Calisthenics for Beginners: Best Exercises You Should Know

Calisthenic exercises are effective for beginners who wish to improve their fitness without expensive equipment and gym memberships. Whether you’re just beginning your calisthenics journey or looking to switch up your routine, calisthenics offers an incredible way to build strength and enhance endurance. In this article, we’ll explore the best calisthenics exercises for beginners. Let’s first get to know what exactly calisthenics is and why it is beneficial for all body levels. We’ll guide you through each exercise step-by-step and burst out a few of its related myths.

What is Calisthenics?

Calisthenics is a form of exercise or a lifestyle that uses your body weight as resistance. These exercises require minimal to no equipment. It’s an excellent choice for beginners looking to build strength, flexibility, and endurance. Calisthenics is way better than weight training exercises as it helps develop endurance, enhance posture, and burn more calories. Moreover, calisthenics exercises help cure many diseases like obesity, COPD, and above-neck problems.

Why Should You Choose Calisthenics Exercises?

Before learning the best calisthenics exercises for beginners, let’s first know why you should choose these exercises and what benefits they offer. Here, we have some beneficial points below:

  • Strength and Muscle Building: Calisthenics exercises engage multiple muscle groups, helping you develop strength and lean muscle mass. They are particularly effective for building functional strength, which improves your ability to perform everyday activities.
  • Improved Flexibility: Many calisthenics movements involve stretching and mobility exercises. It can decrease the risk of any injury and improve your range of motion.
  • Equipment is Not Necessary: One of the most significant advantages of calisthenics is that it requires little to no equipment. You can do these exercises anywhere, making them accessible and cost-effective.
  • Mental Benefits: Calisthenics can positively affect mental health, reduce stress, and develop self-confidence.

Top Calisthenics Exercises For Beginners

Callisthenic exercises are easy to perform, and the beginner calisthenics workout requires the involvement of compound exercises for muscle growth. Some of the best calisthenics exercises are:

1. Push-Ups

Push-ups are a classic calisthenics exercise that targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps. They are good for building upper body strength. To perform a push-up:

Step 1: Start with a plank position with your hands and shoulder-width apart.

Step 2: Now, keep your body lower until your chest is close to the ground.

Step 3: Try to push yourself back up to the starting position.

Also, beginners can adjust this exercise by performing knee push-ups or using an elevated surface like a bench.

push up

2. Bodyweight Squats

Bodyweight squats are a fundamental lower body exercise that works the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Here’s how to do a bodyweight squat:

Step 1: Stand on your feet and shoulder-width apart.

Step 2: Then, lower your body by bending your knees and pushing your hips back.

Step 3: Keep your back straight and your knees behind your toes.

Step 4: Rise back up to the starting position.

bodyweight squats3.


Planks are a core-strengthening exercise that engages your shoulders, back, and chest. To perform a plank:

Step 1: Get into a push-up position but with your weight on your forearms.

Step 2: Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels.

Step 3: Hold this position for as long as possible, aiming to increase your time gradually.


4. Lunges

Lunges are another effective lower body exercise. They target the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Here’s how to make a forward lunge:

Step 1: Stand on your feet and hip-width apart.

Step 2: Step forward with one leg, lowering your body until both knees are at 90-degree angles.

Step 3: Push off your front foot and return to the starting position.

Repeat the above steps with the other leg.


5. Dips

Dips are an excellent upper-body exercise that works the triceps, chest, and shoulders. You can do them using parallel bars or a sturdy surface like the edge of a bench. Here’s how to do dips:

Step 1: Grip the bars or surface with your hands and support your body weight.

Step 2: Now, lower your body by bending your elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the ground.

Step 3: Push yourself back to the initial position.



6. Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle crunches are a dynamic core exercise that also engages your obliques. To perform bicycle crunches:

Step 1: Lie on your back with your hands behind your head.

Step 2: Lift your legs off the ground and bring your right elbow toward your left knee.

Step 3: Alternate by bringing your left elbow toward your right knee in a pedaling motion.

bicycle crunches

Tips For Better Calisthenic Workout

Here, we have listed a few tips that would help you while doing calisthenic exercises:

  • For better results, make a workout plan. To begin, perform 20 push-ups, 20 bodyweight squats, 15 planks, 25 lunges, 15 dips, and 20 bicycle crunches.
  • After a few days, increase the exercises and reps.
  • Keep in mind that after completing each exercise, take a gap of 30-40 seconds in between.
  • Perform the calisthenic exercises in the early morning or 1 hour before bedtime to avoid sleepless nights.
  • Be consistent and do this workout for four to five days a week.
  • Stay hydrated and eat a proper nutritious diet.
  • Always consult your physician, trainer, and dietician before doing any advanced calisthenics exercise or workout.

Few Myths and Misconceptions About Calisthenics

Calisthenics exercises provide a lot of physical, social, and mental benefits. However, there are some misconceptions about these exercises, which we are going to crystallize here:

  • Women Can’t Do Calisthenics Exercises: This is a common misconception, but women can absolutely participate in calisthenics and benefit from its strength-building and body-toning effects. Calisthenics is beneficial in many ways, and women can excel in this just like men.
  • Calisthenics is Only for Advanced Athletes: One of the most significant misconceptions is that calisthenics is only for advanced athletes or individuals with a high level of strength. In reality, calisthenics can be tailored to all fitness and body levels.
  • Doesn’t Build Muscle: Some believe that calisthenics can’t build muscle mass. However, by progressively increasing the intensity and variations, calisthenics can be an effective way to gain muscle.
  • Calisthenics is for Endurance: Calisthenics is often associated with high-repetition exercises, leading some to believe it’s mainly about endurance. In truth, calisthenics can focus on strength, too, with high-intensity workouts.


Calisthenics is specifically a lifestyle that empowers you to take control of your fitness journey. Remember, consistency and dedication are important in this pursuit as this will give you long-term results if performed regularly. The best six basic calisthenics exercises for beginners that we’ve explored in this article will help you develop a fit and healthier body. Furthermore, calisthenics exercises provide many benefits, like strength, muscle building, and endurance.

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