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Calisthenics Workout Plan: 9 Exercises For Optimal Progression

Strength training is your body working against gravity. In the grand scheme of things, our bodies won’t know if we’re lifting plates or our bodies. That’s what calisthenics workouts are all about.

What are Calisthenics?

Calisthenics is a way to do strength training without heavy and bulky gym equipment. Still, the results from consistent and planned calisthenics speak for themselves.

Much like any other training regimen, there’s a learning curve. Progressions from beginner to advanced take time. That’s because calisthenics focuses on form and execution.

In the gym, progressions are more streamlined. If you’re doing a bench press, the next step is to add more weight, making it easier to forget proper form.

Meanwhile, you need to build up to achieve more advanced calisthenic routines. For example, a proper pull-up requires learning the proper form for dead hangs, flex hangs, and negatives.

Lucky for us, these progressions become much easier with the help of proper equipment. The best part is that you don’t need to spend much on calisthenic home gym equipment.

Do You Need Equipment?

You don’t need bulky equipment to do calisthenics. Only minimal equipment is required as you begin transitioning into harder variations of your exercises.

There are even equipment alternatives that are available to you at home. But if you want to see the best results from your calisthenic workouts, here are the equipment we recommend:

Fit! Hardware

Whether you’re starting in calisthenics or a seasoned lifter who wants to build an affordable home gym—Fit! Hardware has you covered.

The Fit! home gym is assembled in a minute, easy to break down and store, and has endless exercise options. You can do pull-ups, dips, banded rows, glute bridges, push-ups, and various calisthenics exercises ranging from beginner to advanced.


If you don’t know where to start, getting the Home Gym grants access to Fit! Here, you’ll find over 100 unique exercises you can do with the Home Gym.

Door-way Pull-up Bar

Pull-ups are a staple in any calisthenic routine. The most affordable equipment for this exercise is the doorway pull-up bar.

However, you need to consider the door frame you’re installing it on and the type of pull-up bar you get. For example, a hanging pull-up bar doesn’t exert a downward force on the door trim.

Instead, it exerts a rotational force on both sides of the door frame. You’d only likely see the bar dig into walls on the sides, which can be remedied by putting washcloth in between.

Wall-Mounted Pull-up Bar

Wall-mounted pull-up bars are generally sturdier than door-mounted ones. A significant drawback is that it’s a bit invasive since it needs to be mounted to a wall.

Concrete walls are the safest surface to mount on, along with brick walls. If you’re installing on brick walls, ensure you’re screwing directly onto the bricks and not the cement gaps.

Price is another factor to consider. Wall mounts are typically more expensive and are just one of the things you must pay for. You’d still need the right equipment, like a power drill.

Gymnastic Rings

If you want a versatile calisthenics tool, only a few can beat gymnastic rings. They can act as a pull-up bar, dip station, and an all-around full-body exercise tool.

You can mount them on your ceilings, bring them outside, and strap them on a monkey bar. It’s one of the few tools that can help you reap the full benefits of calisthenics.

Benefits of Calisthenics

Calisthenics brings the focus to your body, not the weights. The basic exercises are easy to execute, emphasizing form and correcting imbalances.

One of the main reasons people get into calisthenics is freedom from bulky equipment. Let’s say you commit to a home gym. As you advance, you’ll need more weights and plates.

You can do calisthenics at home or anywhere. And, with the proper minimal equipment, workout routines can be scaled up easily.

Instead of low-intensity, heavy resistance exercises, you can do multiple reps without straining your body. This helps build muscle endurance, strengthens the core, and helps perfect form.

Beginner Calisthenics Workout Plan

Here are some great beginner calisthenics routines to do at home. Do each rep for 30 seconds, resting 30-60 seconds after. Repeat this for two to three sets.


Start by standing with your feet about hip-width apart.


Drive your knees out to the side slightly. Hinge at your hips, sending your butt backward. Do this until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

The movement should be from your hips, glutes, and hamstrings. Engage your core, and keep your back straight.

Forearm Side Plank

Stack your shoulder above your elbow, having it perpendicular to the floor. Extend your legs and keep engaging your abs.


Then, drive your hips to the ceiling as high as you can. Hold for 15 seconds, then switch sides.

Hands-Elevated Push-Up

You only need a bench, a step, or even a sturdy box to do this exercise. Put your hands on the elevated platform shoulder-width apart.


There should be a straight line from your head to your heels. Then, lower your body until your chest is close to the surface and push back up.

Intermediate Calisthenics Workout Plan

Going from beginner to intermediate calisthenics routines can be relatively fast compared to advanced ones. But don’t underestimate these routines. Do three sets of 10 reps each.

Back Plank or Reverse Plank

Get your hands behind you on your palms. Legs should be straight with both feet on their heels. When you’re ready to start, bridge up and hold the position for 30-60 seconds.


Doing a headstand is easier than you think. You can start by doing wall walks. Start in a push-up position, feet against the wall. Slowly move your feet upwards until you can do a headstand.

Elevated Bridge

The elevated bridge works the core and the glutes. You can do it using a sturdy chair or box. Lie flat on your back with a chair in front of you.

Put your feet on the chair with your thighs in a less than 90-degree angle at the hip. Finally, lift the hips up and gently back down.

Advanced Calisthenics Workout Plan

Advanced calisthenics routines can help burn fat and build muscle just as or even more effectively than weighted or resistance training. Do three sets of 10 reps each.


Pull-up progression takes time, especially if you haven’t built your strength yet. You can start with dead hangs or work against a negative pull-up to build strength.


Dips help grow the largest muscles in our upper buddy. But they’re harder to do compared to push-ups. Start by using two sturdy, raised platforms of the same height. If full dips are too difficult, do knee dips first.

Dips should always be done using the proper equipment. If the platforms aren’t level or sturdy enough, you’re prone to injury or accidents.

With the Fit! Home Gym, you don’t have to spend extra for additional equipment. You can do dips, pull-ups, and dozens of banded exercises.

One-Legged/Pistol Squat

Start by doing narrow squats to strengthen joints. Once you’re comfortable, move one leg outward to emphasize the other. Then, you can use a railing to assist your one-legged squats until you can do one without assistance.

Key Takeaways

Calisthenics workouts are a great alternative to the gym. There’s no need for bulky weights or complicated equipment. Here’s a quick recap of a solid calisthenics workout plan from beginner to advanced:

  • Beginner: Squats, Forearm Side Planks, Hands-Elevated Push-up
  • Intermediate: Back Plank, Headstand, Elevated Bridge
  • Advanced: Pull-ups, One-legged Squats, Dips
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