, while it’s bodyweight and you won’t need to byu weights etc. it can lead to a plateau if you’re not knowledgeable about the way you train. 

For example, if you did the below calisthenics beginner workout three times a week for a month, you’d definitely start off finding it challenging, then you’d start to improve and, if you don’t change anything, by the end of the month you’ll find it doesn’t challenge you as much anymore and your strength is no longer improving. 

That’s absolutely normal, and totally expected, as your body will only improve if it’s challenged. A calisthenics beginners workout that was once hard for you, can very quickly become easy if you don’t change things up and challenge your body in new ways. 

You can switch up your workouts and add more reps and go faster, but another way to truly challenge your body is by using calisthenics equipment. While they still maintain the bodyweight elements of your workout, they can allow you to go further and challenge your body and muscles in new ways, just as we’ve said above. 

We’ve listed out key calisthenics equipment that you may find handy as you progress from your calisthenics beginner workout. 

[Related Article: Cardio on Leg Day – Should You do it?]

Parallettes 

Parallettes are a piece of gymnastic equipment used by gymnasts to emulate parallel bars, without the dangers of falling off! They can help strengthen new muscles in calisthenics by allowing you further range of motion in push ups and dips.

What’s more, they’re not too expensive either and are available in different heights so you can choose the one that’s best suited to your ability. 

Parallettes for calisthenics beginner workout

We find these Parallettes offer great grip and stability in your movements. Plus they can be delivered quickly via Amazon

Find out more on Amazon.com

Resistance bands

A steadfast classic in the gym and a brilliant piece of equipment to elevate your calisthenics beginner workout, there are a range of resistance bands that can help to further challenge your body without using weights. 

And, if you’re a beginner, there are a range of resistances to choose from too, and they can be used to help scale calisthenic exercises. For example, you might use a shorter band for strengthening glutes during squats or opt for a longer band to assist with your first pull up. 

Explore our review of the best resistance bands to find out more.

Gymnastic Rings

Rings are a great way to work on dips and pulls, putting the emphasis on increasing stability in muscles and range of movement as you’re not dipping to the floor- you can go further! Plus, you basically look like a ninja when you work with them – what’s not to love. 

And, although they may seem really official, you can actually pick them up for a great price and simply invest in a door strap so you don’t even need to leave the house! 

Gymnastic Rings - Calisthenics Equipment

These are a reasonably priced set of rings that offer a rubber grip for additional security. We’d recommend them as a good choice for your first set.

Find out more on Amazon.com

Pull Up Bars

Another brilliant bodyweight wonder of a movement, the pull up is something so many work towards in the gym and it’s exactly the same with calisthenic exercise. While you can head to the gym, or now even the local park to do your pull ups, you can also invest in a bar at home. Whether it’s one you fit over a doorway or you get a full rig installed (wow, jealous!) there are plenty of pull up bars out there. 

Doorway pull up bar for calisthenics

We like this pull up bar for calisthenic as it can be used at home and offers good security in a doorway in your home. We found it to be strong and reliable.

Find out more on Amazon.com

Calisthenics beginner workout – The final word

We’ve intentionally started off here with some movement we think can be achievable for a beginner – for example, you won’t see any hand clap push ups here! But, there are movements like a pull up where a long resistance band can help you get started and support you in getting going. 

From there, you can start to build from your calisthenics beginner workout and develop your strength and skill into some of those more challenging movements that make calisthenics a very popular training format. 

Why not give it a go for a few weeks and let us know how you get on in the comments below! We’d love to find out more about how you got on. 

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gymgirlfit

gymgirlfit was created by health and fitness enthusiasts, with backgrounds in powerlifting and writing. We've written for a number of well-known fitness publishing companies.

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