It has been mentioned many times on our website that one of the benefits of calisthenics is that you can basically do it anywhere due to the fact that an entire workout can be completed without a single piece of equipment. While progression and alternatives may require the use of a pull-up bar or a weight, a full bodyweight workout can be completed in the comfort of your own home.
While going to the gym may provide you with more space and equipment options, be it for a calisthenics workout or a traditional weight and cardio program, there are times in which getting to the gym isn’t always feasible. Let’s face it, going to the gym for an hour workout means loading up the car, battling traffic, finding a parking spot, finding a space or equipment and then making the trek back home. That’s all well and good when you have time to spare, but on those days in which you only have a few minutes here and there, a quick 15-20 minute calisthenics routine comes in handy.
You may also want to consider that by building your own calisthenics gym at home offers you:
- Financial savings – no gym fees, gas etc
- Private – don’t have to battle for equipment or space
- 24/7 access – work out when it is convenient for you
- It’s Yours! – If you want music, if you want certain pieces of equipment, set it up how you like it, create your happy place
Can I Build My Own Calisthenics Gym At Home:
When it comes to exercising at home, there are a few factors that you should consider. As with working at home, there are a number of possible distractions that can impact your workout. Family requesting your time, television, computer, household chores or even just the couch and a cold drink. The point is, are you able to focus on your workout or will you find some excuse to cut it short or not even start? If this is the case, then you may want to reconsider setting up a home gym. You may also want to consider whether you are motivated by others in the gym, even if they are complete strangers, but they are there for the same reason you are and the environment is contagious. Another factor that you have to consider is that while you can get a full calisthenics workout with minimal space and equipment, you want to have a designated space, be it your garage, outdoor space or spare bedroom, where you can create your own workout environment.
If you don’t have access to space or the funds to afford some of the additional calisthenics equipment (which we will touch on below), the great thing about calisthenics is that you can be creative with your environment. If you have a back yard, grass acts like a natural floor mat, soft on your hands and your feet. See that tree in your yard? Use one of the branches for pull-ups or chin-ups. If the branches are too high, you could consider attaching one of these to the trunk. For those that want to be really creative and committed to calisthenics, making a full outdoor gym is an option.
Which Equipment Do I Need For A Calisthenics Workout At Home:
While the majority of your workouts can be done without a single piece of equipment, other than maybe for a couple of mats (nobody likes a sweaty floor in their house), there are a few inexpensive pieces that you can purchase to help with the basic progression of your workout. One of the best and most recommended pieces of calisthenics equipment are pull-up bands. Not only are they inexpensive, but they can be used as a progression or assistance to almost every exercise that you can think of. Whether it be strength training or flexibility training, there is a band out there for every occasion. Now depending on the amount of space and budget you have to work with, the following pieces of equipment will complete your workout:
A staple for calisthenics workouts, pull-up bars can either be mounted to your wall, ceiling or hung in your door frame. Our outdoor pull-up bar you can even install in the garden on a tree so you can work out outdoors in the sun.
Resistance Bands / Pull-up Bands
Pull-up bands are a great equipment to get support for exercises like pull-ups or muscle-ups. They take some weight off your body so you can get a better feeling of the exercise and do more reps. Once you get stronger, you can lower the resistance level until you don't need a band anymore.
A perfect tool to create greater depth for pushups or assists with learning handstands are push-up bars. They prevent wrist pain from unnaturally kinking your arms as you would with regular push-up and provide an additional training effect as they increase the range of motion.
If you have a high garage ceiling or a sturdy tree outside, adding gym rings to your inventory will aid in your pushups, rows, leg lifts and muscle ups. Alternatively you can of course also attach them to the door frame if a door anchor is included or attach them to a wall pull-up bar.
A jumping rope is a old school favorite that makes for a great warmup or cardio focused, speed, strength and coordination workout.
For those who are really excited and eager to have a complete all-in-one setup, the Power Tower provides you with a piece of equipment for dips, chin-ups, pull-ups and leg lifts.
Reasons To Do Calisthenics Workout At Home:
As mentioned, we all have days in which time is short and getting out to the gym is not always possible, so having a space to get in a full body, body weight workout at home is a great alternative. Even if you only have 15-20 minutes of spare time, it is easy to put together a quick workout in your living room or bedroom. Another reason why some people may choose to do a calisthenics workout in the comfort of their own home is due to their confidence and self-esteem being surrounded by large crowds of people at local gyms. As a beginner, heading to the gym can be overwhelming for those who aren’t “in shape” or as coordinated as others, so having the ability to workout at home is a comfortable, safe, judgement free environment.
10 Exercises That Can Be Performed At Home:
Have we mentioned that one of the great things about calisthenics is that you need very little to no equipment in order to get in a full body workout? By altering the positioning of your hands or legs or adjusting the time under tension, you can have a completely new workout and challenge different muscle groups each day with these ten simple at home exercises
One of the most fundamental exercises, push-ups target almost every major muscle group in your body, including chest, shoulders, arms, abdominals, back and legs. Once you have the basic pushup mastered, with proper form, moving on to variations like the diamond (place hands in a diamond shape under your chest, more focus on chest and triceps), wide (place hands approximately a hand-width outside of your shoulders, more focus on shoulders and serratus anterior), Spiderman (place one hand higher than the other and elevate the opposite leg, more focus on core, glutes and stability) and clap pushups (perform a traditional pushup, but on the way back up try to explode your upper body off the ground and clap your hands before landing softly, focus on dynamic and explosive power)
If you have a Pull-up bar set up in your doorway or on your wall or if you have a tree branch in your backyard, pull-ups are a great exercise for your entire upper body. Whether you are doing a basic pull-up or modified version, you will target your lats, deltoids, pectorals, biceps, triceps and core. Along with the pushup, pull-ups are one of the most popular bodyweight exercise. As with all other exercises, changing the grip from neutral to wide to narrow will target your smaller muscle groups. Once you master the basic pull-up, adding a weight vest, changing the pace or attempting one arm pull-ups will help increase the challenge.
Targeting your quads, hamstrings and calves, squats are a functional exercise as it is a movement that we use over and over throughout the day. Focus on keeping your upper body upright and do not allow your knees to extend past your toes. There are multiple variations of the squat exercise including weighted squats (using a weight vest, dumbbells or even putting your little child on your back). Jump squats are a great plyometric exercise (ease your way down in a traditional squat form and then explode into a jump, landing softly), pistol squats (similar to a regular squat, but on a single leg with the other leg extended out in front), Bulgarian split squats (elevate one leg behind you on a chair or couch or box, raise and lower on the single leg) and Plie squats (with more focus on the glutes and inner thighs, open your legs wider than regular squat stance with your toes pointed outwards)
If you have set up gym rings or a sling trainer, they will make performing rows easier, however, you can also be creative and use your kitchen table. Targeting your lats, deltoids, pectoralis, traps and biceps, you can perform narrow rows by keeping your elbows tucked into your sides or wide rows with your elbows flared out. By increasing the angle of your stance, you will alter the challenge of the exercise. If you don’t have access to rings, a bar or sling trainer, you can use your kitchen table by laying underneath, hold on to the edge and perform a row like movement. Just make sure your table is sturdy!
Focusing on your pecs, triceps and deltoids, you can perform dip exercises with and without equipment. If you have a sturdy chair, sit on the edge with your hands placed behind you, shoulder-width apart. With your legs out in front of you, slowly lower your body until your arms are at 90 degrees and then raise back up. If you have a dip bar or parallel bars, you can change the focus of your workout to challenge your triceps or chest more by altering the angle of your chest.
Using your chin-up bar (or parallel bars), hanging leg raises are a great exercise for your hip extensors, abdominal muscles and arms. Do not allow your body to swing as you concentrate on keeping your core engaged while lifting your legs with the goal of raising them until they are parallel with the ground and then slowly lower. If you need a modification, try keeping your knees bent and slowly raise them to waist height. As support you can also use ab straps.
Another daily movement exercise, there are a variety of lunges that you can perform that will target your quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves and core and your stability. You can add weight to your lunges with a vest, resistance bands or dumbbells for progression. Variations include forward, reverse, lateral, jumping, dragon (or curtsy). Changing up your lunge exercises help point out and correct muscle imbalance between your right and left side.
Along with squats and lunges, calf raises are a great multi-tasking exercise. If you are cooking, sitting at a table or watching tv you can easily sneak a set in without disrupting your flow. Using your stairs, a step box or even a stack of books, you can help improve your calves and ankle strength and lower body stability. This will help with your squats, lunges and explosive athletic movement. You may choose to add weight with a vest or dumbbells.
A great warmup or active recovery exercise, a jump rope helps to increase the heart rate while also working on your coordination, agility and stability. You can choose to use a regular jump rope or a weighted rope for an added challenge. From regular jumping to double jumps, single leg to toe and heel taps, feel free to create your own style and get your Rocky Balboa on.
There are almost an infinite amount of core focused exercises that you can do at home as every movement you make involves your core. Simple crunches to plank series (straight arm, forearm, single leg) to glute bridges to dead bugs to bird dogs are all basic exercises that can be done in your bedroom or living room without any equipment.
Whether you have 15 minutes or a full hour that you can commit to a workout, being able to train in the comfort of your own home is always a bonus. If you are just starting out on your calisthenics journey, a workout of pushups, dips, squats, lunges, jump rope and abdominal exercises can simply be put together with 10-15 reps and 3-4 sets. If you are more experienced and knowledgeable about your workouts, adding equipment, resistance/weight and more explosive and challenging exercises are just as manageable without having to step foot inside of the gym.
Example Workout Plan For Beginners:
As with any workout, a proper warmup and cool-down is important to the success and safety of the workout.
Warmup: 7-10 minutes of dynamic warmup to get your muscles ready for the exercise movements that you will undergo (light jog, jumping jacks, high knees, butt kicks, open/close gates, arm circles in both directions, pot stirs jump rope)
Workout: As mentioned above, 10-15 reps and 3-4 sets of each exercise will make for a basic at home workout. With this plan, you can either continue on to the next exercise with no break as it will alternate between upper and lower body, allowing muscles to rest, or you can take a 15-30 second break and then repeat the exercise until all sets are complete. Please make sure that proper form is executed during all exercises.
- Squats x 15
- Pull-ups x 5 (as a beginner you may want to use a band for assistance or do negative pull-ups if regular ones are too challenging)
- Lunges x 10 per leg (1st set – forward lunges, 2nd set – reverse lunges, 3rd set – lateral lunges)
- Push-Ups x 10
- Jump Rope x 1 minute
- Burpees x 12
- Dips x 5-8 (either using a dip bar or chair)
- Plank x 30 seconds (either straight arm or forearm)
Cooldown: Unlike your warmup, a cool down includes a series of static stretches that you will hold for 20-30 seconds while breathing slowly and deeply. Static stretching will help with your flexibility, mobility and stability. It also helps with muscle recovery, range of motion, injury prevention and stress relief. Even on non-workout days, a 15 minute stretching routine will help your daily activities.
Are you looking for the perfect Calisthenics equipment to start out? We at Pullup & Dip offer you various high-quality Calisthenics equipment. Go check it out now!
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