If you don’t have time for the gym, but want to do some strength and conditioning, then home calisthenics could be right for you.
What is Calisthenics?
Calisthenics is a form of exercise that uses your body weight and gravity to perform specific moves: think pull ups, dips, press ups.
Benefits of Calisthenics?
Calisthenics can be done with minimal equipment. By following a dedicated program, you can gain massive strength and body transformation results.
Can you body build with just calisthenics?
Yes you can build significant muscle by only doing calisthenics, as long as you are dedicated and follow a routine consistently. Just search for ‘calisthenics body transformations’ on YouTube to get inspired.
Can you do calisthenics at home?
Yes of course! You just need some basic equipment to get started properly. It is still going to be cheaper than buying a home gym.
Calisthenics beginners equipment
Ideally to get started with calisthenics properly, you need a pull up bar and a dip bar -- but this does not have to be full size.
Below are some of the best calisthenics equipment for home use to quickly get you started as a beginner. You could buy the 3 main pieces for under $200 and start your calisthenics program tomorrow. You can get away with not buying the push up bars, unless you suffer from painful wrists. It could be an age thing.
Libert Fitness Equalizer Calisthenics Bars
- Easy to store away at home
- Comes with DVD with routine
- Stable with good grips
- Come in different sizes
The bars were created by trainer Marc Lebert and are the perfect dip bars for home. They stand at 31” high and can easily be used even if you are 6 foot, though most people have to do dips with their legs bent -- this is no big deal. The Libert Fitness Equalizer also comes in different sizes, the one above being the XL version.
They are said to hold a max. weight of 400 pounds and comes with a great video which gives you a range of exercises for a full body workout.
Main exercises: Dips, Australian pull ups, L-Pull ups, vertical knee raises
Prosource Multigrip Calisthenics Pull Up Bar
- Easily slides on a door frame
- Solid steel
- Multi grip positions
- #1 calisthenics exercise
Solid pull up bar by Prosource which easily fits onto most door frames. This style of home pull up bar is ideal if you don’t want to permanently screw a bar onto a door frame. The set can also be stored easily after use.
This pull up bar has six different grip positions to you can vary your pull ups from a wide grip to laterals grip, which will work different body part.
The pull bar set is made of solid steel and said to hold 300lb and has a lifetime warranty.
This home pull up bar has 2440 reviews on Amazon, all mainly good.
Once you get good with pull ups, consider buying a weighted vest to increase the weight of each movement, these vests are not only used by runners.
Jfit Pro Pushup bars
- Lightweight but stable
- Easy to store
- Multi exercise options
- No assembly
If you are lacking space to store the Libert Fitness Equalizer, then a small pushup bar might do the trick. These bars by J Fit are easy store and allow for some calisthenics exercises in your home.
If you have never used push bars, you may be surprised how few push ups you can do with them to start. I can’t work out if it’s actually harder with them or you are just not used push ups with your hands in that position. After using these for 6 months, I can do push ups easily with them. They also make you better at normal pushups.
I actually bought these due to pain in my wrists when doing normal push ups. Not doing push ups with flat hands has really helped my wrist pain.
Mini push up bars are not just for push ups. If you place your feet in a surface, dips are possible. And L dips if you have the strength.
Perfect Pushup Elite by Perfect Fitness
- Engages more muscles
- Good grips
- Easy to store at home
- No more wrist pains from standard push ups
If you are not planning on doing dips and going all out with building your chest, or 100 day push challenge, then these are few you. They are basically solid handles for pushups, but very well made.
With 1710 reviews on Amazon, mostly positive, they are much loved by calisthenics enthusiasts.
Home Calisthenics Resources
Book: Overcoming gravity
Calisthenics Youtube Channels
Jamie is a running addict and gym junkie. He trains 7 days per week and is currently doing an MA in nutrition and sports science