Calisthenics at home is a sort of strength training when we use the bodyweight as resistance. Compared to weight lifting we do not require machines and gym equipment, like dumbbells, a bar, weight plates or a power rack. This way it is a budget-friendly sport. But that does not mean it cannot get you the same results.
Most of the bodyweight exercises do not require any tools at all, and you can use the things around you.
For example, for regular push-ups, you just need a free place. And, if you want to do decline push-ups, you just place your feet on a chair. Or there is the bodyweight squat with a lot of variations such as the single leg squat.
The beauty of calisthenics is that the variations are endless. So, you can always switch to an advanced level exercise if you feel the previous one does not support your development anymore.
I have put together a list of methods here about how to vary your exercises and workout for progressive overload. These tips will help you gain muscle strength and mass in the long run even if you train at home.
Equipment for calisthenics workout at home
70% of the calisthenics exercises need no equipment. However, pull up, chin up, and dips are activities that should be in your workout routine. And, for them, you need something to hang on.
If you are lucky, you may find a bar to practice at home. If nothing is available, then you can choose from various home exercise equipment.
My personal favorite that I usually recommend is the power tower, or pull up and dip station. As its name suggests, this is a multifunction workout gear. It has a pull-up bar, dip bars, and vertical knee raise station, plus some model has a push-up section. So, you have everything in one compact equipment for good calisthenics workout.
You can also buy the stations individually.
A ceiling or a wall mounted pull up bar provides a safe and convenient way to exercise. Although, it needs installation. Rogue Fitness has professional bars, but they are pretty pricey, you can check out cheaper bars here.
Doorway pull/chin-up bar is the most straightforward alternative. It does not require any permanent installation, and it is cheap. Although, I would not recommend it for heavy guys since it has low maximum weight capacity.
Finally, about dip stations. There are two options available. You can buy a stand that requires assembly, and once it is done, you have two parallel bars that are not adjusted. The other option is when you get two individual bars so that you can customize the width of the workout area for your needs. Also, you can use the single bar for other exercises such as bodyweight rowing.
Ok, now let’s talk about how to have a calisthenics exercise routine.
Calisthenics workout plan at home
What are the fundamental calisthenics exercises?
Your calisthenics workout at home should be full body training. You should not leave any muscle group. It leads to an unsymmetrical body, and the risk of a future injury is higher.
- Push-ups that strengthen mainly your chest, but also triceps and shoulders.
- Pull-ups are called the king of the upper body exercises and for a good reason. It is a compound movement that strengthens not just your back (lats) but also your biceps, shoulders, forearms, grips, and core.
- Dips that build massive triceps and shoulders. And, by leaning forward slightly, you can target your chest as well.
- Bodyweight squats for developing quads, hams, and glutes. Squats are simply must for lower body training.
- Calf raises. People willing to forget about their lower legs, but you should not.
- Any abs exercises. However, mix up your training with practices with short and long range of motions. For example, hanging leg raise is a lengthy move while crunches are shorter.
Of course, each of them has numerous variations, beginner and advanced level ones. But, these are basics.
When you create your program, you need to keep your level, the available time and equipment in mind.
If you are a newbie, I suggest you have a full body calisthenics workout for beginners 3 times a week. I have a detailed guide for newcomers here. But, here is a sample routine.
If you are at an advanced level, you have an experience, so it is not hard for you to create a program. Just keep the technique of progressive overload in mind to keep your development. But, here is an example for inspiration.
To sum up
I hope these tips and the other sources will help you understand how to do calisthenics at home. But, we have an entire category dedicated to bodyweight training here from which you can learn a lot more muscle building tips.