I have been doing bodyweight training for about three years now, and I have almost all the calisthenics equipment I need to have complete workouts at home.
Before that, I visited the local gym. The fact is that it was a pain in the butt to travel there and wait for the machines. My training was not as intensive as I would have liked to be. Not to mention that I used only the pull-up bar in most of the cases. It was a waste of money and time.
So I decided to build my calisthenics home gym. I bought more and more pieces of bodyweight exercise equipment that supports my progression, and now I have everything I need. I train whenever I want, and I decide the intensity of my routine.
Do you want to work out at home too? Below I have collected almost all the calisthenics workout equipment. Check out the following guide to find the most suitable stuff for you!
1. Power Tower - The most useful workout stations in one gear
In my opinion power tower is the most useful workout equipment for home since we can do the essential bodyweight exercises with it such as pull-ups, chin-ups, dips, leg raises, etc. It substitutes three gym stuff: pull up bar, dip bars and vertical knee raise (plus some products come with push station as well.) Hence, you can save space (and money).
When you want to purchase one, the two most important factors to check is the weight capacity and stability. Here we have a guide to pull up dip stations.
2. Gymnastics Rings - For advanced calisthenics moves
Not a must have, but the gymnastic rings can add an extra boost to your home calisthenics routine. If you want to perform advanced bodyweight moves like ring dips, pull and chin ups, etc. get this calisthenics training equipment. They are incredibly efficient for strength development. However, these workouts are recommended for intermediate and advanced level trainers since they are complex and require serious existing strength.
3. Doorway Bar - Compact & Apartment Friendly
A door pull-up bar is rather cheap, and it does not need much space, but you cannot do so many exercises with it. It is a good option if you live in an apartment. However, the weight capacity of these items are not very high and be careful with proper installation.
4. Wall Mounted Pull Up Bars - Best for indoor pulling exercises
There two types: wall mounted and ceiling mounted. Both of them are a good choice, but I prefer the ceiling mounted since I have more space to exercise. They require proper installation, but once you are ready, you will have reliable and versatile calisthenics gym equipment. Rogue Fitness has professional bars with excellent user experience, but they are pricey. On Amazon, you can find affordable pieces.
Searching for the Best Pull Up Bar for Calisthenics?
Read our detailed reviews and comparison of the best free standing, mounted and door bars.
5. Weighted vest - Add extra resistance comfortably
Are you a pro? Do you feel bodyweight exercises are not enough for your development? Want to boost your strength? An adjustable weighted vest is the best you can get. Compared to dip belts, a vest is much more comfortable and less disturbing. And, you can choose from a wide range of loads. Of course, this equipment is for advanced trainers.
6. Dip Belt - Classic tool for extra load
Just like the vest, dip belts are for adding extra resistance to your calisthenics workout at home. You can hang weight plates on it safely, even huge loads if you are a pro. Compared to the vest it is not as comfortable since the plates swing a little bit. However, that is a sort of additional load which requires you to keep your balance leading to even better strength training.
7. Dip Stand
If you have home calisthenics equipment for pulling exercises, a simple dip station is useful stuff for your bodyweight home gym. The dip works the entire upper body entirely, but you can do knee raising exercises for abs. You can get individual bars or an assembled machine. I prefer the fixed version since it has higher weight capacity and more stable.
8. Calisthenics Parallettes & Push up bars - For full range of motion
Parallel bars are even more versatile since they are higher and longer. Hence, you have more space to exercise, plus the stability is much better. Parallels are great for handstand pushups, L-sits, etc.
Both calisthenics exercise equipment helps you to get the full range of motion which leads to strength and mass development. They are also beneficial to add advanced exercises to your workout routine for progressive overload.
9. Ab wheel - For rock solid core
Cheap fitness equipment that boosts the power of your core muscles. The rolling in and out moves using your bodyweight will boost your core, and even your chest, shoulders, and arms. Plus, there are advanced variations for pros.
10. Workout Gloves
They protect not only your hands from injuries but also provide better grip, so you will be able to do the exercises safely and correctly.
11. Jump rope - Boost you cardio & endurance
One of the best cardio workouts besides running is jump roping. It boosts your cardiovascular system and endurance. And even a professional rope costs just a few bucks.
12. Stability ball - Underestimated
A fitness ball seems to be a girls equipment, but it is excellent for enhancing regular exercises such as push ups. Also, it is ideal for core workouts.
Calisthenics Gym Buying Guide
Calisthenics workout station
I think a power tower is the best and most versatile workout equipment for having calisthenics training at home. There are several versions, but typically each of them comes with a pull and a dip section. Others come with extras like a push-up station and other accessories.
What to pay attention to when you buy?
How much does it cost?
You can buy basic models for about $100-150, but the really good ones providing more functions, longer warranty, and sturdier structure costs about $150-300.
A ring is not the most important pieces of home calisthenics equipment to work out at home, but with the help of them you can boost your bodyweight training to the next level. Just think about gymnasts, how perfect body they have.
Since the rings are not stable, the various movements need more power, and different muscle groups should work together to keep the position, balance and so on. For example, there is a significant difference in resistance between doing a chin-up, dip, or muscle up on a bar or with rings.
In addition, you will be able to do powerful several other additional bodyweight exercises such as various holds, hangs, crosses. etc.
What you need to keep in mind if you want to buy a gymnastic ring is that it needs space to use and a high ceiling to install to use it comfortably and efficiently.
Pretty cheap! $20-50 you can buy a high-quality set.
As you get stronger and familiar with the various calisthenics moves, the time comes when you want to give a boost to your bodyweight workouts (or better your own weight is not enough anymore).
When I reached that level, I hung weight plates on my belt, but it was a pain in the butt to train like that. It was uncomfortable, and I could not focus on the training.
A weight vest is far better than that. You just put it on, set the amount of weight you want to use and that is all. It is comfortable and allows to do the moves without anything annoying.
Plus they are not very expensive.
Calisthenics pull up bar
If you do not have enough money for a tower yet, then a simple pull up bar is the solution for you. There are two versions.
The doorway chin up bar that you can fix between the frames. They are pretty cheap, and quality products are safe as well. But I do not recommend for heavy users and extreme usage. For beginners and for those who do not have space, it is a good solution, though.
The other version is the wall mounted ones that are safer to use and can handle more weight (if they are installed correctly.) Buy one that stand out further from the wall, this way you will have enough space for the movements.
No matter which you choose, you can do the vital calisthenics exercises mentioned in the tower section.
The doorway bars are pretty cheap $10-30, the mounted ones are bit more expensive but sturdier.
In case you have already had a bar but you cannot do dips, then this equipment is for you. As you know, dipping is one of the most beneficial exercises for upper body strength, so it must be included in an efficient calisthenics workout routine.
There are two types of parallel bars, fixed and not fixed ones. Both of them have advantages and disadvantages.
Fixed ones are typically more stable and safe, but they come with a fixed width. Hence, depending on your height, you may find it too wide or narrow. Plus, they are not portable and needs more space to store.
The other version comes with two separated bars so you can set it for your needs, but there is a chance that they may wobble. (However, the users of the premium quality products, do not usually complain about this problem). Plus, they are more versatile since you can use them for more types of exercises.
You can buy dip bars from $50.
While there a lot of calisthenics exercises you can do to strengthen and tone your entire midsection, there is one abdominal exercise equipment I recommend, the ab wheel. This simple tool trains the abdominals completely (plus your lower back, shoulders, legs and back).
During the rolling in and out you use your bodyweight, and this complex movement stimulate all the muscles of the core.
Plus, an ab wheel does not cost an arm and leg, for some bucks you can buy one.
Strength training is just one part of building a solid and lean body; cardio is vital as well. It helps to burn extra calories for weight loss, develop your endurance and improve your cardiovascular system.
There are a lot of activities you can do for cardio training running, jogging, swimming, etc. There is no need to use any gear.
However, I only use one, the good old jumping rope. This fitness equipment is a killer for boosting your heart rate. There is a reason fighters use it for conditional training.
I have weighted jumping rope that allows me to increase the speed, but any types do well.
You may think now stability balls are for ladies. NO! I believe it is the most beneficial fitness equipment that help to boost common exercises such as push-ups perfectly. ( A study has proved that doing push ups with stability ball is as almost as efficient as barbell bench press).
Since the ball moves here and there, you need to keep your balance and for that a lot of muscles are engaged, especially the core ones.
It is a versatile equipment that can be used for several ways for calisthenics training.
Benefits of Equipment for Calisthenics
- They are affordable (the complex ones such as the power tower or the dip station are a bit more expensive).
- They do not need so much space so you can train even in a small room.
- They are versatile. For example, with a pull-up bar you can do a wide range of bodyweight exercises.
- You can work out whenever you want.
Best portable calisthenics equipment?
Well, I have reviewed a portable pull up dip equipment here which you can attach to almost anything even to a tree trunk. Lightweight, but very sturdy. Perfect for both indoor and outdoor use.
How to build a calisthenics park at home
Unfortunately, I'm not so good at DIY projects so I cannot give you a detailed tutorial on this topic. I'm lucky since there is a park close to me. However, I found this video, which seems to a cheap and easy project.
While the other name of calisthenics is street workout, you can do it at home with the help of these tools. The most beneficial calisthenics machine for muscle building is definitely the power tower, so if you can afford buy that firstly, then you can develop your home gym buying other secondary items.
Are you a beginner? Check out how to start calisthenics here.
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