Posted 23 February 2020 by Tyler Read

Beginners Guide To Calisthenics

For Fitness Training

Published: Feb 23rd 2020

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Calisthenics is one of the earliest forms of fitness training. People regard it as old-fashioned.  Calisthenics is a combination of two Greek words; ‘Kalos’ and ‘Stenos’.  They mean beauty and strength respectively.  Calisthenics can be defined as any fitness training that has human body weight as its driving force.  What does that mean?  It means that any fitness training that makes use of your bodyweight is calisthenic in nature. 

The original plan of creating calisthenics was to promote general well-being among school children. However, over the years, it has evolved into fitness training that shares similar characteristics with gym routines.  In fact, calisthenics is more advantageous because it can be performed outdoors. It is popularly known as a ‘street workout.’

Many fitness careers don't fully incorporate calisthenics training as part of their fitness training because they are regarded as old-school drills.  No surprises here.  But a large number of drills people undergo in boot camps and gyms are rebranded calisthenics.

One remarkable feature of calisthenics is that you do not need the use of much equipment to undergo training. The pushing, pulling, lifting and lunging you’ll engage in require little or no machine to function.

If you’re confused about why you should engage in calisthenics, here are some reasons:

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Calisthenic training strengthens the body 

If you do calisthenics often, you’ll definitely see results. Your bones become stronger and you’re able to withstand physical pressure from different quarters more than ever.

Calisthenic training is free! 

It requires no extra charge to engage in calisthenics. You do not have to sign up to a gym or get a personal trainer.

Little or no equipment is required

You do not have to make extra expenses purchasing equipment for calisthenics because most of the training routines do not require equipment. For the few that need equipment, you don’t have to get something expensive or fancy.

Any location is perfect

You don’t have to go through the rigor of choosing a suitable location for your exercise. Just anywhere is perfect. You can do your calisthenics in the comfort of your room as long as there’s enough space for you.

To begin calisthenics, you need to choose a very good program. As a beginner, it’s evident where you’ll start from, THE BEGINNING. With time, you can take on more advanced drills.

In calisthenics, you’ll need time to become a pro at the advanced skills. Sometimes, it takes years. You cannot afford to start calisthenics with advanced programs like muscle-up. It’ll be impossible to cope.

Basic calisthenics exercises for beginners

Since you’re starting from basics as a beginner, it’s just right to recommend calisthenics exercises you can engage in.

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If you’re looking to strengthen your triceps to enable more push-ups, the dip is the perfect exercise for you.

To do this, you need a strong surface, say a bench. Stretch out your legs drop your legs from the bench. When you do this, your hands support your body weight. Reduce the elevation of your elbow and your body drops too. While at it, ensure your back is straight.

You can target your triceps by bending your chest in. At first, you might find it difficult to keep your legs straight and that’s okay. You can bend your knees and move your legs to support the movement of your knees. It’ll get better with time.


It is one of the few calisthenics exercises that’ll require equipment. Not fancy ones anyway. Just an iron bar to pull you up while you’re at it.

Ensure the bar is raised to some distance above you. Jump and catch the bar with both hands. While you hold on to the bar, pull the rest up so that your head goes above the bar. Your chin is poised to be on the same level as your hand.

Afterward, drop your body but hold on to the bar. Repeat the process all over again. You can increase your pace with time.

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This is a popular fitness exercise even in gyms. Surprise surprise, it’s a calisthenics exercise. It’s the perfect program to build your core strength.

To do a push-up, lie on your exercise mat with both palms facing downwards. Your hands are stretched to the front while your legs balance on the toes. Elevate your body with your palms pushing hard and your elbows spread out.

Your body will take the shape of an upward slope. It means that you’re doing the right thing. You can set the number of push-ups you want to engage in per session. As time goes by, you can increase the number.

Push-up to handstand

This is a combo of two exercises. Recall that push-ups are originally done with the palms resting on the floor.

 In this combo, the palms will be placed on the floor while the feet will rest against the wall. The hands come backward while the feet go higher on the wall until you form a straight figure, albeit upside down.  If you can’t achieve a full figure, just go as far as your hands and feet can take you. It’s a great workout for the shoulders.

As a beginner, you can focus on the handstand position first. Take your hands close to the wall and lift your legs up. At first, you might not balance; you might even fall. However, with regular practice, you’ll achieve the desired. After that, add your push-up regime.


Sounds familiar? Exactly what everyone thinks. When you squat, you achieve a raffia chair-like shape. Your knees are brought forward alongside your head. Your buttocks are bent backward while your back forms an upward slope.

To squat, you need to bring both hands forward and achieve a straight posture. After that, bend your body such that your knees spring forward alongside your head. Ensure you do not lower your body too much. Somewhere in the middle is just fine.

Maintain the position for some minutes and increase the duration as time rolls by.

Anyone can engage in calisthenics. You can too. 

Written by Tyler Read

Tyler Read is the owner of which is a website dedicated to helping people get started in the personal training industry. He helps people discover, study and pass their fitness exams.

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