Boiled down to it’s essence, calisthenics is about working out using only your bodyweight.
Somehow, the modern interpretation of this historical form of exercise has evolved to focus mostly on pull up bar exercises, though some purists would argue that only no equipment workouts should count as calisthenics
With that in mind, we’ve prepared an easy 45 minute workout for all beginners looking to get in shape.
And our timing couldn’t be better- this is a great way to get in shape during the quarantine.
Here’s a video version of the workout:
Before we start the actual workout it’s important to get the muscles lose and warm. Ideally, you’ll start breaking a sweat by the end of this section.
We won’t include any stretches but we encourage you to stretch out any areas that are causing discomfort before beginning the workout.
Our warm-up will consist of 3 exercises:
1- Arm swings + Trunk Twist + Neck circles
Great way to get the blood flowing and release the shoulders, hips, arms, and neck.
The names really say it all, so no video demonstration for this one.
2- Jump Squats
To activate the lower body, we’ll start with some jump squats.
As the name would suggest, these are just normal air squats with a jump in the end:
Aim to do at least 10 repetitions and 3 sets.
3- Jumping Jack
This one might bring you back to your childhood p.e. classes, but it’s a solid whole body warm up exercise:
Should be enough to break a small sweat and get your heart beating a bit faster. Aim for at least 2 sets of 10 repetitions.
1- Sofa / Chair Squats
I know I said no equipment, but everyone has a chair or sofa right?
Grab it, and stand in front, with your back to it. Your feet should be very close to the chair/sofa.
Now perform a normal squat until your gluteus touches the chair.
Aim for 4 sets of at least 10 repetitions
2- Wall Sits
This will be the only isometric exercise in the list, but it’s a damn efective one.
Stand with your back towards the wall and take a step forwards, then squat, making sure your legs are parallel to the wall and back is straight and against the wall.
For at least 30 seconds and 3 sets. You should aim to stay for at least 1 minute once you’ve gained some strength in the legs.
3- Normal / Single Leg Calf Raise
Beginner Mode: Feet parallel and stand on the tips of your toes. Go back to the floor. Repeat
Advanced Mode: Same as above but with one foot in the air.
1- Butterfly Sit-ups
The butterfly sit-up is a great variation of the traditional sit-up as it adds hip mobility to the equation.
It’s great for developing the abs too, though it can be quite demanding, so focus on on normal sit-ups if this is still too hard for you.
2- Flutter Kicks
A terribly simple exercise that generally won’t cause discomfort when done with the hands underneath the gluteus.
3- Reverse Crunch
Crunches can be complicated and uncomfortable to do without equipment, so the reverse crunch is a great alternative.
1- Push ups
Why re-invent the wheel? The push up is a classic exercise that can be adjusted to any skill level.
If you struggle with normal push ups go for knee assisted pull-ups
If you can easily do 15 push-ups, try raising your feet, using a chair, couch, or even books, and do feet elevated push-ups.
2- Doorway Rows
This is a great exercise to add diversity to your workout.
Despite not needing any gear, you can use the doorway to mix it up.
3- Feet Elevated Dip
You’ll need to use a chair or table for this one.
Chris is an experienced Calisthenics practitioner focused on isometric exercises and street workout. He founded thehybridathlete.com in 2017, which was subsequently acquired by theyhybridathlete.com
He is based in Portland and has been working out using solely his own body weight and bars for the past 6 years.