Calisthenics for Women – All You Need to Know

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calisthenics for women

Women’s calisthenics routine guide

If you want to get a sexy and fit body, strength training must be in your workout routine. It helps to shape and build your muscles, supports your weight loss and keeps your body healthy. One way is lifting weights or using various machines. They work, but calisthenics for women might be an even better option for many reasons.

What are the benefits for girls?

  • Since we are talking about bodyweight training, you do not need to go to the gym since you can have a total body training at home. With that, you can save money and time. You need something to hang on and for that, a cheap doorframe pull up bar will do. Although, I suggest to have a pull-up dip station since you will be able to do all the exercises comfortably.
  • Calisthenics helps you to build functional strength. That means you can develop such a power that you can use in daily activities. You will be able to lift heavier things easier, climb the stairs or a tree. 🙂 Just think about the chin up or pull up how strong back they make for you.
  • It also supports your weight loss. Almost all the calisthenics exercises are compound moves. That means more than one muscles group is activated during the motion. This way your body needs to burn more calories. Also, because of the more working muscles, your body needs more oxygen so these exercises will improve your cardiovascular system as well.
  • People think that the only way we can build muscles is by lifting weights. But, your muscles do not care if the resistance comes from using weights or your bodyweight. They will grow and get stronger if you work them no matter which way you choose. Plus, calisthenics exercises are more natural moves to the body that we use every day. Hence, the risk of injury is lower as well.
  • Finally, there are tons of types of exercises for every muscle group, and each has simpler, intermediate and advanced variations. For example, the bodyweight squat, you can start with the support of a bench, then perform the regular squat, then you can go with the pistol squat when you use only one of your legs. Hence, bodyweight training for women is suitable for everyone from total beginners to someone who has been working out for some time.

And these are just a few of the benefits of calisthenics, but I think now you understand why this type of strength training is recommended.

Calisthenics for Women – The basics for beginners

There are a few basic bodyweight exercises that should be in your workout routine, and here we are going to focus on these. If you put these movements into your plan, you can have a full body training which is crucial. You should not neglect any body part.

Let’s see them.

1. Push-ups

The push up works your chest, shoulders, triceps and even your core. As a beginner, you may find it hard to perform one, but do not worry since you can start with easier variations until you get strong enough.

The easiest is the wall push up which is excellent for total beginners, for ladies who have never done press ups before.

wall push ups


The next is the knee push up which is close to the traditional one. If you can do more than 12-15 of it, you are ready for the regular one.

knee press ups

Although, it is essential to learn the correct form because that is the only way you will have the desired effect. Watch the video for the tutorial below.


Tips for women at better fitness level: If you feel the traditional press ups do not give you enough resistance anymore, you can learn a lot of advanced push up variations here.


2. Bodyweight squats for the lower body

While the squat seems to be an exercise that works the muscles of your thighs, it does far more than that. It shapes your hamstrings, butt, core and develops your endurance.

If you are not strong enough to perform it correctly, start with the bench squat. So, you will be able to control the motion better.

bench squat

Again, to get the best results, proper performance is vital. So follow this tutorial.


For advanced trainees: The beauty of calisthenics is that there are a lot of ways to modify an exercise to make it harder. You can learn many bodyweight squat variations here, and even more advanced bodyweight leg exercises here.


3. Pull up /chin ups

Well, maybe these are the hardest exercises for most of the girls since we have to pull our entire body weight. But, there are many moves and techniques you can do to prepare your body. The pull up/chin up are very beneficial moves that make you back, arms, shoulder and even your core strong and shaped. So, it is worth to work for it.

From the following video, you can learn five moves and advice that help you make your first pull up.


One excellent move that is not included in the tutorial is the inverted bodyweight row. Since the weight of your lower body is on the ground, it is not as hard as the regular pull up, but it works almost the same muscles.

inverted rows

Advice for everyone: Learn how to do pull-ups correctly, and Common Pullup Mistakes You Should Avoid.


4. Dips

The dip is a fantastic compound exercise strengthening and toning your shoulders and arms. Like pull-ups, it is hard to perform dips on parallel bars since you have to lift your total body weight. But, you can start with an easier variation.

That is the bench dip when your lower body is placed on the ground, so you “just” lift the weight of your upper body.

dip exercise

Once, you can do more than 10 bench dips; you may want to try the parallel bar dip. Watch the tutorial below.


Notice: If you lean forward more, there is more load on your chest and front shoulder muscles.


5. Bodyweight core exercises

In most of the cases, we do core training with the help of our bodyweight like sit-ups, crunches, rotations, planks, etc.

However, there is an important thing that is you have to work your entire core. That means your lower back, lower and upper abs and oblique.

For the lower back, the hyperextension exercise on the floor is a good one to start with, but you can learn more bodyweight lower back exercises here.

For your lower abs those moves are the best that requires your lower body to lift such as leg raises. You can start with beginner’s leg lifts on the floor. But, to get v-cut midsection, hanging leg/knee raises on the bar are the killer ones. Although, they are for intermediate trainees.

For the upper abs, crunches will do.

For training your internal and external oblique various rotational moves are the most effective such as Russian twist, but you can learn different standing abs exercises here.

For advanced trainees: Find more calisthenics abs workouts here.


Women’s beginner bodyweight workout

If you put the mention exercises into a plan, you will have a workout that trains your entire body at once which is advised for a newbie.

With that, it is enough to have 2-3 workouts per a week. Per workout, you have just a few sets, but at the end of the week they will add up.

Here is a sample calisthenics workout for women, but you can find more beginner workouts here.

female calisthenics workout

Calisthenics for beginners

best female calisthenics

Best female calisthenics workout


Notice: Obviously, intermediate and advanced level ladies can have a split routine when one or two particular muscle group is targeted at one session.


To sum up

I hope you find this guide to calisthenics for women useful, and you understood the basics. I’m a big fan of bodyweight workouts. I believe it is an excellent method to build beautiful and strong female body. Try it, and you will see it is better than weights. Need motivation? Find female calisthenics transformation pictures here.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask below.

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James Wright

James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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