10 Basic Calisthenics Exercises.

calisthenics exercises to do

Starting Off With The Basics


Now if you read my post on the benefits of calisthenics you probably were contemplating getting into body-weight exercises. Maybe you went on YouTube to and typed in “Calisthenics Workouts” or “Doing Calisthenics”. Heck you may have went on google and typed in calisthenics physique and thought to yourself “bruuuhhh I definitely should do calisthenics now”. Well in this post you’re going to learn about at least 10 basic calisthenics exercises to help you get started.



Now whatever your reasons are, your enthusiasm is to be commended. Now the real question is well where should you start? How often should you workout for and for how long? Or maybe you might be asking how many sets you should do. Well keep reading a long through this post and discover what you should start off with.



The goal is to be simple but very effective. You don’t want to try anything too complicated (if this is your first time) but at the same time you also want to get a good workout. So here are 10 different exercise routines you can start to use for both your lower AND upper body.





If you haven’t read my pot about how I got into doing calisthenics click the link here https://menshealthyfit.com/how-i-got-into-doing-calisthenics/







1. Squats

This exercise is pretty straightforward; all you do is separate your feet together about 15-20 inches, go down as if you were about sit in a chair (but not like you’re gonna sit on the ground) and go back up.


What you’ll be working on when you do this exercise are your quadriceps. If you do a minimum of at least 15 reps and 2-3 sets of 15 you’ll start to feel the burn in your thighs.


This is actually a good thing sense you’re working hard to build muscle in your thighs. When you finish doing your 1st set you’ll want to move on to a different exercise and diversify the different types of work out for your legs.



When you’re done doing your 1st set of a full body workout, you’ll want to move onto your 2nd set starting with squats.If you feel 15 is too low by all means push yourself and go for a higher number. You’ll never get the true benefit of a full body workout doing calisthenics is you don’t push your limits.















2. Scissor Lunges



If you’ve ever done lunges then doing these shouldn’t be rocket science for you. It’s the same concept except for the fact that you’re switching from one leg to the other by jumping.


For this exercise you’ll want to also start off with 15 reps. Scissor lunges are good not just for the thighs but also the gluts and hamstrings too.


The first time you do this exercise you’ll feel like your legs are on fire and this is an indication that you’re working your legs muscles very effectively.


After you do this for about a month your muscles will get stronger causing you to want to push yourself to even more reps or sets.


For this one you also may want to start of with at least 2-3 sets. If you feel like you can only do two that’s perfectly fine. It’s how I go started off. Now if you fell that you can do more than three then please knock yourself out and shoot for 4 or more sets.























3. Jump Rope (Calisthenics Exercises To Do)




Ah ha one of my favorite of the 10 basic calisthenics exercises. Jumping rope is one of the most effective exercises you can do for your legs. This is especially true whenever you see boxers use jump ropes since they have to have good footwork in a brawl. Your legs will benefit in so many different ways from your calves, to your quads, gluts and even your upper body from your shoulder, triceps and your forearms.



Not each rope varies because some are light and will focus mainly on your lower while other jump ropes are designed to be heavier, helping you target your lower and most of your upper body. If you wanna start using a jump rope you can start by doing 50 reps. Maybe that’s to small for you so if that’s the case go for 90 or even 100.



The other benefit that comes from jumping rope is that it helps not only with your physique but also your stamina too. If your daring and feel that 100 is way too easy then why not go for 500 reps. Just kidding…sort of.










4. Calf Raises




If you are tired of having weak and frail calves then this is the exercise for you. Calf raises are one of the best exercises you can do for your calves.



All you do is simply push yourself with your toes and let yourself down repeatedly enough where you feel that your calves feels like it went through a furnace.



If you really want to see and feel the effectiveness of calf raise then go to some stairs, place your feet partly on the steps and do them.



You’ll be glad you did them. 15 may be a little low so you may want to do somewhere in between 25-50 reps. Like the others the best way you’ll benefit is if you do at least  2-3 sets.


Again however you’ll want to repeat this set once you’ve done your first set of both an upper and lower body workout. This is how your muscles will benefit in multiple areas.










5. Push Ups (Calisthenics Workouts)



This is a really basic but also a very effective way to gain muscle and build strength functionally. If you’ve been overlooking push ups, well you might want to start including them into your exercise routine.



Simply get into push up position, keep your body straight like a plank go down and push up repeatedly.



When you do push ups you can do about 15 reps or even 25 reps whenever you’re doing your exercise sets. Much like the other exercise routines it’s good to start off with at least 2-3 sets.



But if you feel like that’s too little and not enough for you to push yourself then hey, do yourself a favor and push yourself to the max.


The good thing about push ups is that you can do it in multiple different ways and each push up naturally focuses on multiple muscles like your chest, shoulder and triceps.












6. Bicep Curls



Yes, yes even though this is a post about body-weight exercises, you don’t need dumbbells to do these bicep curls. What do I mean by that?



Well if you’ve ever seen those latex bands meant for exercising at Target or Dick’s Sporting Goods then you might want to consider buying and using one as a substitute for dumbbells.


To get the most use out of a latex band whenever you’re doing bicep curls put both feet on the band and make sure each handle for lifting has the same amount resistance.



You’ll want the same amount of resistance so that one arm is doing all the hard work and the other arm is doing little to no work at all. Naturally one of your arms will be stronger than the other one but you would absolutely detest if one of your biceps was significantly bigger than the other.



If you do a minimum of 15 reps and at least 2-3 sets on a habitual basis then you’ll start to see results not only in your build but also your physical capabilities.












7. Dips (Calisthenics Exercise List)



This is one of my favorite of the 10 basic calisthenics exercises because this is one of the best ways to target your triceps, shoulder, chest and upper back muscles.


Doing these are also easy because all you do is get at least two objects such as furniture, place them on opposite ends of one another, get in a dip formation and then go down and push yourself up like what you would do when you’re doing push ups.



If you want to really get the most out do doing dips you could do 15-25 reps and between 2-3 sets regularly. Dips will make you feel like you’re burning all over your arms and chest but if that happens then that’s a great thing.


What that shows is that you’re putting in the work and as the saying goes, no pain no gain.



So do dips as well as the other exercises regularly and you’ll feel the results first and see them later.














8. Wide Chest Push-ups




These are basically just push ups with one exception. You have to widen your form by giving your hands a significant amount of space in between.



When you do this you’ll mainly be targeting your chest muscles.




Just simply widen your hands and do exactly what you did with the regular push ups. Since these typically are more difficult you’ll want to do at least 10-15 reps and 2-3 sets.




On a basic level this is one of the best of the 10 basic calisthenics exercises for your chest if you wanted to start on a basic level.














9. Planks (Calisthenics Exercises To Do)






These are notoriously difficult to do but even so planks are one of the best exercises for your abs. Start off doing them for about 30 secs and if you feel like you can do them a longer period, them add 10 seconds to how long to could hold a plank position for previously.




All you do is straighten your body in a plank position, place you elbows under your shoulder and hold yourself for as long as you think you can take. You’ll also want to do 2-3 sets of planks if you want to get the most out of them like all the other exercises.




I’ll be straightforward doing planks are not fun at all. Even if they are hard they are very crucial and worth doing when it comes to using 10 basic calisthenics exercises. The next one that’s going to be mentioned is also effective but like all the others requires hard work and discipline.













10. Sit Ups (Calisthenics Workout)

You’re probably thinking “Wait a minute I use to do these in gym class”. Yes you probably have do sit ups in gym class and like planks, they’re extremely effective for your abdominal.



I don’t think I should state how you should do sit ups but what is worthy of mentioning is that you’ll want to go all the way up so that you can really feel the burn and get the most out of your sit ups.



25 sit up reps shouldn’t be to bad and if that’s not enough, why not push it to 30 reps.




The point of all of these exercises mentioned is for you to learn how to use your own body weight and refine your physical abilities.



Sit ups are one of the most crucial of the 10 basic calisthenics exercises you can do but especially for you core. If you do them consistently you’ll both feel and see the results of your hard work.












To Conclude The Calisthenics Exercises List




Now I gotta be candid with you; doing body weight workouts has a downside to it. You burn energy very fast and so you’ll have to eat more than the average person (if you have a high metabolism) and your progress regarding your physique will be slow also.




But the good thing is that with calisthenics you’ll know how to use your body gracefully, effective and you’ll know how to use your strength on a functional level. Whenever you do calisthenics you’ll want to do them for at least 1-1 1/2 hours for 3 days a week. Also if you put all of the exercises together mentioned in this post it’ll look like this…




Lower Body

  • Squats-15-25 reps 2-3 sets
  • Scissor Lungs-15-25 reps 2-3 sets
  • Jump Rope-50-100 reps
  • Calf Raises 15-25 reps 2-3 sets


Upper Body

  • Push ups-15-25 reps 2-3 sets
  • Bicep Curls-15-25 reps 2-3 sets
  • Dips-15-25 reps 2-3 sets
  • Wide Chest Push ups-10-15 reps
  • Planks-30 secs (Or Sit Ups-50)




You’ll want to do all the reps of each exercise first from squats to ending it in planks or sit ups and count that as one set. That may seem like a lot so start off small and progressively add more sets. The good thing to remember is that these are just the basic body-weight exercises that you can use. Once you start doing calisthenics more you’ll feel strong enough to add more sets or just simply diversify your exercise routines. Other than that those are 10 basic calisthenics exercises you can start out with if this is your first time using your body-weight.




As always I hope you enjoyed the post and feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section about the post over or questions that you have over all.




Always stay healthy and fit.




Jovan Vedrene