So you’re a beginner to calisthenics, feeling like a kid at a candy store—excited but overwhelmed by the multitude of choices before you. The biggest challenge for beginners like you is knowing where to start. With so many complex workout routines out there, it’s easy to feel lost and give up even before you begin. Another way would be to spend months doing nothing but trying to figure it out. By following our calisthenics beginner workout program, you’ll find the simplicity and effectiveness you need to start your fitness journey. If you’re looking to take things up a notch, we also have a beginner calisthenics and weights workout plan ready for you. We kid you not— this comprehensive guide could be your roadmap to a straightforward, easy-to-follow workout routine.
What Should A Beginner Calisthenics Goal Be?
The primary goal for a beginner in calisthenics should be to build a solid foundation of strength and flexibility. Start by focusing on mastering the basic movements and gradually increase the intensity and complexity of your workouts as your fitness level improves.
While the ultimate goal may differ from person to person, having a clear objective can significantly boost motivation and ensure consistent progress. Here are some potential goals based on varying personal circumstances:
If You’re Looking To Lose Weight, Your Goal May Be Fat Loss
Calisthenics can be an effective way to burn fat and lose weight. This form of exercise involves high-intensity, full-body workouts that increase your heart rate and metabolism, leading to more calories burned both during and after the workout.
If You’re Skinny, Your Goal May Be Muscle Gain
For those who want to bulk up, focus on building muscle mass through strength-based calisthenics exercises. Calisthenics allows you to use your body weight as resistance, which can help stimulate muscle growth and increase muscular strength (6).
If You’re Seeking Overall Fitness, Your Goal May Be Endurance And Agility
If your aim is to improve your overall fitness, work towards enhancing your endurance and agility with a mix of cardio and strength exercises.
Calisthenics workouts often involve compound movements that engage multiple muscle groups, improving coordination and boosting cardiovascular health.
If You’re Recovering From An Injury, Your Goal May Be Rehabilitation
Calisthenics can play a significant role in rehabilitation. Tailor your exercise routine to help regain strength and mobility in the injured area.
The emphasis on controlled, bodyweight movements can help gradually rebuild functional strength without straining the recovering body part.
If You’re An Athlete, Your Goal May Be Performance Enhancement
For athletes, calisthenics can help improve performance by building functional strength and flexibility. The exercises mimic natural movement patterns, which can translate directly to improved athletic performance.
If You’re Into Aesthetics, Your Goal May Be Body Toning
For those interested in body sculpting, focus your efforts on exercises that help tone and define your muscles. Calisthenics can target various muscle groups, enhancing muscle definition and leading to a more sculpted appearance (4).
If You’re Seeking Mind-Body Balance, Your Goal May Be Mindful Movement
Calisthenics can also be a form of mindful movement, where the goal is to achieve harmony between mind and body. The focus on breath, control, and movement synchronicity can help enhance mindfulness and reduce stress.
How To Start A Calisthenics Beginner Guide
Starting your calisthenics journey might seem daunting, but with the right approach and guidance, it can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you kickstart your calisthenics beginner workout plan at home or anywhere you prefer.
Step 1: Understand Your Fitness Level
Before starting any workout program, an honest assessment of your current fitness level is crucial. This involves understanding your strength, flexibility, endurance, and body composition.
Knowing where you stand fitness-wise will guide you in selecting appropriate exercises and setting achievable goals. It will also help prevent injuries that could result from performing exercises that are too advanced for your current level.
Step 2: Set Clear Goals
Setting clear, measurable goals is a vital step in any successful fitness journey. Whether you aim to lose weight, build muscle, increase flexibility, or improve overall fitness, having a specific goal will keep you motivated and focused.
Remember, your goals should be realistic and relevant to your personal needs and aspirations.
Step 3: Choose Your Exercises
Starting with basic calisthenics exercises is recommended. A balanced calisthenics beginner workout program might include push-ups, squats, lunges, planks, and pull-ups.
Each exercise targets different muscle groups and contributes to overall strength and flexibility. As you progress, you can incorporate more complex movements into your routine.
Below are some beginner-friendly calisthenics exercises and how to perform them:
Push-ups are a staple in calisthenics training. They primarily work the chest, shoulders, and triceps, but also engage the core and lower body to a lesser extent.
How to perform push-ups:
- Start in a high plank position with your hands placed slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your feet together and your body in a straight line from head to heels.
- Bend your elbows to lower your body towards the ground, keeping your elbows close to your body.
- Push back up to the starting position.
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Squats are a fundamental lower-body exercise that primarily targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.
How to perform squats:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your toes pointed slightly outwards.
- Bend your knees and hips to lower your body as if sitting back into a chair.
- Keep your chest upright and your knees in line with your toes.
- Push through your heels to return to the starting position.
Lunges are another effective lower-body exercise that targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.
How to perform lunges:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Step forward with one foot and lower your body until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Push through the heel of your front foot to return to the starting position.
- Repeat with the other leg.
Planks are a fantastic core exercise that also works the shoulders and glutes. It involves holding your body in a straight line while supporting yourself on your forearms and toes.
How to perform planks:
- Start in a prone position on the floor.
- Prop yourself up onto your forearms and toes, keeping your body in a straight line from head to heels.
- Engage your core and hold this position for as long as you can maintain good form.
Pull-ups are a challenging upper-body exercise that primarily targets the back muscles, specifically the latissimus dorsi, but also works the biceps and shoulders.
How to perform pull-ups:
- Grab a bar with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Hang from the bar with your arms fully extended.
- Pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar.
- Lower yourself back down to the starting position.
Step 4: Create Your Workout Plan
Based on your goals and chosen exercises, create a structured workout plan. This is where the beauty of calisthenics shines through—you can perform a calisthenics beginner workout plan with no required equipment, wherever you prefer.
If weight loss is your goal, you may consider a beginner calisthenics workout plan for weight loss that incorporates high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions to maximize calorie burn (2).
For women new to calisthenics, a calisthenics workout plan for beginner women could involve exercises that specifically target areas they want to work on, such as the glutes, abs, and arms.
Here’s a sample full-body calisthenics workout plan designed for beginners. This routine can be done at home with no equipment necessary.
Start with a 5-10 minute warm-up to get your body ready for the workout. You can do light cardio such as jogging in place, jumping jacks, or skipping rope. Follow this with some dynamic stretches targeting the major muscle groups you’ll be working.
Read More: How To Start Calisthenics In 7 Steps
- Push-Ups – 3 sets of 10 reps
Great for working the chest, triceps, and shoulders.
- Squats – 3 sets of 15 reps
Targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.
- Lunges – 3 sets of 10 reps per leg
Works the quads, hamstrings, and glutes, and also challenges your balance.
- Planks – 3 sets of 30 seconds hold
A fantastic core-strengthening exercise that also works the shoulders and glutes.
- Jumping Jacks – 3 sets of 20 reps
A great full-body exercise that gets your heart rate up and improves cardiovascular fitness.
Finish your workout with a 5-minute cool-down to help your body recover. This could involve light cardio like walking, followed by static stretching to relax your muscles and improve flexibility (1).
Remember, the aim is not to rush through the exercises but to perform each movement with proper form and control. Take adequate rest between sets to allow your body to recover, about 60-90 seconds should suffice. As you progress, you can increase the number of sets, reps, or the duration of your planks.
Always listen to your body and adjust the workout as needed. If an exercise feels too challenging, modify it to suit your current fitness level.
How Long Should A Beginner Do Calisthenics?
As a beginner, it’s advisable to start with short sessions lasting around 20-30 minutes. The focus should be on learning the correct form and technique rather than the duration of the workout. As your stamina and strength improve, you can gradually increase the length of your workouts.
Is 1 Hour Calisthenics Enough?
Yes, an hour of focused calisthenics can be quite effective. According to fitness experts, this allows enough time for a thorough workout, including warm-up, cool-down, and rest periods between sets, without risking overtraining or injury.
Can I Train Calisthenics Everyday?
While it’s possible to train calisthenics every day, rest and recovery are equally important components of an effective fitness regimen. Working out every day without giving your muscles time to recover can lead to overtraining and possible injuries (3)
Step 5: Start Training
Now that you have your workout plan, it’s time to get started. Begin each session with a proper warm-up to prepare your muscles for the workout ahead and end with a cool-down to help your body recover and prevent stiffness and soreness.
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Step 6: Monitor Your Progress
Tracking your progress is crucial for maintaining motivation and adjusting your workout plan as necessary. Keep a workout journal or use a fitness app to record the exercises you do, the number of sets and reps, and how you feel after each workout.
Step 7: Stay Consistent
Consistency is key in calisthenics. Even if you’re not seeing immediate results, don’t get discouraged. Stick with your workout plan, stay patient, and keep pushing yourself. Over time, you’ll see improvements in your strength, flexibility, and overall fitness.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is Calisthenics Good For Building Muscle?
Yes, calisthenics is an effective way to build muscle. It involves using your own body weight as resistance, which can stimulate muscle growth. Calisthenics exercises typically involve multiple muscle groups in each movement, providing a comprehensive full-body workout.
How To Do Calisthenics For Beginners?
Beginners should start with basic calisthenics exercises such as push-ups, squats, lunges, planks, and pull-ups.
The key is to focus on proper form and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts as your strength and endurance improve. Also, remember to warm up before each session and cool down afterwards to prevent injury (1) (5)
How To Start A Calisthenics Beginner Guide?
Starting calisthenics involves understanding your current fitness level, setting clear goals, choosing appropriate exercises, creating a structured workout plan, and then beginning training.
It’s also important to monitor your progress, stay consistent, and allow time for rest and recovery.
How Many Calisthenics Exercises Per Workout?
The number of exercises per workout can vary depending on your fitness level and goals. For beginners, a workout might include 3-5 different exercises. As you become more advanced in your practice you can incorporate more exercises or increase the number of sets and reps for each exercise.
Remember, the quality of your workout is more important than the quantity of exercises. It’s better to perform fewer exercises with proper form than to do many exercises incorrectly.
The Bottom Line
Starting a calisthenics workout routine as a beginner can be an exciting journey towards improved strength, flexibility, and overall fitness. This comprehensive guide provides all the necessary information to help you kickstart your calisthenics journey, from understanding your current fitness level to setting clear goals, choosing the right exercises, and creating a structured workout plan.
With consistency and determination, you’ll see noticeable improvements in your physique and fitness levels.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Do We Need a Cool-Down After Exercise? A Narrative Review of the Psychophysiological Effects and the Effects on Performance, Injuries and the Long-Term Adaptive Response (2018, link.springer.com)
- High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss (2011, hindawi.com)
- Overtraining Syndrome (2012, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Protocol for Minute Calisthenics: a randomized controlled study of a daily, habit-based, bodyweight resistance training program (2020, biomedcentral.com)
- The effect of warm-ups with stretching on the isokinetic moments of collegiate men (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The effects of a calisthenics training intervention on posture, strength and body composition (2017, researchgate.net)