How Can I Teach Myself a Calisthenics Workout?

Reviewed on 1/22/2021

Teaching myself calisthenics

Calisthenics exercises use our body weight.
Calisthenics exercises use our body weight.

Calisthenics exercises use our body weight. These exercises are performed with varying degrees of intensity and rhythm. You can perform calisthenics with or without light handheld apparatus, such as rigs and wands.

Calisthenics uses motions, such as:

  • Bending
  • Stretching
  • Twisting
  • Swinging
  • Kicking
  • Jumping
  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Chin-ups

For beginners, it is necessary to start with some simple bodyweight exercises. You can increase the difficulty level after you get used to the moves. You can either teach yourself at home or seek an expert’s advice to train yourself.

There are a few exercises that you can perform at home by repeating 10-12 times, two to three times a week, but never on consecutive days. They are:

  • Bodyweight squats: As a beginner, you can do squats that are simple and effective. You can perform a squat by:
    • Stand with your body facing forward and keep your feet parallel to your shoulders.
    • Distance your feet a few inches apart with the toes pointing slightly outward.
    • Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
    • Keep your chest upright with your head and face forward.
    • Pause for a second, and then come back to the original position.
    • Repeat this 20 times for effective results.
  • Bodyweight lunges: Lunges are yet another simple and effective exercise. You can perform lunges by:
    • Stand with your body facing forward and keep your feet parallel to your shoulders.
    • Take your right foot forward and place it forward.
    • Lower your body until the right thigh is parallel to the floor and the right shin is vertical.
    • When done correctly, your front knee will be aligned with your ankle, and your back knee will be hanging just off the floor.
    • Return to the starting position.
    • Repeat the same process with the other leg.
  • Crunches: Crunches are best for the abdomen. You can perform crunches by:
    • Lay down on the ground with your back flat.
    • Place your feet on the ground by bending your knees up at a 90-degree angle.
    • Place your hands behind your head, squeezing your shoulder together, and pulling your elbows back without arching your low back. This elbow position should be maintained throughout the exercise.
    • Sit up until your chest or elbow touches your knees.
    • Slowly lower your torso back into the original position.
    • Repeat this exercise a few times.
  • Planks: These are great for stability, balance, and core strength. You can perform a plank by:
    • Lying down on your stomach on the floor with elbows close to your sides and directly under your shoulders. Keep your palms and hands facing downward.
    • Slowly lift your upper body off the floor without moving the leg. Avoid any arching in your lower back, hiking upwards in the hips, or bending in the knees.
    • While maintaining a stiff torso and extended knees, gently return to the original position.

As you advance, you can include more complex exercises, such as:

  • Burpees
  • Pull-ups
  • Chin-ups
  • Handstands

If you feel pain while trying out these exercises, then immediately stop and consult a physician. If you are consulting a trainer, make sure you consult a certified and experienced trainer who can guide you with workouts.

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References
WebMD. Benefits of Calisthenic Exercises. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/benefits-calisthenics#1

The American Council on Exercise. https://www.acefitness.org/

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