I’ve decided to put together a list of the best calisthenic workout exercises because…
- The size you gain through calisthenics relies on what exercises you know how to do.
- There are no lists that really go over everything you need to know.
So I’m going to be talking about the most popular exercises and some secret must-know ones using the power of video and text.
Anyway… Le’t’s get it started!
Why Calisthenics Is So Amazing
Just in case you didn’t already know calisthenics (bodyweight training) is one of the most optimal ways to train your body.
And as time goes on it continues to grow ever more popular with more people doing it because it’s AMAZING… Why is it amazing?
- If the exercises are mastered it’s one of the safest and most effective forms of training. You see people in there 60’s doing calisthenics still, as you don’t see many body-builders.
- It gives you real life muscles… Muscles that you can use in your everyday life. Plus it’ll increase balance, energy and strength dramatically.
- It strengthens your bones and joints.
- It makes you feel explosive.
- The progression is easily measured which makes it more effective.
- Can be used for weight loss, muscle gain and to lean up.
- Most importantly, when done correctly it’s a much easier way to build an ‘in proportion’ body, that’s ripped.
These are just some of the benefits and if you’re a beginner and want to know some amazing secrets to building real strength with calisthenics make sure you check that out.
The Best Calisthenic Exercises
This list would go on for years, so I’ve just added the most awesome calisthenic exercises that use body weight, the ones I know won’t jack your *ish up and will help you grow strong.
The most important exercise for any home trainer is the push up, it’s simple, can be done anywhere and when mixed up can train most of the upper body.
When I was learning to do different types of push ups, this was the video that taught me.
There’s 25 of the best push ups you can do to build muscles and part of the fun is seeing if you can master them all.
What muscles can these push ups hit:
Pretty much your whole upper body, not to shabby am I right?
This really stops anyone without a home gym, as all you need is yourself and a hunger to grow strong.
What’s my favorite push ups:
- Normal push up (Diamond And Far grip) – All beginners should learn these basic push ups and be able to do 10 of each.
- Typewriter push up (hits the back and is my next favorite type of push up.
- Forearm push up (This is something I really have to do as someone with small forearms.)
- T – Push ups are great for the core.
- Clap push ups
Once you’ve learned these ones above then I’d move on to the harder stuff like handstand push ups.
The next more important exercise is pull ups, this is where the muscle is really made.
Mixing pull ups with push ups will allow you to really hit all of your upper body, which is pretty impressive. The great thing about these exercises is they help you build a fully in proportion body, something that weight lifting doesn’t do.
Now the video below is one of the other videos I used to learn the different types of pull ups…
The lighter you are the quicker you’ll be able to master these movements. But even if you’re light it will still take time, effort and training to get these exercises down.
But that’s part of the challenge, you see by the time you can do 10 of all these movements you’ll have the body of your dreams.
My Favorite Pull Ups:
- Normal (Wide grip, Close grip, something you have to master and the building blocks of the bar).
- Muscle up (My favorite and probably the second most important movement).
- Typewriter pull up (If you want an amazing back and shoulders, look no further).
- Archer Pull ups (Really hit the back and get that defined back look we all want).
These are the ones I’d focus on learning, once you’ve done them move onto the more challenging ones, that use more leg movements.
We all want big biceps am I right? Well chin ups are the fast track there.
Now I’ve added the video down below with 50 chin up types and to be honest it’s over kill. But there’s definitely a few chin up exercises to take away from this:
Let’s jump straight to what my favs are…
My Favorite Chinups
- Close and Wide grip chin ups (amazing for biceps).
- Alternate hand chin ups.
- Commander (really explosive exercise).
Now there’s other types of pull ups that involve one hand and different heights, but they’re a little over-kill and can sometimes do more damage than good.
Want big biceps and chest? Then dips are calling you!
Again a lot of these dips are for the more advanced calisthenic trainers, but they’re still awesome and a great thing to work towards:
If you don’t have a dip bar check out the best dip bar money can buy and if you don’t want to buy a dip bar just use some chairs at home.
The Best Types Of Dips
You know what? This video is broken up into different categories and explained extremely well, just start at the level you’re at and work your way up and you’ll be fine.
Now I can’t have any people be missing leg day as it’s important for a balanced body and is where a lot of your everyday strength comes from .
Now in this video this guy really does cover the most effective types of squats perfectly
And all of them can be done with and without weight.
Now I personally would only use a kettle weight and maybe some dumb bells while doing squats as to many people I know jack up their knees doing squats loaded with weights and as someone with weak knees, I just don’t risk it
But by just simply doing the squat exercises below twice a week, I’ve built very solid leg foundations.
Now this video is awesome and I recommend you just try to have at least one leg day per week to get the most out of your body.
My Favorite Squats
- Normal Squat (The best overall leg exercise)
- Split Squats (Perfect for getting your legs more in proportion and great for your butt).
- Goblet Squats (Amazing overall squat).
- Pistol Squats (A little difficult at the start but something worth working up to).
There’s other types of leg movements, squats are just the most popular way to build muscle, I’d recommend doing running, skipping, squats and possibly some calf raises, to build your calf up… Here’s how to do them:
90% of calisthenic exercises inderectly work your core muscles… BUT, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a day or at least a time after your other gym sessions where you hit your abs directly.
You see the man muscle you’ll need to pull off all the advanced movements is a strong core, so you’ll not want to miss out on it, by skipping it and relying on workout it indirectly.
Anyway down below is a list of amazing ab exercises:
What I do is each ab workout I pick 8 exercises from this video and I do 30 reps, one after the other and then have a minute – two minutes rest and do 3 sets in total.
That way you’re always hitting different muscles… But if you like more form then you need to try some of these amazing abs workouts:
I went through a stage of doing a new ab workout every week and saw great results.
But abs need to be mixed up regularly and be sure to keep track of your progress so you can keep building up.
The Greatest Calisthenic Workout Plans
One of the biggest secrets I’ve found since I started training was that we all do way better when we’re following a workout plan…
Why? Because it’s just like having a trainer… Now what’s the best workout plan?
It’s a full 12 week bodyweight plan and it has everything you need to get the body of your dreams.
But if you’re a little tight on money you can try this:
- Keep track of your reps, sets and daily calories (this will help you build muscle much quicker and improve your workouts).
- Drink tons of water.
- Read my diet article and make sure you’re getting your daily protien intake.
- Train 5-6 days per week: Legs – Biceps And Triceps – Back – Abs – Chest and Shoulders.
- Be sure to read my guide on getting the most out of your calisthenic workout.
Then use these videos to create a killer workout plan (remember it’s up to you to ramp up the intensity.
For warming up you’ll need to do either running, skipping, swimming, shadow boxing and then mix with a few body movements as show in this video.
These are two of the best cardio workouts I’ve ever done, they will build muscle and are a great way to build energy and build a great calisthenic foundation.
Best Calisthenic Workouts
Now these three workouts below are amazing, you can do any of them and you’ll feel amazing.
They’re not as good as using a workout program as the workout program I use allows you to takle certain muscles each day and builds up intensity each week. But for beginners these shall be an amazing start.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article I truly enjoyed writing it and I’m here for any of your training questions, also if I missed any exercises please leave them in the comments below, it would mean the world to me. I hope you have an amazing day. Oli.