In the world of fitness, calisthenics has emerged as a dynamic and effective workout regimen that harnesses the power of bodyweight movements to sculpt muscles and enhance overall strength. While the foundation of calisthenics relies on utilizing one’s own body as resistance, incorporating the right equipment for calisthenics can amplify the benefits and diversify the routine.
From versatile pull-up bars and sturdy parallel bars to innovative suspension trainers and portable parallettes, the realm of calisthenics equipment offers a plethora of options to elevate your training. In this article, we delve into the realm of calisthenics gear, exploring the best-in-class equipment that complements both beginners and seasoned practitioners in their journey towards mastering this body-transforming discipline.
Calisthenics: Bodyweight Training That Pumps
Calisthenics is a form of exercise that uses the weight of one’s own body to build muscle. It dates back to ancient Greece and has been a fundamental aspect of physical fitness in military training, gym culture, and athletics.
Popular calisthenics exercises include:
- Jumping jacks
Basically, exercises that engage large groups of muscle and can scale difficulty depending on the intensity and pace of the workout.
Benefits of Calisthenics
The revival of calisthenics in our fitness routines is due to several serious benefits:
Cost and Convenience
Calisthenics doesn’t require a gym membership or sophisticated equipment. Most calisthenics exercises can be done at home in a small open space using your body weight as resistance.
Develops Functional Strength
Since calisthenics involves compound movements simultaneously stimulating and strengthening multiple muscle groups, it increases overall body strength, agility, and coordination.
Functional strength means having the physical capability to perform everyday activities more effectively and without injury.
Calisthenics helps to increase the body’s flexibility, reducing the risk of injury and improving general health and well-being.
The broad range of exercises and movement variations means you can never get bored of working out. Different muscle groups can be targeted for different sessions, and ebbing in and out between high and low intensities can keep your body guessing, preventing fitness and weight loss plateaus.
Enhances Core Strength
Calisthenics is great for building a strong core to improve athletic performance and make day-to-day activities a breeze. This also helps to improve lower back health, posture, and stability.
Challenges of Calisthenics
While the benefits seem obvious and overwhelming, there are some challenges to be mindful of. Calisthenics may not provide the same brute strength and muscle size as resistance training, particularly for advanced lifters.
It also requires a great deal of patience, as progress can be slower than weightlifting with its adjustable loads.
However, for most people, calisthenics is versatile, accessible, and fun, providing a great full-body workout. It’s no wonder this ancient form of exercise has resurged in popularity and looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.
So why not give it a try? Your body (and wallet) might thank you for it!
Calisthenics Equipment Takes Your Bodyweight Workouts to the Next Level
Wait, equipment? I thought calisthenics was all about body weight.
Well, it is. But simple equipment can add extra variance and intensity to your workouts. They can help you explore new movements and challenge progressions as you get stronger, increasing the effectiveness of your calisthenics workouts. This addition can also keep your workouts exciting and prevent them from becoming repetitive or monotonous.
Here are some of the best pieces of calisthenics equipment to help level-up your workouts.
A pull-up bar is a versatile piece of home workout gear that can perform various upper-body and core-strengthening calisthenic exercises. From classic pull-ups to hanging leg raises, a pull-up bar allows you to experiment with a wide range of strength-building exercises.
Resistance bands are relatively inexpensive and easy to store, making them a great addition to your home workouts. Exercises with resistance bands can help improve flexibility and range of motion. They can add resistance to traditional bodyweight exercises or assist in harder exercises like pull-ups.
Parallette bars are less common but incredibly useful equipment for calisthenics training. They allow you to perform exercises like dips, push-ups, and L-sits at a higher difficulty level.
Dip bars are perfect for training the triceps, chest, and shoulders in various exercises like dips, L-sits, and more complex moves such as muscle-ups.
If you want to include more explosive movements in your calisthenics workouts, plyometric boxes are the way to go. They can be used for exercises like jump squats and burpees, helping to improve power and agility.
5 Calisthenics Equipment for Home to Pump Up Your Routine
The amount of calisthenics exercises you can do with this dip station by RRYL (RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE) is astounding! Yes, of course you can do dips, and when you do them your hands are going to have a great cushy grip since each arch has non-slip padded handles. You can even adjust the height from about 31″ to 35″ to customize your exercise quickly. Beyond dips, you can hang underneath to do body resistance rows, lay them on their side to incline and decline push-ups, kick your feet out in front of you to do some tricep bench dips, lay them down on the ground to set up an agility station, and more.
These stands are made from heavy duty steel and can support up to 300lbs. They also come with a one-year warranty on the main frame and lifetime warranty on all the other parts. The assembly is super quick and easy, and if you can’t put them together within 10 minutes then you are on the wrong website. You can choose classic black or flashy flash yellow.
Pull-ups and dips have to be a couple of the most popular bodyweight exercises you can do, and with this workout station by Sportsroyals you can really maximize your efforts. With a heavy steel frame construction, this station can hold up to 440lbs. One of the unique features about this dip and pull-up station is the wide base, measuring 39.7″ wide, which allows for more loading points and solid stability. There is nothing worse than feeling your workout machine sway and rock as you try to focus on your exercise. The pull-up bar has kinked sides so you can vary your grip.
Beyond the obvious pull-ups and dips you can do, there are also handles on the bottom so you can do push-ups. You can also use the padded arm rests to do knee/leg raises for a core workout, and they sit at a 10 degree angle inwards to prevent your arms from slipping. The pull-up bar height adjusts from 64.56″ to 88.18″, so it adapts to people of all sizes. In case you were wondering about the company, Sportsroyal, you can take solace knowing they have been designing and producing fitness equipment for 20 years, so these guys know what they’re doing.
This is basically the ultimate workout station for bodyweight exercises, and there are even some great resistance workouts you can do with it as well. There are a few different push-up boards on the market, but this one is definitely unique and special. There are 8 different positions you can set up for push-ups – everything from wide chest, to inner, to angled-in, angled-out and more. It even folds up for easy storage! Beyond the push-up board, this package comes with a 3-section bar (used for multiple exercises), 4 resistance bands, 2 ankle straps, door anchor (for the bands), and ab-roller wheel.
What really makes this exercise board special is how you can connect it with the resistance bands. As most push-ups boards just provide you with some solid positions to do push-ups, this one allows you to connect exercise bands to the board. With the ability to connect the bands to the board, you can then use the 3 section bar to do multiple exercises that include back squats, bicep curls, chest press, shoulder press, rows, front raises, and many more. Another cool feature is being able to do weighted ab rolls, because usually the ab roller is just used by itself, but with this board you can hook it up to the bands for added resistance. Lastly, the board is color coated by muscle group, so it’s very easy to figure out and switch back and forth between exercises and muscle groups.
Weighted vests, ankle weights, and arm weights are a few of the best compliments to just about any calisthenics exercise. Calisthenics is just supposed to be about your body weight, and if you add synthetic weight to your body you are only going to get stronger. When it comes to how to use these items, we think it’s pretty self explanatory – just wear the vest, ankle weights, and/or arm weights while you engage in your usual calisthenics exercises.
This set comes with 96-100 steel plates that can be utilized for a total weight of 45lbs. With 32 pockets on the vest, 6 on the wrist holders, and 5 on each ankle holder, you can distribute the weight however you think is best. Each item is made with a double-layer of air mesh to ensure comfort, and the nylon straps and PVE elastic polyurethane materials make them very durable. This product is adjustable and can fit both men and women. If you are not happy with it, LEKÄRO offers free replacement within 30 days of your order. They are one of the most popular brands for weighted body products, and their 4.3 average review on Amazon with over 1,000 ratings is testament to that.
You may have already heard of TRX training, but if not, you are about to learn why it’s one of the most popular and well-known pieces of calisthenics equipment for home, and gym use / travel, that has entire workouts and even classes built around it. Everything you get weighs about 1lbs total, so it’s great to bring with you on the go, and surprisingly enough the straps can hold up to 700lbs. With this TRX kit you get the suspension training strap, indoor/outdoor anchors, and mesh carrying bag.
If you are new to TRX training then there is going to be a slight learning curve when it comes to how to use everything to its max potential, but the good news is there is a TRX Training App that shows you how to do all the workouts. Pro sports teams, military brigades, and all types of professional athletes have used TRX for over 10 years, and for some people it is their favorite way to workout. The amount of exercises you can do with the equipment provided in this TRX package is insane, and to say you can workout every muscle in your body is somewhat of an understatement. If you are still unsure, watch some YouTube videos of people using the TRX system, or find a local TRX class near you so you can test it out in person first.
Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do With No Equipment
If you have no equipment readily available, don’t worry! You can still perform calisthenics exercises using only your body weight. Here are a few exercises to get you started:
This old faithful exercise works your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core. Lie face-down on the floor with your palms slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Push your body up off the ground, keeping your body in a straight line from head to heels. Lower yourself back down and repeat.
This is a great exercise for your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Bend at your knees and hips while lowering your body as if you were sitting in a chair. Try to get your thighs parallel to the floor. Return to standing and repeat.
Stand tall, then step forward with one foot, bending both knees to lower your body. Your front knee should be above your ankle, and your back knee should hover off the ground. Push back up to stand and switch to the other leg.
This is probably one of the best core-strength exercises. To perform a plank, get into a push-up position, but rest your weight on your forearms instead of your palms. Keep your body straight from head to heels and hold this position as long as possible.
A full-body exercise that works multiple muscle groups at once. From a standing position, drop down into a squat, then kick your feet out behind you to enter a push-up position. Perform a push-up, then jump your feet in and stand up. As you come up, jump into the air with your arms extended above you.
6. Mountain Climbers
Another full-body exercise targeting your core, legs, and arms. Start in a push-up position. Bring one knee up towards your chest, return it, then bring the other knee up. Continue alternating “climbing” motions.
These bodyweight exercises can provide a solid basis for a full-body workout. You can also modify them to increase or decrease intensity per your needs.
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