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Calisthenic Program Full Body For Beginners At Home

Long before modern fitness equipment came along, athletes and warriors relied on something else to train their bodies.

Calisthenics! A way of training in which you train the body with strength and conditioning exercises.

It actually forms the basis of many exercises that you probably already do at the gym or at home.

In this bodybuilding blog, you will learn everything you need to know about calisthenics and discover the best calisthenics workout. Also, I will delve into the history of calisthenics and the benefits associated with it.

You are probably someone who has been training with weights for years. Maybe you still love it or it's getting boring and you're looking for a new challenge. In that case, you are in the right place!

What is calisthenics?

What comes to mind when you hear the word calisthenics? You might have all kinds of flashbacks to high school gym class, where you did all kinds of exercises until you dropped.

You're close. Even if you don't know the meaning of calisthenics, you've definitely tried it.

Many of the exercises you did in gym class were gymnastics exercises. Think pushups and crunches. You have done these popular exercises at least once in your life.

But the meaning of calisthenics is much more than just some gymnastics exercises.

Calisthenics is a portmanteau of two Greek words: kallos (meaning beauty or beautiful) and sthenos (meaning strength in ancient Greek civilization).

The trick is to only use your body weight as resistance when training and developing muscle strength, muscle mass, and endurance. With calisthenics exercises, you put your core and muscles to work!

Simply put, calisthenics is a form of strength training with your own body weight.

The exercises include simple moves such as pull-ups, push-ups, and dips, but there are also advanced exercises that make calisthenics appealing to anyone looking for something more challenging. Practitioners of calisthenics like to stick to large and functional movements.

You don't need an expensive gym subscription or high-tech fitness equipment to practice calisthenics. Your training should be based on progressive overload. This means that you make a workout more and more challenging and that way you can make progress in your physical development.

OK, now you know what the meaning of calisthenics is. Now it is time to take a leap into the past.

Calisthenic Program Full Body For Beginners At Home

Where does calisthenics come from?

Calisthenics is extremely popular today due to the many benefits it can provide.

However, most people are unaware of the history of calisthenics. To better understand what the whole concept of calisthenics is about, it's important that we dive into the history books.

The history of calisthenics is as old as the Greek Empire where strength training using your own bodyweight comes from.

Athletes and wrestlers in ancient Greece used calisthenics exercises to prepare for the Olympics. Also in Rome, the gladiators used calisthenics as a form of training.

And calisthenics has stood the test of time. It is now practiced by anyone who wants to develop more muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance.

Benefits of calisthenics

Why take calisthenics training? An understandable question if you are not yet familiar with calisthenics.

Practicing this form of exercise has many benefits. Not only for your body but also when it comes to efficient training.

Here are the biggest benefits of practicing calisthenics:

Benefit #1: you can do it anywhere

The most obvious reason is that calisthenics is much more practical to do than working out with weights or machines in gyms.

Since you use your body weight as resistance to calisthenics, expensive fitness equipment is not necessary. Moreover, there is nothing better than training in the open air!

This was one of the reasons why calisthenics seemed so appealing to me in the beginning. It is a great advantage that you can train anywhere you want.

In this way, it is virtually impossible to miss a workout due to circumstances (apart from lack of discipline).

So you have no more excuses. With calisthenics, you can stay in shape wherever you are.

You can practice a calisthenic workout at many country estates and parks in the Netherlands. These are free and accessible to enter.

Looking for a calisthenic park near you? Read on to find out how to find the best calisthenic spots in your area.

Benefit #2: strong and fit body

Another advantage is that training with your own bodyweight will ensure a strong and generally developed body.

Most people think that training with weights is the only way to build more muscle strength and muscle mass. While this may be a favorite activity, there are also other ways to get a strong physique.

Do you think I'm exaggerating? Check out these gymnasts:

These men have more muscle mass and muscle strength than many (strength) athletes in the gym.

In addition, gymnasts are able to perform complex movements that use muscles you didn't even know you had if you were training them with weights.

With calisthenics, you are able to get an athletic physique that can look just as good as if you were using weights and fitness equipment.

In a 2008 study, researchers got 15 men to do a weight-based workout and 17 men a calisthenics workout. The calisthenics training was developed on the basis of the physical training program of the US military.

Both groups trained 1.5 hours a day for 8 weeks, 5 days a week. After 8 weeks, the fitness of both groups had increased to a similar extent ( source ).

Benefit #3: Balanced Physically

We all know those men with pumped-up upper bodies and skinny legs. It's not a face!

These are usually athletes who focus on one muscle group at a time. Lower body exercises are often skipped, which results in an unbalanced physique.

Never skip leg day! is well-intentioned advice in that regard, because it's all too common for men to skip their leg training. You have been warned!

Fortunately, you don't have to worry about that with calisthenics. This is rarely the case when it comes to calisthenics exercises. With a calisthenics workout, you target several muscle groups at the same time and your entire body is trained.

Benefit #4: ideal for fat burning

If your goal is to build muscle mass and burn fat, this training should definitely not be missing from your schedule.

Like HIIT workouts, calisthenics is more effective than hours of cardio sessions for weight loss.

At least, if you do it the right way. By challenging yourself with every workout, you will see progress quickly and be able to perform more difficult exercises.

Advantage #6: accessible to everyone

The great thing about calisthenics is that anyone can practice it.

Because it is based on functionality, every strength athlete and bodybuilder should include a little bit in every workout.

Chances are you've already incorporated calisthenics exercises such as pull-ups, push-ups, lunges, and squats into your training schedule.

If you haven't trained in years or are a complete novice when it comes to calisthenics, a good introduction to calisthenics is necessary.

Can you be found at the gym every week? Then you probably already have an idea of ​​what you can do.

Benefit #7: time-saving

Unlike most other sports, you can tailor a calisthenics workout to your own needs. You can make it a short 15-minute workout or a full 60-minute workout. The choice is all yours!

A calisthenics workout is aimed at targeting several major muscle groups so that you get the most out of your training.

Benefit #8: it's fun and challenging to do

Yes, calisthenics is a lot of fun to do! Once you have learned the basic exercises, you can build sufficient muscle strength and endurance with this training.

Even to the point where you can make amazing movements with your body that you couldn't do before!

Disadvantages of calisthenics

It should be clear that I am a big fan of calisthenics. However, it is also important to know its potential drawbacks.

Only in this way will you get a complete picture and you can make a choice for yourself whether this form of training suits you.

Disadvantage #1: You Can't Isolate Muscle Groups

Do you have a weak muscle group that needs a little more attention? Or are you recovering from a persistent injury?

Then isolation exercises are very important to do. Unfortunately, isolating muscle groups is very difficult to do with calisthenics. Lifting weights makes it much easier to isolate certain muscle groups that require your attention.

Disadvantage #2: Difficult for beginners

Calisthenics looks simple, but make no mistake! In the gym, you can adjust the weights to your training level. With calisthenics, it is not so easy. You are at the mercy of your own body weight.

For example, you can start with a light workout where you try to master the basic exercises.

As a beginner, I can also recommend going with a group. In that case, you always have guidance and you see how to perform the exercises in the right way.

Disadvantage #3: prone to injury

There is a risk associated with any form of exercise. The same goes for calisthenics.

Especially beginners or people who are prone to injury should be careful with calisthenics. You are not immediately Epke Zonderland when you hang out on the rack.

If you're suffering from an injury or have had surgery, you'll want to start slow. This is the best way to build it up for beginners.

Disadvantage #4: Difficult to Make Fast Progress

With calisthenics, you build muscle and strength. Sounds good, and it is! However, you will probably soon reach a plateau. And then it becomes a challenge.

With strength training, progression is easy. You add a little more weight weekly until you can't increase the weight any further. In calisthenics exercises, it is much more difficult to master the correct technique and coordination.

Calisthenics workout in the park

If you've walked through a nature reserve, chances are you've come across a training location with materials and equipment for a 'street workout'.

These so-called calisthenics parks are financed by municipalities for outdoor training.

Are you looking for a calisthenic park near you? Then I can wholeheartedly recommend the Calisthenic parks app. Download this app on your smartphone and discover more than 10,000 parks around the world.

You can also find almost every calisthenic park in Western Europe. You'd be surprised how many calisthenics workout parks are within a 15-minute drive.

Another alternative is the google search engine. Enter your city in the search bar and the word calisthenics and click search. The results are displayed on the map with the number of calisthenics parks near you.

You can also search for playgrounds near you with Google. No, not to go down the slide.

Most playgrounds nowadays also have material and equipment to use for your calisthenics workout.

Just think of climbing frames, with which you can do different exercises. Each park becomes a free calisthenic workout for you!

Whatever level you play at, if you are looking for the best calisthenics exercises and want to train with your own bodyweight, then read on.

8 Best Calisthenics Workout Exercises

Are you a beginner? Then I advise you to start with the basic exercises. All other exercises are just more difficult variations and combinations of these basic exercises.

Once you are comfortable with these exercises, you can increase the number of reps.

The schedule below is for beginners and advanced consists of 8 different exercises.

  • You perform the schedule three times in a row.
  • Between each set, take a 30-second rest and a 3-minute rest between each rep of the schedule.
  • The number of repetitions of an exercise depends on your level.

Learning to master these exercises leads to more agility and muscle strength. You can basically do a calisthenics workout every day, although I don't recommend this to beginners.

It depends on how much rest you take and how intense your workouts are. Always listen to your body to avoid unnecessary injuries!

Exercise #1: Pull-Ups

Performing the exercise:

  1. Stand facing the bar or bar.
  2. Grab the bar from above with your hands and place them slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Use your shoulder muscles to pull up, trying to get your chin over the bar.
Pull Ups Calisthenic Program Full Body

Exercise #2: Chin Ups

Performing the exercise:

  1. Stand facing the bar or bar.
  2. Grab the bar from below with your arms in a tight grip. The hands come together a little closer than shoulder-width.
  3. Use your biceps to pull up and lift your chin over the stance.
Chin Up - Calisthenic Program Full Body

Exercise #3: Dip

Performing the exercise:

  1. Stand in a dip bar (or find something else you can dip with).
  2. Place your hands on the bar or equipment and use your arm and shoulder muscles to lift you off the floor.
  3. Bend your elbows back and use your triceps to move up and down.
Dips -  Calisthenic Program Full Body

Exercise #4: Jump Squats

Performing the exercise:

  1. Stand with your face forward and your feet parallel to shoulder width.
  2. Move your feet a few inches apart with your toes pointed slightly out.
  3. Lower yourself into the squat and push your hips back and down as you bend your knees.
  4. During the movement, keep your chest muscles tense and your face forward.
Squats Jump -  Calisthenic Program Full Body
Squats Jump -  Calisthenic Program Full Body

Exercise #5: Push-Ups

Performing the exercise:

  1. Get on your knees and place your hands on the floor slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  2. Extend your legs back while keeping your body off the floor using your arms. You are now in the planking position.
  3. Keep your back straight and make sure your butt doesn't stick up in the air.
  4. Lower your body by bending the elbows close to your body until your chest almost touches the floor.
  5. Your upper arms should form a 45-degree angle when the upper part of your body is in the bottom push-up position.
  6. Pause for 1 second as soon as you almost touch the floor, then quickly push back to the starting position.
  7. Keep your abs tight throughout the exercise.
Push Up -  Calisthenic Program Full Body

Exercise #6: Crunches 

Performing the exercise:

  1. Lie on the floor with your back flat back
  2. Place your feet flat on the floor and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle to your body.
  3. Cross your arms in front of your chest or put them behind your head. Your head and neck should rest on your hands.
  4. It is important not to lift your entire back off the floor as this can cause back pain sooner or later.
Crunches -  Calisthenic Program Full Body

Exercise #7: Burpees

Performing the exercise:

  1. Jump up while keeping your arms straight (make sure your back stays dead straight). Your shoulders should also be in line.
  2. After landing, sit with your knees bent and place your hands on the floor.
  3. Jump from this position so that you both kick your feet back at the same time, landing in the well-known planking position. Again, it is important to always keep your back straight.
  4. Now perform a push-up.
  5. Jump back to the position described in step 2 above.
  6. Finally, you have to spring back up and make a jump with your hands stretched upwards. Then you are back at step 1.


Burpees - Calisthenic Program Full Body

Exercise #8: Skipping Ropes

Performing the exercise:

  1. Grab the handles of the jump rope and keep your hands in the air at the height of the bottom of your chest muscles.
  2. Twist the rope with your wrists as you jump a few inches off the ground so that the rope can pass underneath.
  3. While jumping, keep your toes pointing down and bend your knees slightly.
skipping ropes - Calisthenic Program Full Body

The best Calisthenics equipment and equipment for the home

Do you want to do calisthenics exercises at home? Can't go to the park because of the bad weather?

Or don't want to waste precious time waiting for others to finish? Then it can be useful to have calisthenics material and equipment at home.

I can hear you thinking Glenn, what the hell do I need then? . You can come a long way if you only get the basic materials at home.

If you have little money you can start with cheap equipment and build up from there.

#1: Power Tower

The power tower or power tower is extremely useful at home.

The material can be used in multiple ways and includes everything you need: push-ups, chin-ups, dips, etc.

Make sure that the power tower you buy is of good quality. It must be sturdy. So check the online reviews of others and read what they have to say about it.

As for the price, you have a good power tower for around 140 euros. If you want to spend more than 200 euros, you can find better quality and with extra features.

#2: Pull-up bar

A cheaper alternative to a power tower is the pull-up bar. You have different versions.

You hang some pull-up bars under the door frame or directly on the wall. I only recommend the door frame if you are a beginner. They are not suitable for intensive use.

If you have a little more money, you'd better buy a wall-mounted pull-up bar. This model can carry more weight and is usually safer.

Before you buy a chin-up bar, it is important that you check the material from which the bar is made. Also, look at the online reviews of other customers.

A normal pull-up bar costs about 30 euros. A pull-up bar on the wall can be slightly more expensive. But if you want quality and have more space, it's definitely worth it.

#3: Gymnastics and Gym Rings

Lord of the Rings! No, I don't expect you to excel in the rings section during the Olympics. But they are worth mentioning because wooden gymnastics rings can help you develop more muscle strength.

Rings can help strengthen your balance and core by allowing multiple muscles to work together to keep you in position. You must already have strong arm muscles to stay in balance. That is why I only recommend gymnastics rings for advanced players. And see if your ceiling is high enough!

#4: Skipping rope

Skipping rope is ideal for quickly improving your fitness and endurance.

It is loved by boxers for a reason. With a skipping rope, many muscle groups are also addressed and you improve your coordination.

#5: Ab wheel

The abs wheel or ab wheel is one of the few things that I find worthwhile.

Don't be fooled by the name, because with this device you do much more than just train your abs. With the ab wheel your shoulders, chest, back, glutes, arms and legs are challenged!

You can buy an ab wheel for about 20 euros.

I hope this article has given you a good impression of the benefits of calisthenics and what you can use it for.

Do you want to try calisthenics training? Post a comment below and let me know. I'm curious!

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