Top 10 Beginner Calisthenics Workout Exercises

Bodyweight fitness exercises are becoming very popular as of late due to their lack of equipment and low risk of injury. However, finding the right Beginner Calisthenics Workout that works for you can be difficult.

In this article, I’ll go over the most common calisthenics workout exercises for beginners. These include some of our all-time favorites like the plank, chin-ups, and burpees.

Beginner Calisthenics Workout

What Are Calisthenics?

Calisthenics are exercises that use your own bodyweight to exercise large muscle groups.

These workouts are often in rhythm for varying levels of intensity. The goal of these exercises is to improve core fitness attributes like coordination, flexibility, strength, and endurance.

These fitness exercises were developed in ancient Greece and have been brought back into trend recently.

While a majority of the Calisthenics exercises require only your bodyweight, some do make use of some equipment (like chin-up bar).

One of the biggest benefits of Calisthenics as compared to resistance training is the low risk of injury. This is, of course, so long as you perform the exercises with the right form.

Professional athletes and the armed forces also use Calisthenics to improve (and maintain) their physical fitness. In addition, Calisthenics also works as a great way to stretch before any strenuous activity.

The benefits of Calisthenics also go past pure fitness with experts claiming that these exercises can combat health problems like COPD and obesity (1, 2).

Comparison Between Calisthenics And Resistance Training:

The biggest difference between Calisthenics exercises and resistance training is the use of external weights to work out the muscles.

In Calisthenics, you perform strength-training using exercises that use your body weight and gravity. On the other hand, resistance training uses weights (like dumbbells and barbells) to achieve the same result.

Bodybuilders are often heard saying that using weights is more effective at getting fit and growing bigger.

However, studies have shown that calisthenics and weight training provides a similar boost to physical fitness in the first eight weeks (3). That said, using weights does end up containing to promote muscle gain for a lot longer.

Comparing Calisthenics And Resistance Training

So, if you are looking to get fit and lean, both Calisthenics and Resistance Training should work for you.

But if you want to gain muscle and seriously bulk up, resistance training with heavy sets is the way to go.

For this post, I’ve listed ten beginner calisthenics workout exercises that you can do to improve muscle mass and promote weight loss.

These workouts work best if you perform them in a circuit. I’ve tried these exercises and found that doing three circuits works best for me. I also make sure that I take a 30-second rest break in between every exercise set as well as a 3-minute break in between each circuit.

1. Plank (As long as possible)


  1. Lie down on your hands and toes.
  2. Move your hands underneath and slightly wider than your shoulders.
  3. Position your toes so that your whole body is perfectly straight, including your neck and back.
  4. Hold the position for as long as you can. You should use your core muscles as well as your glutes to maintain your plank.
  5. Do this exercise for as long as you can hold it, after which, you should move to the next exercise.

2. Pull-ups (10 reps):


  1. Stand upright while facing the exercise bar.
  2. Grab onto the bar with both hands being placed slightly wider than your shoulders.
  3. Pull yourself up by tightening your shoulder muscles until you bring your head above the bar.
  4. Slowly relax your shoulder muscles until you get back to your initial position without releasing the exercise bar.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 ten times to complete this exercise set.

3. Chin-ups (10 reps):


  1. Stand in from of the exercise bar (like during the pull-ups).
  2. Grab the exercise bar from underneath with both hands in a grip that’s slightly closer than your shoulders.
  3. Activate your bicep muscles to pull yourself up until your head reaches over the exercise bar.
  4. Slowly relax your muscles and return to your initial position.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for 10 reps to complete this exercise set.

4. Jump Rope (30 seconds):

Jump Rope

  1. Grab the jump rope handles and hold them on either side at the level of your stomach.
  2. Use your wrists to rotate the rope until it rotates and reaches your legs.
  3. Jump over the rope without jumping more than 2 inches into the air.
  4. Continue this exercise for thirty seconds to complete this set.

5. Dips (20 reps):


  1. Use a dip bar (or a bench) to lift yourself off the ground. Move your feet away from your body if they are touching the ground.
  2. Slowly relax your tricep muscles to bend your elbows so that you move down.
  3. After you reach the max depth you can get to, move back up slowly.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 for 20 reps to complete this exercise set.

6. Pushups (20 reps):


  1. Get into the pushup position by placing your hands underneath and slightly outside your shoulders.
  2. Move your legs back so that you get into the plank position with your hands and toes holding you up.
  3. Lower your front body by only moving your arms until your chest almost touches the ground.
  4. Move back to the initial position to complete one pushup.
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 for 20 reps to complete this exercise set.

7. Jump Squats (25 reps):

Jump Squats

  1. Stand with your feet flat on the floor, facing forward, and positioned directly below the shoulders.
  2. Stick your toes slightly outwards while moving your feet a few inches to the outside.
  3. Bend your knees and lower your hips into a squat. Ensure that your chest is upright and that your head is facing forward.
  4. Also, make sure that your knees never extend over the toes as this can stain your knee joints.
  5. After getting into a deep squat, jump up with maximum power.
  6. After you land back on the ground, reposition yourself like in step 1 and do 25 reps to finish this exercise set.

8. Lying Down Leg Raises (20 reps):

Lying Down Leg Raises

  1. Lie down on the ground with your face up and legs extended.
  2. Place your hands underneath your lower back to best support your pelvis.
  3. Lift your legs towards the ceiling without bending your knees. Try to keep your thighs together.
  4. Slowly lower your legs to the ground to complete one rep of this 20 rep set.

9. Crunches (50 reps):


  1. Lay on the ground on your back, knees bent at a 90-degree angle to your body, and feet flat on the ground.
  2. Place your hands to the top of your chest.
  3. Lean your head closer to your chest.
  4. Tighten your core and sit up with your upper body until your elbows touch your knees.
  5. Slowly lower your torso until you touch the floor to complete a single rep.
  6. Repeat these steps 50 times to complete this exercise set.

10. Burpees (20 reps):


  1. Face forward with your feet being apart at shoulder-width while putting your weight on your heels.
  2. Jump into the pushup position and complete one pushup.
  3. Now jump up with your hands in the air. While jumping, ensure full hip and knee extension.
  4. Repeat these steps 20 times to complete this exercise set.

Final Words On Calisthenics Workouts For Beginner:

There are a lot of similarities in the Calisthenics exercise and those that use weights.

However, if you want to get fit while minimizing the risk of injuries, Calisthenics workouts are for you. It’s one of the best ways you can stay at your peak, even when you are in your 40s and 50s.

In addition, since these Calisthenics workouts for beginners don’t require gym equipment or weights, you can do these exercises anywhere.

Jessica J
About Jessica J 135 Articles
Written & Reviewed by Jessica J, M. D. Dermatology.

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